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Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor has funding available for 2021 canal-related events

By Eric Reinhardt (


The Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor is seeking applications from municipalities and nonprofits for $500 sponsorships for canal-related events this year. (Eric Reinhardt / CNYBJ)

Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor — in partnership with the New York State Canal Corporation — is seeking applications for 2021 canal-related event funding.

The effort is in response to “New York State beginning to open more and an increase in gathering sizes allowed in public spaces,” per a news release.

Municipalities and nonprofit organizations may apply for $500 sponsorships for events that “promote or celebrate the distinctive historic, cultural, or recreational resources” throughout the canalway corridor. A minimum one-to-one match is required.

Events that “actively include or serve people with disabilities or people from underserved populations are encouraged” to apply, the organizations said.

“We are eager for a return of safe events that showcase New York State’s extraordinary canal heritage and recreational resources,” Bob Radliff, executive director of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor, said. “Pre-pandemic research shows that events and tours draw hundreds of thousands of people to the canal each year and deliver $1.3 billion annually in economic benefits to communities.”

Applications are due by April 16, and events must take place from May 1 through Oct. 31. Eligible events must comply with New York State COVID-19 guidelines.

“As New York begins to reopen and return to normal, we’re thrilled to be working with canalside communities and partners to uplift local economies and remind New Yorkers of the tremendous historic significance and opportunity offered by the Erie Canal,” Brian Stratton, director of the New York State Canal Corporation, said. “Alongside the efforts of Governor Cuomo to reinvigorate upstate cities and towns along the canals through the Reimagine the Canals program, these events will bring New Yorkers together in a safe way and bring a much-needed boost to communities along the length of the Canal.”

For instructions and an online application, visit

The Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor says it works to “preserve the Nation’s extraordinary canal heritage, promote the Corridor as a world-class tourism destination, and foster vibrant communities connected by more than 500 miles of waterway.”

It works in partnership with the National Park Service, New York State agencies, nonprofit organizations, local residents, and more than 200 communities across upstate New York.

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