Stories & Visions

The other EAC!

Shared by Betty Dean 10045 156 St NW, Edmonton, AB T5P 2P7, Canada The other EAC! Photo

The Edmonton Art Club (EAC) was established in 1921 and is the oldest continuing art organization in Alberta. Imagine the passion of those first 14 members, guiding the club in helping to lay the foundation for the development of visual arts in our province while building a club that remains strong and growing nearly 100 years later.

In 1923, the art section of the local Council of Women approached the Edmonton Art Club with a plan to develop a permanent collection of art for the city. Through their cooperative efforts and the Art Association, the Edmonton Museum of Art (renamed the Edmonton Art Gallery in 1956) was founded. Our contribution was recognized in the development of the Art Gallery of Alberta (AGA). The EAC contributed one of the first paintings to the AGA, a work by Alban Cartmell entitled 'Prairie Trails'. Both the AGA and the Alberta Foundation for the Arts house work by former members in their permanent collections, including work by (to name a few) Dr. Harry E. Bulyea, Robert Campbell, Margaret Chappelle, Alice Daley, Meredith Evans, Len Gibbs, Robert Guest, Robert Wesley Hedley, Percy H. Henson, Murray MacDonald, Vivian Thierfelder and George Weber.

I remember going to EAC shows in malls, and particularly loving the beautiful paintings of flowers. I dreamed of becoming a member, but never thought it would happen. I was accepted in 2010, and have thrived as a painter since then. Through the years, Edmonton Art Club shows have been building blocks for the dreams of countless amateur and beginning painters, supporting the vision of the club to "encourage artistic achievement and an appreciation of the visual arts".

The EAC now includes approximately 50 members, skilled in mixed media application, painting in acrylic, oil and watercolour, drawing/sketching, wood burning, printmaking and sculpture. We meet in the Orange Hub monthly, with critiques being an important part of each meeting. We hire a local professional artist to provide feedback on the work each member presents, and in that way move both our individual work and our knowledge forward.

We are holding our first show Orange Hub show on April 28 and 29. We are open to new members and welcome partnerships with other arts organizations.

More information about our organization and membership can be found at

The other EAC! Photo

CKUA: the Arts Nerve Network of the Province

Shared by Karen Howell 9804 Jasper Ave, Edmonton, AB T5J 0C5, Canada CKUA: the Arts Nerve Network of the Province Photo

True or False?

CKUA holds a record for the world’s longest-running radio program with the same host and producer on the same time and day...
True! Sept 21, 1986 saw the 2081st broadcast of Continental Musicale by Gaby Haas.

On October 13, 1928, CKUA carried the first ever play-by-play football game radio broadcast...
True! The game was between the Edmonton Eskimos and the U of A Golden Bears.

In 1930, the Edmonton Journal reported that CKUA radio interference was caused by dentist drills, streetcar lines, and medical equipment...
True! The Journal also reported that 'in every instance, the offending doctors have agreed to avoid using medical equipment during broadcast hours'.

Joni Mitchell started her music career earning $9 an appearance on CKUA...
True! She appeared on a program called Suddenly It's Folk Song'.

CKUA was the first radio station in Canada to go online...
True! On February 29, 1996, CKUA started broadcasting live via RealAudio.

Steve Jobs is a CKUA fan...
True! CKUA's logo was one of the ones displayed on the big screen when he introduced the iPad in January 2010.

CKUA: A Brief Bio
It began in 1927 with a dream: to take the University to the people via the new medium of radio. With a couple of the University of Alberta’s engineering students, 2 windmill towers, some old iron poles and a little creative book-keeping, a $700 grant was transformed into Canada’s first public broadcaster. The CKUA Radio Network signed on November 21st, 1927, with a 500-watt signal.

On May 23rd, 1929, the first Canadian school broadcast was made from CKUA, fulfilling the original goal set two years prior, and starting a tradition of excellence in distance education.

In 1945 Alberta Government Telephones (AGT) began operating CKUA and moved the station from the University campus to downtown Edmonton. CKUA went on air in 1948 with Alberta’s first FM station. ACCESS assumed ownership of CKUA in 1974 and the construction of transmitters in Calgary and Lethbridge soon followed. CKUA’s unique sound had begun to resonate across Alberta’s airwaves. CKUA was privatized in 1994, and since 1997 a combination of commercials, corporate sponsorships and listener donations fund the station’s day-to-day operating costs.

Today, CKUA is capable of reaching listeners throughout Alberta and around the world, through 16 transmitters across the province and online at as well as through our app.

CKUA remains steadfast in its commitment to offer listeners the chance to hear Albertan musicians, writers and performers, and to enrich the arts and cultural life of the province. More than forty programs are featured on CKUA, spanning many music genres and topics.

With the support of the business community, our devoted listeners, and volunteers, CKUA continues to face and overcome obstacles and challenges. We are proud to continue to offer quality programming for listeners across Alberta and the world.

