It felt a little like spring out there today with wet roads, bright sun, and temperatures above zero. But it’s November and you know the snow will be here to stay soon enough (the little we’ve already had has mostly melted). To celebrate, WinterCity Edmonton hosted its Premiere to Winter event at the EPCOR Tower downtown tonight. It was a red-carpet affair with dozens of Edmontonians in attendance, all eager to learn more about what’s in store for us this winter.
Susan Holdsworth, Project Manager of the WinterCity Strategy, welcomed everyone to the event and got the program underway. Our emcee for the evening was Linda Cochrane, the City of Edmonton’s GM of Community Services. I think Global was meant to provide the emcee, but it didn’t matter, Linda did a great job. After recognizing the members of City Council in attendance, Linda invited Mayor Iveson up to the podium to say a few words.
The first bit of entertainment came next, with a performance by The Flying Canoe Adventure. It’s one of the many outdoor events taking place in Edmonton this winter. The next speakers were representatives from the Silver Skate and Deep Freeze festivals, and each had a few minutes to show a video and talk about their festival.
We also had a reading by Mikey Maybe, one of the contributors to The 40 Below Project. It was highly entertaining and had the entire crowd laughing! Known as “Edmonton’s Winter Anthology”, you can buy the book for $20. It contains over 70 pieces by 50 Edmonton-area writers.
Other speakers included David Berger from Boyle Street Community Services and Carol Neuman, who introduced the Signature Drink Contest:
Do you fancy yourself a drink connoisseur? A master of mixology? Well then, get out your cocktail shaker, strainer, muddler and creative juices and start inventing your favourite drink for WinterCity Edmonton’s Signature Drink Contest. Your unique drink could land you some amazing prizes!
We also heard from Maggie Davison, VP of Edmonton Tourism. She started by saying that they heard the call for an “edgy, fun, and creative” approach to winter. And then she spent the next 10 minutes going through her text-filled PowerPoint presentation about the marketing campaign they have coming up. The campaign centers around a new microsite, Winter in Edmonton. I’ll write more about that in a future post.
The main event came at the very end – the launch of the new WinterCity short film. It’s an effective video that highlights the many positive winter assets that Edmonton has and the opportunities that are available to us. All we need to do to realize them is embrace winter! It’s very similar to the Make Something Edmonton videos that have been released over the last few months, with great visuals and a variety of on-the-street interviews. The video should be uploaded soon so you can see for yourself.
The event probably went on a little too long, but it was great to see so many people keen to celebrate winter. I look forward to all the festivals and other upcoming outdoor events! You can see more photos of the event here.