"Last year we had 800 events and activities, and expanded programming. We really started to put it on people's maps last year," said Chris Catanzaro of the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation.
|Global Spectrum, the new manager of Canalside's concert event series unveils the 2014 schedule tonight, outlining the acts for the highly popular Thursday Canalside series.
The events there this summer will also include two from Entercom: Kiss The Summer Hello on June 6 and Alternative Buffalo 107.7's Buffalo Kerfuffle on July 26th
The concerts -- featuring an as-of-yet un-revealed 80s hair band --will bring thousands of people downtown after a year of construction placed several new buildings there including:
--Benderson Development's One CanalSide hotel and office project at the former Donovan State Office Building.
--The Buffalo Sabres HarborCenter project with a hotel, hockey rinks and restaurants.
--Riverwork's proposed Amphitheatre, hotel and restaurant spaces at the grain elevators off Ganson Street where they have already created outdoor ice rinks this past winter.
"This is part of the vision that we had for this vision for the past decade, and that is to make sure the public sector investments make the waterfront not only m,ore attractive for waterfront users but more attractive for private sector development," says Cong. Brian Higgins.
|CANALSIDE PHOTO ALBUM
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Cong. Brian Higgins
Thomas Dee, Chair, Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp.
Chris Catanzaro, ECHDC Programming & Events
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ECHDC Chairman Robert Gioia agrees that 2013 was a sort of turning point for the waterfront.
"Last year at this time, we started to engage with some experts throughout the country to show us what were the best practices on how to really improve not only the quality of services, but also to open up the opportunity for the entire family to enjoy, Gioia said."
Those efforts resulted in large amounts of events, programs, and activities, something Gioia calls a big achievement for an area that has just started to develop.
"When you go back to probably one of the most premier waterfronts in the United States, it's Baltimore, "Gioia said. "Baltimore's been at this for 30 years, we've been at it for maybe three or four."
Which means there's still much work to be done, and people who head to Canalside this summer will be able to see that work happen right before their eyes.
Projects like the replica canals on the old Aud site and the much anticipated Harbor Center may look like construction zones now, but will be near completion by the end of summer.
"If you stood here a year ago you wouldn't have seen all the progress that you see today. When you stand here next year, you'll see even more improvement," Gioia said at Canalside on Wednesday. "It will continually evolve as we go along and that's the way it's supposed to be."
Gioia says to expect new food and beverage offerings at Canalside this summer that weren't there last year.
And if you're still looking for a reason to check out the waterfront, Gioia and others are hoping you may find one Thursday night when the summer concert lineup, including the Thursday at Canalside series, is announced on the water.
Click HERE for a list of the acts & for ticket info
|VIDEO: Alternative Buffalo 107.7's Buffalo Kerfuffle
Click here for more on who's playing & for ticket info or just watch this video !