State of the Edmonton Twittersphere – 2010 Year in Review

Welcome to the State of the Edmonton Twittersphere: 2010 Year in Review, my look at the intersection of Twitter and Edmonton in 2010! You can see my recap of 2009 here.

I’ve done my best to ensure all of the data in this post is accurate, but I make no guarantees – use it at your own risk. The data comes from the Twitter API, and has been collected over the past year. If a user has his or her location set to Edmonton, St. Albert, Sherwood Park, Leduc, Nisku, Stony Plain, Fort Saskatchewan, Beaumont, Spruce Grove, or matching lat/long coordinates, they are considered an Edmontonian, and thus a “local user”.

If you compare the monthly statistics here to my monthly State of the Edmonton Twittersphere posts, you’ll notice they are slightly different. The monthly posts represent a snapshot – this post reflects the most up-to-date information I have been able to gather as of the end of 2010.


Here are the highlights for 2010:

  • There were 22,000+ local users.
  • Those users posted more than 4.9 million tweets. That works out to 9.4 per minute.
  • Of those 4,948,409 tweets:
    • 381,752 contained #yeg or one of the #yeg-related hashtags (like #yegfood) (7.7%)
    • 357,206 were retweets (7.2%)
    • 1,715,507 were replies (34.7%)
    • 668,368 were replies to other local users (13.5%)
    • 1,331,306 contained links (26.9%)
    • 191,060 were twooshes (exactly 140 characters) (3.9%)

Let’s look at users. While more than 22,000 local users were on Twitter last year, only 10,200 of them were active during the month of December (active means they posted at least one tweet). But that was up from just 5601 who were active during the month of January.

When 2010 started, local users were posting about 260,000 tweets per month. By the end of the year, that number had grown to more than 525,000 tweets per month.

This chart gives you a sense of the trends over the year. I think it is interesting that the lines for #yeg-related tweets and retweets are almost identical (red and green).

Roughly 50.8% of all tweets in 2010 were posted between the hours of 9 AM and 6 PM. Not surprisingly, the number of tweets posted between midnight and 7 AM is quite a bit lower than the number posted during the day and early evening. There seems to be an early morning (9-10 AM) and late night (9-10 PM) spike.

If we look at days of the week, we see that more tweets are posted on Tuesday and Wednesday than on any other day.

In the chart below I have plotted the number of tweets posted per day for each day of the year. The trend is clearly up, and the spikes and troughs reveal some interesting events. Election day, October 18, saw the most tweets posted at 23,234. On average, 13,558 tweets were posted each day in 2010.


Here are the top 25 most followed users:

  1. revtrev
  2. Pat_Lorna
  3. biofeed
  4. randyfritz
  5. dragonage
  6. masseffect2
  7. NHL_Oilers
  8. wearestereos
  9. DancinginLife
  10. subunit1
  11. MathieuBisson
  12. MilesSTEREOS
  13. LesM
  14. patkstereos
  15. todd_herman
  16. hccedmonton
  17. redneckmommy
  18. worldprofit
  19. DrBarryLycka
  20. mtubes
  21. paradepro
  22. TSNRyanRishaug
  23. garrymullen
  24. mastermaq
  25. DarleneV

The average local user has 120 followers. Just 420 users have more than 1000 followers.

Here are the top 25 most listed users:

  1. biofeed
  2. revtrev
  3. randyfritz
  4. NHL_Oilers
  5. masseffect2
  6. dragonage
  7. paradepro
  8. redneckmommy
  9. Pat_Lorna
  10. DaBaby
  11. DancinginLife
  12. rootnl2k
  13. gsiemens
  14. edmontonjournal
  15. TSNRyanRishaug
  16. wearestereos
  17. brentcetera
  18. NiCoLeKoScH
  19. ctvedmonton
  20. gcouros
  21. cbcedmonton
  22. mastermaq
  23. lealea
  24. CityofEdmonton
  25. britl

The average local user has been listed 5 times.

