Media Monday Edmonton: Update #121

Hope you’re all having a great summer so far! Here’s my latest update on local media stuff:

KDAYS 2014
Stacey Brotzel in the hot seat!

You can follow Edmonton media news on Twitter using the hashtag #yegmedia. For a great overview of the global media landscape, check out Mediagazer.

So, what have I missed? What’s new and interesting in the world of Edmonton media? Let me know!

You can see past Media Monday Edmonton entries here.

Edmonton Notes for 7/27/2014

Here are my weekly Edmonton notes:

Headlines

Solar powered home
Solar powered home in Larch Park, photo by David Dodge, you can learn more here

Upcoming Events

Edmonton K-Days Exhibition
K-Days, photo by IQRemix

Recap: Dîner en Blanc Edmonton 2014

Sharon and I dressed in white and joined hundreds of Edmontonians at our city’s first Dîner en Blanc event on Thursday, July 17. It was a rainy evening, but that didn’t deter attendees from taking advantage of the opportunity to participate in a unique visual spectacle in Edmonton’s river valley.

Here’s a description of the concept:

“At the last minute, the location is given to thousands of friends and acquaintances who have been patiently waiting to learn the “Dîner en Blanc’s” secret place. Thousands of people, dressed all in white, and conducting themselves with the greatest decorum, elegance, and etiquette, all meet for a mass “chic picnic” in a public space.”

In Edmonton the secret location turned out to be Louise McKinney Riverfront Park, a great choice for an event like this, with lots of space and a wonderful view of the skyline.

Audio Recap

For an overview of the Edmonton event, my thoughts, and more detail, check out my audio recap on Mixcloud.

Or you can download the MP3 here.

Photo Recap

Our group met at ATB Place downtown:

Diner en Blanc

After everyone had arrived and checked in, we started walking over to Louise McKinney Riverfront Park. It was funny to see all of the confused faces staring at us as we crossed the streets.

Diner en Blanc

It was a wet evening, so there were a lot of umbrellas and ponchos in the crowd. Sharon was happy with the clear one we picked up specifically for the event!

Diner en Blanc

We made it to the park to find hundreds of people busy setting up their tables and chairs in loose rows.

Diner en Blanc

The rain wasn’t too bad while we were setting up, but it started to get worse shortly after we took this photo!

Diner en Blanc

Food, wine, and water was available for pickup off to the side. Like most things throughout the night, we had to discover that for ourselves, as there wasn’t much guidance.

Diner en Blanc

There was some entertainment throughout the evening, including some dancers from Cavalia, and musicians up on stage. Again, there was no program or information about any of them.

Diner en Blanc

For the very briefest of moments, we saw the orange sun (thanks to the forest fire smoke). It didn’t last long though.

Diner en Blanc

We wondered why some people had tents and discovered that some enterprising folks decided to bring their own! There was no mention of tents on the list of prohibited items. Visually it does impact the effect, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see them on the list next year.

Diner en Blanc

At some point we noticed others lighting their sparklers, so we joined in an lit ours as well. It probably would have been good to wait until it was a bit darker, but I think everyone was tired of the cold and rain.

Diner en Blanc

The sky darkened and the rain returned, so we joined the growing number of people who packed up and left after the sparklers.

Diner en Blanc

We made the best of a wet situation and had fun! In the end though, we decided that we likely wouldn’t attend again next year. Lots of other people seemed to love it though, so I’m sure the event will be back again next summer.

You can see more photos of the event here. You can learn more about Dîner en Blanc in Edmonton at their website, on Twitter, and on Facebook.

Downtown Edmonton’s momentum continues with exciting announcements

What an exciting time for downtown Edmonton! We’re in the height of festival season, with the annual K-Days Parade and Taste of Edmonton both bringing thousands of Edmontonians into the core, and we seem to be in the height of announcement season too. Here’s a look at some of the encouraging downtown-related news that has made headlines over the last week or so:

Jasper House & North on 106 Street

Toronto-based developer Brad Lamb has announced two new condo projects in Edmonton called Jasper House and North. Located on 106 Street at 102 Avenue, the 36-storey Jasper House will get rid of another empty parking lot downtown. Sales are expected to begin this fall, with construction starting next year.

Jasper House

If all goes well with Jasper House, Lamb would undertake North, a 40-storey tower that would be located on 105 Street at 103 Avenue. Together, the two buildings represent about $260 million of investment.

You can register to receive updates on Jasper House here. No website exists yet for the North project.

More: Edmonton Journal, Metro Edmonton

Stantec Headquarters in the Edmonton Arena District

This morning, Stantec announced that their search for a new headquarters has come to an end with the signing of a lease agreement for a brand new building inside the Edmonton Arena District:

“This agreement represents our commitment to the community of Edmonton and the downtown redevelopment,” said Bob Gomes, president and CEO of Stantec. “Our decision is the result of an intensive selection process over the last year, and we are looking forward to moving ahead with design and construction.”

The new building will allow Stantec to consolidate its five current Edmonton locations into one. As the news release says, it’s “a true commitment to the city’s downtown.” The company has about 1,500 employees in Edmonton. Their existing leases are all up by 2019. Back in May, Stantec indicated they had narrowed their search for a new home to downtown.

