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Canalside Create Series joins forces with DIY ‘maker’ culture to increase waterfront appeal

Avery Schneider

For those looking to stretch their creative muscles this weekend, Canalside might be a desirable destination. The popular waterfront venue is hosting a watercolor clock painting session this evening and a class on knitting tomorrow afternoon. Both are part of the ongoing “Canalside Create Series.”

“We’re trying to do things that people will enjoy. We’re trying to involve culture, involve arts, involve the story of Buffalo,” said Thomas Dee, president of the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation.

While Canalside has become known for public art displays like Shark Girl and the grain silo light show, Dee said there’s always a desire to increase opportunities for visitors to be creative and make art of their own. He said events like the “Create” series have grown out of previous success and studying what the public enjoys.

“We build off last year. We find out what was good and what we liked and try to amplify it. And things being creative, you know, letting people use their creative right side of their brain is something we always look for,” said Dee.

Combining forces with the popular do-it-yourself ‘maker’ culture complements the bigger picture of Canalside, according to Dee. He said it adds to the athletic and music-oriented events that frequently take place on the waterfont. Dee also noted that there are more than 3,000 “events and opportunities” planned at Canalside for the summer.

The clock painting session begins at 6 p.m. Saturday on the Lloyd Street Bridge at Canalside. The knitting class will take place in the same location on Sunday at 1 p.m. In the event of inclement weather, the sessions will be moved inside the Canalside Pavilion. Ticket prices vary. Other events in the Create Series include painting, dream catcher weaving, macrame and potted planting, and Buffalo-inspired art.

Avery began his broadcasting career as a disc jockey for WRUB, the University at Buffalo’s student-run radio station.
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