Here are the top 25 most active users:

  1. EdmontonBizcaf
  2. WCIJobs
  3. rootnl2k
  4. etownmelly
  6. Lekordable
  7. ZoomJer
  8. CommonSenseSoc
  9. trinamlee
  10. GuitarKat
  11. EdmontonCP
  12. gcouros
  13. SaySandra
  14. Jaisabella
  15. frostedbetty
  16. angelzilla
  17. PoisonLolita
  18. Edmontonsun
  19. DebraWard
  20. Cokebear17
  21. RECEdmonton
  22. Sirthinks
  23. britl
  24. Leask
  25. fraygulrock

The top 100 most active users accounted for 18.5% of all local tweets.

Here are the top 25 most active users using #yeg (and #yeg-related hashtags):

  1. yegsphere
  2. edmontonjournal
  3. EdmCa
  4. rootnl2k
  5. iNews880
  6. oilersff
  7. DebraWard
  8. Edmontonsun
  9. WeatherEdmonton
  10. ctvedmonton
  11. EdmontonBizcaf
  12. WCIJobs
  13. cbcedmonton
  14. DWsBITCH
  15. Sirthinks
  16. ZoomJer
  17. livingsanctuary
  18. mastermaq
  19. fraygulrock
  20. yegtraffic
  21. Lekordable
  22. gcouros
  23. BrentWelch
  24. frostedbetty
  25. bingofuel

The top 100 most active users using #yeg and its subtags accounted for 51.8% of all #yeg-tagged tweets.

Here are the top 25 most replied to users (by other local users):

  1. ZoomJer
  2. PoisonLolita
  3. britl
  4. CommonSenseSoc
  5. Wildsau
  6. angelzilla
  7. RockstarJodie
  8. SaySandra
  9. bingofuel
  10. frostedbetty
  11. GuitarKat
  12. Sirthinks
  13. confessionality
  14. KikkiPlanet
  15. akomuzikera
  16. Rainyfool
  17. JenBanksYEG
  18. DebraWard
  19. FeliciaDewar
  20. mastermaq
  21. adampatterson
  22. lonesomebilydad
  23. LauraSem
  24. Pokerclack
  25. BrentWelch

The top 100 most replied to users accounted for 32.8% of all local replies (replies from one Edmontonian to another).

And here is what I think is the most significant list, the top 25 most retweeted users (by other local users):

  1. edmontonjournal
  2. ctvedmonton
  3. mastermaq
  4. CityofEdmonton
  5. dantencer
  6. cbcedmonton
  7. bingofuel
  8. iNews880
  9. Paulatics
  10. ZoomJer
  11. NHL_Oilers
  12. britl
  13. TrafficEdmonton
  14. joshclassen
  15. BrentWelch
  16. sonic1029
  17. yegfoodbank
  18. davecournoyer
  19. SimonOstler
  20. Edmontonsun
  21. JasonGregor
  22. EdmontonHumane
  23. chrislabossiere
  24. DebraWard
  25. Sirthinks

A total of 103 users were retweeted by other local users 100 times or more. Just 18 users were retweeted by other local users 1000 times or more.


The most commonly used hashtag was #yeg. Local users used #yeg roughly 6.5 times more than the next most popular hashtag, which was #FF. Here’s a word cloud of the top 1000 hashtags, including #yeg:

And here are the top 1000 without #yeg:

The average length of a hashtag was 13.7 characters (including the #). There were hashtags that were just two characters, and hashtags that were 140 characters. Here are the top 10 hashtags:

  1. #yeg
  2. #FF
  3. #oilers
  4. #edmonton
  5. #alberta
  6. #ableg
  7. #yegfood
  8. #FollowFriday
  9. #yegvote
  10. #fb

Here are the top 10 #yeg-related hashtags:

