Edmonton Notes for July 8, 2018

Here are my weekly Edmonton notes:

Headlines

Edmonton Summer Cityscape
Edmonton Summer Cityscape, photo by IQRemix

Upcoming Events

Premier Notley celebrates at the Canadian citizenship ceremony08
Premier Notley celebrates at the Canadian citizenship ceremony, photo by Premier of Alberta

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Media Monday Edmonton: Update #303

A small announcement to start this week’s edition: Media Monday Edmonton will soon become a roundup at Taproot Edmonton! I am still working out the details, but I will continue to post something media-related here each Monday night while directing you to Taproot for the full roundup. Thank you for reading!

Here’s my latest update on local media stuff:

Filming the media availability

And here is some slightly less local media stuff:

  • A new independent news organization launched in Calgary in early June called LiveWire Calgary. “LiveWire Calgary believes there’s a large, under-represented group (maybe even a majority?) of Calgarians who have lost their connection to media because it’s not connecting them to their community,” wrote Darren Krause (formerly of Metro) in his introduction post. In addition to advertising and sponsored content, LiveWire Calgary has a Patreon page.
  • Postmedia announced it will cut staff costs by another 10% by the end of August, in addition to closing six local newspapers. Here’s the email they sent.
  • Torstar is also making cuts, laying off 11 full-time and 10 part-time staff in Toronto.
  • Things aren’t much better in broadcast media, as Corus Entertainment announced a $936 million quarterly loss last week. “The key challenge for Corus and other traditional broadcasters is the decline in TV ad spending in Canada – a trend that shows no sign of reversing.”
  • Politico is launching a new Canadian edition it describes as a “cross-border intelligence service for professionals with a stake in the Canada-U.S. relationship and the integrated border economy.”

Follow Edmonton media news using the hashtag #yegmedia and be sure to check out Mediagazer for the latest media news from elsewhere. You can see past Media Monday Edmonton entries here. If you have a tip or suggestion for future updates, let me know.

At Taproot Edmonton we’re working hard to ensure that local journalism has a future in our city. Join us to be part of the movement.

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Edmonton Notes for July 1, 2018

Happy Canada Day! It looks like the Legislature grounds had an amazing turnout today.

Here are my weekly Edmonton notes:

Headlines

Edmonton Summer Cityscape
Edmonton Summer Cityscape, photo by IQRemix

Upcoming Events

Chinatown on Canada Day

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Media Monday Edmonton: Update #302

Here’s my latest update on local media stuff:

Mayor Don Iveson speaking with the media
Mayor Iveson preparing to speak with the media last month

And here is some slightly less local media stuff:

Follow Edmonton media news using the hashtag #yegmedia and be sure to check out Mediagazer for the latest media news from elsewhere. You can see past Media Monday Edmonton entries here. If you have a tip or suggestion for future updates, let me know.

At Taproot Edmonton we’re working hard to ensure that local journalism has a future in our city. Join us to be part of the movement.

Thanks for reading! Want to support my blog? Buy me a coffee!

Edmonton Notes for June 24, 2018

Here are my weekly Edmonton notes:

