Niagara Falls, ON – In a ceremony held on November 4, the recently created plaza outside of the new landmark attraction the Niagara Parks Power Station, has been renamed the “Sandie Bellows Plaza” in honour of the late Sandie Bellows, former Chair of the Niagara Parks Commission.
The ceremony was attended by family members of Sandie, including her two sons Spencer and Colton, as well as Ontario Premier Doug Ford and the Honourable Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, who helped unveil the installation of a new plaque, officially renaming the plaza in Sandie’s honour.
The dedication of the “Sandie Bellows Plaza” at the Niagara Parks Power Station is a fitting tribute to the former Chair who was instrumental in the redevelopment of the historic power generating station and reopening it as a new attraction for Niagara Parks this past summer. The Niagara Parks Power Station was one of Sandie’s biggest points of pride and will be remembered as a major part of her legacy. The ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open the new attraction on July 28, 2021, was one of the final public events Sandie was able to attend as Chair of the Niagara Parks Commission.
After joining the Commission in October 2018, Sandie became Chair of Niagara Parks in January 2019. Under her leadership, Niagara Parks welcomed a record number of visitors and set a new benchmark for revenue during 2019-20. Sandie also guided the Commission through the unprecedented impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, while remaining focused on delivering key projects, including the redevelopment of Table Rock Centre, building strong relationships with community stakeholders and partners, and the adaptive reuse of the Niagara Parks Power Station.
Sandie passed away on October 11, 2021, following a brave battle with cancer. She is remembered as a lifelong resident and advocate of the Niagara region who dedicated her life to the people of Niagara. She was also fierce victims’ rights advocate, having served as a keynote speaker for many government and law enforcement agencies. Throughout her career, she volunteered with numerous community organizations and held board positions with Niagara Grape and Wine Festival, Crime Stoppers of Niagara, St. Catharines Minor Hockey Association Board, Vic Teal International Tournament and May Court Club of St. Catharines.
Quote from Premier Doug Ford:
“Sandie’s many accomplishments as Niagara Parks Commission chair will live on, especially with every visitor that stops by to enjoy this beautiful power station facility,” said Premier Doug Ford. “Sandie worked very hard to make this station into the one-of-a-kind, made-in-Ontario attraction that it is today. That’s why it’s only fitting that the outdoor plaza here at the power station be renamed in her honour.”
Quote from the Honourable Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries:
“The Sandie Bellows Plaza is a fitting tribute to a woman who gave so much to the Niagara Region and restored the Niagara Parks Commission to the iconic agency it is today. Whether guiding the agency through the pandemic, restoring Table Rock or founding the Niagara Parks Power Station as the Chair of the Commission, Sandie left an impressive legacy that should not only be recognized but indeed, celebrated. I cherished Sandie’s leadership and our working relationship but above all I am grateful to have counted her among my close friends. The Sandie Bellows Plaza will be a lasting reminder for generations to come of the trailblazing and inspiring community builder. Niagara and all of Ontario are left better because of her,” said Minister MacLeod.
Quote from April Jeffs, Vice-Chair of the Niagara Parks Commission:
“The positive impact Sandie had at Niagara Parks was felt right across the organization, from the Board level to our staff team. Her strength and talents in bringing people and ideas together played such a major role in the redevelopment of the Niagara Parks Power Station. This dedication is a fitting tribute to ensure that her legacy lives on both in the plaza that now bears her name, but also in the Niagara Parks Power Station itself, which was one of Sandie’s biggest points of pride,” said April Jeffs, Vice-Chair.
For photos of the ceremony, please see Dropbox link here.