Here are my weekly Edmonton notes:
- The TELUS World of Science is getting a new $7 million, 16,000 square foot gallery that is expected to open in mid-September, just in time to host the acclaimed “STAR WARS Identities” exhibit beginning October 27. While the expansion is welcome news, it’s definitely no TELUS Spark.
- This weekend was the grand opening of the Arctic Shores exhibit at the Edmonton Valley Zoo. The $16.7 million project is the first of many that will transform the zoo. I did a photo tour of the construction last April – can’t wait to check out the finished product!
- Another exciting project officially opened this week – the newly renovated Commonwealth Community Recreation Centre is now open to the public. It looks amazing!
- Alberta Municipal Affairs has approved a $250,000 grant towards the Northwest LRT Concept Plan Study which will look at developing an extension from NAIT to a future transit centre in St. Albert. The $1.1 million study is expected to be completed by December.
- The new Edmonton Filmed Entertainment Fund launched this week. The profit-motivated $10 million fund will invest in film and television projects made in and around Edmonton, and is a partnership between EEDC and Los Angeles-based Kilburn Media.
- Starting tomorrow a two block section of 105 Street between 105 Avenue and 107 Avenue will be closed until November to facilitate construction of the North LRT to NAIT.
- Councillor Anderson thinks that taxpayers are in for a rough ride in the years ahead. He’s concerned that civic taxes could go up more than 50% in the next decade.
- You’ve really got to see the picture of the snow piles in this article. Last year’s was nearly 20 stories high, this year’s is much, much smaller. Bring on spring!
- Representatives from twelve Ukrainian cities were in Edmonton last week to learn about economic planning, intergovernmental cooperation, and government reform. The trip was part of FCM’s Municipal Local Economic Development program.
- According to new figures released by Statistics Canada, total employment in the Edmonton CMA has slipped by over 4000 jobs in February, bringing the unemployment rate to 5.3%.
- On the other hand, the latest Manpower Employment Outlook Survey says that 28% of employers plan to hire for the upcoming quarter while just 11% anticipated cutbacks.
- Some sad news in the local food scene: d’Lish is closing permanently. That follows the news that Kerstin’s Chocolates is also closing. For more local food news, don’t miss Sharon’s weekly food notes.
- I’m gonna have to head out to Donnan Park to check out Edmonton’s first “natural playground”. The new playground was designed by Bienenstock Natural Playgrounds and features rocks, stick, sand and dirt rather than monkey bars and plastic play structures.
- Here’s some excellent news for downtown and hopefully also for Rapid Fire Theatre – our city’s longest running improv group is moving back downtown, into the Citadel’s Zeidler Hall in September.
- If you haven’t already done so, check out Backup Box. Created by Eric Warnke and Mark Fossen, the utility helps you connect technologies like FTP and Dropbox. I love the message in the footer: Proudly made in Edmonton.
Here are some upcoming events to note:
- The next EBL Edmonton event takes place tomorrow night at Accent Lounge. The guest speaker is Ron Gilbertson, currently EEDC’s President & CEO.
- On Tuesday evening the monthly Ruby Meetup is taking place at the Computing Sciences Centre at the University of Alberta.
- The 18th DemoCamp Edmonton is taking place on Wednesday evening at the Telus Centre. Come see what Edmonton’s entrepreneurs and tech community has been up to!
- BUILDEX Edmonton is at the Shaw Conference Centre on Tuesday and Wednesday this week.
- There are two Southeast to West LRT Community Conversations taking place this week. On Tuesday, the Argyll Road to Strathearn area will be discussed at St. James School, and on Thursday the Mill Woods Town Centre to Whitemud Drive area will be discussed at the South Edmonton Alliance Church.
- Jason Kapalka, Chief Creative Officer of PopCap Games, is the next speaker in the Innovative Leaders Lecture Series. He’ll be at the U of A on Thursday afternoon to talk about his experience.
- Also Thursday afternoon is Jennifer Cockrall-King’s Food and the City event at Hardware Grill.
- The Home & Garden Show takes place at the Edmonton Expo Centre starting Thursday.
- Don’t miss this on Saturday: Bust a Move Edmonton!
- On Saturday evening, head down to Rexall Place to cheer on the Edmonton Rush as they host the Washington Stealth.
I hope you had a safe and enjoyable St. Patrick’s Day!