Recap: YEGDT Patio Flash Mob

Yesterday the Downtown Vibrancy Task Force held an event at 105 Street and Jasper Avenue called the Patio Flash Mob. Our “awareness” subcommittee came up with the idea a few weeks ago. What we wanted to do was encourage people to think about downtown a little differently:

Falling leaves. Crisp mornings. But that doesn’t mean the fun stops outdoors as the summer winds down. Stretch that patio season a little longer. Celebrate the vibrancy of downtown Edmonton. A vibrant downtown brings more people, who bring yet more people and more business to the urban core.

The idea was to create a little bit of a spectacle, so we positioned tables and chairs on all four corners of the intersection. It’s a busy intersection, so we knew a lot of folks stuck in cars would see us. Anyone could stop by and have a seat on our “patio” and many did!

Patio Flash Mob

Our thanks to Martin Kerr (in the background there) who provided some excellent music for the patio party. We had some playing cards and sidewalk chalk available for people to play with, but it was great to see what people brought with them!

Patio Flash Mob

We did want it to really feel like a patio, so we engaged some local businesses to help us out. Flirt Cupcakes made some delicious free I LOVE YEGDT-branded cupcakes, and they even offered table service! Transcend Coffee also came down to offer free coffee – given the cooler temperature yesterday, I think everyone really enjoyed that!

Patio Flash Mob

To help build a little buzz, we also created some stencils and used temporary marking paint to put the I LOVE YEGDT logo all over the area. Simple but effective. We also gave out dozens of t-shirts with the logo on the front.


We didn’t get the turnout we were hoping for, perhaps due to the weather (we need to change this!) or the fact that it was Tuesday evening, but it was still great to see a bunch of people taking advantage of downtown streets and sidewalks.

Stay tuned for more cool stuff from the Downtown Vibrancy Task Force, or if you’re feeling inspired, go and create something awesome for downtown yourself!

See you at What the Truck?! 2 on Friday!

6 thoughts on “Recap: YEGDT Patio Flash Mob

  1. What kind of turnout where you hoping to get? I agree that the turnout was smaller than I suspected it would be, but I’m curious what the committee was actually aiming for.

  2. Does this stretch the definition of flash mob? It’s a semantic point, but it seems to me that you were organizing an event, not triggering a flash mob. When I see the City tweeting about something two days in advance, that’s not a flash mob. That’s taking back the public spaces, in a manner espoused by David Engwich. 

    1. Yes, you’re right, it does stretch the definition. I think it was just one of those situations where we started talking about doing a flash mob, then as the idea evolved, we just never changed the name. It shouldn’t have been called a flash mob.

    2. I was kind of wondering about that, too. I think I’ve just become so accustomed to organizations referring to things as “flash mobs,” even when they don’t meet the definition, that I don’t even bother to question it anymore (at least not out loud).

  3. I think you guyz should reach student communities to get the people to you. This does not seem to be an easy job..

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