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Showing posts from February, 2017

Reason #17 of '101 Reasons Why I Heart Edmonton'

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Street Performers Festival

by emil tiedemann

IN a town known as “Festival City,” it can be difficult for festivals to stand out from the rest, so you’d better bring it if you’ve got something new up your sleeve to introduce to the locals. Here in Edmonton, festivals come and go, never to be heard from again, while others - such as the Fringe and K-Days - have become staples of our summer splendor. 

The free and family-friendly Edmonton International Street Performers Festival - the oldest of its kind in North America - happens to be one of those summer staples for a quarter of a million people every year. 


Traditional street artists, roving character actors, dancers, puppeteers, comedians, acrobats, clowns, tightrope walkers, and even mimes congregate downtown on Churchill Square for ten days in July, swallowing swords, juggling chainsaws, or trying to escape from imaginary boxes simply to make us smile. Well, perhaps also a little for the tips that some of these buskers from around the w…

Reason #16 of '101 Reasons Why I Heart Edmonton'

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Talus Dome

by emil tiedemann

THE nearly 1,000 shiny silver balls of the bizarre Talus Dome (by Los Angeles-based Benjamin Ball and Gaston Nogues) have sort of become Edmonton’s own version of Alberta natives Nickelback. Locals love to hate them, although they don’t entirely know why...it’s just the thing to do. 


They were installed as a Public Art Collection in 2011 just off the Quesnell Bridge along the Whitemud freeway at Fox Drive, a partnership between the City and the Edmonton Arts Council. Although most Edmontonians seemed to consider the polished spheres an eyesore, it was the price tag that ignited an uproar of sorts. The Dome cost taxpayers a “staggering” $600,000, as the City’s most expensive art installation up until that point. 

It’s been long enough, however, that the haters have simply gotten used to the Dome. But to be completely honest, I’ve never been one of those haters. I always found the Talus Dome fascinating, though I’ve never been on board with its forlorn location.…

#yeg Video of the Month/ Feb. '17

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The Royal Foundry's "Dreamers" (2017) Directed & Edited by Brandon William Fletcher (Faked Potatoes)

Reason #15 of '101 Reasons Why I Heart Edmonton'

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The LRT

by emil tiedemann

I WAS just a small kid when I started taking the LRT (Light Rail Transit) to school every morning with my two older brothers. We would board at the Clareview Station and get off at the very next stop, Belvedere, before catching a quick bus to North Edmonton Elementary School. 

In high school, I would take the LRT downtown, or use it to get to and from work, or to an Oilers game or concert at Rexall Place, or even when I was skipping school to meet up with a friend at the University. 


Actually, more than 100,000 people use the LRT every week, and those numbers will continue to climb as Edmonton’s population grows, and as the LRT itself expands across every corner of town. It’s an epic undertaking for the City, but not so different from when the City first came up with the concept of Western Canada’s first rapid transit system back in the early ‘60s. 

After 12 years of planning, three years of construction, and a year of testing, the LRT line from Belvedere to Centr…

Edmonton Bestsellers List (Feb 14)

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Here are the top 10 fiction and non-fiction titles sold in Edmonton for the week ending February 10, 2017 by Audreys Books, provided by the Book Publishers Association of Alberta


Edmonton Fiction BestsellersThe Break - Katherena VermetteA Still and Bitter Grave - Ann Marston*Everybody's Fool - Richard RussoThe Naturalist - Alissa YorkArcadia - Iain PearsThe Woman in Cabin 10 - Ruth WareThe Slow Waltz of Turtles - Katherine Pancol, William RodarmarI'll Take You There - Wally LambSon of a Trickster - Eden RobinsonMemoirs of a Polar Bear - Yoko Tawada, Susan BernofskyEdmonton Non-Fiction BestsellersFacing the Shards - Joy Ruth Mickelson*Your House, Your Choice: Whoever Told You That What You Don't Know Won't Hurt You, Surely Wasn't Talking About Your Older House - Re PetersThe Right to Be Cold: One Woman's Story of Protecting her Culture, the Arctic and the Whole Planet - Sheila Watt-CloutierThe Case Against Sugar - Gary TaubesSapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

Reason #14 of '101 Reasons Why I Heart Edmonton'

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The Sunshine

by emil tiedemann

WHEN you think of Edmonton’s weather, the first thing that might come to mind is snow. Sure, we get snow, but that’s just some of the time. And even on some of those occasions, the sun is shining bright! 