Headlines

  • Flair Airlines is moving its headquarters to Edmonton and will use the Edmonton International Airport as its main transfer hub. “As such, that makes us Edmonton’s hometown airline,” Flair executive chairman David Tait said at the announcement Tuesday morning in downtown Edmonton.
  • The northeast corner of Jasper Avenue and 108 Street could look very different if a plan to build two high-rise towers atop retail podiums goes ahead. “With so many different downtown highrise projects in the works right now, it remains to be seen if there’s a market to support them all,” wrote Paula Simons.
  • Accidental Beach is back, and this time the City says it is prepared with “security, parking restrictions, dog laws and booze bans.”
  • Overall ridership on ETS fell about 3% from 2013 to 2017 according to a new report. “ETS spokesperson Tarra Kongsrude said the ridership drop between 2014 and 2016 was a reflection of an economic slowdown.”
  • The City of Edmonton is launching a solar grant program to incentivize homeowners to increase the energy efficiency of their homes. “The program offers homeowners a $0.15/watt incentive to help install solar systems and produce renewable energy. This incentive, when combined with the $0.75/watt incentive available to Edmontonians through Energy Efficiency Alberta, helps homeowners cover up to one third of the installation costs.”
  • Edmonton could ban right turns on red lights at certain intersections to help the city move closer to achieving Vision Zero. According to the City’s Gerry Shimko, “downtown and Whyte Avenue are some of the locations where turning left or right is causing some of the major collisions.”
  • Tim Querengesser makes the case for an urban growth boundary for Edmonton. “Our planners and thinkers treat land like it’s endless, free and easy – and they seem unbothered when it sits empty, idle and unused. And we pay the price for all this.”
  • Starting Monday morning, the 242 randomly selected applicants for cannabis stores can submit their development permit applications. “A Liquor Depot employee was granted 26 permit application appointments, while Fire and Flower Inc. has 10.”
  • How a law student accidentally became the unofficial ambassador of K-Days. “Bachewich now feels compelled to attend K-Days this year, where his cousin suggested he should go shake hands with attendees and ask them if they’re having a good time.”
  • Neighbourhood renewal is coming up for Old Strathcona and it could look quite different from previous renewals, with “a new mix of sidewalks and streets designed to slow vehicles to 30 km/h.”
  • The deadline to nominate a front yard in bloom is June 30. “A yard can be a source of food, a public gathering spot, or even a sky high balcony.”
  • A local grade 12 student who is relocating to Waterloo, Ontario has created a ‘Cool Places in Edmonton Guide’ to show the places he will miss most. Let’s hope with his passion for the city he returns to make an impact here at some point!
  • ICYMI: The #yeg hashtag turned ten years old this week!
  • The Mill Creek Ravine Pedestrian Bridges “officially reopened June 22, 2018, on budget and four months ahead of schedule.” The $7.7 million rehabilitation project involved three trestle bridges and two glulam bridges. “In recognition of historical significance, and largely as a result of public feedback, 20-25% of the original wood was used in the rehabilitation of the trestle bridges so as to maintain their authentic look and feel.” We went to see them today – worth the visit! Here are my photos.
  • For more recent headlines, check out ShareEdmonton.

Mill Creek Ravine Pedestrian Bridges

Upcoming Events

d7200 28-80-2382
High Level Bridge, photo by Viktor Push

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#yeg turns ten

Today marks the tenth anniversary of the #yeg hashtag on Twitter. Here is the first #yeg tweet:

That’s probably the only time I have used #Edmonton! Ever since then, it has been nothing but #yeg. Here’s what I wrote about that tweet back in 2009:

“If I remember correctly, I found about the #yyc hashtag while I was in Calgary for BarCampCalgary2 on June 14th, 2008. I learned from @wintr that a few Calgarians had started using the hashtag to tweet about things related to their city. I thought it might be a good idea to do something similar here in Edmonton.”

Timing counts for a lot, and my Twitter story is no different. I was in the right place at the right time and joined Twitter early, on July 14, 2006. It was a fun and frustrating time (remember the fail whale) to be on Twitter. I convinced Sharon to join Twitter fairly early on, in October 2006. Her first tweet, fittingly, was about food. (Her second tweet the next day was an attempt to turn off Twitter, which at the time worked via text message).

Being one of the first people in the world on Twitter meant I was one of the few people to follow when others joined. It also probably meant I was just statistically more likely to be the one to post the first #yeg tweet, though looking back now it is kind of amazing to me that it took two years to do so. On the other hand, it wasn’t until August 2007 that Chris Messina suggested using the # symbol for groups on Twitter and posted the first hashtag in a tweet. Tagging was popular on the web already at that point but the word “hashtag” was new. Its use grew so much that it was added to the Oxford English Dictionary in June 2014.