  1. #yegfood
  2. #yegvote
  3. #yegweather
  4. #yegtraffic
  5. #yegcc
  6. #yegtransit
  7. #yegarena
  8. #yegmusic
  9. #yegarts
  10. #yegfringe


There were more than 2000 different clients used by local users to post tweets in 2010. Here are the top ten clients:

  1. web
  2. TweetDeck
  3. Twitter for iPhone
  4. ÜberTwitter
  5. Twitter for BlackBerry®
  6. Echofon
  7. twitterfeed
  8. HootSuite
  9. API
  10. Twitterrific

Text messaging was the next most popular client. Here are the top ten in graphic form (percentages are of the total number of tweets, 4.9 million):

The top ten clients accounted for 76.2% of all local tweets in 2010.

Final Thoughts

Twitter continued its impressive growth all around the world in 2010, and Edmonton was no exception. Though the number of people with Twitter accounts in Edmonton pales in comparison to the number of people with Facebook accounts, I don’t think that is necessarily the best comparison to make. You need a Facebook account to access most things on Facebook, you don’t on Twitter. Twitter reaches far beyond the 22,000+ local users with accounts.

There were lots of tweetups in 2010, but fewer and fewer focused just on Twitter. Because so many more people have joined, even non-Twitter events seem like tweetups! I thought that geolocation might play a bigger role in 2010, but it didn’t really. Just 3124 users have enabled geolocation (up from 270 in 2009). Perhaps 2011 will be the year that geotagged tweets take off? You need to enable it in your settings.

I hope you’ve found this look at the Edmonton Twittersphere in 2010 interesting and informative. Thanks for reading!

Happy Anniversary to the Art Gallery of Alberta!

This weekend the Art Gallery of Alberta celebrates the one year anniversary of its new building in Churchill Square. It’s hard to believe that it was a year ago that the ribbon cutting took place and Edmontonians were clamoring to get a peek at the beautiful facility.

And what a year it has been! Here are some of the highlights of 2010:

  • Attendance more than quadrupled since 2009 – more than 111,000 visitors!
  • Of that number, approximately 87,000 were paid admission, which significantly surpassed the target of 65,000.
  • The number of AGA members increased from 1650 to 5300!
  • A total of 17 exhibitions were presented, 5 of which were dedicated to Alberta arists.
  • Roughly 4700 people in total attended the 395 public tours that were given. In addition, 146 private tours were given to a total of 3150 visitors.
  • School programs grew from 5000 students in 2009 to 14,500 last year.
  • A total of 367 private and corporate events, 24 wedding receptions, and 62 wedding photos sessions took place.

Here are a few graphs to help illustrate the success of 2010:

One of the highlights for me personally was the Refinery series of events. There were three in 2010, and each one was more popular than the last. Over 1700 people attended Refinery, and 800 of those were at the most recent event (it was so popular, people had to be turned away). I wrote about the second Refinery here. The 367 private and corporate events is significant as well. I attended dozens of events that took place at the AGA last year, it’s a great venue.

And who could forget the exhibitions! From Edgar Degas, Francisco Goya, and Edward Burtynsky to Warner Bros., Jonathan Kaiser, and Laura St. Pierre, we had a little bit of everything. I particularly enjoyed the Warner Bros. cartoons and Janet Cardiff & George Miller Bures’ Storm Room.

While the building was the most obvious “new” thing from 2010, let’s not forget that the AGA launched a new restaurant, logo, a new website, and established a presence in social media last year as well. All of those things helped the organization win a variety of awards:

  • Metal Construction Association Presidents Award for Overall Excellence
  • Institutional Winner: Alberta Construction Magazine 2009 Top Projects
  • 2010 Edmonton Economic Development Corporation Recognition Excellence Award
  • Best Cultural Institution 2010 by See Magazine
  • Zinc Restaurant was named one of the Best New Restaurants of 2010 by Where Magazine
  • Allan Scott was named Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser by the Edmonton Association of Fundraising Professionals

Interview with Gilles Hébert, AGA Executive Director

The numbers for 2010 are certainly impressive. I asked Gilles to reflect on the past year. “It’s quite remarkable,” he told me. “The challenge is to maintain the momentum and continue to grow our audience.” In the first two months after the new building opened to the public, more than 30,000 people visited. “Lots of people came initially just to see the inside of the building,” Gilles said. Now he says people are coming back for the programming. “We exist because of the program, not because we have a cool building.”

