World Canals Conference Announces Speakers


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The 2017 World Canals Conference (WCC 2017) has announced its key speakers for this year’s event, set to take place September 24-28 in Syracuse. The conference provides a world-class program that highlights some of the most exciting and innovative activities on the world’s waterways. WCC 2017 speakers hail from around the globe, including experts from France, Poland, Scotland, Korea, the U.K., the Netherlands and the U.S.

Plenary speakers include John Robinson, founder and CEO of Our Ability and co-founder of Journey Along the Erie Canal, a ride for people with disabilities: Robinson is a 2014 White House Champion of Change for Disability Employment. He will focus on canal recreation for people of all abilities. Steve Dunlop, CEO of Scottish Canals: Dunlop will discuss the transformative power of lowland canals and their contribution to Scotland’s vibrant economy. David Edwards-May, president of Inland Waterways International: Edwards-May is an internationally recognized waterways development consultant, cartographer, publisher and writer who will deliver the state of the world’s canals.

The 2017 World Canals Conference, themed “Our Vital Waterways: Agents of Transformation,” will include talks on reimagining canal waterfronts, the power of water in new economies, canal restoration and heritage, celebrating and interpreting canals through public art and events, waterway engineering, recreation, the transformative power of waterway cleanup and world heritage canals.

Opening and closing speakers include Brian Stratton, director of New York State Canal Corporation: Stratton oversees the operation and development of New York’s 524-mile canal system, including the historic Erie Canal. Bob Radliff, executive director of Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor: Radliff leads efforts to preserve and share the corridor’s heritage, promote the corridor as a tourism destination and foster vibrant communities connected by waterways. Gil Quiniones, president and CEO of New York Power Authority: NYPA is the nation’s largest state-owned electric utility and operates the Canal Corporation as a subsidiary. Quiniones will share a reimagined vision for the future of NY canals and how they relate to future energy needs and sustainable communities.

WCC 2017 at the Marriott Syracuse Downtown is expected to draw hundreds of international delegates and thousands of local and regional residents to waterfront events. The conference will feature formal presentations, study tours of canal sites and communities, central New York dining experiences and a variety of exciting free public events.

The five-day conference will be held as the historic Erie Canal, now a National Historic Landmark, commemorates its bicentennial. For more information and to register, click here.

For more information about the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor, click here.

For more information about the NYS Canal Corporation, click here.

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