Rick Rivers, CANAL NEW YORK Chair had the great honor to be part of a delegation to meet with the Host Committee of the 2012 World Canals Conference to be held in Yangzhou, China September 23-27.
David Ballinger, President of Inland Waterways International which is the organizing body of the WCC, David McDougall, Treasurer, Doug Steward former Director of Parks Canada, and David Edwards-May, representing Toulouse France site of the 2013 WCC and I met with Madam Ding, Mayor, Deputy Mayor Wang Yu Hin and other officials to discuss preliminary arrangements for next year’s conference.
We were also guests for the opening ceremonies of the Permanent Site of the World Canal Cities Expo. This is a magnificent 200,000 square foot facility on the banks of The Grand Canal. It will serve as the site for the WCC along with the adjacent Crowne Plaza Hotel which is now under construction.
The Center has several conference rooms and reception areas named after famous canals. I was very proud to see the Erie Hall complete with a sign and map showing the canal from Albany to Buffalo. It also has two exhibits about the Canal System in New York State.
The Grand Canal is the oldest, (2500 years in 2014) and longest canal in the world. It opened up inland China to the Pacific Ocean. I told our hosts that the Erie Canal did the same for America only it is a bit younger by 2,315 years!
I hope that you will save the dates and plan to attend the Conference and experience the opportunity of a lifetime to visit Yangzhou as well as the major tourist sites in China that will be part of the pre and post conference tours.