We love and care for your canals and rivers, because everyone deserves a place to escape.

Current Projects

2017 is another big year for our arts programme, we are again working with some diverse and exciting partners to bring together the best of waterway arts.

Members of the public watching The Floating Cinema at Kings Cross The Floating Cinema at Kings Cross

Here is a list of some of our current and upcoming projects we are involved in this year. Have a look at our 2017 Arts on the waterway programme for more information.   

Super Slow Way

This major arts programme is being shaped by artists and people of Pennine Lancashire. Led by the programme’s director, Laurie Peake, local, national and international artists and arts organisations are making new works across art forms inspired by the Leeds & Liverpool Canal.

The Ring (Worcester Ring)

The Ring is an 18 month series of events and commissions celebrating the region’s canals and rivers, focused around the 21 mile circle of waterways made up by the Worcester & Birmingham Canal, the Droitwich Canals and the River Severn. Artists will draw their inspiration through working with local communities before reflecting on the area’s cultural heritage through their artwork, which could be anything from sculptures to performance pieces or installations.

Each residency will culminate in an original memorable artwork or performance, either temporary or permanent, in 2018. Weekend-based events that excite and draw new visitors to the waterways and towns will accompany each artwork as well as tie-ins with local arts festivals.

June-September 2017 (artists residencies begin at each gateway)

Current opportunities for designers, film makers and photographers - We are now taking invitations to tender for the Ring Arts Project. Documents can be viewed and downloaded here at -  Invitations to Tender

Floating Cinema 2017

London’s Floating Cinema will bring a new programme of high quality and socially engaged art and film activities to Sheffied and South Yorkshire Canals, connecting Sheffield and Hull, City of Culture. 

Summer 2017 (dates tbc)

Canal Laureate

Writing a blog incorporating incisive, satirical poems the Canal Laureate, Luke Kennard, reveals more of his humorous, surreal canal-side journeys. The poems, and other strange observations from the narrow fluid road are published on the project blog www.waterlines.org.uk. You can also follow his adventures via Twitter @canalpoetry.

From March 2017

Changing Places

Lea Navigation, Peak Forest Canal, Birmingham New Mainline, Shropshire Union Canal, Leeds & Liverpool Canal

We are delighted to be a partner with the acclaimed Film & Video Umbrella in Changing Places, a remarkable touring programme of moving-image work by artists from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh that will be presented in ten venues across England during 2017 and 2018. Five of the the venues are unusual waterways buildings that the Trust manages or supports. Changing Places addresses the idea of people and places in transition, alluding to the topical phenomenon of migration. It reminds us that places and buildings too are on the move, regularly being transformed and reinvented. Locations will include:

  • The House Mill, Lea Navigation
  • Transhipment Warehouse, Peak Forest Canal
  • Roundhouse, Birmingham New Mainline
  • National Waterways Museum, Shropshire Union Canal
  • Building next to Leeds & Liverpool Canal (tbc)

June-September 2017

Idle Women on the water

On the water is a two-year tour of the canals in the North West of England and West Yorkshire, supported by- Arts Council England’s Straetgic Touring fund and the Trust’s Arts on the Waterways Programme. Selina Cooper, a bespoke narrowboat, serves as a resource and arts centre for women. In 2017 the project will host an artist-in-residence and present opportunities for women and girls to come aboard and join a creative process through residencies, events and talks.

8 Mar –31 May 2017,Mirfield canal. Details tbc

14 June - 3 Sept Ancoats, Manchester canal 42nd Street. Details tbc

The Line                                            

The Trust is working with The Line on plans to add a new sculpture by Michael Craig-Martin to the sculpture walk alongside the River Lee in east London at Bow Locks. Sculptures already installed along the waterway route will be promoted in 2016 through engagement activities. Works by the River Lee are by Abigail Fallis, Thomas J Price and Damien Hirst.


Last date edited: 3 February 2017