PTNY Selected as Finalist for Reimagine the Canals Competition

PTNY is one of 7 finalists selected, out of 145 entries from nine countries and nine states, to submit full proposals for the $2.5 million Reimagine the Canals Competition. The competition, managed by the NYS Canal Corporation and the New York Power Authority, seeks new approaches for how to both use the canals as an engine for economic development and also to become a hub for tourism and recreation. More than 200 years after its groundbreaking, the Erie Canal is still touted as a symbol of American innovation. Now in its third century of operation, the Erie Canal has undergone a realignment of purpose as an important recreational resource. Recognizing this shift, the Canal Corporation and New York Power Authority announced last September at the World Canals Conference in Syracuse that they would award up to $2.5 million to innovative projects that have the potential to increase visitation and usage along the 524-mile New York State Canal System through a competition.

Competition finalists were announced at a ceremony in Syracuse on April 10. Each finalist team will receive up to $50,000 to further develop their proposals over the next three months and will be eligible to ultimately receive between $250,000 and $1.5 million to implement their proposal.


PTNY was part of two selected proposals . PTNY will lead a team to develop the Great Erie Canal Race, a multi-day race for many types of watercraft, with a component for bikers and hikers. The proposal’s ultimate goal is to elevate the Great Erie Canal Race to the same level of success as PTNY’s Cycle the Erie Canal tour.

PTNY also partnered with the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor on a proposal called “Go the Distance” to help create additional permanent campsites and other lodging options along the Erie Canalway Trail to encourage more long distance hiking, bicycling, and kayaking trips. Final competition awards will be announced in early fall. Check out the Reimagine the Canals page to learn more about the competition and the other five finalists.