Merry Christmas! I hope you’ve been having a relaxing and enjoyable holiday season thus far. Sharon and I have really enjoyed a few days off, pretty much just watching TV and eating unhealthy food. Compared to her I’m definitely a scrooge, but I do really like this time of year. That said, I’m looking forward to not hearing Christmas music everywhere!
Edmonton’s FreezeWay, photo by Jeff Wallace
This is my final Edmonton notes of 2015, and it’s a light edition to reflect the holiday week:
- This week saw the official completion of the QEII and 41 Avenue SW interchange project. The $205 million project was “completed on time and on budget.” The Feds contributed $75 million, the Province invested $57.5 million, and the City paid the remaining $72.5 million. The interchange will certainly benefit the region, but it’s concerning that the City itself had to pay so much of it.
- Mayor Don Iveson will be in China and Hong Kong to start the new year. He is there “to promote business opportunities and sister-city ties, including taking in the 2016 Harbin International Ice Snow Sculpture Festival from Monday, January 4 to Thursday, January 14, 2016.”
- I haven’t been down to see it yet, but I’m excited to check out the new freezeway at Victoria Park. It has been all over social media this weekend!
- The Canadian Drone Racing League announced it is planning an upcoming tournament here in Edmonton! I wonder how many people received drones for Christmas and then promptly crashed them.
- Ralph Young’s term as Chancellor of the University of Alberta ends in 2016, which means the search is on for his successor. The new chancellor will be elected on May 6, 2016 and you can learn how to nominate someone here.
- It’s great that so many Edmontonians have stepped up to help Syrian refugees, but this is definitely a valid concern: “members of Edmonton’s Eritrean community are worried the response to the crisis in Syria means refugees from their homeland will be forced to wait even longer.”
- Sounds like 2016 could be a tough year for Edmonton’s economy with just 1% growth and an increase in unemployment approaching the national average.
- I can tell you the proposal I saw for turning Rexall Place into a six-sheet ice hockey centre was indeed intriguing. We’ll get an update in January on where Northlands is with its strategy work.
- Here’s what some of Rexall Places’s neighbours hope to see.
- The Oilers host the Kings on Tuesday, the Ducks on Thursday, and the Coyotes on Saturday.
- Connor McDavid isn’t back yet, but he is skating. But you probably already knew that, because McDavid is all anyone in Edmonton seems to talk about. That’s part of what makes the trailer for McDavid so interesting: “A portrait of a sports fan’s twisted infatuation with a new ‘generational player’. Edmonton, Alberta serves as the backdrop of how urban identity and the genuine spirit of sports fandom is corrupted by global capitalist branding.”
- And while we’re on the subject of hockey, this interview with Kevin Lowe was interesting, but mainly for this quote: “The good thing is (owner) Daryl Katz and I (believed) the team needed to be trending upwards or getting good by the time we go into the new building, and it looks like the master plan is unfolding as we hoped.” Haha, master plan.
- Ice Castles Edmonton will open in Hawrelak Park on December 30. Here are 9 things to know for a great experience. The attraction will be open until sometime in March.
- Looking for something to do on New Year’s Eve? Linda has the definitive list.
- You have until midnight on Sunday, January 3 to check out Candy Cane Lane.
- Because of Christmas and New Year’s, waste collection has been moved to December 28 and January 4. You can learn more about making your holidays waste-less here.
All the best in 2016!