Over the past 8 decades, CKUA has had the privilege of offering music ranging from classical, jazz, and folk, to blues and world beat. CKUA has shared many firsts with the province of Alberta, including the first Edmonton outlet for a national network broadcast in 1930, and the first station in Alberta with FM Technology. It is with this pioneering spirit that we approach the years and broadcasts yet to come.

We'd love to show you our home - please get in touch to sign up for our monthly tours:

CKUA: the Arts Nerve Network of the Province Photo

York Moments:Carried

Shared by Sydney Lancaster & Marian Switzer 9538 103A Ave., Edmonton, AB T5H 0J3, Canada York Moments:Carried Photo

We had the fantastic opportunity of working with Quarters Arts Society on a community-based art project called York Moments. This was a revisiting and revisioning of our collaborative body of work called YORK, which is a photo-based body of work examining the now-demolished York Hotel (which was right behind Boyle St Plaza). York Moments brought our initial project back into the community, to gather stories about the connections and memories people had with the old hotel. It was part of reclaiming the voices and stories that were erased with the hotel's demolition. One of the works we created with the community was a sculptural installation called "Carried" which hangs from the atrium ceiling at Boyle Street Plaza. This work had its debut at the first Nuit Blanche celebration in Edmonton as an independent project.

York Moments:Carried Photo

The New Delton Grocery (Art's Store)

Shared by Rev Recluse 12301 86 St NW, Edmonton, AB T5B 3L1, Canada The New Delton Grocery (Art's Store) Photo

The moment my wife and I bought our house in Eastwood about a decade ago, I was intrigued by a weather-beaten, closed corner store (incredibly) still standing a few blocks away. I made a point over the years to walk or bike by the building as much as I could to take a look at the beat-up but still wonderful New Delton Grocery sign with the Coke logo and dream of going inside to take a peek.

A few years ago, I didn't pass by the store because of work and winter for the space of a few months, so for Victoria Day weekend I hopped on my bike for a ride around the neighbourhood and head to "my corner store" to see how it survived the winter. When I got there, I found flat ground where it once stood.

Although I knew it was most likely a goner the first time I laid my eyes on it, I still had dreams that eventually I'd get to be able to look inside. What did it sell? Like most corner stores, a little bit of everything, and everything else?

The memories of the corner store faded into the background while I went on with my life, although when I biked or walked by the empty plot of land, I lowered my head and sighed, thinking about what could have been.

Recently, I was doing work for my website Vintage Edmonton ( and while I was selecting ads for April 2, 1925 to use for a post, my eyes scanned across an ad for The New Delton Store, the previous name of The New Delton Grocery.

"Meats, Groceries, Flour, Feed, Dry Goods And Hardware" it said in big letters on the ad, and involuntarily, I smiled.

It really did sell a little bit of everything, and everything else.

The New Delton Grocery (Art's Store) Photo

How the lions gave me courage

Shared by Lynda Vang 102 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB T5J 0L6, Canada How the lions gave me courage Photo

As a child of Asian immigrant parents, seeing positive reflections of Asian culture in the larger community has always been important to me. Growing up I loved the Harbin Gate and felt very proud to see such a beautiful cultural symbol stand so tall and prominent. I remember my mom telling my brother and I about the legend behind the two Chinese guardian lions - 1 female and 1 male, and how they offer protection from negative energy. After going for Dim Sum on Sundays, we would walk under the gate, climb up and put our hands inside the lion's mouth. Meanwhile my mom would say a silent prayer and rub the ball under the male lion's paw. These are powerful memories for me for many reasons. Upon reflecting on it now, being able to publicly practice ritual from my culture (which is different from the predominant one) was a proud and significant moment for me - especially when, back then, my "asian-ness" was not widely accepted/understood. Questions like "why does your lunch smell like that?" were common and often had me asking my mom if I could have a "normal" ham and cheese sandwich for lunch instead.

Earlier this summer as I was walking under the gate, I saw an Indigenous man bow his head in reverence and say a few silent words to the lion as he rubbed the ball under it's paw. Like my mother years ago, he was seeking divine guidance or protection. After he was finished we caught eyes and smiled a knowing smile about what had just transpired. The Harbin Gate was a powerful and significant symbol of culture and friendship between two cities. More than that though, it was a place where Asian immigrants could feel included and visible within the larger community. For me, the lions represented a safe place where I could publicly practice, and be proud of, my cultural rituals - and for that, I will always remember the courage those lions gave me.

How the lions gave me courage Photo

The Capilano Apricots

Shared by Dustin Bajer Capilano The Capilano Apricots Photo

On the West side of the former Capilano freeway (present-day 75th street) between 86th and 90th avenues are three mature apricot trees known to local gardeners are the Capilano Apricots (Capilano 1, 2, and three walking from South to North). It is widely believed that they were guerrilla gardened sometime in the 1960s as seedlings.

Uncommon in Edmonton, these three apricots are also unique from each other, each tree has its own unique in growth habit and fruit. Botanically and culturally speaking, Edmonton is the only place in the world that you will find these three varieties.

