Criteria for Conference Host/Site Selection

  • Each conference will have a theme directly related to canals.
  • The conference occurs annually, ideally alternating between the Americas, Asia and Europe.
  • The conference location will be associated with a canal(s) or canal issue(s) of importance and of interest to conference delegates.
  • The conference location will be accessible to most potential delegates. The conference cost will be affordable to most potential delegates.
  • All costs for the conference are the responsibility of the conference host.

Proposals may be made using our on-line application form to present the following information:

  • The host canal, organization and other participants and/or financial backers
  • The location of the proposed conference
  • The dates of the proposed conference
  • The theme of the proposed conference
  • Other considerations, such as links to special events/anniversaries that would be a part of the conference and/or its activities.
  • How applicants will engage, as part of the conference program, local individuals, organizations and the general public that will help further the aim of the World Canals Conference which is ‘to bring together… canal enthusiasts, professionals and scholars from around the world to learn about a variety of topics related to canals.’
  • How applicants will publicize and organize the Conference, proposing an outline Communication Plan with timelines.

Alternatively, a written proposal limited to two well-organized pages containing the above information may be sent by letter or e-mail to the address given below.

NOTE: It is strongly suggested that any group or organization interested in putting forward an application should contact IWI directly and ask for and read the World Canals Conference Organizers Handbook beforehand. It provides the basic requirements for hosting the conference and a number of best practices. Finally, financial statements of a couple of previous conferences are available that show costs and revenue when hosting a conference.

Additional material such as informational pamphlets, photographs, maps, etc., that further explore the resources and merit of the proposed site are welcome.

Please forward electronically the appl6ation and additional materials to the Site Selection Working Group at the e-mail address below.

Cut-off date for proposals for the 2026 conference is 30th September 2023.

The proposal will be forwarded to the World Canal Conference Selection Committee by a deadline indicated by Inland Waterways International. A recommendation from the Selection Committee of a site to host the conference will be submitted to Inland Waterways International Council for approval. The proponent(s) will be expected to do a presentation to Council representatives prior to the final approval being given on a date and location as prescribed by Inland Waterways International. This is usually organized to take place during a World Canals Conference.

Should there not be any proposals put forward or the proposal(s) for the year being considered do(es) not meet the criteria, the Selection Committee will solicit for a host site as directed by the Council of Inland Waterways International.

Additional materials for the World Canals Conference that cannot be sent electronically should be sent to the World Canals Conference Steering Committee Chair at the following address:

Dave Ballinger
e-mail at
att. D. Ballinger

Please Note: Inland Waterways International and the World Canals Conference Selection Committee assume no responsibility for any debts incurred or claims against the host/organizing committee of the particular conference and event(s).