Gilles said the AGA has seen the most interest in its contemporary programming, which he described as “pretty cool”. The success of the AGA’s contemporary exhibitions has driven interest nationally too. “People are looking to us for these big ambitious shows,” he told me. “They’re drawn in by the level of enthusiasm that is palpable in this community.”

Looking ahead to 2011, Gilles told me the challenge is generating buzz in places other than Edmonton. “There is no other institution like us in this province – we have a provincial mandate.” One of the ways the AGA is doing that is through social media. “We’re finding that these new forms of communication are really driving interest and allowing people to connect with what we’re doing.” He said their social media activities are actually becoming more valuable than traditional printed material and paid advertising, at least in terms of driving audience.

Gilles told me he is really looking forward to the celebration this weekend. “We are so proud to celebrate this milestone.”

Art Gallery of Alberta

Sunday Celebration

The anniversary celebration takes place on Sunday from 11am until 5pm. Here’s a brief description of what to expect:

The day includes the launch of the official AGA building book, presentations by the Citadel Theatre, Alberta Ballet and the Edmonton Opera, exhibition tours, as well as cupcakes for the first 500 visitors.

It should be a great day! You can see the event on ShareEdmonton here. And if you just can’t wait until Sunday, tonight is opening night for the Brian Jungen exhibition which features three sculptural installations.

If you’re taking photos this weekend, be sure to add them to the AGA pool on Flickr. Be sure to follow the Art Gallery of Alberta on Twitter.

You can see my photos of the AGA here. If you’d like a bit of background on the new building, check out my recap of architect Randall Stout’s talk.

Taking the City of Edmonton to another level with City Manager Simon Farbrother

Last week, on the one year anniversary of his first official day as the City of Edmonton’s new City Manager, Simon Farbrother sat down with me to reflect on the past twelve months. In addition to settling into the role and continually learning about the organization, Simon is leading the City through a major cultural shift that is fundamentally changing the way it does business.

Simon Farbrother
Coffee with Simon

Simon came to the City of Edmonton from Waterloo, where he was that city’s Chief Administrative Officer. He’s not new to the capital region however, having worked at the City of Leduc from 1988 until 1997, and at the City of Spruce Grove from 1997 until 2005. I wondered if he had thought about working in “the big city” but he said that was never the game plan, though he did admit the thought crossed his mind once or twice. “I think it’s important to stretch yourself, “ Simon told me, “when opportunities come up you grab them and away you go.” That’s how he ended up in Waterloo, and in January 2010, how he found himself here in Edmonton taking over for retiring City Manager Al Maurer.

Simon said his first year has gone by really quickly, but described it as “challenging, fun, and stimulating.” Noting the number of projects the City has on the go, Simon said “Edmonton is at a very interesting point in time.” He lives in the southwest and uses the LRT quite a bit and depending on his schedule. “The south LRT has changed the way people think about transit in our city.” Though he felt Edmonton had matured politically while he was out east, Simon said that he has “always thought Edmonton’s strength was its people, and I still do.” He thinks it’s because we have a unique sense of connection here. “We’re the big city on the prairie, we’re multicultural; the people who choose to live here are really carving out their lives.”

For the first few weeks of last year, Simon spent his time getting to know people at the City while Al continued on as Manager (though Simon actually knew quite a few people already from his previous positions). On January 18th 2010, he took over and hit the ground running. “You have to get up-to-speed quickly and bring your skills to the table.” Simon told me the ladies in the Manager’s office were “tremendously helpful” and made the transition a smooth one. “When you join, naturally there’s a lot of questions about you,” he said, recalling that it wasn’t just him that had to adjust to the new role. “Fundamentally I am about building – I always have a strong belief in a person’s abilities and general willingness to do the right thing.”