While I can not prove it, I have a hunch that the seedlings may have been planted by (or associated with) an internationally famous local plant breeder by the name of Robert Simonet. Mr Simonet was responsible for breeding many flowers, vegetables, and fruit tree varieties - including apricots. He also lived in the Bonnie Doon area around the time these trees would have been planted.

Despite being on city land, these three trees are still absent from the City of Edmonton's tree inventory

The Capilano Apricots Photo

Mandolin Cafe

Shared by Dawn Mandolin Cafe Photo

The mandolin holds a special place in my heart and in the community of highlands. It's warm, welcoming and unique vibe makes it the perfect place to get away. Cozy on a cold winters day or a summer time patio filled with beautiful flowers.
Located in one of the oldest districts in Edmonton. Community, arts and sustainability focused. They sell and trade books, display different artists work each month and have an amazing selection of loose tea. Each time I come here it's a unique and special experience.

Mandolin Cafe Photo

this theatre is appreciated

8712 109 Street Northwest, Edmonton this theatre is appreciated Photo

I love that this theatre supports local, independent, and unusual programming. The curated series of films are wonderful. this place keeps me learning about topics near and far from my home. I wish this place had better attendance, was more broadly publicized as a gem of Edmonton.

this theatre is appreciated Photo

More arts in Mill Woods/southeast Edmonton

Shared by Kristina de Guzman More arts in Mill Woods/southeast Edmonton Photo

In May 2015 & 2016, myself and a handful of artists/organizers who had links to the Mill Woods area put together an artistic showcase called Masala Mix: a Blend of Spices to this mall. We were able to connect with local teachers and showcase work by students from neighbouring schools Edith Rogers and J. Percy Page; showcase diverse artists who live/lived in Mill Woods from a wide range of disciplines, host mini-workshops, and even incorporated a heritage component by inviting Mill Woods Mythologies to share stories. We also invited by agencies that do work in the area (Welcome Centre for Immigrants, EISA) to table and share more info about their organizations. The mall plaza is designed to be a community hub yet remains quite underutilized by artists. There is a thriving community of Indigenous, immigrants and other cultural minorities in the area who may not have the same access to the arts due to most art activities taking place at the centre - it would be great to see local Mill Woods artists build their capacity and share their skills, knowledge, and art within their own local communities.

More arts in Mill Woods/southeast Edmonton Photo

Citadel Theatre

Shared by Barbara 10030 102 St NW, Edmonton, AB T5J 0V6, Canada Citadel Theatre Photo

My first live theatre event was at Salvation Army Citadel building for the production of Othello .. it was a glorious building transporting the audience to the fantasy world of the talented actors .. loved it!

Citadel Theatre Photo

Edmonton Art Gallery

Shared by Barbara 9842 105 St NW, Edmonton, AB T5K, Canada Edmonton Art Gallery Photo

Fondly remember art classes on Saturday mornings at the Secord House when I was a child .. the building was impressive to me even as a young person .. the views from the balcony were outstanding as I sketched a charcoal rendering of the river valley .. it was the first place that I saw a Kwakwaka’wakw (Kwakiutl) First Nations raven artifact mask .. it was all magical and magnificent to a little girl!

Edmonton Art Gallery Photo

We are Many Peoples

Shared by Gary Bosgoed We are Many Peoples Photo

For thousands of years, people have visited and lived in the river valley. They did not have today's names or political boundaries. They were many peoples. Their legacy needs to be respected and honoured as the original people of this place.

I would like to see the old EPCOR Power Plant turned into a Powerhouse of Indigenous Arts and Culture. The space would include all indigenous groups and be run by indigenous people. It would be a national showpiece of the most advanced indigenized City in Canada. It would include rotating arts and heritage content from all periods since indigenous people settled in this region after the glaciers receded. Imagine the rich stories and imagery, inspiring today's artists and cultural practitioners, who would be working and creating in the facility. Imagine a building vastly different than the one there today. One enhanced with the addition of glass, colour, light and sound would take its place.

If it sounds like a $100M project, then good for you. I like your vision. It can happen. The 76,000 plus indigenous people in the capital region deserve no less. The project will benefit the 1.3M people in this region and be a magnet for the almost eight million annual tourist visits to Edmonton (Government of Alberta, 2015 report).

Further, the City can enhance its arts soul by linking the new facility to organizations that want to create or enhance their arts programs. Some post-secondary institutions do not yet have an indigenous art class or program offering. As the heart of this activity, the Powerhouse can use newly created "arteries" to connect the entire body of this great city.

Such a place would bring much indigenous activity to the City, including Chiefs meetings, conferences and scholarly work. Inevitably, the Powerhouse would bring all people together, as they learn about 5,000 years of life and art in this region, not just the last two hundred and twenty-three years, since the Hudson's Bay Company and the North West Company built their forts in the valley.

The project could also allow for the inclusion of a Keeping House, which houses, protects, curates and studies, but does not own, indigenous artifacts. They would "keep" them for families and other organizations.

The site of the Power Plant is on or near a site of one of the Fort Edmonton locations, which would have had indigenous encampments nearby. Some artifacts have been found in the valley that are over 3,000 years old and settlement along the valley goes back over 5,000 years. Its the perfect site to be reclaimed by indigenous people.

