Heritage Ambassador Program



Heritage Ambassadors will provide a brief introduction for each partner site in order to both invite and entice our visitors to further explore our these partner sites and the region beyond. The Heritage Ambassador program will develop a corps of highly skilled volunteer interpreters in order to better share the rich history, environment and culture of the Niagara Falls National Heritage Area. Working with partner sites and organizations will help to ensure the successful development of an experience that connects these partner sites along the Discover Niagara Shuttle route through storytelling.

The core of this program will be engaging storytelling. Maintaining accuracy is of the utmost importance, however it is equally important to keep our visitors engaged and interested by finding and relating the stories contained within the facts.

The Program will contain two separate levels, The Heritage Ambassador program will be geared toward adults, and the Jr. Heritage Ambassador program for young people who would like to participate.

Immediate Program Goals

  1. Identify both individuals and organizations that would be interested in providing engaging interpretation for the patrons of the Discover Niagara Shuttle.
  2. Work with partner sites to develop complimentary programing, while keeping within the interpretive themes identified by the NFNHA LRIP.
  3. Provide a series of six (2 to 3 hour) classes that will provide people with the background knowledge and skills required to become an effective Heritage Ambassador.
  4. Provide those enrolled with a series of four resource booklets that that will provide and over view of the major interpretive themes of the Heritage area and will include an annotated bibliography to allow for further individual study.
  5. Provide Heritage Ambassadors on as many shuttles as it possible according to the schedules for both the shuttle and for those who volunteer as Heritage Ambassadors.
  6. Create a Jr. Heritage Ambassador program based around the Jr. Ranger Program, with the completion of the Jr. Ranger Program "unlocking" a further series of lessons, the completion of which grant Jr. Heritage Ambassador status.

Recommended Future Goals

  1. Provide a series of booklets ore-news letters that provide more in depth, targeted information regarding individuals (e.g. Tesla, Olmstead, W.E.B. Dubois, or Peter B. Porter) or themes (1812 on the Niagara Frontier, The Niagara Movement, The Free Niagara Movement etc.
  2. Develop a series of interactive children's games and or videos that can be web based and therefore available in the classroom, from home, or via the free wi-fi provided of the shuttle.
  3. Further develop the Heritage Ambassador program and offer it as an accredited course at Niagara University, as a way to encourage student participation.
  4. As numbers in the program grow, provide Heritage Ambassadors on all shuttles, as well as at other significant sites in the Heritage area that are not currently staffed.

Proposed Class Schedule (Times and Location TBA)

June 3 - Natural Phenomenon - Exploring the geological history of the region, the formation of the Escarpment and how the this created the unique micro climate that allows some of the local flora and fauna to thrive. Unraveling the natural wonder of the Niagara Falls region. Fredrick Law Olmstead and the Free Niagara Movement.

June 10 - Tourism and Recreation - Starting with the first visitors to the Falls, explore the development and evolution of Niagara Falls as a major tourism destination and the Honeymoon Capital of the World. Some of the Topics to be discussed include, The Great Gorge rail line (view actual footage), the Buttery Elevators (Lew Buttery as a Guest speaker and a visit to the Brink Museum @ the NACC), Daredevils etc .

June 17 - Power and Industry - Harnessing the power of Niagara Falls. Joncaire's mill to the Niagara Power Project. Discuss the various organizations and individuals helped to build Niagara Falls into a flourishing industrial city. Sample topics include; Niagara Power Project, Adams Transformer House, Schoellkopf power station, Tesla and Westinghouse, Nabisco, etc.

June 24 - Borderland and Border Crossing - Exploring the early human history of the region. Learning C..G about the first Nations people of the area beginning with the Hopewell site at Art Park, the Neutrals, and the development of the 5 Nations Confederacy, and the addition of the Tuscarora to form the Six Nations. Explaining the Niagara Portage and the struggle for control of the region from the late 17th century through the early 19th century.

July 1 - Who's Who and Putting it all Together- While we will be discussing both significant individuals and interpretive techniques throughout the classes, the first half of this class will cover some of the various people who have played significant roles in the Niagara region. The second half of the class will focus on how to use the information that we have gathered as we share our story. Reinforcing the interpretive techniques that will be covered throughout the previous weeks. Exploring topics such as effective storytelling techniques, how to read an audience, how to keep the audience engaged, what stories or themes work best at various points along the shuttle line, tying the story to the landscape.

Ride Along Day(s) - To be scheduled.

Interested in Being an Ambassador? 

E-mail us at info@discoverniagara.org!

Did you know?

The flow over the American Falls was stopped completely for several months in 1969. The idea was to determine the feasibility of removing the large amount of loose rock from the base of the falls to enhance it's appearance. In the end the final decision was that the expense would be too great.

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