Proponents of the downtown arena deal will no doubt hail this as a major victory, while critics will point out that we’re simply moving around offices that already existed in Edmonton. I think it’s an encouraging sign for the arena district, and I hope Stantec’s decision will help to attract outside investment as the district evolves. We still aren’t seeing the promised dominoes falling, but at least this is a very encouraging step in the right direction. The Katz Group’s Bob Black said to expect further announcements related to the district, so let’s hope this is a sign of things to come!

The specific location within the EAD site hasn’t been announced, but there’s speculation it could be where the Greyhound Station exists today. Preliminary design work for the new building is underway, and Stantec anticipates sharing more information at a press conference in late August.

More: Edmonton Journal, Metro Edmonton

Alley of Light Pocket Park Redevelopment

Michael Phair has shared an exciting update on the Alley of Light project! The initiative has long wanted to redevelop the pocket park behind the Sobeys building adjacent to Icon I, and it looks like that will finally be happening.

“The City of Edmonton has awarded a contract to Paving Stone Plus and construction will likely begin in the week of July 28-August 1.”

The work involves new paving and stone work, new power distribution, security lighting, and LED bollards, new retaining walls, chairs and tables to seat 64, and landscaping.

Alley of Light Pocket Park

Downtown certainly could use more functional, attractive park space, so this is great to see. Kudos to Michael Phair and the entire Edmonton on the Edge team for persevering! Hopefully Scott Park on 105 Street and 102 Avenue will be moving ahead soon too.

Calgary’s Mainstreet Equity sees downtown opportunity

It’s not clear exactly where in the Edmonton Arena District that Calgarian landlord Bob Dhillon is consolidating land, but a recent article in the Journal highlighted his interest in Edmonton’s rapidly improving downtown:

“While many Calgarians look on with envy as the Edmonton Oilers plan a magnificent new building to play in, landlord Bob Dhillon sees only the opportunity.”

Mainstreet’s Edmonton portfolio currently consists of 3,683 units at 119 sites, according to the article. It’s great to see interest in the Edmonton market from a Calgary-based business!

Downtown Perception Survey

For all of these reasons and more, perceptions about downtown are changing. The Downtown Business Association is hoping to learn more about the opinions that Edmontonians have of downtown and is running an online survey. Preliminary results show that more than half of respondents say their opinion of downtown has become “more favorable” over the last year. The full results will be released on August 27.

Sign of things to come?

All of these new projects will join existing ones already underway, including the Fox Towers, Ultima, Kelly Ramsey Building, Symphony, new Royal Alberta Museum, and many others.

Kelly Ramsey Building Construction

This is what happens when thousands of people start living in the downtown area. Demand, demand, demand. The next few years are going to be extremely exciting!

A look at Instagram usage in Edmonton

In this post I’m going to share some data on how Edmontonians are using Instagram1. This data was collected using the Instagram API over the 30 days between June 9 and July 8. My aim in this post is not to try to quantify every Instagram photo posted in Edmonton, but rather to give you a flavor of what Instagram usage looks like in our city.

instagram photos by day

During the month in question, I tracked 90,679 total photos posted by 15,395 different users. The average number of photos posted per user was 6, while the median number was 3. Just 4 users posted more than 200 photos over the month, while 25 users posted 100 photos or more.

Filters

One of the things I was most interested in was filter usage. Which filters are the most popular? It turns out that 59% of all photos posted did not use a filter at all! Here’s the breakdown:

instagram photos by filter

The top five filters were: Amaro, Valencia, Mayfair, X-Pro II, and Lo-Fi.

Likes & Comments

I tracked the number of likes & comments posted on each photo for a short period of time only, so some may have accumulated more over the course of the month than I captured. A total of 15,825 photos or 17.5% received no likes, while just over 64,000 or 70.7% received no comments.

instagram photos by likes

The average number of likes a photo received was 13, and the average number of comments received was less than 1. One photo received more than 4,000 likes and one received more than 260 comments.

Tags

Here’s a tag cloud of all the tags used on the photos posted during the month:

instagram photo tags

Here are the top 25 tags used:

  1. yeg
  2. love
  3. edmonton
  4. summer
  5. cute
  6. instagood
  7. follow
  8. photooftheday
  9. followme
  10. beautiful
  11. selfie
  12. tagsforlikes
  13. tbt
  14. like4like
  15. girl
  16. happy
  17. smile
  18. picoftheday
  19. canada
  20. instadaily
  21. tflers
  22. food
  23. likeforlike
  24. amazing
  25. bestoftheday

Roughly 40,252 or 44% of the photos posted did not have any tags.

