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As part of its ongoing role to support the destination and promote increased year-round visitation to the region, The Niagara Falls Illumination Board is pleased to announce that construction is underway on its enhanced illumination project for both the Canadian Horseshoe and American Falls.
With financial support obtained from both government and local tourism stakeholder groups on both sides of the border, the Illumination Board is now proceeding with its CA $4 million revitalization plan intended to improve the overall tourism experience of Niagara.
“The Illumination Board is tremendously proud of the role it plays in the tourism industry in Niagara,” stated Mark Thomas, Chair of the Niagara Falls Illumination Board. “We are very fortunate to have community stakeholders on both sides of the border who have supported our vision since the project was first proposed. The improvement to the nightly illumination of the Falls will encourage visitation to Niagara and we appreciate the stakeholders recognizing the importance of this project for the destination.”
Currently, the Falls are lit using Xenon lighting technology. It had been almost 20 years since the last major investment in lighting infrastructure was made and the recent success of high profile events such as the Nik Wallenda high wire walk and Red Bull Crashed Ice, have proven the tremendous potential enhanced lighting can provide to the visitor experience at the Falls.
Following a thorough Request for Qualifications (RFQ) and Request for Proposal (RFP) process, a consortium of firms comprised of ECCO Electric, Salex, Mulvey & Banani Lighting, Sceneworks and Stanley Electric was selected in February of 2016. Through their submission, they demonstrated the capabilities that new led lighting technology could provide in improving the overall illumination of both the American and Canadian Horseshoe Falls.
Proposed upgrades include more than twice the current lighting levels of the Falls being achieved, programmable lighting opportunities and a broader, more robust color spectrum being attained. As well, given the technology improvements to be implemented, the newly enhanced lighting system will eliminate dark gaps, while also providing greater energy efficiencies and reduced maintenance costs.
The objective of the Illumination Board in proceeding with these enhancements is to continue its support of the destination and to advance Niagara’s position as an international tourism icon. It is expected enhanced illumination of both the American and Canadian Horseshoe Falls will draw both new and repeat visitation to Niagara and serve to extend visitor length of stay.
Nightly illumination of Niagara Falls will continue through the construction period which began in September. An official lighting ceremony will take place on December 1.
Established in 1925, The Niagara Falls Illumination Board is currently made up of representatives from the City of Niagara Falls Ontario, the City of Niagara Falls, New York, Ontario Power Generation Inc., The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and The Niagara Parks Commission. It is the Illumination Board’s responsibility and mandate to finance and maintain the nightly illumination of both the Horseshoe and American Falls.