Simon Farbrother
Conversation with Simon & Extended Leadership Team

One of the first things Simon did was have an open conversation with the general managers. “Leadership is about framing,” he said. Simon made it clear that the City would be moving in a new direction, and told them, “your primary role is to lead the City, not your department.” He called it a “fundamental shift” and said there has been a lot of positive engagement from the general managers on the new approach. Discussions since have focused on how the City leads, rather than on each individual project that comes up. “We also opened the door to branch managers and directors around leadership,” Simon confirmed. The City of Edmonton currently has 6 general managers and 35 branch managers, but the number is not important. “It’s about what makes sense at the time to lead.” To reinforce the shift, the Senior Management Team (SMT) was renamed to the Corporate Leadership Team (CLT). Demonstrating leadership is more important than having worked at the organization for most of your career. “We’re trying to engage people to be leaders, everyone can do that.”

Simon’s focus for 2011 is this internal cultural conversation. He shared that the City has formed a group called Transforming Edmonton and Me (TEAM) that has been challenged to explore the question, “what do we want our culture to be?” An early activity involved the creation of a word cloud, and ‘communication’ emerged as the biggest word. There’s a desire to be more transparent, and to have meaningful conversations (no more going to the meeting then having the real conversation in the hallway). “It’s about how we agree to work as an organization,” Simon said. “If you don’t see me acting in the way I say I am going to act, you have every right to tell me.”

Most of Simon’s communication has been focused internally so far (he’s going to look into updating his pagearchived here – on the public website). “Having various ways to communicate is really valuable.” To that end, Simon has published videos every few weeks for employees, focusing not on what the City got approved but on leadership within the organization. “For example, a video might talk about our approach to the budget, rather than giving details on what was approved.” The effort has given him the opportunity to meet people across the organization. “I’ve learned to cut trees, drive a bus, I’ve been in the sewers, it has been great.” He hopes the videos reinforce the notion that all employees at the City are important. He is thinking about an internal blog too, and said the intranet is a really important tool for giving context.

Simon Farbrother
Simon getting some hands-on experience felling trees in Delwood Park

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Simon was a BlackBerry user while in Waterloo. Now he’s got an iPhone and an iPad, but doesn’t consider himself to be an early adopter. “I really like the iPad in a meeting environment,” he said, because there’s less paper to carry and the device is great for graphics. “I do lots of email and text messaging,” he told me, and while he is familiar with Twitter, he has no plans to use the service. “A lot of my emails would look like tweets though!” Simon’s day consists largely of meetings, so it’s important to communicate efficiently. He uses text messaging to stay in touch with his family throughout the day.

Turning to external communication, Simon said the City “should talk about what we’re doing and what we’re trying to achieve.” It’s the philosophy that is important, not the list of projects. “We’re part of a bigger picture, we work for the full community.” Simon thinks it is important for employees to be mindful of that broader perspective too. “You can’t disconnect being a transit driver or an accountant or even a manager from being an ambassador and a representative of the City.” In other words, employees need to be accountable not just to their boss, but to all Edmontonians.

The word accountability was mentioned alongside transparency in his introductory letter last year. When I asked for his assessment of the City’s performance on those issues, Simon replied: “I think we’re getting better.” Being accountable and transparent to the public is a challenge given the size of the organization. “We’re in the A to Z business,” Simon remarked, “and we’re the only the organization that does all of our business in the public eye.” I suggested that the City could do more on the transparency side, especially as it relates to making information available and accessible. “I don’t think we consciously hoard,” he told me. “There are legitimate reasons for some information to be confidential.” He agreed that getting information into people’s hands is important though.