Neighbourhoods

One of the interesting things about Instagram photos is that they are geotagged. That means I was able to see where in the city they were posted. A total of 349 neighbourhoods had at least one photo posted. Here are the top 25 neighbourhoods by number of photos posted:

  1. Downtown
  2. Oliver
  3. Strathcona
  4. University of Alberta
  5. Garneau
  6. Queen Alexandra
  7. Summerside
  8. Westmount
  9. Cumberland
  10. Queen Mary Park
  11. Boyle Street
  12. Ritchie
  13. Summerlea
  14. McCauley
  15. Central McDougall
  16. Edmonton Northlands
  17. Brintnell
  18. Rutherford
  19. River Valley Victoria
  20. Inglewood
  21. Alberta Avenue
  22. South Edmonton Common
  23. Silver Berry
  24. MacEwan
  25. Ormsby Place

Here’s a rough look at some of the data on a map:

neighbourhoods

The top 5 neighbourhoods accounted for 19.1% of all the photos posted.

Final Thoughts

I hope you found this look at Instagram usage in Edmonton useful! Remember, this is not meant to quantify usage, but rather is intended to give you a sense of the way Instagram is used throughout our city. Obviously it would be interesting to analyze what exactly is being posted on Instagram, but that kind of analysis is much more complicated.

Happy Instagramming!


  1. It would be more accurate to say this is a look at photos posted in Edmonton. To gather the data, I asked the Instagram API for photos posted within the limits of the City of Edmonton. While most of those were likely posted by residents, some would have been from tourists or other visitors. 

Media Monday Edmonton: Update #120

Here’s my latest update on local media stuff:

K-Days Edmonton 2014

K-Days Edmonton 2014
Corus Entertainment tent at K-Days

You can follow Edmonton media news on Twitter using the hashtag #yegmedia. For a great overview of the global media landscape, check out Mediagazer.

So, what have I missed? What’s new and interesting in the world of Edmonton media? Let me know!

You can see past Media Monday Edmonton entries here.

Edmonton Notes for 7/20/2014

Here are my weekly Edmonton notes:

Headlines

Diner en Blanc
Diner en Blanc, more photos here

Upcoming Events

K-Days Edmonton 2014
K-Days midway, more photos here

Edmonton moves forward with urban beekeeping

Urban beekeepers are buzzing in Edmonton now that City Council has given the green light to a pilot project that will allow hives in backyards within city limits. On July 7, the Community Services Committee approved the pilot with urgency, pushing for the rules against urban beekeeping to come to an end. The City will now undertake a pilot and will report back with recommended bylaw changes in early 2015.

Bee in a Peony
Bee in a Peony by Martin Male

The battle to keep bees has been going on for quite some time and given that numerous other cities allow urban beekeeping, this decision was seen by many as long overdue. Importantly, it’s another recommendation from Fresh that will see implementation, and it’s a sign from Council that they are serious about food and agriculture in Edmonton.

Here’s an audio story about the news:

You can listen on Mixcloud or you can download the episode here.

Further Reading

Sources

Media Monday Edmonton: Update #119

Here’s my latest update on local media stuff:

  • Two local radio stations are among the nine being sold by Rawlco Radio to the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group. Subject to CRTC approval, both 102.3 NOW! Radio (CKNO-FM) and up! 99.3 (CIUP-FM) will both join the growing stable of stations under the Broadcast Group umbrella. I talked to a few people who work at the stations and also saw other reaction online, but it was all the same – employees expressed great respect for Rawlco and uncertainty about the future (despite assurances that “all of the existing team members at the nine Rawlco Radio stations will be offered positions and the opportunity to grow with the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group.”)
  • Edmonton’s newest media experiment is called Dispatch 7. Though based here in Edmonton, their focus goes beyond #YEG to cover “issues that matter to our city, province, and country.” Here’s their intro post. I recorded a brief podcast about the site, which you can check out on Mixcloud or via download here.

You can follow Edmonton media news on Twitter using the hashtag #yegmedia. For a great overview of the global media landscape, check out Mediagazer.

So, what have I missed? What’s new and interesting in the world of Edmonton media? Let me know!

You can see past Media Monday Edmonton entries here.

Edmonton Notes for 7/13/2014

Here are my weekly Edmonton notes:

Headlines

High Level Looking Rad
High Level Looking Rad by Jeff Wallace

Upcoming Events

  • The first Make Something Monday event takes place bright and early at Startup Edmonton. The theme this week is social entrepreneurship.
  • Odysseo continues its run under the White Big Top this week.
  • Dishcrawl is back with its latest event on Tuesday evening, this time in the 124 Street area.
  • Head over to the Edmonton Journal on Wednesday for the next Capital Ideas Edmonton event, How do turn an idea into a business?
  • Wednesday is when the Edmonton stop on the Five Hole for Food tour takes place. Check out all the action behind the library downtown in Centennial Plaza.
  • The 2014 edition of Taste of Edmonton kicks off on Thursday in Churchill Square!
  • Wear white on Thursday evening for Diner en Blanc, location TBA to attendees at the last possible minute!
  • The annual K-Days Parade starts Friday at 10am at 99 Street and 102 Avenue. The gates at Northlands open immediately following the parade at noon to start another season of K-Days.
  • If you’re looking to take in some baseball, the Prospects host the Saskatoon Yellow Jackets on Friday and Saturday at Telus Field.
  • On Saturday, why not help to plant an edible forest in the river valley?
  • For more upcoming events, check out ShareEdmonton.

Edmonton International Street Performers Festival
Street Performers, photo by IQRemix