Lastly, the City has the indigenous people to create, build and operate this vision. Together, they will feel their power.

Reconciliation will take generations. We need bold strokes to repaint the canvass of the relationship with indigenous Canadians.

Imagine the art. Imagine the music. Imagine the history. Imagine the power!

We are Many Peoples Photo

Ortona Armoury Arts Building

Shared by Marlena Wyman 9722 102 St NW, Edmonton, AB T5K 0X4, Canada Ortona Armoury Arts Building Photo

The Ortona Armoury Art Building in Rossdale is filled with memories; its more than 100 year history intermixed with its present life as an arts building. Artists of every discipline have filled the building for close to 30 years with art and creativity, and the greater arts community and public have come here to experience that arts energy. Virtually every space in the building has been the location of the creation of art, visual art exhibits, music performances, filming locations and film projections, dance, poetry readings, history and arts open houses, arts workshops, and celebrations.

The present studios and the building’s public arts areas inhabit the same spaces that the Royal Canadian Navy occupied in WWII as the HMCS Nonsuch training facility; the rooms and floor plan essentially unchanged since 1939. The present Ortona Room (multi-purpose arts room) on the main floor was the Navy’s Chief and Petty Officer’s Mess; the artist-run Ortona Gallery on the second floor served as the Navy’ Clothing Stores; the spaces where both and the Film and Visual Arts Society the Trincan Steel Orchestra now are, had been used by the Navy for classrooms, communications, and the Navy’s “Warrior” music band. Artists’ studios were the Navy’s WRENS’ Mess (Women’s Royal Canadian Naval Service), the offices of the HMCS Nonsuch Officers, storage for sails, ropes & rigging, and much more.

As expressed by arts writer Agnieszka Matejko in her review of a group arts exhibit in the Ortona Gallery, “…the strongest impression I am left with is the building’s palpable sense of rich community life among artists of all backgrounds.” Vue Weekly 21 January 2003, “Ortonary People”.

Ortona Armoury Arts Building Photo

The Oldest Continuing Art Organization in Alberta

Shared by Seraya Smit 10045 156 St NW, Edmonton, AB T5P 2P7, Canada
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Established in 1921 with fourteen Charter Members, the EAC is the oldest continuing art organization in Alberta. It has been instrumental in helping to lay the foundation for the development of the visual arts in our province. Their vision was to develop the visual arts in the City of Edmonton in three ways:
1) to encourage a wider appreciation of fine arts in the community;
2) to improve the quality of local art; and
3) to encourage individual artists through constructive criticism and exhibitions"

The relationship between the EAC and the Art Gallery of Alberta is embedded in our history, with the EAC being active partners in the establishment of the Edmonton Museum of Art in 1924, renamed the Edmonton Art Gallery in 1956. The Edmonton Art Club contributed one of the first paintings, a work by Alban Cartmell entitled ‘Prairie Trails’, to the Museum’s permanent collection and continued to support the Museum by donating works of art and by contributing funds and instructors for the Gallery’s art classes.

Permanent holdings of the EAC works of art are housed with the Alberta Foundation for the Arts ("AFA") and the Art Gallery of Alberta ("AGA").

The EAC features eclectic Visual Artist members who are disciplined in mixed media application, painting in acrylic, oil and watercolour, drawing/sketching, ceramic, clay, stone carving, wood carving and wood burning, printmaking and sculpture. Counted among its impressive alumni are, to name a few, Len Gibbs, Thelma Manarey, Meridith Evans, Jerry Heine, Ilda Lubane and Vivian Theirfelder.

The Club has an average of 50 members, each selected through a jury process, and is composed of people from all walks of life, all of whom share an appreciation of the visual arts and encourage artistic achievement.

A meeting place on the river

Shared by A paddler A meeting place on the river Photo

In the boreal forest, rivers are often the only relief from dense trees or muskeg and here a niche was carved for dug-out canoes. Dug-outs were formed by chipping soaked or partially burned logs with stone axes. The final gouging was done with a clever tool borrowed from nature’s furry carpenters: beaver teeth. Early boat builders used chisels made of beaver incisors tied to wooden handles. With use, beaver tooth dentine is worn away, which exposes new sharp enamel ridges. The result is a self-sharpening chisel that was used by Cree and Dene across the boreal forest.
From the April/May, 2015 issue of Canada’s History Magazine.

