Governor Kathy Hochul announced today that New York State has been selected by International inland waterways as host of the World Canal Conference 2025, an event that brings together hundreds of canal and inland waterway enthusiasts, professionals and scholars from around the world to learn about a variety of topics related to canals. The 2025 conference will be held in Buffalo as the state commemorates the 200th anniversary of the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825. The New York Power Authority, New York State Canal Corporation and Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor, in partnership along with the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation and Visit Buffalo Niagara are joint sponsors and will coordinate all aspects of the conference.
“I am honored that New York State, and in particular the City of Buffalo, is hosting the 2025 World Canals Conference, providing us with the opportunity to welcome participants from around the world while highlighting an essential part in the history of our state and our nation during the 200th anniversary of the opening of the Erie Canal,” Governor Hochul said. “The Erie Canal has been an integral part of New York’s economy and landscape since Governor Dewitt Clinton began the maiden 10-day voyage to Buffalo in 1825 on the newly completed canal, culminating in the famous ‘Wedding of the waters” in New York. Port.”
The World Canal Conference is a key part of a comprehensive four-month celebration of the Erie Canal Bicentennial scheduled for Buffalo’s historic waterfront between May and September 2025. The event will highlight Buffalo’s transformed waterfront , which recently saw over $400 million in new investment including new hotels, a large sports arena, a children’s museum, retail stores and a fabulous waterway recreated on the footprint of the original Erie Canal in the queen city. Today, Buffalo’s Canalside draws over a million people a year.
The conference program will be dynamic, relevant and undeniably future-oriented, as canals and inland waterways are inexorably linked to the social, cultural and economic fiber of surrounding communities. Accordingly, the event will be structured to encompass discussion of the innovations, opportunities and challenges that are driving healthy and sustainable waterways around the world today. Sessions on waterways and communities, tourism and recreation, waterway management, historic preservation, inclusion and accessibility will comprise a diverse and compelling conference program. International attendees will mark the indelible impact the Erie Canal has made in North America and beyond and can chart the course for a vibrant and promising future shared by inland waterways around the world.
New York Power Authority Interim Chairman and CEO Justin E. Driscoll said: “Our New York Power Authority and Canal Corporation family is incredibly proud to join Governor Hochul and our partners as we celebrate the bicentennial of New York State’s iconic Erie Canal on the world stage. will also promote its continued positive impact on local economies and highlight the endless opportunities for adventure along our water and trail system. »
New York State Canal Corporation Director Brian U. Stratton said: “For nearly two centuries, the Erie Canal has connected people and commerce across our state, and as custodian of this iconic waterway, I am thrilled to celebrate its bicentennial alongside Governor Hochul and our colleagues then. that we are bringing the international direction of the world’s canals Conference back in New York State This global gathering of inland waterway leaders and canal enthusiasts allows us to really show how our continued investments in the system of the canal support local recreation and businesses in upstate New York’s waterfront communities.
Bob Radliff, General Manager of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor, said: “Buffalo is the perfect place to host this conference and I’m so proud to show the world all it has to offer. Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean in New York. This historical connection is at the heart of Buffalo’s history, and it was the main reason the city became a commercial and industrial powerhouse in the 1800s.”
Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation Chairman Robert Gioia said, “Canalside is honored to have been selected to host the 2025 World Canals Conference. The conference will cap off a summer of celebrating the 200th anniversary of the Erie Canal on the Buffalo waterfront. Several events are planned to mark this historic milestone, which will include public art, educational programs and tours of the replica liner which is being built in the Longshed at Canalside at this time.”
Patrick Kaler, President and CEO of Visit Buffalo Niagara, said: “The affordability of the ‘City of Good Neighbours’, combined with the small footprint, walkable downtown and wealth of outdoor leisure activities, including its beautiful waterfront at the west end of the Erie Canal, makes Buffalo a competitive event destination and the story we have to offer is unparalleled. I can’t wait to show the world all it has to offer.”
State Senator Timothy Kennedy said: “The Erie Canal has played a crucial role in the development of the city of Buffalo and all of New York and continues to be an important part of our city’s identity today. I look forward to Buffalo showing all that what we have to offer for the 2025 World Canal Conference, which will commemorate the 200th anniversary of the opening of the canal. Congratulations to all who worked to ensure this important event for the Queen City.
State Senator Sean Ryan said“It will be a distinct honor for Buffalo to host the 2025 World Canal Conference as we mark the incredible milestone of 200 years of the Erie Canal. It will be a unique opportunity to show Buffalo and Western New York to the world. as we celebrate our history and look to the future.”
Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples Stokes said: “Buffalo is honored to host the 2025 World Canal Conference at the same time as we celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Erie Canal. Our waterfront is attracting more and more visitors who are excited to learn more about the canal’s history Erie. We look forward to sharing best practices on canal systems and showing conference attendees around the world how Buffalo’s Canalside has helped rejuvenate our city.”
Assemblyman Jon D. Rivera said: “When the Erie Canal opened its waterway in 1825, it ushered in a new era of American ingenuity, transforming the way bulk goods were shipped and redefining the way commercial transportation was conducted. Today, the The Erie Canal is rightly recognized for its historical significance to our nation’s economic prowess and is rightly considered one of the most influential man-made waterways and examples of civil engineering. World of Canals 2025 with the celebration in Buffalo of the 200th anniversary of the opening of the canal will not only commemorate the renowned history of the canal itself, but it will also allow visitors from around the world to see how Buffalo is investing in its waterfront and injects modernity into one of the world’s most recognizable canal systems.”
Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz said: “Erie County is honored to be named to host the 2025 World Canal Conference, which will shine the international spotlight on the famous Erie Canal and its western terminus here at Canalside. The Erie Canal was the Internet of the early 1800s and connected this then sparsely populated region to the world, forever changing the face not only of Erie County, but of New York State and North America. North. In the 200 years since the canal opened, Erie County has grown into a thriving community and we look forward to welcoming our guests and showing who we are at the 2025 conference.”
Buffalo City Mayor Byron Brown said: “Buffalo is proud to welcome this international delegation to Canalside. The city’s famous grain elevators, outdoor recreation and unique architecture make it a great choice for the 2025 World Canals Convention. We look forward to welcoming you. on our waterfront.”
Inland Waterways International President Rudy Van der Ween said: “Inland Waterways International looks forward to experiencing Buffalo and the wider region with a large delegation of its members – from no less than 27 countries around the world – at the World Canals Conference 2025! We are sure that the host city of NY/USA will make this an unforgettable event!”
The upcoming conference in Buffalo will mark the fourth time in recent years that New York State has hosted this international event. It was held previously in Rochester in 2000 and 2010, and again in Syracuse in 2017, marking 200 years since construction of the Erie Canal began in 1817. Specific details regarding the 2025 World Canal Conference will be announced as planning for the conference begins. .