Media Monday Edmonton: Update #236

Here’s my latest update on local media stuff:

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Sylvan Lake gets improved health care, photo by Premier of Alberta

And here is some slightly less local media stuff:

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 January 15, 2017

Here are my weekly Edmonton notes:

Headlines

High Level Bridge

Upcoming Events

Deep Freeze Festival 2016

Photo Tour: City of Edmonton offices in the Edmonton Tower

About a month ago I had the opportunity to tour the brand new City of Edmonton offices in the Edmonton Tower. The City is the largest tenant in the new building, leasing a total of 17 floors (with a 20 year lease). The goal is to consolidate a number of existing City offices into the new tower, which will house about 2,300 City employees when the move is complete later this year.

Our tour began on the sixth floor, which will be home to members of the Sustainable Development department. Robert Guenther, Project Director of the City’s Civic Accommodation Transformation, and Scott Varga, Workspace Design Lead, showed us around. They told us the project is on track to achieve the LEED Gold designation.

City offices in the new Edmonton Tower

As you might expect, the offices feature an open floorplan but have been organized into “neighbourhoods” to group colleagues together. Throughout each floor there are desks, shared desks or hotelling spaces, breakout rooms, meeting rooms of various sizes, and a variety of other types of workspaces. The walkways felt a little cramped at times, but the workstations themselves felt spacious and inviting.

City offices in the new Edmonton Tower

Employees are encouraged to work where and how they want to, and that includes in the large cafe space that is on each floor. It is intended to be more than just a kitchen, with movable furniture (they pointed out “things on casters” a few times during the tour) and tech amenities to facilitate meetings. The City refers to this varied way of working as “alternative work strategies” and they think it’ll help to attract and retain employees. At the same time, they expect about 90% of staff will work “similarly” to how they did in other offices.

City offices in the new Edmonton Tower

On the sixth floor we got to see a pretty neat drafting area, basically a large standing desk with storage underneath surrounded by whiteboards. Other floors might have something different in that location, something more suited to the work being done there.

City offices in the new Edmonton Tower

Every workstation features a sit-stand desk, which I think is amazing! The furniture all looks brand new but is mostly stuff the City already had, refurbished using recycled materials. About 40% of the furniture, including the walls of the cubicles, have been repurposed from elsewhere.

City offices in the new Edmonton Tower

Each floor features roughly 118 workstations and will be home to an average of 130 people. Every employee gets a locked cabinet for their stuff, but some employees will not have their own desks. Those employees will use the hotelling desks that are available, or the meeting spaces.

City offices in the new Edmonton Tower

There are about 25 meeting rooms on each floor, with the nicest conference rooms located on the exterior walls which means they feature lots of natural light. Speaking of light, all the light fixtures are LED and they’re dimmable. Smart monitoring systems will adjust the brightness of the lights depending on how bright it is outside. Other sensors monitor and automatically adjust air, heat, and other systems. The offices are climate controlled using “chilled beam radiant heating/cooling” in the ceiling, and apparently this is just the second office in Edmonton to use the technology (PCL’s headquarters is the other).

City offices in the new Edmonton Tower

There are a variety of breakout areas throughout each floor plus small meeting rooms called “now rooms”. One of the most interesting things about the office is that the walls are all component-based and can be taken down and moved in a couple of hours. That means that rooms are not 100% silent, but I went inside one and closed the door and had to strain to hear the folks outside. Additionally, the ceiling on each floor features a unique sound masking system that produces a sort of white noise that can be made louder or quieter as required.

City offices in the new Edmonton Tower

It was a bit harder to see all of the tech featured in the new offices, but it’s there, mostly behind-the-scenes like the smart sensor systems mentioned previously. Internet access is full gigabit, with increased wi-fi capacity compared to previous City offices. The building will also feature Open City Wi-Fi for guests. In an effort to continue reducing paper use, many meeting spaces feature Chrome boxes and the associated A/V to facilitate web meetings and document presentation.

City offices in the new Edmonton Tower

The outside of the Edmonton Tower features the revised, sans-serif City of Edmonton logo on the east and west sides of the building. Though it is often referred to as “the City tower” or something along those lines, it is officially just called “Edmonton Tower”.

Edmonton Tower

There’s nothing on the south side (which features the distinctive curve) but the north side is home to a large 4K screen that will be used for art and messaging (not ads), as captured in this photo by Jeff Wallace:

Ice District - Flag Wavin'

The City’s move to the tower began on November 4, and every two weeks or so another group of employees move in. The City expects the move to be complete this summer. They are upgrading Century Place, where some staff will remain, and Chancery Hall is also expected to remain in use by City staff for the time being.

