Showing posts from January, 2017

Reason #9 of '101 Reasons Why I Heart Edmonton'

The Vibrant Music Scene

by emil tiedemann

IF you’re not a music fan, then I don’t think we can be friends. It’s as simple as that. No, for real! Just kidding! But seriously, if you don’t like music, then something is probably wrong with you. 

Anyways, if you do like music, however, then you’re in the right town! Sure, we’re no Nashville or Austin or even Toronto, but we know good music and we have plenty of it. Edmonton’s music scene is bustling with talented musicians, bands, songwriters, singers, and producers making some pretty damn good sounds. 

From the traditional roots of our very own Corb Lund & the Hurtin’ Albertans to the contemporary pop stylings of Edmonton-born k.d. lang, and just about everything imaginable in between, we’ve got your cup of tea! There are plenty of pubs, clubs, lounges, bars, cafes, eateries, patios, parking lots, basements, rooftops (& one trolley) with stages - some makeshift - offering up local talent in probably any genre or sub-genre you can thi…

Reason #8 of '101 Reasons Why I Heart Edmonton'

The Good People

by emil tiedemann

REMEMBER Spider-Mable? By day, she was six-year-old Mable Tooke, who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in 2013, and who spent her long stays at the Stollery Children’s Hospital reading Spider-Man comic books. 

By night, she was a local superhero saving our city from evil villains. “I want to fight crime with Spider-Man,” she told the Children’s Wish Foundation when they asked her what her one wish would be. 

And so, with the help of countless Edmontonians - including Oilers captain Andrew Ference and Mayor Don Iveson - they made it happen for this little girl on September 28, 2015, putting together an elaborate day full of imagination and make believe. 

At the request of the Mayor, Spider-Mable and Spider-Man himself scoured the city, cameras capturing her every move as she searched for clues to who kidnapped Mr. Ference. Dressed head to toe in a custom Spider-Mable costume her own mother stitched together for her, Spider-Mable discovered tha…

Reason #7 of '101 Reasons Why I Heart Edmonton'

Devonian Botanic Garden

by emil tiedemann

MY brother Darren married the love of his life, Angela, at the Devonian Botanic Garden in August of 2014. It was one of the happiest days in all his years, and hers too, I hope! 

Devonian’s become one of the prime destinations for locals to confess their love for each other, surrounded by their friends and family, and probably the most glorious scenery for miles around. Located just 15 minutes southwest of Edmonton, near Devon, the 240-acre property was established in 1959 by the University of Alberta as the most northernly botanical garden in the country. 

There are exotic and domestic plant collections, cultivated gardens, and indoor showrooms aligning an extensive system of walking trails. Other features of the property include Temperate and Arid Showhouses, a Native Peoples Garden, a research facility for bryophyte ecology and biodiversity, a fully digitalized herbarium, and a Tropical Showhouse with live butterflies from around the world. 


Reason #6 of '101 Reasons Why I Heart Edmonton'

Rodeo Week

by emil tiedemann

FOR one week every November, Edmonton goes country! Wranglers and Stetsons take over town as Rodeo Week settles in over at Northlands, where real life cowboys and cowgirls come from across Canada and the United States to compete in bareback riding, barrel racing, team roping, and steer wrestling. 

With a $1 million purse up for grabs, everyone who’s anyone in this sport is at the Canadian Finals Rodeo, which was created right here in Edmonton in 1974 by Alberta-born Bob Robinson. “I think that’s my legacy to this rodeo business,” Robinson told the Edmonton Journal upon his induction into the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum’s Hall of Fame, in 2014. “It’s been very successful and everyone has benefited from it and even the Americans can come up here now and ride [since 2006].” 

At the time, Robinson was the president of the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association, and “fought like hell” to make this western rodeo a reality for all Albertans. That f…

Reason #5 of '101 Reasons Why I Heart Edmonton'

The Famous Five

by emil tiedemann

THE Famous Five were tenacious, galvanizing, revered, and they were necessary! JudgeEmily Murphy led Henrietta Edwards, Nellie McClung, Louise McKinney, and Irene Parlby as petitioners in the landmark Persons Case that was brought before the Supreme Court of Canada in 1929. 

