The lighting of the waterfall, a project almost never seen

A little more than two weeks after the first official lighting of the Grand Falls fell, it is clear that these lights have given a whole new cachet to this emblematic area of ​​the municipality. However, the project may not have seen the light of day.

David Raines has been pushing this project for nearly two years, even before he was elected to the Grand Falls City Council.

He said he noticed that in the summer, when the water flow is not as strong due to the closing of the dam gates, Grand Falls is not as beautiful as people expect. when they visit the place.

Following his election in May 2021, Mr. Raines said he put a note to other council members. More than a year finally passed before a funding opportunity presented itself.

A formal request for funding must be made to the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. The problem is that the Municipality only has a few hours to send this request.

“I remember, I was going to Grand Falls from Moncton. It must have been around 2 pm and I got a call from someone from ACOA who told me that I had to make an official request before midnight that day.

Mr. Raines, who was enthusiastic about this project, still decided to proceed with a request without having to have time to consult with the mayor or the general manager who was in a meeting outside the region.

“During the first months of our mandate, we were overwhelmed by various issues that diverted our attention to projects like this. Maybe we could have gone ahead earlier, but it happened at the last minute. I’m still happy with the outcome.”

Completed at a cost of $100,000, the lighting project was funded by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency ($55,000) and the Regional Development Corporation ($30,000). For its part, the municipality invested $15,000 in the project, mainly with labor from municipal employees.

The city councilor admitted that he had some doubts when he decided to undertake this funding application process without having the opportunity to discuss it with his city council counterparts. However, he believes that he cannot miss this opportunity.

“I once thought it was better to ask for forgiveness than to ask permission to do something.”

Looking back, Grand Falls mayor Marcel Deschênes believes it’s hard to blame Councilman Raines. Ultimately, the Falls Illumination Project has attracted many curious people from across the Northwest over the past two weeks.

“We’ve been talking about it for a long time, but we haven’t found the right moment. It’s definitely that we waited until the 11th hour to do it, but it was approved and that’s good.

For his part, David Raines said he is convinced that this attraction increases tourist traffic in the city.

“We have 70,000 vehicles that pass through the Tourist Center, but we have the potential to attract many more. In the case of the lights, photos and videos have been shared on social media, so as they are shared, we can expect interest from people everywhere.”

The lights in question are turned on at dusk and remain on until one in the morning. This new installation consists of 80 LED lights strategically placed on the cliff.

A day of fun was even organized on October 29, in conjunction with the illumination of the waterfall.

Since the colors can be changed, the lights also serve to highlight important events or dates.

“You can do a lot of different things with these lights,” added David Raines.

Mr. Raines doesn’t want to stop there either. According to him, this is just the first phase of a project that may extend to the NB Power dam and a little further into the gorge.

“It’s going to take a few sentences, but I want it to be the best light in Canada. I know some people cringe when they think of Niagara Falls, but we’re definitely going to have something different, with or without water in the falls.

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