Over the next couple of months you can expect new public art on the main floor of the Edmonton Tower. Next month, the brand new Edmonton Service Centre will open on the second floor, providing a one-stop shop for City services like transit, permits, and licenses.

You can see more photos of the workspace here. For more on the importance of office design, see this PDF report featuring the Civic Accommodation Transformation project.

Media Monday Edmonton: Update #235

Here’s my latest update on local media stuff:

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Alberta families benefit from carbon levy rebate, photo by Premier of Alberta

And here is some slightly less local media stuff:

  • Medium announced some big changes last week. They’re eliminating 50 jobs and are changing the business model, with Ev Williams writing that “it’s clear that the broken system is ad-driven media on the internet.”
  • Interesting to hear about Postmedia IO, a new initiative “focused on expanding innovation capabilities, growing business-to-business (B2B) product strategy, and evolving the company’s digital possibilities for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).”
  • Norway is going to be the first country to start switching off its FM radio network. “Sixty-six per cent of Norwegians oppose switching off FM, with just 17 per cent in favour and the rest undecided, according to an opinion poll published by the daily Dagbladet last month.”
  • The Washington Post is creating an eight-person “rapid-response investigative team that will work closely with all departments in the newsroom.” The team will consist of five reporters, an assignment editor, “a database reporter”, and “a graphics reporter”.
  • Is “fake news” now a tainted term?

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 January 8, 2017

Here are my weekly Edmonton notes:

Headlines

  • The City mailed property assessment notices this week and most properties will see “a modest decrease” in value due to the slowing economy. “Overall, the City’s total taxable assessed value decreased slightly from $172.3 billion in 2016 to $170.3 billion in 2017.” A typical single-family, detatched home decreased by 2.7% while the typical condo decreased by 2.3%.
  • St. Albert mayor Nolan Crouse announced this week he is not planning to run again in October. “It has been said that one should leave the stage while the crowd is still clapping and while I am not certain if indeed the crowd is still clapping, I know it is my time to leave this stage.”
  • Have a Christmas tree to get rid of? The City is collecting natural trees starting on Tuesday, January 10. They’ll be picked up for recycling within three weeks. If you live in an apartment or condo, you can take your tree by January 30 to an Eco Station or Recycling Depot. “In 2016, more than 12,000 trees weighing 137 tonnes were collected for recycling.”
  • The latest “throw it at the wall to see if it sticks” move by Northlands is a longshot proposal to build a new horse racing centre near the Edmonton International Airport, despite saying last year it would get out of the business.
  • ETS fares are increasing an average of 3% starting in February. AISH, U-Pass, and Route 747 fares are not changing, but monthly adult passes are increasing $2.75 to $94.25. “ETS operates 929 buses, 97 DATS vehicles and 94 Light Rail Transit vehicles on more than 200 routes and delivered over 87 million transit trips in 2016.”
  • Edmonton’s new creative lighting pilot project will see the exterior of the World Trade Centre brightened in the coming months. The program provides up to $50,000 in matching funding and is intended “to support exterior creative lighting that enhances and highlights the visual presence of Edmonton’s historic resources, adding to our sense of place, identity and pride.”
  • Sharon posted her 2016 review of food in Edmonton this week, Epicureous in Edmonton.
  • The Edmonton Arts Council is hiring an artist-in-residence to work in Edmonton’s cemetaries. The deadline to apply is February 1.
  • Gordon Kent has a good roundup of the ongoing development you can expect to see around town in 2017.
  • Edmontonian Stefan Rzadzinski is looking to compete in the Race of Champions, which takes place in Miami later this month. You can vote for him to represent North America here! He’s currently got a big lead. You can learn more here.
  • Elise reports that the Mill Creek Daylighting project could have major benefits for the local fish population.
  • Whoa, wait a minute, an active NHL hockey player actually misses Edmonton?!
  • For more recent headlines, check out ShareEdmonton.

Ice District - Flag Wavin'
Ice District – Flag Wavin’, photo by Jeff Wallace

Upcoming Events

Alberta Legislature Grounds
Alberta Legislature Grounds

Media Monday Edmonton: Update #234

Here’s my latest update on local media stuff:

Happy New Year 2017

And here is some slightly less local media stuff:

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 January 1, 2017

Happy New Year! I’ve had a nice blogging break over the holidays, but I’m ready to get back into it.

