Canal opens for 2018 navigation season this week

The 2018 St. Lawrence Seaway navigation season is about to begin. Top Hat ceremonies signaling the opening of the Welland Canal take place Thursday in Port Colborne and St. Catharines.

The Welland Canal, part of the St. Lawrence Seaway, will be opening officially for the 2018 navigation season on Thursday Mar. 29/2018.

The event will be marked in both Port Colborne and St. Catharines with the traditional Top Hat Ceremony.

The ceremony in St. Catharines takes place at the St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre with speeches starting at 10 a.m.

“Terence Bowles, President and CEO of The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation, will officially declare the St. Lawrence Seaway’s 60th navigation season to be open in concert with his counterpart, Associate Administrator Thomas Lavigne, from the U.S. Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation,” a release from the Chamber of Marine Commerce said. “Gregg Ruhl, Chief Operating Officer of Algoma Central Corporation, whose state-of-the-art Equinox-class ship Algoma Niagara will open the season, will be the keynote speaker.”

In Port Colborne the Top Hat Ceremony starts at 8 a.m. in the pavilion at Lock 8 Gateway Park.

“Port Colborne’s Top Hat Ceremony celebrates the opening of the Welland Canal and start of the 2018 shipping season by welcoming the Captain of the First Downbound Vessel,” a press release from the City of Port Colborne said.

“The Top Hat Ceremony will be held on Thursday, March 29, 2018 in the pavilion at Lock 8 Gateway Park (163 Mellanby Avenue, Port Colborne), hosted by Mayor John Maloney, along with representatives from upper levels of government and the marine industry,” the release said. “Starting at 8:00 a.m. Port Colborne’s Fair Trade Committee will once again provide a Pancake Breakfast with students from McKay Elementary School offering entertainment. The ceremony will begin at 8:30 a.m.”



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