Canal conference kicks off in Geneva on Sunday

The Canal Society of New York State has announced that the 15th New York State Canal Conference will be held on September 21-23, 2014 in Geneva, New York. The bi-annual conference will include presentations of major importance to canal communities, tourism professionals, and others working to enhance, protect and promote the NYS Canal system. Attendants will be treated to a variety of pre-conference activities on Sunday. If you want to take it easy, you can enjoy the view and live music at the Ramada Geneva Lakefront Hotel during their ‘Kick Back Sunday’ party. If you prefer to be on the water, you can participate in a canal paddle between Seneca Falls and Waterloo, board one of many tour boats or even a research vessel on Seneca Lake. The evening reception will be held at The Smith Opera House, featuring live performances on the Grand Steinway Piano. Monday morning will bring the first-time-ever preview of the interpretive documentary ‘Hard Times – Boom and Bust on the Banks of the Erie Canal,’ which compares two distinct eras in the canal’s history. Mobile workshops will take attendants to the Erie Canal Heritage Park at Port Byron and the Lyons Dry Dock. During the dinner at Belhurst Castle the ‘Spirit of the Canal’ award will be presented to Mr. Craig Williams, retired New York State Canal Museum director. “The 2014 New York State Canal Conference will showcase the Finger Lakes Region and Cayuga-Seneca Canal as well as Seneca Lake and the City of Geneva,” said Conference Chair Kal Wysokowski. “Our program includes keynote speakers Mr. Robert Gioia, Chairman of Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation, Mr. John Robinson, from Our Ability Tour, and Mr. Gavin Landry, Executive Director of Tourism, I LOVE NY. A number of break-out sessions will focus on critical issues such as eco-tourism, crafting the nomination of the canal barge system for the National Register of Historic Places, and a close look at the economic impact of the Canalway Trail from Parks and Trails New York.” At the closing Luncheon on Tuesday at the new Geneva Visitor and Event Center, built with support from the NYS Canal Corporation, Director Brian Stratton will present the Trail Tender of the Year Award to Angela and David Valvo. Full conference registration is $315 per person. One-day rates are available as well. The conference is being co-presented by the New York State Canal Corporation and Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor. Additional major sponsors include Brookfield Renewable Energy Group, Bergmann Associates and AJ Costello & Son Development. The Ramada Geneva Lakefront Hotel will serve as the event’s venue.

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