Simon Farbrother
Simon with Councillor Amarjeet Sohi

I asked Simon how he has found working with Mayor Mandel and the rest of City Council over the last year. Due to the nature of the position in large cities, Simon has worked more closely with Mayor Mandel, and described him as “very committed and very driven.” He said they get along well. Though he hasn’t had as many opportunities to work with the Councillors, he said “they’re all trying to build a better City, which is a positive environment to work in.”

Looking ahead to 2011, I asked if Simon had made any personal new years resolutions – he didn’t. “For me it’s about lifelong learning,” he said. “In whatever you do, you need to be relevant and adding value.” He’s excited for the year ahead, and talked about some of the big projects that have made headlines recently. “EXPO wasn’t just a three month event, it was positioning Edmonton as an important city in North America.” Similarly he thinks we need to look at the bigger picture when it comes to topics like the downtown arena or the city centre redevelopment. “We need to be strategic and aligned as a city.”

Simon said the City of Edmonton has always had aspirations, but has never embedded that into the culture. “Being aspirational has to be a fundamental part of what we do.” When it was discovered that some material was being created internally that talked about Edmonton being successful as a “tier 2 city”, Simon and his team put a stop to it. “What would a tier 1 city do? There’s nothing stopping us from being tier 1.” It’s about having vision and not being afraid to go after it. “We shouldn’t be shy about opportunities.” For Simon, it’s about taking Edmonton to another level. “We need to up our game and galvanize around being a city.”

“It’s going to be a good year.”

Edmonton in 2010

Over the last few weeks I’ve been gathering links to articles, blog posts, and more related to Edmonton in 2010. I did something similar in 2009 and 2008. I’ll keep adding to this list as new stuff comes up.

Here are the articles and posts that I have found so far. Where it makes sense to do so, I have included an archive link:

Here are some other links related to Edmonton in 2010:

If you have another link to add to either list, let me know!

Top 10 Posts for 2010

Last year I posted a list of the top ten Edmonton posts written in 2009 on my blog by views and counts. I figured I’d do the same this year, with the top posts written in 2010.

Here are the top ten individual posts by views:

  1. Why Edmonton’s Teatro La Quindicina and actor Jeff Haslam will never get my business again
  2. Who’s behind Envision Edmonton?
  3. Alberta Budget 2010 website – security through obscurity
  4. Edmonton Neighbourhood Census Data
  5. Edmonton’s future leaders
  6. Open Data and Municipal Election Results
  7. Sneak Peek at the new Art Gallery of Alberta in Edmonton
  8. Edmonton Election 2010: Final Mayoral Forum Recap
  9. Edmonton’s Hot to Huddle 2010 Grey Cup Festival Kick-off!
  10. Edmonton City Centre Airport Design Competition Finalists

Of course, many people read via RSS or by simply visiting the home page which means its nearly impossible to know which post was actually the most read. That list is probably fairly close though.

Here are the top ten posts by comments. As expected, there is quite a bit of overlap:

  1. Who’s behind Envision Edmonton?
  2. Why Edmonton’s Teatro La Quindicina and actor Jeff Haslam will never get my business again
  3. Timeraiser returns to Edmonton with a WestJet giveaway!
  4. Sneak Peek at the new Art Gallery of Alberta in Edmonton
  5. Edmonton’s future leaders
  6. Edmonton Public Schools & Open Data
  7. Edmonton Neighbourhood Census Data
  8. Pecha Kucha Night: Edmonton #6
  9. Start offering bus service to EIA from Century Park!
  10. Alberta Budget 2010 website – security through obscurity

Thank you for reading and commenting this year! I’m looking forward to 2011.

Alberta Budget 2010 website – security through obscurity

Tomorrow, Tuesday, is budget day here in Alberta. Like many Albertans, I am curious about what Finance Minister Ted Morton is going to deliver, so I started poking around online. First stop, last year’s budget, available at

Seems logical that the 2010 budget would be at So I tried that URL, and was prompted with a login screen. First thing that came to mind was “administrator” and “password”. Voila:

Fortunately for Mr. Morton, the documents don’t appear to have been uploaded yet. You can see all the placeholders though, which is kind of funny. And it seems you can leave feedback.