Here are my weekly Edmonton notes:

Headlines

Happy New Year 2017

Upcoming Events

Alberta Legislature Grounds

Media Monday Edmonton: Update #233

Here’s my latest update on local media stuff:

VR Future
VR Future, photo by Kurt Bauschardt

And here is some slightly less local media stuff:

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 December 18, 2016

Just a week to go until Christmas! While I hope it snows, this tweet pretty much sums up the weather right now. Here are my weekly Edmonton notes:

Headlines

Edmonton Tower
City of Edmonton logo now up on the Edmonton Tower

Upcoming Events

Edmonton public library downtown
Make Your Mark on Milner, photo by jasonwoodhead23

Media Monday Edmonton: Update #232

Here’s my latest update on local media stuff:

  • The Edmonton Sun’s court reporter Tony Blais is the latest confirmed Postmedia depature here in Edmonton – he’s taking this opportunity to retire. “Thanks to all who helped me,” he tweeted. The Edmonton Justices of the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta called him “a true professional” and said he “accurately and fairly reported on the work of the courts.” Many of Tony’s local media colleagues chimed in on Twitter with praise too. His departure leaves Paige Parsons covering the local court beat at Postmedia.
  • As mentioned previously, Gary Lamphier is also on his way out at Postmedia after 15 years at the Journal. “I’m going to miss it, and I’m going to miss all the readers who took the time to respond to my columns, whether you agreed with me or not,” he wrote in his farewell column.
  • The latest Numeris radio ratings are out for the period August 29 – November 27. This time 630 CHED is on top after posting the largest gain, slightly ahead of 102.3 Now FM which has led the pack for over a year and posted the largest drop. There is some additional discussion of the numbers at PSR.
  • In a post on the demise of local arts coverage, Mel Priestley wrote that “we’ve entered a time in which the bulk of local performances are going to be lucky to get any print coverage.” She suggests that bloggers reviewing shows for free can’t be the solution.
  • A recent Postmedia editorial argued that in covering the “lock her up” chant at Rebel Media’s anti-carbon tax rally the media “ran shaming articles nationwide” that illustrated “how desperate they are to say there are Trump-like elements here in Canada.”
  • Global Edmonton featured local freelance photographer Amber Bracken and her coverage of Standing Rock and the Dakota Access pipeline protests.
  • Congratulations to Boyle McCauley News editor Paula Kirman on being named a Human Rights Champion by the John Humphrey Centre.
  • Thoughtful post on blogging and consumption by Adina. “Should blogs come with content warnings?” she wonders.
  • I was sad to miss The Yards’ latest salon event and winter issue launch. Sounds like they had a great discussion about downtown vacancies and the future of towers in our city. The Yards is looking for both a new editor and publisher with the departure of Omar Mouallem and Jarrett Campbell!
  • In his latest column, Marty Forbes says thank you to a number of “awesome people” including Chris Sheetz of CISN FM, Yukon Jack of The Bear, Jason Gregor of TSN, and many other local media folks. “If you are in media you have the power…use it for good,” he wrote.
  • There are always interesting tweets on the state of media in Edmonton, but a couple caught my eye this week. “Former journalists speaking ill of the media is the new ex-Edmontonians dissing #yeg,” wrote Chad Huculak. “With the anti-journo rhetoric coming out of certian politicians and websites, I wonder if schools/papers/msm should show more solidarity…” wondered Trent Wilkie.
  • The Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton is looking for a News Editor to “help us share great stories of Catholic life in Edmonton and central Alberta”. The deadline to apply is December 19.

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Premier speaks with reporters, photo by Premier of Alberta

And here is some slightly less local media stuff:

  • Postmedia has won the 2016 North America Google Channel Award which “recognizes significant growth in AdWords for the Strategic Account Growth category and is only given to one Google partner in North America each year.” Isn’t it great to see Postmedia winning awards for strengthening one of the primary companies that has caused them so much financial trouble?
  • The Fort McMurray Connect is shutting down as of December 22. The weekly newspaper employed three people. CBC noted the announcement “comes on the heels of the news the town’s daily newspaper, Fort McMurray Today, will only be printing thrice weekly and will focus on posting stories online.”
  • Adrienne LaFrance says in The Atlantic that “the ‘fake news’ brouhaha is, at its core, about…the growing distrust of media institutions.”
  • Donald Trump was named “Person of the Year” in Time Magazine for 2016 – no surprise there. What’s really interesting is that cover photo: “The decisions that Time made regarding how to photograph Trump reveal a layered, nuanced field of references that place the image among, in this viewer’s opinion, the magazine’s greatest covers.”
  • Praise for CNN’s Jake Tapper in response to his questioning of Vice President-elect Mike Pence. His repeated questioning “was an object lesson in what doing it right looks like.”

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.

Here’s a quick plug for my new media project…

Taproot Edmonton is a source of curiosity-driven stories about our city, cultivated by the community. We don’t sell eyeballs, and we don’t put up paywalls. Share your curiosity with us and help support the future of local journalism in Edmonton by becoming a member.