Together, these advocates of women’s rights - all living and/or serving in the Edmonton area - helped establish the right of women to be appointed to the Senate, after the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that women were not “persons” according to the British North America Act. 

As individuals, they were instrumental in various facets, though namely where women were concerned. They became national treasures, their fame stretching well beyond the border. Here are the stories of the #famousfive:

Henrietta Louise Muir was born into a wealthy and religious Montreal family, and was soon involved in a number of religious organizations. She found herself disenchanted…

Reason #4 of '101 Reasons Why I Heart Edmonton'

University of Alberta

by emil tiedemann

SHORTLY after the turn of the century, Edmonton and Calgary contested over which city would become the newly-confederated province’s capital and which would attain the University of Alberta. Needless to say, we ended up with both, and Calgary...well, you know. 

To say that the University of Alberta is important to our province would be an elaborate understatement. It’s essential to Alberta, and to its nearly 40,000 students from more than 150 countries, as well as the 15,000 people who are employed at the UofA. 

The original north campus on the rim of the North Saskatchewan is made up of some 150 buildings spanning about 50 city blocks, offering 400 programs in 18 faculties. The UofA has an economic impact on Alberta of well-over $12 billion annually, and is consistently ranked as one of the top universities in the country (as high as #3). 

But, those are just the numbers. The University has had a significant impact on Edmonton and Alberta’s cultural…

Reason #3 of '101 Reasons Why I Heart Edmonton'

Career Opportunities

by emil tiedemann

A few years back, when I was miserable at my dead-end job, I made the decision to try something different with my life. I applied to a small school downtown, gleefully quit my job, and took a chance at finding something to do with myself that would make me happy for once. 

It was one of the best decisions I ever made, and one that will have a lasting effect on whatever it is I do from now on. 

I’m lucky though, even being able to make that decision to quit my job and go back to school to find a better one, because not everybody has it so “easy.” But, we live in a city where opportunity is unlimited, surprisingly attainable, and just waiting for you to grab a hold of. 

For whatever sector you fancy - health care, construction, industrial, business, hospitality, the trades, entertainment - Edmonton’s the place to be! 

Our unemployment rates are steadily well below the national average, our weekly salary pay is tops in the country, and Alberta’s minimum w…

Reason #2 of '101 Reasons Why I Heart Edmonton'

Jasper Avenue

by emil tiedemann

I was sixteen when some friends and I went downtown to the Paramount Theatre on Jasper Avenue to watch Tom Cruise in the original Mission: Impossible movie. I can’t really explain it, but there was something invigorating about that particular night. Maybe it was the big cozy seats, or the flashing lights on the marquee, or perhaps it was a buff Tom Cruise?! 

But it wasn’t just the aging Paramount Theatre, it was the Avenue, it was downtown, it was this whole new world I had barely gotten to know yet. 

Over the years, Jasper Avenue has been the scene of many of my more memorable moments growing up, getting to know the idiosyncrasies of my hometown’s main drag: the intimate Michael Bernard Fitzgerald concert in a parked van just outside of the Starlite Room with my sister and a few strangers; my goodbye party at The Druid before I left Edmonton to spend far less time in Toronto than I had planned to; even my first real make-out session, in a parking lot close…

Reason #1 of '101 Reasons Why I Heart Edmonton'

Fort Edmonton Park...

by emil tiedemann

IT'S hard to imagine Edmonton without West Ed, Whyte Avenue, or the Oilers, but there was a time, long ago, when all that existed here was the North Saskatchewan and its surrounding valley. 

In 1795, more than 40 years after explorer Anthony Henday was likely the first European ever to enter the area we now call home, Fort Edmonton was established as a major trading post for the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC). 

Named after a small town in England (the hometown of HBC deputy governor Sir James Winter Lake), Fort Edmonton evolved and grew into an actual town in 1892. It was beckoned the “gateway to the north,” and was eventually incorporated as a city by 1904, and finally the capital of Alberta the following year. 

It’s this heritage - and further on into the 1920s - that is captured and preserved at Fort Edmonton Park (est. 1974), Canada’s largest living history museum. Located in the majestic river valley, the 158-acre park is split into various eras…