Written by: Todd Kristensen (Archaeological Survey) and Mike Donnelly (Freelance Historian)

The area of the river valley and places along the river as seen in the picture is not far from where the first pre-contact northern Dene people travelled to and from to areas north up to the Yukon, some 3,000 km. We embrace that our paddle and on-the- river recreational activities are on Treaty 6 Lands as the First Nations people taught us all how to build and use the canoes and kayaks that were essential to travel, exploration and commerce. My own experience with the 25 ft Northern Voayageur Canoe was on a boat named Pathfinder that went across many rivers in Alberta, lakes and even oceans from Canadian cities across the prairies, the Canadian Shield and beyond borders. The canoe is an iconic symbol that we can all still enjoy as being able to share the river. Education programs and the Edmonton River Valley Conservation Coalition which bring awareness to the importance of the meeting place as a recreational site for the next generation and how we can anticipate a river that runs through our city, as our Mayor has coined this is a “River city rising”. The paddling community and Edmonton Paddling Centres Association EPCA those we include are the Ceyana Canoe Club, NorthWest Voyageurs Canoe and Kayak Club, Edmonton Whitewater Paddlers and others Riverwatch, Haskin Canoe, Canoeheads, EasyRider, Greater Edmonton Racing canoe and kayak club, Leduc Boat club, UAPS, EDBFA Edmonton Dragon Boat Festival Association, Friends of the river recreational association, EDBRC Edmonton Dragon Boat Racing club, City of Edmonton River Valley programs which provide us with a cultural experience and a safe enjoyable experience in and along our North Saskatchewan river.

A meeting place on the river Photo

Keeping Old Advertisements

Shared by Ryan Korpesio Keeping Old Advertisements Photo

The history of these types of buildings is in the old painted advertising on the walls. A story of the history behind the building can be found on a plaque on the exterior wall.

Keeping Old Advertisements Photo

Inspire Others

Shared by Elaine Edmonton International Airport, Nisku, AB T0C 0V0, Canada Inspire Others Photo

I was enrolled in a University of Alberta Extension drawing class, and one evening I noticed an article posted in the hallway that offered artists the opportunity to study in Rome for two months. I knew I was going! My love of marble was calling. To my delight it was everywhere! In the fountains, in the museums, even forming the curb stones.

With a professor from the Classics department at the University of Rome as our guide, we were no longer tourists, but artists on a journey. I quickly learned to expect a delight of images when I turned each corner. Strong shadows and brilliant sunlight, patterns and texture, line and movement.

I saw people who lived and breathed art.

When I looked at art again once I got back – I simply felt, I could do it! Since then I’ve given the space to students to start their journey as well. Twelve years of giving back the inspiration that was given to me – here at home.

Inspire Others Photo

Repurpose Building

Shared by Natasha Corbett 7515 118 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB T5B 4M9, Canada

What is most important to me about living in Edmonton is that I have always had a home to live in, and a family to care for me. I have never had to worry about being outside for a long time in a cold Edmonton winter. Or stuck outside in the sometimes very hot summers, we are in a fairly extreme climate. Not everyone in this city is as lucky, and we have homeless people in Edmonton. Often times people who end up on the streets do not actually choose to be there. When we live in a climate as unforgiving as ours, people die in the streets of Edmonton every year. It would be amazing to transform Rexall place, or part of it, into a multi-purpose rehabilitation center and housing for the homeless.
Rexall place could have large indoor gardens and greenhouses, and could have many small apartments set up to get people off the streets. Services offered could include, check in, free yoga in the mornings, registration for health care cards and any type of documentation missing, disability funding, which could help pay their rent in the little space. They could be required to participate in meditation and yoga, or exercise and mindfulness programs, could have help with goal setting classes, resume building, career information sessions, etc. (I would be willing to volunteer in this sort of facility) People could be given jobs to do around the center which would help pay for their space (at the minimum wage). This would help get people off the streets, and give them something to do, and also open up countless job opportunities for the many Edmontonians that are in need of jobs currently. People could work hours daily to clean and maintain the space, cook and provide services for others. There could be a little market place inside of the large center part of the arena. The possibilities are truly endless!
A city that lets its people die and live in homelessness is not a city to be proud of.
I would love to see Edmonton truly and wholeheartedly commit to helping all of its people, without exclusion, separation, and elitism. All egos aside, we are all human beings. All human beings are deserving of love and acceptance, and help. When we nurture and care for things, they grow and bloom. When we cast them away and tell them we hate them, they become wilted, disfigured, and die. We are only as strong as our weakest members, and we cannot move forward as humanity while we allow people to die outside because we are CHOOSING to not help, and to blame other things. The time is now to take responsibility for our people, and to do the best we can with the resources we ALREADY have available to us.
The time is now to be a leader on the world stage. Lead by example. You have to be willing to make the choice to take a chance, or things will never change. We are ready.
Thank you for reading.

Old Great Western Saddlery Building

Shared by Earl M. 10137 104 St NW, Edmonton, AB T5J 0Z9, Canada Old Great Western Saddlery Building Photo

My arts and heritage memory is working in the original Society of Northern Alberta Print-artists studio in the Great West Saddlery building. It was dark and decrepit. 104st was a long way from chi-chi back then, in fact it was sketchy. But, the camaraderie was great, people were pitching in to build the organization. I feel pretty good about being there early on and now seeing how amazing it’s become.

Old Great Western Saddlery Building Photo

Mapping Rat Creek

Shared by Dustin Bajer Mapping Rat Creek Photo

Backfilled with landfill (Clark Stadium) and paved over with asphalt (Norwood Boulevard) present-day Kinnard Ravine represented only a small portion of the original creek.