EdmontonTweetup
That’s me speaking at the first EdmontonTweetup in May 2008

On the fifth anniversary of the #yeg hashtag in 2013 I wrote:

“People from other cities often comment on how connected and tight-knit the online community in Edmonton seems to be, and I think the #yeg hashtag is really at the heart of that. We’ve used it to make new friends, to share the news, to raise money for important charitable causes, and for thousands of other interesting and important reasons.”

It didn’t take long for Edmonton’s Twitter community to grow beyond simply #yeg. Now people use all kinds of tags that start with #yeg like the ever-popular #yegfood. It used to surprise me to see #yeg used in places outside Twitter. Now, for better or worse, it’s part of the social fabric of our city.

Still, it wouldn’t be the hashtag (and community) it is today without all of the people that have worked to support and grow it over the years. Especially Brittney, Adam, Jerry, Tamara, Linda, and Kathleen, to name just a few.

Oh, and it’s pronounced y-egg not why-e-gee. 🙂

Here’s to the next ten years of #yeg!

Media Monday Edmonton: Update #301

Here’s my latest update on local media stuff:

Carbon Copy Unveiling
Carbon Copy was unveiled recently in the Brewery District

And here is some slightly less local media stuff:

  • About 75 people were laid off on June 14 from Rogers Media’s digital content & publishing team. Here’s a statement from Rogers Media on the layoffs: “We have reorganized our…structure to reflect the headwinds the industry is facing and make the business sustainable.”
  • Following in the footsteps of Postmedia, Global News is launching a new podcast called “This is Why” to delve “deeper into the stories that matter to Canadians.”
  • The Logic is a new Canadian subscription news outlet. “Information wants to be $300 a year — and it wants to be exclusive, high quality, and lower quantity,” reports Nieman Lab.
  • Concordia University is launching the Institute for Investigative Journalism, the first of its kind in Canada, to be headquartered in the Department of Journalism.
  • From Quartz: “Next year, for the first time, we’ll spend more time using the internet than watching TV.”
  • Based on a new report from PwC, the Wall Street Journal reports that “advertisers spent an estimated $313.9 million on podcast ads in 2017, an increase of 86% from about $169.1 million a year earlier”.
  • Did you enjoy the S-Town podcast? Well, get ready for the movie. Participant Media has acquired the rights and Spotlight‘s Tom McCarthy is in negotiations to direct.
  • Don’t worry, #mprraccoon reached the roof and was rescued. Think about everything this story tells us about the state of media right now!

Follow Edmonton media news using the hashtag #yegmedia and be sure to check out Mediagazer for the latest media news from elsewhere. You can see past Media Monday Edmonton entries here. If you have a tip or suggestion for future updates, let me know.

At Taproot Edmonton we’re working hard to ensure that local journalism has a future in our city. Join us to be part of the movement.

Thanks for reading! Want to support my blog? Buy me a coffee!

Edmonton Notes for June 17, 2018

Here are my weekly Edmonton notes:

Headlines

Downtown Sunset

Upcoming Events

Edmonton Brewing & Malting Company
A new plaque in the Brewery District for the Edmonton Brewing & Malting Company building

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Recognizing child friendly businesses in Edmonton

Child Friendly Edmonton, a Council Initiative sponsored by Councillor Bev Esslinger, launched the new Child Friendly Business Recognition Program today at City Hall. The program “aims to promote businesses that are intentionally welcoming to children and their families.”

Child Friendly Edmonton
Councillors Esslinger and Paquette spoke at today’s launch event

“We want to share this new program with the city and highlight the current successes of local businesses who have become more child-friendly,” said Councillor Esslinger in a news release. “With more than 20 per cent of the population being under 18, it’s very important that kids feel welcomed and included in their city.”

