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

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

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

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

A New Beginning

Shared by Natasha Corbett A New Beginning Photo

I love the little spot off Saskatchewan drive, that was affectionately referred to by its visitors as "the end of the world," which actually used to appear on google maps. The location is a old worn down structure, where people have gathered to hang out, and look at the beautiful view of the city skyline and river. Sadly, the place has decayed over the years. I know there had been plans to renovate the area, and clean up all of the garbage, create a lovely little looking spot. I was surprised to see that nothing has taken place yet, instead a fence put up and signs saying it is illegal to trespass there. Everyone continues to go anyway, because it is a truly beautiful spot. I have gone at nighttime with friends, blankets and hot chocolate in the summer time to watch a meteor shower. This spot has been the inspiration for many beautiful photos and paintings. I would love to see the area transformed, cleaned and reclaimed as a spot of inspiration and gathering for Edmontonians. I have been going to this spot for years as a quiet getaway from the city, out of earshot of the nearby streets, it is a gorgeous spot to sit and contemplate lifes great wonders. I have met some interesting people while there as well, and watched many beautiful sunsets white sitting on the perch. It would be amazing to see this hideaway transformed into a safe seating area, where people could come and enjoy a beautiful spot that Edmonton has to offer. Thank you :)

A New Beginning Photo

Garneau Memorial Tree

Shared by Amanda C. Garneau, Edmonton, AB, Canada Garneau Memorial Tree Photo

My mom’s family name is Garneau and my relatives are the namesake of the Garneau neighbourhood and I always loved visiting the Garneau memorial tree before it got removed!!

Garneau Memorial Tree 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

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


Shared by Tara Clelland 9626 96a St NW, Edmonton, AB T6C 4L8, Canada Mindfulness Photo

The Muttart Conservatory is a magical place to visit. Either in -30 weather or +20. The sensory experience, will take your mind to a magical place. The colours. The smells.

What this places means to me is this, no matter what is going on outside, you can take a break to enjoy natural beauty.

Mindfulness 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

Poetry Stairs Up and Down the Valley

Shared by Bernd Hildebrandt William Hawrelak Park Rd NW, Edmonton, AB T6G, Canada Poetry Stairs Up and Down the Valley Photo

Past Trial Location: South-east stairs to Hawrelak Park from Groat Road in 2017
Future Locations: Any of the numerous (between 70 and 120) sets of wooden stairs leading in and out of either the river valley or any of the joining creek systems.

The original activity was installed for the June 2017 version of ‘100 in 1 Day’ Event and featured the work of Sergio Serrano, Liz Ingram and Bernd Hildebrandt.

The purpose of this action was to:
a) add a less utilitarian function to the process of walking up long sets of stairs; 
b) to highlight the numerous wooden stairs as a unique Edmonton feature; 
c) to encourage future actions to utilize the many other stairs in the river valley;
d) provide a cultural feature that communicates between people in a natural setting.

Edmonton is somewhat unique in the fact that it has such a deep river valley running through the entire city. The City of Edmonton has done a great job in maintaining a well used trail system that incorporates numerous wooden stairs - these should become a publicized feature of Edmonton. The opportunities are far-reaching. The stairs themselves are quite amazing in themselves, sometimes like little frogs helping you up a short grade, or like snakes or waterfalls reaching high up an embankment - but they are just a bit bland and a bit too utilitarian for, what are often, quite spectacular structures.

In doing the project many people indicated how much they enjoyed the process of walking or jogging up the poetry stairs - it was a real surprise to them to encounter the colour and words - the climb was just so much more joyful and less laborious.

Installations could feature poetry, words, images, languages as well as graphic and visual art as well. Some could be permanent while others would be temporary - maybe event specific. Designs for installation could be developed for both permanent and temporary situations in conjunction with City staff. Stair installations need to be low maintenance, as well as allow for easy installation and replacement. Not only the riser section of the treads should be used, but perhaps also handrails, the top surface of the tread, and the landings.

It would encourage walking, while utilizing both community sourced poems as well as poems from established poets and visual artists.

Poetry Stairs Up and Down the Valley Photo

Strathearn Public Art Engagement Session

Shared by Chelsea Boida 9103 95 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB T6C 1Z4 Strathearn Public Art Engagement Session Photo

I love nature and art, and care about sustainability and conservation. So, being at Toronto based artist group Public Studio's engagement session at Centre d'Arts Visuals Alberta was a great way to get involved in public art process and more integrated with my community.

Strathearn Public Art Engagement Session 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

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

Serenity in Silence

Whitemud Creek Ravine South, Edmonton, AB Serenity in Silence Photo

There is a beautiful park bench that overlooks the most serene view of the Whitemud Ravine, located in the heart of the Aspen Gardens neighborhood. This place has meant a lot to me over the years, as it has been a place to sit and reflect. As it is west facing, it provides a stunning setting for Alberta skies, especially as the sun sets. The fall is a particularly extraordinary time of year for this location with its colour that engulfs the forest, enough to make Bob Ross blush. As an artist, locations like this one is a very important pillar to be able to find inspiration within my city.

Serenity in Silence Photo

A Snorlax at the Legislature

Shared by Jacquelyn Cardinal Alberta Legislature Grounds, 97 Avenue Northwest, Edmonton, AB A Snorlax at the Legislature Photo

The summer of 2016 will probably be remembered by most millennials as the summer of Pokemon Go.

It was a glorious 3 months of roaming in packs of excited, newly-extroverted twenty-somethings going to the places where many of us had not gone to play since childhood. In that process, the memories of these places were layered with the new, creating an effect of a double exposure photograph of growing and living in Edmonton.

One memory that stayed with me was when we were on a then-nightly tour of the Legislature grounds. It was a warm evening, so the area was packed with people just like me (and parents walking behind their kids) walking in random patterns across the lawns.

"SNORLAX!" Someone yelled in the distance, and like a shot we were off. Running, sprinting, across the lawn at the prospect of capturing this rare Pokemon.

In a few breathless minutes it turned out that I ended up capturing one. Many did not. As the spell lifted and we began to joke about our enthusiasm with the short-term family formed in the scrum, it felt like so many summer evenings when friendships formed and ended gently with being called home for supper or bed.

If I were to hope for a future of my life in Edmonton, it would be for more of those nights where we can turn Edmonton back into what it first was for so many of us: a playground.

A Snorlax at the Legislature 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

First Edmonton Summer Experience

Shared by Renee McLachlan Fort Edmonton Footbridge, Edmonton, AB First Edmonton Summer Experience Photo

Every Friday in the summer I'd go to this beach and make sandcastles, picnics, and fires to roast marsh mellows. This would be a safe place for my young kids and have a safe time experiencing the river. Going here the first time made me feel like I would have a true Edmonton summer experience.

First Edmonton Summer Experience 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

Smoke on the Water

North Edmonton Smoke on the Water Photo

Smoke clung to the air, and frost bit my toes. Fire in the sky, an aura so blue. The circular lights, the CBC said was true.

Smoke on the Water Photo

May 17th

Rice Howard Way, Edmonton, AB T5J, Canada May 17th Photo

When the chicks of the geese, at the top of the rock fledge, the community gathers and celebrates. Usually around May 17th they guide the geese to the river.

Tags Nature
May 17th Photo


Shared by Robert H 11010 153 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB T5X 5H2, Canada Beaumaris Photo

Pelicans, ducks, and geese - go to the water, turn off for ease. From the spacing of my life here did I stroll, to now, with my family, here where I'm whole.

Beaumaris Photo
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