Media Library for the
Downloadable Press Kit
Schedule of Events 2016-2017
WFOL History Backgrounder
Awards, Honours and Recognition
Press Conference Press Releases(for additional press releases please click the Press Release tab above)
WFOL 2016-17 Board of Directors
Map of Illumination Route 2016-2017
High Resolution Image Library
The Image Library contains high and low-resolution images and logos of the Ontario Power Generation Winter Festival of Lights and related events. These are made available for use by the media and tourism operators (tourism associations, tour group operators, hotels, airlines, etc.). For media inquiries please contact media(at)wfol.com or call 905-374-1616 ext. 2. All images are copyright protected, as such when using photos please ensure that the Ontario Power Generation Winter Festival of Lights receives a photo credit as follows:
- Attendees Overjoyed with Deck the Falls Holiday Walking Tour (1/18/2017)
- Ontario Power Generation Winter Festival of Lights Receives International Honour (9/15/2017)
- OPG Winter Festival of Lights a finalist for Top Festival Award (5/3/2017)
- OPG Winter Festival of Lights will Expand Programming for 35th Season (5/12/2017)
- Sparkle Lighting Awards Winners Announced for 2016! (12/16/2016)
- Winter Festival of Lights has many reasons to celebrate (3/15/2017)
- Winter Festival of Lights in Niagara Falls Gets Set to Light Up and Celebrate 35th Anniversary (9/5/2017)
The Winter Festival of Lights was founded in 1983 by a partnership consisting of the Niagara Falls Canada Visitor and Convention Bureau (now known as Niagara Falls Tourism), the City of Niagara Falls, The Niagara Parks Commission and a number of private businesses in Niagara’s tourism sector.
The Festival was created as a way to extend what had for more than a century been a summers-only tourism season in Niagara Falls.
During those early years in the mid-1980s, the fledgling Winter Festival of Lights drew a respectable 250,000 visitors annually and around 35 motor coaches. Today, the Festival attracts 1.3 million attendees and over 400 motor coaches each year as Niagara Falls continues its evolution into a year-round tourism destination.
The Festival’s small collection of lighting displays located near the Falls during that first season has expanded greatly now featuring millions of sparkling lights along an 8km illumination route that travels along the Niagara Parkway through the Niagara Parks Winter Wonderland, Dufferin Islands and into the surrounding tourist districts.
The Ontario Power Generation Winter Festival of Lights operates as a year-round, not-for-profit 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.
Over the years, the Festival has earned countless travel and tourism industry awards including Top 100 Festivals in Ontario, Best Volunteer Program, Most Innovative Partnership and the prestigious Events of Distinction Award from Festivals and Events Ontario (FEO). In addition the American Bus Association (ABA) has long recognized the OPG Winter Festival of Lights as one of its Top 100 Internationally Known Events (2005 – 2015).
In 2017 the Festival is celebrating its 35th season! A research study conducted during the Festivals 2012-2013 season by Enigma Research Corporation found that the OPG Winter Festival of Lights attracts 1.5 million attendees annually with an economic impact of $25 million.
In 2013, the Festival entered into a new naming rights agreement with a title sponsor, Ontario Power Generation.
Following the 2013-2014 season, the Festival created a new strategic plan and underwent a change in governance of its Board of Directors. The Festival’s new strategic plan outlined a three-year renewal plan in which the Festival will phase-in new lighting technologies as well as expand its illumination route into the BIAs in Niagara Falls.