You see, Edmonton is actually one of the sunniest cities in all of Canada, behind only Calgary and Regina for major metros. 321 days out of the year, and nearly 2,300 annual hours, the sun is out over Edmonton. At its peak, during the summer solstice, Edmontonians are exposed to just over 17 hours of sunlight in one single day, and temperatures that can reach nearly 35 degrees Celsius! 

So, if you’re planning on visiting or moving to Edmonton - which would be a wise decision, if you ask me - you might want to pack your sunscreen and Ray-Ban’s! #yegshine 

Reason #13 of '101 Reasons Why I Heart Edmonton'

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Garneau Neighbourhood

by emil tiedemann

FOR the first six months that Laurent Garneau spent in what was then known as Strathcona, in 1874, the Manitoba Metis was behind bars. Garneau had refused to obey a martial law that ordered inhabitants to take refuge in the original Fort Edmonton, in order to protect them from being attacked by the Aboriginal people of the area. 

The irony of it all is that Chief Papasschayo of the Papaschase tribe was the man who stepped up and took Garneau and his large family - wife Eleanor and 11 children - under his wing. 


Garneau, who fought with Louis Riel in the Red River Rebellion of 1869, did more than just get settled, acquiring substantial wealth and land in what would eventually become known as the Garneau district. He became extensively involved within both the Metis and Francophone communities, was a respected businessman, an astute social activist, and even a renowned musician with a knack for the violin. 

His influence on this region would eventually…

Reason #12 of '101 Reasons Why I Heart Edmonton'

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The Esks

by emil tiedemann

THE “Battle of Alberta” dates back to more than a century ago, supposedly to an 1892 rugby game between Edmonton and Calgary. This rivalry ignited a legacy of athletic competition between the two cities, spawning colourful nicknames meant as insults. We called them “horse country” and “the cow camp,” and they went with “Eskimos” for us, because of our northern latitude. 

The name stuck. And although Edmonton’s had football clubs called the Eskimos between 1895-1923 and 1929-39 (as well as hockey and baseball teams that used the same moniker), the current franchise was not established until 1949, one of the youngest in the Canadian Football League. And ever since then, they’ve been the victors in this historic provincial clash. 


For 34 years in a row (1972-2005), the Edmonton Eskimos qualified for the playoffs of the CFL championship, more than any other North American professional sports team...ever! They captured 14 Grey Cup championships (& nine runner-ups…

Reason #11 of '101 Reasons Why I Heart Edmonton'

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Telus World of Science

by emil tiedemann

IF you attended elementary school in Edmonton, then you’ve most likely taken a field trip to the TELUS World of Science at some point. Although, back then it was called the Edmonton Space Science Centre (or the Odyssium from 2001-05) when it first opened on Canada Day of 1984, as a replacement for the aging Queen Elizabeth Planetarium. 

It was like nothing else I had experienced before, as a young child fascinated with planets and outer space. I remember sitting back and staring up at the Milky Way illuminating from the giant domed screen of the Margaret Zeidler Star Theatre, transfixed by the sparkling stars and hypnotized by the booming voice that narrated our journey through the solar system. 


As a child, there was nothing more effective than the Space Science Centre to educate me and my classmates about...well, space and science! These days, the TWOS does so much more than just that. Operated by the nonprofit Edmonton Space & Science Founda…

Reason #10 of the '101 Reasons Why I Heart Edmonton'

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The River Valley

by emil tiedemann

PRETTY much every major city in the world is situated next to some sort of large body of water, for any number of reasons, so the North Saskatchewan running right through our city doesn’t exactly make Edmonton anything special. 

What does, however, make Edmonton special is the absolute abundance of the surrounding river valley, hands down the most stunning part of our town no matter what the season. It’s become a sort of cliché to namedrop the so-called “Ribbon of Green” when visitors are soliciting locals for suggestions of the best things to do or see in Edmonton. 


It’s always one of our (many) go-to’s, and for good reason. The river valley is easy to access from almost anywhere in the city; it’s riddled with some 20 municipal parks, and just so happens to be the largest expanse of urban parkland in North America, its 18,000 acres more than 21 times the size of New York’s Central Park! 

The 22 ravines and 11 lakes that make up this massive stretch of gr…