Introducing dEdmonton – Canada’s Halloween Festival

Tonight was the kick-off meeting for dEdmonton, a new festival to celebrate all things Halloween! dEdmonton grew out of Christian Nelson’s presentation on reclaiming the word “deadmonton” as well as a general desire to celebrate Halloween and everything that goes along with it. The goal is to become Canada’s Halloween Festival, and for Edmonton to be known as the Halloween Capital of North America!

That won’t happen right away, of course. This year the focus is on establishing the brand and setting the stage for bigger and better things in the years to come. Tonight we introduced the name and nearly-finalized logo:

About thirty people attended the meeting to learn more about the idea and to offer their support. Another thirty or so couldn’t make it tonight but are also enthusiastic about the festival. I was fortunate to get involved back in November, and have been helping with the web side of things. The website will be especially important this year as our primary platform for tying the various Halloween events together. We’ve got some cool stuff in the works for it.

Our Co-Coordinators, Darryl Plunkie and Christian Nelson, have done a fantastic job of getting the right people together to get dEdmonton off the ground (the group is affectionately known as the Council of E-ville – Derek Clayton and Kenn Bur are also leading the charge, and Kevin Nienhuis and myself have been helping where we can). They’re really inclusive, and are eager to talk to anyone interested in the idea. It’s worth noting also that everyone involved so far has been volunteering their time! It’s quite impressive to see how far we’ve come in such a short period of time.

dEdmonton 2009

The main event will be 13 Days of Mayhem, running from October 19th until October 31st, 2009. The idea is to connect with the many Halloween-related events that already take place in Edmonton and area, to pool resources and do some cross-promotion. Let’s make people aware of all the cool things that already happen, and set the stage for an even bigger and better dEdmonton in the future!

What happened to the ‘a’?

You might be wondering why it’s called ‘dEdmonton’ and not ‘deadmonton’. A lot of thought went into that decision:

  • If we’re reclaiming the word, let’s get rid of the negative connotation that “dead” carries
  • dEdmonton is a new word, something that’s unique (and not already used elsewhere on the web)
  • dEdmonton is just Edmonton with a ‘d’ in front of it – we want this to be a showcase for the city

At first I wasn’t sure how I felt about ‘dEdmonton’ but now I really like it. I think it was the right decision, for sure.

How can you help?

This event is still in the early stages of planning, so if you have any ideas, feedback, or even just random thoughts, send them to info@dedmonton.com.

Beyond that, we need you to help us spread the word. We’ve just got a placeholder (and very cool teaser poster) up at http://www.dedmonton.com but we’re already working on a proper site, so check back soon. You can also join the Facebook group, and follow us on Twitter. Tell your friends!

  • http://www.mikelawton.com Michael Lawton

    I love to see more Halloween fun, and I think the “dEdmonton” branding is fantastic! But I want to make sure that people know about the Deadmonton Horror Film Festival (http://www.deadmonton.net/) that got started last year.

  • http://adamsnider.com Adam Snider

    While I’m very enthusiastic about this festival, I must admit that I’m not too fond of the name. It doesn’t feel as much like we’re reclaiming the word if we’re creating a completely new word.

    And, while I get what you’re saying about removing the negative connotations of “dead,” it’s a Halloween festival, “dead” is completely appropriate!

    I also think the lowercase “d” at the beginning is a bit silly when typed, but it actually works quite well in the logo, so I can let that slide.

    Having said that, I’m looking forward to the first incarnation of this new festival come October. The name might not be ideal (in my opinion), but if everything else works out, then that’s hardly a big deal.

  • http://blog.mastermaq.ca Mack D. Male

    Michael – It’ll be back, with a slightly different name. Derek is keen to make it even bette than last year!

    Adam – Thanks for your comments. I was initially sort of unsure about the name also, but it has grown on me. I’d say give it time and see how you feel then. Also, like you said, if it works out the name won’t be an issue.

  • http://ericwarnke.com Eric Warnke

    I don’t think the lowercase d works at all. It doesn’t automatically read deadmonton until it’s explained. With so many other brands like iPod with lower case first letters people have already been conditioned to read any lowercase letter at the beginning of a word as the actual letter. I think most people will look at the name say “dee-Edmonton” what’s that!?

  • http://blog.mastermaq.ca Mack D. Male

    That’s a good point Eric, about words like iPod and such. I guess we have to hope that people hear the word enough to know how to say it!

  • http://adamsnider.com Adam Snider

    Eric makes a good point. While I did think about the iPod and other lowercase-first-letter product names, I didn’t quite think of it as dee-Edmonton. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of other people *did* make that mistake upon first glance.

  • http://www.ghoulfriday.com Ghoul Friday

    Regardless of the tiny details you’re hashing out, I’d like to say I’m glad to see this is coming together (I remember reading about it last year).

    I’d be willing to bet that you’ll have more fans of the name in your target audience than nay sayers, so don’t fret about using the term ‘dedmonton’ (however you choose to spell it). It’s really catchy, memorable and fits perfectly for your festival. Remember, there are loads of people all across Canada who don’t even know the negative connotation associated with the birth of the term. They are going to see the festival name and think it’s great.

    You haven’t even made official plans for it, and already I’m lamenting the fact that I live so far away. I think this has HUGE promise and if it’s handled well, you might be able to corner a niche market (large scale Halloween festivals) that currently is lacking in Canada.

    Good for you. Congrats.

    p.s. don’t mess it up *wink*

  • http://www.dedfest.com Derek Clayton

    Hey Mike!

    Thanks for the mention. Some of the media did gloss over our accomplishments last year, so it’s nice to hear people coming out and supporting what we’re trying to do.

    Horror’s considered “niche”, but what a lot of people gotta be convinced of is that this niche is a billion dollar a year industry.

    In 2009 I plan to make dEdmonton the Horror Capital of Canada!

  • Jakub Sadowski

    Sounds like some great fun!

    As for the name…hmmm…the only thing is that it has to look and sound like an evil village that would be named that way. dEdmonton looks more like a function name in a Java program than it does a City name – the first letter definitely has to be capitalized and the rest lowercase (or all caps to dodge the issue altogether).

    How about: D’edmonton?

    It’s got a French connotation to it…but this is Canada after all so that should be quite acceptable.

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