Enjoy the Ontario Power Generation Winter Festival of Lights, Canada’s foremost illumination festival in its most famous address – Niagara Falls – as we capture the magic of the holiday season from November 15, 2014 to January 12, 2015.
The Ontario Power GenerationWinter Festival of Lights began in 1983 and is proud to be Canada’s largest illumination festival and the premiere illumination festival in North America, attracting over 1.5 million visitors and hundreds of motor coaches annually. It has been recognized as a Festival of Distinction by Festivals & Events Ontario and a Top 100 Internationally Known Event in North America by the American Bus Association for the past several years, and was recently included in the Top 10 Canada’s best winter festivals by canoe.ca.
The Ontario Power Generation Winter Festival of Lights transforms Niagara Falls into a palette of breathtaking colour with millions of sparkling lights and animated displays, located within the Niagara Parks Winter Wonderland and adjacent tourist districts. The illuminations include the world’s largest Canadian-American Flag, Niagara’s iconic Skylon Tower, the two-story Zimmerman Fountain, and Religions of the World displays.
There is no admission fee to view the illuminations but donations are gratefully accepted by Festival Ambassadors at the exit of Dufferin Islands (suggested contribution ($5 – $10 per car; $1 per coach bus passenger), with proceeds used to enhance the lights and displays.
A wintertime visit to Niagara Falls during the Ontario Power Generation Winter Festival of Lights has become a tradition for millions of people from around the world.
History of the Festival
As Canada’s foremost illumination festival, the Winter Festival of Lights in Niagara Falls attracts visitors from across Ontario, Canada, North America and beyond.
It began in 1983 when the Niagara Falls, Canada Visitor and Convention Bureau (now Niagara Falls Tourism), the City of Niagara Falls, The Niagara Parks Commission and numerous local businesses to band together to create a parallel event. From humble beginnings, the Winter Festival of Lights continues to enchant and delight its many wintertime visitors. It has grown from attracting approximately 250,000 visitors and 35 motor coaches to over 1 million visitors and nearly 1,000 motor coaches.
In 1992, the Winter Festival of Lights entered into an agreement with Disney Canada Inc. to create the Enchantment of Disney® displays, which are located in Queen Victoria Park at the base of Murray Hill. These have quickly become the most recognized of all the Festival’s displays.
The Festival’s impact on the wintertime tourism season has resulted in a similar, positive impact upon the local economy. A recent economic study conducted by Enigma Research Corp. found that the Festival attracts more than 1.3 million visitors annually with an economic impact of more than $57 million. With the level of increased business activity in what years ago used to be the Niagara Falls tourism industry’s ‘off season’, the Winter Festival of Lights has directly contributed to a longer and busier tourism season and the extension of employment for many local residents.
Today, the Festival operates as a year-round not-for-corporation with a board of directors that still reflects the unfaltering support of its founding partners, with seats reserved for representatives of the Niagara Parks Commission, the City of Niagara Falls and Niagara Falls Tourism. And the efforts and dedication of Festival staff, Board members and its hundreds of volunteers have earned the Winter Festival of Lights worldwide recognition.
Over the past several years, the Winter Festival of Lights has made a concerted effort to utilize LED technology for its newest lighting initiatives while continuing to convert its existing illuminations. This has greatly reduced the Festival’s energy consumption as LED lights use 90% less energy than traditional, incandescent lighting.
Regardless of the time spent in Niagara Falls, we recognize visitors to the Winter Festival of Lights are concerned about their environmental impact when travelling. The Festival shares your concerns and is doing its part to make your visit to Niagara Falls a little greener.
The TD RINK at the Brink, which was launched in 2009, offers outdoor, open-air, ice skating in an iconic setting located just a snowballs throw away from the Horseshoe Falls. With its magnificent view you can enjoy the breathtaking experience of the mighty cataracts from a new perspective!