Thursday, October 27, 2016
Canal and bridge at night
2016 Event & Programming Application

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Thank you for your interest in holding your event or program at Canalside in 2016!
Before downloading our application, please take a moment to read the FAQs below. Completed applications can be sent to

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Canalside?

Canalside is Buffalo’s revitalized waterfront district, showcasing the history of the Erie Canal.  Visitors from all over Western New York and the world, come together to participate in the hundreds of programs and events that take place at this active destination.

Where is Canalside?

The Canalside District is located at Buffalo’s inner harbor, near the junction of Lake Erie and the Buffalo River.  It is bound by the I-190 to the north, the Erie Basin Marina to the west, the Buffalo River to the south and the Cobblestone District to the east.

Where are programs and events within Canalside?

There are several locations for hosting programs and events at Canalside, including the Central Wharf, Dart Lawn, Dunbar Lawn, Historic Ruins, Pierce Lawn, and the Aud Block, which features re-created canals (along with ice skating in the winter) and East Canal area.  Please see the attached map for reference.

When do programs and events happen at Canalside?

Canalside is open year-round and we encourage applications for year-round activity as well.

Why hold my program or event at Canalside?

Canalside offers a host of benefits including media attention, year-round publicity and constant foot traffic.  Programs and events are promoted through our website and social media.

How do I know if my program or event is right for Canalside?

We’re open to hearing any idea you have and encourage creative use of the space.  We can host events of all sizes, from very small to very large.  We have a strong preference for recurring programs and events, whether they are daily, weekly, semi-monthly or monthly.  Canalside is especially looking for programs and events that:

  • Target families and children
  • Incorporate health, fitness and wellness
  • Tell the “Story of Buffalo” (it’s history, especially related to the Erie Canal and waterfront)
  • Feature Western New York culture (including music, dance, visual art, theater, ethnic cultural heritage and tours)

How do I get to do my events or programs at Canalside?

It all starts here. If your program or event seems like a fit, fill out the application and return via email to We’ll review the application and contact you as soon as possible.

When is the deadline to apply?               

There are no deadlines for receiving applications, but if you’re doing a program or event before October we suggest you send your application in by March for maximum availability of your preferred dates and locations.  In fact, the earlier the better; we’ll even take applications now for programs and events happening this winter or even early next year

Is it okay if I do not have an exact date planned for my program/event? Is it better to plan a program on a weekend versus a weekday? What is the best time to perform or do my program/event? 

The more flexibility you can provide the better, as we receive hundreds of inquiries.  However, it it’s important that your program or event happen on a specific date or at a specific time, please explain that in the application and we’ll do our best to accommodate your request.  If you’re unsure about the dates or times, that’s perfectly okay – we’ll help you figure out the best time and day (or days).

What does it cost to have my program or event at Canalside?

Fees are determined on a case-by-case basis and are calculated based on a number of factors, including whether the event is public or private, free or ticketed, how long it lasts, how big it is and how it fits into Canalside’s larger mission to serve the public.

How do I know if my program is a “large scale special event?”

There are a few ways to tell.  If your event is going to attract thousands or run all day (or multiple days) or use a majority of the site, you probably have a large scale special event.

Will I need insurance to do programming at Canalside? If so, how much?

Yes.  All applicants will need general liability insurance of $1 million per occurrence and $2 million on the aggregate.  Additional insurance may be necessary, but will be dependent upon the amount of the site used for programming and the scope of the program/event.

Ready to apply? Please download and fill out the correct application for: