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The World Canals Conference (WCC) is an annual conference about canals and other waterways worldwide. The first conference took place in 1988, and the 2008 conference was the twenty-first. People with an interest in canals gather together to learn more about them, to exchange views, and to enjoy and celebrate successful canal restoration projects.

The organisation has undergone some name changes. The initial conference in 1988 was known as the "First National Conference on Historic Canals". In 1990, the "national" gave way to the "International Conference on Historic Canals", and in 1996 it became the World Canals Conference.


The conferences are attended by large numbers of canal professionals, tourism experts and academics, as well as many canal enthusiasts and boaters, from all over the world. Their particular concerns and interests include:

The Conference programme duly addresses these interests by providing a varied lecture programme and relevant excursions to local canal projects.

The prospectus of the 2007 Conference in Liverpool (see external link below) offers not only lectures, including on the Anderton Boat Lift, the Tate Liverpool canal warehouse conversion to a museum, the Liverpool Canal Link and the Roubaix Canal, but also local excursions and site visits, e.g. Manchester's Castlefield canals, Stalybridge on the Huddersfield Narrow Canal, and the Barton Swing Aqueduct on the Manchester Ship Canal.

Further afield, there were trips to the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, the Chirk Aqueduct, the Llangollen Canal and the Montgomery Canal restoration project.

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