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New York Power Authority, NYS Canal Corp.'s 'Reimagine the Canals Iconic Lighting Program' internationally recognized for illumination of canal infrastructure


Wed, Dec 20th 2023 03:10 pm

Photos of illuminated canal structures are available here

The New York Power Authority (NYPA) and the New York State Canal Corp. announced a program of the “Reimagine the Canals” initiative has been internationally recognized with a LIT Lighting Design Award for the illumination of infrastructure along the New York State Canal System. The Office for Visual Interaction (OVI), a New York City-based architectural lighting design firm, and the “Reimagine the Canals Iconic Lighting Program,” won in the “Community Building Lighting” category. This year’s LIT Lighting Design Awards attracted over 800 submissions from 58 countries.

“Winning an international LIT Lighting Design Award is a remarkable recognition of the ‘Reimagine the Canals’ initiative, as NYPA and the Canal Corp. developed the ‘Iconic Lighting Program’ to highlight the craftsmanship of the canal system infrastructure as points of pride for canalside communities,” New York Power Authority President and CEO Justin E. Driscoll said. “This award reinforces the early success and vision of this innovative program as it draws attention to New York’s canal history and shines light on an incredible recreational asset available to both local residents and visitors alike.”

NYPA and the Canal Corp. lit the Fairport Lift Bridge over the Erie Canal, the Verona Beach and Brewerton lighthouses on Oneida Lake, and Lock E-17 in Little Falls through the first phase of the program. A project is now underway to illuminate the CSX railroad bridge that crosses over the Erie Canal between Tonawanda and North Tonawanda in Niagara County. The illumination of the bridge will debut in 2024.

New York State Canal Corp. Director Brian U. Stratton said, “Anyone visiting or passing by one of our illuminated structures will quickly see the positive impact the ‘Iconic Lighting Program’ is having, as it is beautifying our canals and enhancing an already unique canalside experience. As we approach the Erie Canal’s bicentennial and prepare for the 2025 World Canals Conference in Buffalo, NYPA and the Canal Corp. are immensely proud that our program received this award as it highlights century-old components of the canal system while envisioning a brighter future.”

The LIT Lighting Design Awards recognize the efforts of talented international lighting product designers and lighting implementers, while celebrating creativity and innovation in the fields of lighting products and applications. The awardees were selected by a jury of designers and leaders in the lighting, interior design and architectural fields.

OVI was honored for its successful implementation of unique lighting schemes along the Canal system, which serve to celebrate local history and promote economic growth in canalside communities. Lighting installation along the canal was designed to limit excess glare that would impact the local community’s enjoyment of the night sky.

Through the “Reimagine the Canals” initiative, NYPA committed $300 million to revitalize the Erie Canal corridor as a tourism and recreation destination while simultaneously boosting economic development and improving the resiliency of canalside communities. 

New York’s canal system includes four historic canals: the Erie, Champlain, Oswego and Cayuga – Seneca. Spanning 524 miles, the waterway links the Hudson River with the Great Lakes, the Finger Lakes and Lake Champlain. The canals connect hundreds of unique communities across upstate New York.

The New York State Canal Corp. is a subsidiary of the New York Power Authority.

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