Extending NW from Dawson park, under Clark stadium, down Norwood Boulevard (111th Ave), past Kingsway, and ending someone near Blatchford once ran the mighty Rat Creek ravine. Rat Creek formerly extended into the adjacent neighbourhoods of Virginia Park, Chromdale, Parkdale, Norwood, McCauley, Spruce Avenue, Central McDougal, and Prince Rupert.

Project Idea:

Part 1: I would like to work with the community and City archives to research the exact path of Rat (short of Muskrat) creek and to identify stories about it its history, use, and impact on the community.

Part 2: Just because the ravine is paved over doesn't mean it's gone. Hidden under the city exists buried infrastructure that channels the water that would have flown through Rat Creek - often still dumping into the ravine via city outfalls. In the second phase of this project, I would like to work with the drainage department to identify the historical and present-day Rat Creek catchment basin.

Part 3: May the historical and present-day Rat Creek catchment basement onto the city. Work with an artist and residents of the basin to create a unique Rat Creek logo. Work with catchment residents and schools to paint the Rat Creek logo onto existing public wastewater infrastructure (drains, utility holes, etc.).

The goal of the 3rd phase is to engage residents of the Rat Creek basin in a placemaking exercise and to connect their home, and the identity of the area to the ravine. By reminding residents that all of the water in their neighbours ultimately makes its way to the ravine we can link individual practices to the health of the present day Rat Creek. To further this goal, public signage and articles in neighbourhood newspapers could help spread the message and the storied uncovered via the research in phase 1.

Part 4: Work with the City of Edmonton to make outfall data in Rat Creek ravine open to the public. Work with residents and organisations such as the North Saskatchewan Watershed Alliance, Epcor, Edmonton Permaculture, Cultivate McCauley, and Alberta Low Impact Development to create programs and initiatives that enable people to contribute to the health of their catchment basin and the ravine downstream of them.

Mapping Rat Creek Photo

Knockin pins since 1959

Shared by Denny Droops 10418 118 Avenue Northwest, Edmonton Knockin pins since 1959 Photo

This place is a cultural institution serving generations of Edmontonians. Seriously! How many of your parents, and grand parents bowled here since it opened!? Edmonton has a fascinating appreciation for bowling. As an accessible and affordable past time, bowling has been an activity with deep roots in Edmonton's working class neighbourhoods. Plaza Bowling is a great story of a family run business in Edmonton, and the venue itself is a time warp taking you all the way back to the 60s. It would be great to be able to better recognize "legacy businesses" in Edmonton like Plaza Bowling, and the building it's located in. Many city's have recognition programs for long-running local businesses like this that have contributed (and still are) to the urban fabric, culture, economy and history of a city. We need to better celebrate our history through those still making it. Plaza Bowling is a great example of where to start.

Knockin pins since 1959 Photo

End of Steel Park

Shared by Dan Rose Edmonton End of Steel Park Photo

I remember passing this odd green patch as a kid and having no idea why a caboose was in a park. It wasn't until I lived nearby that I wandered through the park one day and learned the history of the park, the caboose, and the concrete blocks that marked the "end of steel". I always thought this was a fascinating place that marked a pivotal junction (no pun intended) in Edmonton's history. Many would be inclined to see this as the start of Edmonton's history. My hope for Edmonton's heritage is that we can better program and interpret these sites, and place them in a broader historical context acknowledging that this place is, in fact, hardly the start or even the middle part of Edmonton's story. I do think it great that we use our public spaces to educate citizens and offer space for history, art, and dialogue. This is, however, also a public park, with a unique heritage focus, that I think the City has forgotten about as the plaques and audio features are long since broken or missing.

End of Steel Park Photo

Historic Building Graveyard

Shared by Dan Rose Historic Building Graveyard Photo

Tucked between the Winspear and Chancery Hall, you'll find a curious public space. This place is kinda neat and kinda sad. On this spot, you'll find several architectural fragments from demolished historic buildings that once previously occupied downtown; everything from window openings and arches to other pieces of brick and concrete, as well as a plaque marking the former civic block. It's a bizarre public demonstration of the city's difficulty in preserving our built heritage, but it's also an interesting lesson that could hopefully inform a future where our city values and actively protects our built heritage with focused investment and policy tools.

Historic Building Graveyard Photo

Telling the all Story pt 2

Shared by Dan Rose Telling the all Story pt 2 Photo

While the community of Mill Woods does recognize the Indigenous history of the area through place names of some neighbourhoods, there is very little acknowledgment of the history of the area that became Mill Woods in the 1970s. Few Mill Woods residents are aware of the history of the Papaschase Reserve, and how the Papaschase peoples were forced from the Rossdale area and re-settled to an area south of the river, how that land was eventually re-acquired by the Federal government and subsequently sold to settler farmers, and how that same land was later assembled and sold to create Mill Woods. In the spirit of Truth and Reconciliation, it would be valuable to undertake an exercise to share that history of the Papaschase and acknowledge the difficult history of the Mill Woods area. There are scant physical reminders of this past in Mill Woods outside of a few place names, nor is the history or context widely known. Let's do better.

