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Canal NY Marketing & Business Alliance: Update for Our NYSTIA Colleagues

Jun 18, 2024

A message from Tammee Poinan Grimes, Board Chair - CNYMBA

I am writing to you today to share my enthusiasm regarding the renewed growth and momentum being experienced by the Canal NY Marketing and Business Alliance (CNYBMA) and its members as the 2024 canal season gets underway. Last year tourism along the Canals generated an estimated $1.3 Billion, and we anticipate growth in the year ahead! 

Over the last few years, we have seen significant investments made by the New York Power Authority (NYPA) and The NYS Canal Corporation in revitalizing our canals and transforming them into greater tourism opportunities. We appreciate their work, as well as the outstanding work of our colleagues at the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor and Parks & Trails New York, whose stewardship, programming and consumer outreach is increasing awareness and utilization of the entire canal corridor. I'd also like to acknowledge the work of the Canal Society of New York State, both for their work in historic preservation and for their partnership in planning several of our events, including our gathering at Port Byron later this week (see below). Together we can continue to shape the future of our canals, making them a beacon of sustainable tourism, heritage preservation and economic growth as we pursue our mission of business development, tourism marketing, legislative advocacy, and business collaboration.

Progress continues, and we are particularly grateful for the new $50M commitment by New York State to improve canal infrastructure and assets. This funding, proposed in Governor Hochul's budget, received bipartisan support in both the Assembly and the Senate, ensures that the canal network of waterways and trails will continue to positively support the more than 200 upstate New York communities that are within the canal corridor. These improvements will increase foot traffic, boost tourism, job creation, and widespread development in the canal corridor. Kudos to our colleagues and friends at the New York State Canal Corporation for their efforts in the needs of the canal system and the importance of addressing them. We also appreciate their responsiveness in adjusting the canal system operating hours in 2024, shifting the times from 7am-5pm to 8am-6pm, helping restaurants and tours to provide service to more people.

Looking further ahead, the World Canal Conference is coming to Buffalo, NY in 2025! This prestigious event will bring together canal enthusiasts, experts, and professionals from around the world, providing us with a global platform to promote our businesses, showcase our achievements and exchange ideas with a global network of individuals with a unique appreciation of canal-related commerce and lifestyle.

The Canal NY Marketing and Business Alliance consumer-facing website,, has recently been updated and we are working to update our membership website/portal to better illustrate the benefits of membership. We appreciate your understanding as we continue to work on these digital platforms.

The Canal NY Marketing and Business Alliance has several exciting in-person events planned for networking, enjoying canal-related activities, and having face-to-face time with other CNY members. These are also great opportunities to bring your colleagues and friends who may be interested in joining our organization too! Register ASAP to reserve your place at these events before they are full!

We appreciate your membership referrals to potential new members. 

Join Us At These Upcoming Events:

  • Friday, June 21, 2024 - at the Canal Society of NYS’s Samuel Center in  Port Byron, NY. We will have a brief overview of The Samuel Center & Old Erie Canal Heritage Park, a NYS Canals presentation by TV personality John Kucko, with photos, videos and stories, and luncheon catered by Potter’s Farm to Fork. $35 per person.
    Register here:
  • Friday, July 19, 2024 – CNY Membership Engagement Cruise
    Colonial Belle narrated lock cruise from Fairport to Pittsford and back 12:45-4:00PM (lunch option available)
    Register here:
  • Wednesday, September 11, 2024 - CNY Member Meeting NYSTIA Annual Conference & Meeting Saratoga Springs, NY - more details & registration coming soon.
  • Friday, November 15, 2024 – CNY Annual Member Meeting/Event (lunch option available) Irish Cultural Center Utica, NY 10:00AM – 1:00PM - more details & registration coming soon.

Captain Tammee Poinan Grimes
Chair, Canal NY Marketing & Business Alliance
Director, Colonial Belle

Canal NY Marketing & Business Alliance 2024 Board of Directors:
Chairperson, Captain Tammee Poinan Grimes
Vice Chairperson, Catherine Price
Treasurer, Peter Wiles, Jr.
Secretary, Bill Drage
Immediate Past Chairperson, David Granoff
Administrator, NYS Tourism Industry Association (NYSTIA)
Marketing/Membership Committee – Nancy Ragus
Governance Committee Chair, Bob Stivers
Advocacy Committee Chair, David Kinyon
Board Member, Jeff Cleary
Board Member, Patrick Kaler
Board Member, Mercedes Niess
Board Member, Robert Stopper
Board Member, Michelle Venard
Ex Officio Board Member, Bob Provost