Edmonton’s 2010 Grey Cup Festival Never Happened

In November 2010, Edmonton hosted the 98th Grey Cup. The Montreal Alouettes defeated the Saskatchewan Roughriders for the second straight year to capture the CFL’s top prize. Of course, the event was more than just a football game. We’re festival city, and we turned the Grey Cup into a very successful festival. There was something for everyone, and downtown was full of people, which unfortunately doesn’t happen very often. It wasn’t a perfect event, but I think you’d be hard-pressed to find an Edmontonian who would consider it anything less than a success.

2010 Grey Cup Festival Kickoff

Here’s what Todd Babiak wrote (archive):

Ten years from now, only the statisticians and the really, really heartbroken will recall the winner of Sunday’s Grey Cup game in Edmonton.

What we would like to remember, in 10 years, is that many thousands of warmly audacious people from Saskatchewan came to witness Edmonton’s transition from a cosy little prairie city to something else.

I would go further and say that we absolutely need to remember what we accomplished with the Grey Cup Festival. We need to be proud of it, we need to learn from it, and we need to improve upon it.

But, the Grey Cup Festival never happened.

If you try to visit the festival website, at http://www.greycupfestival2010.com, you’re redirected to the website of the Edmonton Eskimos. As far as the web is concerned, the festival never happened. And in 2011 and beyond, the web is all that matters. Think about it for a second – less than two months after the event took place, the most important online record of it has vanished.

Ignoring the fact that the website barely worked during the festival (which is an important, but different issue), this is troubling. I have written before about the need to preserve our local, digital, cultural artifacts. The web is the single most important platform for doing so. The web is accessible and pervasive. Too often, however, it is not permanent. We can and must do better. We also need to stop thinking of event websites as only being relevant during the event.

Now obviously the festival happened. And there are other places online that provide evidence and a record of it. There’s the Wikipedia entry, the many blog posts that were written, thousands of photos uploaded to the web, etc. But all of these should be ancillary to the event website, not a substitute for it. And there’s no guarantee that they’ll exist in the future. For instance, you can read Todd’s article today, but in six months it will no longer be available on the web (hopefully my archive link is…this is a problem the Journal is aware of and hopes to address).

The saddest part about this particular instance is that I guessed it would happen. I should have spoken up sooner. The good news is that I archived the entire site on November 27, 2010. You can see the front page here.

I don’t think this is an easy problem to solve, but I believe it is important that we do solve it. I’m going to do what I can to help educate others about why this is so important, I’ll continue learning from the very smart people we have in the “archival” business, and I’ll continue doing what I can to help archive.

Edmonton’s Hot to Huddle 2010 Grey Cup Festival Parade!

Downtown Edmonton has been full of energy this week for the Grey Cup Festival, but today’s parade took it to another level! Here are some of the highlights.

I’d say green was definitely the dominant color in the crowds – they even brought chairs!

2010 Grey Cup Parade

The Snowbirds criss-crossed the sky a few times!

2010 Grey Cup Parade

2010 Grey Cup Parade

Bryan Hall was the Grand Marshall for the parade.

2010 Grey Cup Parade

Each of the teams had a Nissan Cube.

2010 Grey Cup Parade

They also had cheer teams. The Eskimos cheer team even did some stunts!

2010 Grey Cup Parade

A favorite from the Capital Ex parade returned – the West Jet plane!

2010 Grey Cup Parade

I thought the Coast Hotels float was creative.

2010 Grey Cup Parade

The CN float was really well done too.

2010 Grey Cup Parade

These poor kids had the worst job, following the horses.

2010 Grey Cup Parade

The Riders’ cheer team received a warm welcome!

2010 Grey Cup Parade

As did the rest of the Roughrider supporters.

2010 Grey Cup Parade

They even had pyrotechnics. How can you go wrong with that?!

2010 Grey Cup Parade

It really was a sea of green for a while.

2010 Grey Cup Parade

This one was my favorite of the parade:

2010 Grey Cup Parade

This guy remarked “buying fans one Candy Cane at a time!” as he passed by.

2010 Grey Cup Parade

I love that this guy is a Calgary fan.

2010 Grey Cup Parade

There was loud applause as our Armed Forces passed by.

2010 Grey Cup Parade

Attendance wasn’t as large as the Capital EX parade, but given the temperature, I’d say it was still a very strong turnout!

You can see the rest of my parade photos here (over 140 in all).

Edmonton’s Hot to Huddle 2010 Grey Cup Festival Kick-off!

Tonight the 2010 Grey Cup Festival officially started here in Edmonton with a big kick-off party outside City Hall. Hundreds of people braved the cold to see the Grey Cup in person, to experience the flashmob and fireworks, and to get a first look at Huddle Town.

Purolator delivered the “special guest” that everyone was hoping to see.

2010 Grey Cup Festival Kickoff

There were fans of all teams on hand to celebrate!

2010 Grey Cup Festival Kickoff

With the Zipline in the background, everyone listened for the official kick-off of the festivities.

2010 Grey Cup Festival Kickoff

After the dignitaries had spoken, there was a big flashmob on the CN field (I suppose no one saw it coming, but the large group of people lined up on the field, with security preventing others from joining in, made it clear that something was up…not to mention the volunteer for the flashmob page on the website).

2010 Grey Cup Festival Kickoff

Fireworks quickly followed the entertaining dance number!

2010 Grey Cup Festival Kickoff

The trophy was so close you could almost touch it.

2010 Grey Cup Festival Kickoff

The end of the kick-off program meant the official opening of Huddle Town, the giant heated tent in Churchill Square.

2010 Grey Cup Festival Kickoff

Meanwhile, a Peewee football game was played on the CN field.

2010 Grey Cup Festival Kickoff

Here’s an overhead shot of City Hall and Huddle Town.

2010 Grey Cup Festival Kickoff

The festival is now officially underway!

You can see upcoming events at the official site (when it works) or at ShareEdmonton (and subscribe to the iCal here). You can see the rest of my photos from the evening here.

Ready, set, huddle!