#CanalMagic Festival comes to Inverness ahead of World Canals Conference

Visitors to the Caledonian Canal are being invited to capture some canal magic at a fun-filled festival of free activities celebrating the arrival of the World Canals Conference in Inverness and Scotland’s 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.

The #CanalMagic Festival, organised by Scottish Canals and the Scottish Waterways Trust, kicks off on Saturday September 17th at Muirtown Basin and will feature an array of activities on and off the water. More adventurous attendees can test their grip on climbing walls, walk on water in the aptly-named waterwalkerz and channel their inner Olympian in rowing, skiff and kayak races.

Those looking to sample the more sedate side of the festival will be able to grab an array of delectable delights from food stalls, enjoy a range of traditional music, and even take a free canal boat cruise around the basin. A model boat design and building competition will also see amateur engineers put their skills to the test as they compete for the top spot – and the glory of creating a vessel that floats!

The festival marks the culmination of the year-long #CanalMagic programme of events, organised by Scottish Canals and supported by the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, which asked cyclists, runners, walkers, boaters, canalside communities and businesses to share what the nation’s 137-mile network means to them in the run-up to the 2016 World Canals Conference.

From Red Bull Neptune Steps on the Forth & Clyde Canal – the world’s only uphill swimming race – and the Edinburgh Canal Festival, to the creation of a chocolate clad scale model of The Falkirk Wheel for Cake Fest Scotland, the #CanalMagic events have attracted more than 6000 people so far.

The #CanalMagic Festival marks the start of the 2016 World Canals Conference, which returns to Scotland after more than a decade. The four-day event commences on September 19th and will see more than 300 international waterway experts, business leaders and global professionals celebrate innovative thinking and cutting-edge delivery in a range of disciplines including sustainable tourism development, regeneration, heritage management, climate change and engineering within the iconic landscape of the Scottish Highlands.

Throughout the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, people from all over Scotland have been capturing #CanalMagic and celebrating everything that makes the nation’s historic canals such special places.

From the water to the banks and beyond, the #CanalMagic Festival will bring all those incredible experiences together in a fun-filled day that encourages people to make the most of their local canal and showcases the best of Scotland to attendees of the World Canals Conference.

After cheering on athletes in the world’s only uphill swimming race, watching The Falkirk Wheel be recreated in chocolate, and working with local communities to create a shared vision for the future of the Crinan Canal, the #CanalMagic Festival is a fitting culmination for what has been an incredible year on Scotland’s waterways and a fantastic way to kick off the World Canals Conference.

Steve Dunlop, Chief Executive of Scottish Canals

Stephen Wiseman, Heritage Officer at Scottish Waterways Trust, added: “We are delighted to help deliver the #CanalMagic Festival. It’s set to be a fantastic day with lots of opportunities to try new activities on and off the water and appreciate everything the Caledonian Canal has to offer. We want everybody to get out and see what’s on their doorstep – there’s something for all ages, abilities and aspirations!”

The #CanalMagic Festival will be held at Muirtown Basin from 10am to 4pm on Saturday 17th September. Entry to the festival is free, with donations requested for some activities. For more information on the festival, see http://bit.ly/CanalMagicFest

Notes to Editors

About Scottish Canals

Scottish Canals is responsible to the Scottish Government for the management and development of the Union, Monkland, Forth & Clyde, Crinan and Caledonian Canals. As well as the waterways themselves, Scottish Canals care for 251 bridges, 212 buildings, 256 locks, The Falkirk Wheel, The Kelpies and 19 water supply reservoirs in locations across Scotland. The reservoirs cover an area equivalent to 7,494 football pitches and supply the canals with the 332 million litres of water which flow through them each day.

The Forth & Clyde, Union and Monkland canals in the Lowlands, the Crinan Canal in Argyll and the Caledonian Canal in the Highlands together extend over 137 miles from coast to coast, across country and into the cities of Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness. Built two hundred years ago to fire the Industrial Revolution, Scotland’s canals are now recognised as Scheduled Monuments and attract 22million visits per year.

For more information, visit www.scottishcanals.co.uk or follow @ScottishCanals on Twitter

About the World Canals Conference

The biggest event in the international waterways calendar, Inverness joins an illustrious list of past World Canals Conference hosts including the Grand Canal in China, Montreal in Canada and New York in the USA. As well as innovative projects from around the globe, the 2016 World Canals Conference will also celebrate developments along Scotland’s 137-mile waterway network, from the creation of The Kelpies – the largest equine sculptures on the planet – to The Falkirk Wheel’s role as the world’s only rotating boat lift and an iconic tourism destination.

Over 300 business leaders from more than a dozen countries will attend the four-day conference from the 19th – 22nd September, hearing from keynote speakers including Dr Jonathan Chambers, Team Leader in Geophysical Tomography at the British Geographical Survey; Riccardo Marini, Director of Gehl Architects; and Daniel Fabrega, Panama’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom. More than 50 presentations and plenary sessions will also be held over the course of the conference.

As well as a range of high profile speakers, the event has also attracted sponsors and partners from around the globe. Red Bull; KLM; Air France; VisitScotland National Conference Bid Fund; the Scottish Government; the Year of Innovation, Architecture & Design; Sustrans; Linssen Yachts; AECOM; Visit Inverness Loch Ness; Peter Brett Associates; Highland Council; the Inverness Common Good Fund; Scottish Waterways Trust; Rabbie’s Trail Burners; Scottish Segway Centre; Loch Ness Centre; Pickering’s Gin; and the Inverness Business Improvement District have also offered their support for the conference.

More information on the conference can be found at www.WCCscotland.com

2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design

  • 2016 will shine a spotlight on Scotland’s achievements in innovation, architecture and design through a wide-ranging, variety of new and existing activity.
  • The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design started on 1 January 2016 and will end on 31 December 2016. It will build on the momentum generated by the 2015 Year of Food and Drink as well as previous years including Homecoming Scotland 2014, the Year of Creative and the Year of Natural.
  • Through a series of exciting events and activity, the year will showcase Scotland’s position as an “innovation nation”, its outstanding built heritage, and its thriving, internationally acclaimed creative industries sector.
  • The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland, and supported by a variety of partners including Creative Scotland, Architecture + Design Scotland, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scottish Enterprise, The National Trust for Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS).
  • The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design is supported by £570,000 of Scottish Government funding.

The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design events fund is managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.

Share this Story