Edmonton Notes for May 8, 2016

Happy Mother’s Day! Here are my weekly Edmonton notes:

Headlines

  • What started out as a fairly normal week quickly became anything but when the Fort McMurray wildfire swept through the city on Tuesday, destroying more than 1,600 buildings and forcing the evacuation of tens of thousands of people. The fire grew quickly throughout the week and is expected to continue burning for months. Rain is badly needed to help fight the fire. A province-wide fire ban is in place.
  • As of 4pm today, more than 12,000 people have received assistance from Edmonton’s Reception Centre at the Edmonton Expo Centre, and more than 500 people are staying there overnight, down from 2,000 at the peak. Edmonton’s response has also included sending firefighters and supports to the Fort McMurray area to help battle the blaze. Lots of businesses, community organizations, and individuals have stepped up throughout Edmonton, which is great to see. The pancake breakfast fundraiser held on Friday morning at Churchill Square was a big success.
  • “It’s always been Edmonton’s instinct to help, and help we have,” Mayor Iveson wrote. “Over the next days and months our Wood Buffalo neighbours will need our ongoing support, because the recovery will be like nothing we’ve ever done before.”
  • The latest update from the Province says that more than 1500 firefighters are fighting wildfires around Alberta, including the 161,000 hectare blaze around Fort McMurray.
  • Edmonton will no longer host the Canadian Finals Rodeo (CFR) after this year now that Council has decided against pursuing a bid for 2017. “This does not mean that the door for rodeo in Edmonton is closed forever,” Mayor Iveson wrote, noting that the Oilers Entertainment Group is looking to bring a Professional Bull Riding Association event to Edmonton.
  • In looking at the future of LRT development in our city, Council has decided that the west leg of the Valley Line will be its top priority, followed by the extension from NAIT to Blatchford. All other lines will be prioritized by a future Council.
  • Douglas R. Stollery was elected as the University of Alberta’s 21st chancellor on Friday. His four-year term starts June 15.
  • Edmonton Public Library CEO Pillar Martinez has received the Presidents’ Award from the Library Association of Alberta.
  • The Government of Alberta has restored $16 million in funding for NorQuest’s expansion. The Province is “investing a total of $61 million in NorQuest’s expansion and retrofit project in 2016-17.”
  • Vue Weekly has released its 2016 Golden Fork Awards. Congrats to all!
  • From The Gateway: What’s stopping Chinatown’s revitalization?
  • I love this: photographer Jerry Cordeiro has teamed up with the Inside Out project to help showcase the people of the inner city. You can see the first series of images at the Quasar Bottle Depot on 95 Street.
  • For the third year in a row, the City of Edmonton is in the running for the annual We Love Cities people’s choice award. The challenge ends June 19.
  • This weekend the new Rogers Place scoreboard arrived in Edmonton. It was assembled in Las Vegas and is 46 feet wide by 36 feet high on four sides. “It’s going to be special,” said Bob Nicholson, CEO and vice-chairman of the Oilers Entertainment Group.
  • Earls has backed down and released a statement saying, “we made a mistake when we moved away from Canadian beef.” I can understand why they’d go this route, but I wish they had stood by their original position.
  • Looking to beat the heat? Spray parks and the City Hall pool are all scheduled to be open by May 20.
  • For more recent headlines, check out ShareEdmonton.

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Premier Notley & Mayor Iveson at the Edmonton Reception Centre

Upcoming Events

  • The Sage Awards take place on Wednesday, honouring the outstanding achievements and contributions of seniors in our community.
  • The Edmonton Heritage Council’s AGM takes place on Wednesday evening at City Hall.
  • Edmonton’s economy will be the topic for Thursday when the Edmonton Real Estate Forum takes place at the Shaw Conference Centre.
  • The Eskimos are launching their season with a party on Thursday!
  • Thursday evening is the 2016 season kickoff for the 124 Grand Market! Note the market has moved further south to 102 Avenue this year.
  • The Edmonton Bike Swap is slated to take place on Saturday.
  • Saturday is the final City Market at City Hall of the season. The market moves back to 104 Street on the May long weekend!
  • #YEGSEMICOLON‘s fundraising event takes place on Sunday at the Princess of Wales Armouries.
  • For more upcoming events, check out ShareEdmonton.

Edmonton Emergency Relief Services
Lots of activity at Edmonton Emergency Relief Services this week