Telling the all Story pt 2 Photo

Telling the Full Story pt.1

Shared by Dan Rose Telling the Full Story pt.1 Photo

One vision I have for heritage in Edmonton is more inclusive and appropriate historic interpretation of the diverse peoples and experiences of Edmonton. I hope to see more panels, plaques, and interpretative installations to help share our history, create valuable and meaningful public spaces, and tell the full story of our city. The panels tagged here leave a lot to be desired. I believe we can do better in bringing the community together to collect and tell these stories, and in designing relevant and engaging public resources to learn about the history of our city. Many installations like these aren't valued or relevant because the content is now viewed as problematic, presents an exclusive narrative, or the physical infrastructure is outdated or has been vandalized and damaged.

Telling the Full Story pt.1 Photo

Dancing in the Water

Shared by Sydney Lancaster 109 St NW, Edmonton, AB, Canada Dancing in the Water Photo

Many years ago, on Canada Day, the (now gone) High Level Bridge Waterfall was turned on for the very first time. It was a singular, spectacular moment in this city - such a beautiful way to connect the river to the bridge, and to the city in a really visceral way. I was on the bridge that day - getting drenched under the waterfall, singing and dancing with people. Yes, complete strangers gathered together and became friends, played like children, and forgot there differences for a while. I met three young women from Quebec under the water; they spoke no English and my French was rusty - but we managed to have a joyous time. We even sang the national anthem together, and shared some (illegal) champagne in honour of the Bridge that brought us together.

Dancing in the Water Photo

Forming the Fringe

Shared by Ken Chapman 10330 84 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB T6E 2G9, Canada Forming the Fringe Photo

During Albertas 75th Anniversary celebrations the outdoors arts focus was entirely on the new Winston Churchill Sq. Keith Ashwell the Edmonton Journal Arts/Entertainment Editor was critical on behalf of Whyte Ave business. He suggested a solution based on the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. We used our productions contingency budget, put the word out and opened 6 productions in Old Strathcona in 1980. Thus was born the most successful innovative theatre festival in North America.
The next year the idea took off and the Edmonton. International Fringe Festival has grown, matured and never looked back ever since. Something Edmonton is legitimately very proud of.

Forming the Fringe Photo

Over 100 years of settler history

Shared by Donna Ballantyne 16025 54 St NW, Edmonton, AB T5Y 3K1, Canada Over 100 years of settler history Photo

As a member of the McLeod Community League board, and a person interested in local history, I’ve given tours of the cemetery. Members of prominent pioneering settler & business families, WWI, WWII and other veterans, Spanish flu victims are buried here. Settler history goes back to 1885, before Alberta was a province. We also lay a wreath at each veteran’s headstone (7) prior to Remembrance Day, as part of the No Stone Left Alone. Project. We are seeking to make a connection with an indigenous person interested in sharing their history of the area from First Nations perspective.

Over 100 years of settler history Photo


River Photo

Some of my favourite times in Edmonton are when I am on the river. Beside the natural beauty and the recreation I participate in there, it is grounding to be connected to this place by the river that has been there forever. I imagine the history and the people that have been there before me for the thousands of years leading up to the moment I get to be there too. I can see public art from the river and enjoy that perspective. The river connects our past and present and is a backdrop and inspiration for art and creative thought.

River Photo

Edmonton's Wild Gojiberries

Shared by Dustin Bajer Edmonton's Wild Gojiberries Photo

As a young city, newcomers brought many of their personal, cultural practices to Edmonton. Over decades, this unique mixture of cultures has added to the vibrancy of our City.

When the Chinese community first settled in Edmonton many of them took up farming. According to the author Kathryn Chase-Merrit, in her book "Why Grow Here" the Chinese community owned and operated as many as fifteen market gardens around the City - many located in Edmonton's river valley. Among the plants that they would have grown were goji berries - a brambly shrub in the tomato family that produces oval orange-red berries and edible leaves popular in soups and prized for their medicinal qualities.

While the market gardens are long gone - some pushed out due to controversial city policy - at least one by the flood of 1915 - many large goji berries remain. The decedents of plants imported by the Chinese community they have long made the North bank of the river valley their home; longtime residents of Edmonton's downtown.

It could be noted that goji berries have become popular at local nurseries over the last decade. However, most people don't realise that a hardy, Edmonton lineage of this plant has naturalised and perfectly adapted itself to call this city home.