Based on input from Edmontonians, Child Friendly Edmonton identifies three keys to being a child friendly business:

  • Attitude “is the most important way to become child friendly. Patient, friendly and understanding service from staff who take the time to greet and welcome their younger customers is a major factor in how welcoming a business feels to children and their families. A smile is a great place to start.”
  • Amenities “are generally for the benefit of the adult(s) accompanying a child. Amenities are choices that businesses can make to improve the experience for adults with children. Some amenities like providing seating for children and washrooms that can be used by all genders to change diapers are considered ‘must- haves’ for child friendly businesses.”
  • Activities “help occupy children throughout their visit. Children that remain calm and content make their, as well as their adults’ experience at the business more enjoyable. Activities can be anything from providing a coloring sheet to creating an area specifically for children.”

Nine different child friendly businesses were showcased at the launch event today, but there are already more than 65 businesses that have been recognized under the program. I was thrilled to see that they are all listed in the Open Data Catalogue! There’s also a map view which shows they are nicely spread around the city.

Child Friendly Edmonton

If you know of a business that is child friendly, you can nominate them to the program online. If you have visited a child friendly business recently, there’s an online survey you can fill out to share your experience.

Child Friendly Edmonton’s vision is “a welcoming city for all young Edmontonians; children are listened to, respected, and valued for their thoughts and ideas.” The new program supports all four of Child Friendly Edmonton’s goals, as outlined in the Working Plan: engagement, accessible spaces, inclusive city, and “downtown demonstration project.”

That last one is to use downtown as “a demonstration site to explore and showcase an urban area which is welcoming and supportive to children and their families/caregivers.” Ian O’Donnell, executive director of the Downtown Business Association, spoke today about the DBA’s support for the program. “We want to improve the family-friendly nature of downtown and continue to work with our member businesses towards a downtown for everyone.”

Baby's first media event
Baby’s first media event

As a downtown resident with a new baby I’m obviously happy to see the push for child friendly spaces. But I know the outcome will benefit more than just families. Often the same considerations that make families feel more welcome apply to other demographics as well. This is well-illustrated in the similarities between strollers and wheelchairs, for instance.

You can learn more about Child Friendly Edmonton here and on social media using the #ChildFriendlyYEG hashtag.

Media Monday Edmonton: Update #300

Here’s my latest update on local media stuff:

Alberta offering gender-inclusive ID documents 98927
Alberta offering gender-inclusive ID documents, photo by Premier of Alberta

And here is some slightly less local media stuff:

  • Roger Millions has announced he is retiring from sports broadcasting “after 39 incredible years” to pursue the UCP nomination in Airdrie-East.
  • Postmedia is eliminating 52 positions in Calgary with the closure of its printing plant. Black Press Group Inc. will begin printing the Calgary Sun this summer (the Calgary Herald printing moved to TC Transcontinental Printing in 2013).
  • From The Walrus: Inside the Toronto Star’s Bold Plan to Save Itself. “The crisis in media, in other words, has evolved from being technological to existential, as a news darkness threatens to descend wherever metro dailies are snuffed out.”
  • Ryerson’s multimedia publication The Future of Local News “is the culmination of several years of academic research, complemented by a year of student journalism, an international conference, and a cross-Atlantic editorial collaboration focused specifically on the current and future state of local news around the world.” They’re also now publishing content on Medium.
  • Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist, is giving $20 million to the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, which will rename itself the “Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York.” There’s a certain amount of irony in the news, given that Craiglist at least contributed to the decline of newspapers’ revenue. “When asked if his desire to give millions of dollars to the journalism school had sprung from a sense of guilt, Mr. Newmark said no.”
  • Postmedia has launched TheGrowthOp.com, a new website focused on the “quickly evolving world of cannabis.” The new site aims to “keep audiences informed and educated while working to normalize cannabis information from its long-time taboo and counter-culture status to its newly legitimized role in our communities.”

Follow Edmonton media news using the hashtag #yegmedia and be sure to check out Mediagazer for the latest media news from elsewhere. You can see past Media Monday Edmonton entries here. If you have a tip or suggestion for future updates, let me know.

At Taproot Edmonton we’re working hard to ensure that local journalism has a future in our city. Join us to be part of the movement.

Thanks for reading! Want to support my blog? Buy me a coffee!