It does reveal the theme of the budget, Striking the Right Balance. Last year was Building on Our Strength.

This is what is known as “security through obscurity”. It’s not really secure, it’s just hidden. I’d suggest that programmers working at the Government of Alberta invest in Writing Secure Code, a fantastic book on the subject.

I hope this isn’t a reflection of the budget we see tomorrow…cutting corners, etc.

UPDATE: Sometime around 9:45 AM today they changed the password, and I think pointed the virtual directory somewhere else.

UPDATE2: The Journal wrote about this today.

UPDATE3: The site is now officially live with all the budget documents. Enjoy!

Restless in Edmonton? Stop complaining, start creating

Yesterday’s front page story in the Edmonton Journal suggests that Edmonton in 2010 is at a tipping point (forget for the moment that this almost certainly is not the first “tipping point” our city has faced). That this is the year in which we decide to be “a big, sprawling town or to move ahead as a city with real urban living.” And that if we don’t make the right choice, our “ambitious, educated and interesting 30-something professionals” will leave for greener pastures. Active Connect2Edmonton member Ian O’Donnell is featured in the story, and he says that the 30-somethings are getting restless.

Why does “getting restless” always have to mean leaving for Vancouver, Toronto, or Calgary? If you want to leave, I say: good luck! I’d rather have NextGen-ers in Edmonton who want to be a part of something great. NextGen-ers who don’t complain when they see something they don’t like, they go and do something about it. NextGen-ers who want to help transform Edmonton into a world class city.

Edmonton Skyline

We need people like William Buchkowsky and Nathan McQuay. They felt their options for connecting with other young business professionals in the city were limited, so they created Emerging Business Leaders. At least 50 people now meet regularly each month.

We need people like Raffaella Loro. She wanted a city government that was more open and accessible, so she championed the Transforming Edmonton blog to help make it happen. The blog is a fantastic complement to the City’s other online activities.

We need people like Dave Cournoyer, Justin Archer, and Michael Janz. They, along with many others, wanted to have a conversation about re-imagining government and citizenship in the age of participation. They brought ChangeCamp to Edmonton, an event attended by hundreds of Edmontonians in person and online.

We need people like Ken Bautista, Cary Williams, and Michael Brechtel. They are passionate about the creative economy in Edmonton, and recognized that strong creative and artistic communities are important for prosperous cities. They brought artsScene to Edmonton, an organization that connects young professionals with the arts, culture, and creative organizations of Edmonton.

We need people like Mark Donovan, Cam Linke, and Kevin Swan. All are very involved in the local tech scene with things like DemoCamp, and all have experience with technology startups. They recognized a lack of support for local startups, and have created Startup Edmonton to do something about it. The organization will help to ensure that next gen talent builds successful local companies that make it past the seed stage.

These are just a few of the incredible NextGen-ers making a difference in Edmonton. There are many others too, such as the members of Avenue Edmonton’s Top 40 Under 40, and the members of Edmonton Next Gen (who have brought Pecha Kucha to Edmonton, among other things).

Downtown is an opportunity!

Much of the article focuses on downtown, in a negative way. I’m not going to try to convince you that we have an amazing downtown, because I agree that there’s a lot of room for improvement. But I see that as an opportunity, not as a problem. There are some incredible things on the horizon for downtown Edmonton, and increasingly it is a focus for organizations like EEDC. NextGen-ers need to educate themselves and then work to ensure our city’s decision makers follow through. Small efforts really can have a big impact – I think the City Centre Airport debate is proof of that.

We have the capacity in Edmonton to be world class. All we have to do is stop complaining and start creating.

You can read more reaction to the story in the comments and at Connect2Edmonton.