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This beautiful floating stage hosts the summer IlluminAqua music series at Merritt Park Amphitheatre in Welland. Photo: Tanya Woodhead & Nathan Yee, 2013. 

General Information



 A spectacle, fire and music, IlluminAqua will take your breath away. This summer series of five different weekend-long music festivals runs every year from mid-May to the end of August and offers various music genres. Past genres at the festivals have included jazz, blues, folk, rock and celtic. Hosted at Welland's Merritt Park Amphitheatre, this venue is a natural amphitheatre. Cut into the east bank of the Welland Canal Recreational Waterway with stone steps leading down to the floating stage, the amphitheatre  is set on the Old Welland Canal, a stunning scene in itself.  

     The festivals host headlining acts on Friday and Saturday nights and also showcase various local and regional artists at no cost on Saturday afternoons.  The evening performances showcase floating fire pods and dramatic lighting which create a breathtaking atmosphere amid the beautiful scene of the canal


     Whether you're seated in one of the 750 seats of the Merritt Park Ampitheatre, or passing by on the canal in a recreational watercraft, this is one of the most spectacular cultural events Niagara has to offer that you will not want to miss.



Photo Gallery


TripClip Audio File

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Click to play or download the IlluminAqua Audio TripClip (mp3 format).

This destination is also part of the TripClip tour entitled Roaming the Rose City: The Local Experience.


Hours of Operation

   Ticketed headlining performances on Friday and Saturday nights generally start around 8pm with gates opening approximately one hour beforehand. Saturday afternoon festival hours featuring numerous local and regional artists start around 1:00pm and run until approximately 5:30pm.

   These hours are subject to change. Please visit http://www.illuminaqua.com/EN/festival-information.htm for more information regarding festival hours.


Cultural Information

   People and their stories are vital elements of the culture of a community. IlluminAqua, one of Niagara’s cultural treasures, truly illuminates the historical recreational waterway by bringing award winning Canadian musical artists, local artisans, crafters and food vendors together to create a community-based authentically artistic experience.



   The Niagara Region is known for its beauty and small-town feel. We suggest taking your time as you drive past the lovely farmers fields, wineries, and winding roads. The following directions depict our suggestions from both Toronto and Buffalo. 

From Toronto:
From 401 West:
1.    Head onto the 401 West
2.    Keep right to continue on 403 West/Hamilton
            From Gardiner Expressway:
1.    Head onto the Gardiner Expressway West
2.    Merge onto 403 West/Hamilton
3.    Remain on the Queen Elizabeth Way, via 403 West for approximately 21km Keep left, following signs for Niagara/East Hamilton/Fort Erie
4.    After approximately 43km, take exit 57 for Victoria Avenue toward Vineland. Head southward on Victoria Avenue.
5.    Turn eastward (left) on King Street, (after 2km you will pass by Jordan Village – a quaint little town with great boutiques and restaurants, see ______ for more information)
6.    Turn southward (right) on Ninth Street
7.    On Pelham Road turn eastward (left) and stay right to immediately head southeast on Wessel Drive
8.    Merge onto Effingham Street
9.    Turn eastward (left) on Roland Road
10. Turn southward (right) on Merrittville Highway
11. Continue onto Niagara Street
12. Continue on Niagara Street to Division Street
13. At the intersection of Division Street and King Street turn right, heading south down King Street.
14. Merritt Park is on the right.
From Niagara Falls: 
1.   Head northwest on the Rainbow Bridge toward Falls Avenue, veering right, follow Falls Avenue until you reach Hiram Street on your first right. Turn here and head southeast on Hiram Street until you reach River Road
2.  Turn right heading southwest onto River Road. Continue on River Road which runs along
the Niagara River
3. Merge onto Niagara Parkway. Follow Niagara Parkway. You will pass the Horseshoe Falls on
your left. Continue along Niagara Parkway past the Niagara Parks Floral Showcase on your right
4.  Continue on Niagara Parkway through the Dufferin Islands and past Kingsbridge where the
road will merge onto Macklem Street heading in a southwest direction
5.  At the end of the road make a left onto Portage Road heading southeast, travel over the
bridge and follow the road until you reach Main Street
6.  Turn right onto Main Street heading southwest and follow the road as it merges into Lyons
Creek Road/Regional Road 47. Follow The 47 until you reach Montrose Road/Regional Road 98
7. Turn left onto Montrose Road heading south and follow the road until you reach Schisler
Road/Regional Road 27, where you will take a slight right
8. Follow The 27 eastward and continue straight on to East Main Street/Regional Road 27
9. Follow East Main Street until it intersects with King Street.
10. At the intersection turn left, heading south down King Street.
11. Merritt Park is on the right.

Please Note: Free parking is available at the Market Square which is located at the cross section of Division and Cross Street. Walk along Avenue Place or Young Street towards Merritt Park to reach the IlluminAqua festival. 


Further Information


Visit IlluminAqua's Homepage:



Visit The Welland Recreational Canap Corporation's IlluminAqua Info page:



Ownership & Management

Welland Recreational Canal Corporation (WRCC)

Admission Fee

Admission prices are subject to change. Please visit http://www.illuminaqua.com/EN/purchase-tickets.htm for more information. All daytime performances and activities that take place on the Saturdays of each festival are FREE of charge. A Festival Pass is required for Friday and Saturday evening performances. These passes range in pricing from approximately $50.00 to $65.00 and provides the purchaser with tickets to the two headline concerts on both Friday and Saturday evenings. Tickets for the evening performances can be purchased on the IlluminAqua website http://www.illuminaqua.com/EN/purchase-tickets.htm , while quantities last.


Merritt Park Amphitheatre features accessible parking. The amphitheatre is wheelchair accessible and also includes large portable accessible washrooms.


Merritt Park Amphitheatre
115 King Street
Welland, Ontario


905-735-1700 ext. 2225

GPS Co-ordinates

Latitude 42.989127
Longitude -79.251834


Welland Recreational Canal Corporation (WRCC)
Welland Recreational Canal Corporation
60 East Main Street
Welland, Ontario
L3B 3X4
Tel 905-735-1700 ext. 2225
Toll free 1-866-273-5094
Email info@illuminaqua.com

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