Edmonton's Wild Gojiberries Photo

GWG, A&N, and Red Strap Market

Shared by Sydney Lancaster 10305 97 Street Northwest, Edmonton, AB T5J 0M1 GWG, A&N, and Red Strap Market Photo

This building has had several lives! It is a very important site in the history of women's work and labour in this City, as it once housed the Great West Garment factory, and produced jeans until the early 1980's. Eventually, it became home to the biggest Army & Navy in Edmonton, and was a go-to source for houswares for Edmontonians of all walks of life. This space's last iteration was a the Red Strap Market - a venue for art and craft vendors, host of live music, poetry readings, and dance events, home to artists' studios. A place ahead of it's the by about 10 years. This is a building that needs to be USED and loved, and embraced by the City! Image credit: K O Dance Project, "YOU/happening": A KO Dance Project
Dancer: Abby Espejo, photo Tracy Kolenchuk

GWG, A&N, and Red Strap Market Photo

Connecting to Black History in Edmonton

Shared by Elsa Robinson Queen Elizabeth Park Road Connecting to Black History in Edmonton Photo

I used to take my children swimming at the Queen Elizabeth Pool. In the summer of 1988, I noticed this big chalk board near the change rooms. I went over to have a closer look. The information on the board was regarding the history of mixed race bathing in Edmonton. That is when I found out that Queen Elizabeth Pool was the first location where Black Edmontonians were allowed to swim in a public place managed by the City of Edmonton.

So, I explained the information to my four and five year old children - they both remember hearing this story. At the time I told my children that this obviously why we had come to this pool, because it was the first place that people like us could swim in public. When the City closed the pool, some years later, I joined the community group that lobbied the City of Edmonton to rebuild the pool. The group was also involved in designing the new pool and deciding on the new location for Queen Elizabeth Pool.

Connecting to Black History in Edmonton Photo

Lucky Chinese Guardian Lions

Shared by GL 102 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB T5J 0L6, Canada Lucky Chinese Guardian Lions Photo

When my relatives visited us, my parents would bring us to the Harbin Gate to take pictures. As a kid, I remember climbing to reach and rub the ball in the guardian lion's mouth for good luck. I didn't realize how special and important the Chinatown Gate was until it was taken away.

Lucky Chinese Guardian Lions Photo

Learning about Edmonton's history

Shared by Annette 9703 94 St NW, Edmonton, AB T6C 3W1, Canada Learning about Edmonton's history Photo

My favourite school field-trips were always to the Bennett Centre! I loved seeing what people had to pack for their long journeys before we had cars or even roads; trying to make a fire using sticks; opening up owl pellets; and running through the woods as a herbivore during a game of Survival. I hope my own children will have just as much fun as I did at this great place.

Learning about Edmonton's history Photo

The Blackspot Cafe a short-lived music venue gem

15120 Stony Plain Road, Edmonton The Blackspot Cafe a short-lived music venue gem Photo

The Blackspot Cafe was an incredible basement venue, which was only open for a couple of years in the mid-late 2000s. I saw lots of musical acts build confidence and community there. The volunteers who served drinks and worked door became really good friends, and lots are still friends and active in the arts/music scene today.

The Blackspot Cafe a short-lived music venue gem Photo

A Bonfire

Shared by Hunter Alfred H. Savage Centre, Fox Drive Northwest, Edmonton, AB A Bonfire Photo

This is where I have been told my ancestors used the ochre deposits for their ceremonies. So coming here in the evenings, starting a fire in the fire pit, and looking up at the same night sky with the same stars that my ancestors would have seen makes me feel profoundly connected to this city that I love.

A Bonfire Photo

Edmonton's Home for History

Shared by Jessica Peverett John Walter Museum, Walterdale Hill NW, Edmonton, AB Edmonton's Home for History Photo

One of Edmonton's hidden gems, the John Walter Museum, shares the story of an early settler family in the Edmonton Region. The 1876 house is the oldest residential home still standing in our city! The houses are open for tours, educational programs for school and community groups and a fun place for families to explore. They offer courses to learn about sustainable food, crafting and historic homes.

Edmonton's Home for History Photo

Royal Alberta Museum

Shared by K. Hamilton 9810 103a Ave NW, Edmonton, AB T5J 0G2, Canada Royal Alberta Museum Photo

My first introduction to non-domesticated animals was at the Royal Alberta Museum. Through the glass enclosures, I was given a glimpse into life as a mountain goat, a Snowshoe Hare and many other animals. One of my very favourite exhibits to this day was looking at the female coyote with her pups. I would stay and watch them, letting them come alive in my mind, until being dragged away by a parent or teacher. The dioramas inspired in me a sense of adventure and a lasting love of nature and animals. In recent years, I have taken my two children to these exhibits and I loved watching their little faces light up with amazement. We are so fortunate to have cultural institutions like this in Edmonton. I can't wait to begin taking my children to the new Royal Alberta Museum. This is a special city that cares deeply for its arts, culture and heritage, and I am grateful for that.

Royal Alberta Museum Photo

Art in the Park

13204 Fox Dr NW, Edmonton, AB T6H 4P3, Canada Art in the Park Photo

I was new to Edmonton and Amy Malbeuf's artwork here (at this temporary exhibition) really resonated with me and left me wondering why do we not see more reminders of the important cultural and historical presence of indigenous people in this region?

Art in the Park Photo

Yardbird Suite

Shared by Pearl Gray 10203 86 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB T6E 2M2 Yardbird Suite Photo

Attended my first jazz concert at Yardbird Suite as a teen.

Yardbird Suite Photo
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