Canal Operations

Opening a new canal system, making major operational changes, adding or changing services and assets, struggling to meet safety challenges or being impacted by canal changes? We bring a depth of management, organizational and operational experience in planning, developing, implementing and reviewing canal plans or developing solutions to many types of operational, organizational problems and issues. We can work with your staff or organization as part of a team or independently and provide recommendations to meet your needs.

Our experience and expertise is broad ranging – work place duty analysis, hours and season of navigation, dam and navigation operation, watershed managment , including flood abatement, emergency preparedness, hydro electric (low head) proposal reviews, organizational design, job descriptions, budget analysis and development. Also, legal and legislative, public and employee safety, planning and presenting operational and maintenance seminars, environment and cultural resource management, including resource protection and sustainability.



Program Planning and Visitor Services

An organization is most often judged by its public face, how it is seen and perceived by its customers. We can provide a broad range of experience to help you develop new and innovative visitor programs and services. We can input, review and propose modifications and critical updates for your current programs or initiatives , to ensure your needs and objectives today and into the future are met. It is our strong experience that ensures relevant and exciting services and programs that meet the goals, objectives and expectations of your organization and most importantly, the needs of your customers or members.

Delivery of the plan is as critical to success as the planning. Our expertise includes everything, in the case of a canal or waterway from navigation, lock, dam and bridge operations, water and watershed management including the other key boater services, such as hours and season of navigation, through to the provision of visitor amenities that support or enable a program. We have significant experience in the planning and hands on direct management of entire canals or component sites, areas and infrastructure, ranging from large to small, from canals, waterways, dams to the docks, channels, boater services and amenities, to meeting the needs of the land based visitor from pathways, facility buildings to benches and brochure racks, trails. We are experienced in working with staff, managers, planners, architects, engineers, designers and stakeholders depending on the requirement to help identify needs to provide solutions, along with locating and designing facilities. We can recommend the best way to operate using the right number of operational staff with the proper skill requirements, ensuring your clients have the appropriate services they need, in the right location, and most importantly delivered by professional staff in a professional manner.



Operational and Third Party Reviews

Is your organization facing change? We are experienced in conducting large and small reviews and analyzing the effectiveness of a current organization, studies or other matters related to meeting business goals and objectives, now and into the future.

Operational reviews are most often a source of real stress for an organization. The credibility of “an unbiased look from the outside” is invaluable when an organization is grappling with new priorities, altered mandates, changes to policies, direction and budgets, a changing workforce with different skill requirements. The aging of your workforce or your sense that your organization is not adequately reacting to incremental influences, changes from within or outside, meeting the needs of your customers or stakeholders may make it an opportune time to consider a review. Our extensive experience in many such reviews will help you avoid many of the pitfalls that can be encountered. in change and also help you be prepared in dealing with any suggested or recommended change as a result of studies or reports. This also can apply to organizations, groups or stakeholders impacted by an organization and are who are reacting to suggested changes or new policies of that organization and wish to work to find a better solution for all involved.

We are equipped to do third party reviews on canal related studies, business applications and other work proposed or completed by a third party.




Organizational and operational reviews may well lead to change that directly affects the employees of an organization. We have experience in training staff in operational methods, staff and visitor safety and more effectively dealing with staff and visitors when they are faced with changes to accountabilities and expectations. Add an element to your management of change training where we address the strategies and tools to better meet the day-to-day work challenges faced by front line and support staff.



Interpretive Planning

Interpretive planning is a key to effectively telling the stories of your organization and/or the resources you protect, what it is about, its values, why it is important. This is critical because it builds an educated constituency who will be supportive of your organization and its endeavors. We can help you with the design of an effective interpretation program and media that will enhance your visitors experience as well as creating a strong sense of stewardship and support.



Adaptive Restoration/Reuse of Historic Canals

Recognizing that many canal resources may be beyond the point of historically accurate restorations, we have experience in adaptive restoration of canal resources, such as adaptive reuse of the canal for trails and creative solutions and uses for canal related structures. Our experience includes working with both large and small communities and organizations where the benefits of adaptive restoration/reuse may be both economic and social.



Meeting Facilitation and Public Consultations:

We bring to a meeting impartial discussion leaders. In a relaxed and non-judgmental atmosphere we can bring out the thoughts of your staff, clients, interest groups, stakeholders or focus groups through meetings, public forums, small group sessions to solicit the information to the detail required by the organization. Our experience has included involvment in public consultations on a wide variety of canal and waterway issues which has included a number and variety of approaches, amongst other things; the indentification of the issue(s), solutions, information dissemination and gathering, wrap up sessions and debriefings, a summary report and verbal feedback session(s). The formats used have included brochure or information package development and mailouts, small meetings, surveys, question and answer, "townhall" and "greet and inform"meetings, trade shows, i.e., boat shows and other public forums, i.e., on site.



Working with the Volunteer Sector

The benefits of volunteers can range from being the life blood of an organization to providing casual support. A well-constructed and organized volunteer program can pay dividends for an organization. We can assist with setting up a program or modifying one currently in place.



Conference Program Development

We bring a depth of experience to assist your organization with the development of meetings, special tours and conference programs and agendas, including identification of presentation topics, identification of qualified presenters, group facilitation, development of field trips and off-site opportunities and assistance with marketing and promotion of the event. We will bring strong leadership and team building expertise to your meeting, tour or conference management group.



Historical Commentaries/Guides

Today is the age of the computer but our experience indicates there is still a need for high quality displays, printed materials along with electronic information for visitors to canals, historic sites and parks. We bring a capability to research and then transform the material into easy to understand visitor suited material. Our expertise is in the written word and we are experienced at teaming up with graphic design people to produce high quality print material for your visitors, stakeholders or internally for your staff.


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