Edmonton Election 2010: Election Result Statistics

By now I’m sure you’ve seen the unofficial election results (official results should be released tomorrow). I thought it would be interesting to look at those numbers in more detail, and with a little bit of context.

There were 14 data updates throughout the night. The first voting stations reported in at 8:31 PM, and the final one reported at 11:35 PM. Here’s what the updates looked like:

Time is along the bottom, the vertical axis represents the number of ballots cast, and the size of the balloon represents the size of the update (the data labels are the number of votes after the update). You can see that there was one very large update, at 9:48 PM.

Here’s what Stephen Mandel’s win looked like throughout the night – the difference in votes between him and nearest competitor David Dorward:

When all was said and done, Mandel had won re-election by 49,533 votes.

A total of 196,661 ballots were cast. Here are the number of votes per ward:

You can see that Ward 8 had the most votes. Because the wards changed this year from six to twelve, it doesn’t make sense to try to compare them to 2007. We can compare the winning candidates however. To get elected in 2007, a candidate on average had 12724 votes. To get elected in 2010, a candidate on average had just 8640 votes.

Here is the difference between first and second place for each ward:

You can see that the two closest races were in Ward 2 and Ward 3. Those two wards were among the busiest in terms of the number of candidates, along with Ward 6 and Ward 11. The biggest wins were in Ward 5, Ward 9, and Ward 10, all of which had strong incumbents and few competitors.

Here are the number of votes per Catholic School Ward:

And finally, here are the number of votes per Public School Ward, compared with 2007:

There were two acclamations this year, versus just one in 2007. In every other ward, the number of votes in 2010 was higher than in 2007. This isn’t surprising, given the increased interest in schools due to the closures.

Just 1217 ballots did not indicate a choice for mayor (compared to 2491 in 2007), where as 4456 ballots did not indicate a choice for councillor. A total of 44,121 ballots did not indicate a choice for school trustee (keep in mind there were two acclamations, but still).

I’ll leave you with this:

UPDATE: Official election results are now available.

Stephen Mandel for a greater Edmonton

Last Saturday morning I had the opportunity to sit down with Mayor Stephen Mandel and two of my fellow local bloggers (Dave, Jeff) for an informal chat. We talked about a variety of things, including a few issues that I am particularly interested in.

Mayor Stephen Mandel


I asked Mandel what he thought about the conversation he had at The Learning Centre, where the biggest issue was homelessness. He admitted that he found it frustrating, because many of the people didn’t know too much about the Edmonton Homeless Commission or the plan that has been put into place. I think that illustrates how much work there is still ahead, something Mandel mentioned a few times. He said that “we need partnerships to get it done” and said there is an increasing desire from people and organizations to get involved. He noted that the plan continues to evolve, and while I think Mandel recognizes that completely ending homelessness is definitely a stretch goal, he is truly committed to making a difference.

Working With Councillors

Mandel likes to say that our current council has been quite successful at moving things forward. We asked him why, and what it’ll take to continue that momentum, and he replied that it’s about building consensus. He talked about this at a different event a couple weeks ago, and noted that councillors often do and should want to do more than just deal with ward issues. Mandel seems to want a team of thirteen that can think about Edmonton as a whole, and that can work together to progress things.

Local Food

I wanted to know what Mandel thought about food security and other issues surrounding our local food system. He agreed that the Municipal Development Plan was a good start, and noted the successful push by the Greater Edmonton Alliance in helping that document evolve. He talked about our food processing industry, and said it would be good to help it expand (something others are thinking about right now too). When I asked about beekeeping or chickens within the city, he said “we need to make it possible for people to do these things” but noted that it’s a complex issue.

In the economic vision he released yesterday, Mandel pledged to pursue “a new program to accommodate and promote Edmonton’s Urban Agricultural Strategy as both a community and economic initiative.”

Danielle Smith

I asked Mandel if he had any regrets on how he handled the Danielle Smith airport issue, and he replied “absolutely not.” He was quite emphatic that he’d say the exact same thing if it were to happen today.


I think there are some incredible things happening in Edmonton related to entrepreneurship, whether it’s with Startup Edmonton, Keep Edmonton Original, or just creative people doing things. Mandel said it is important to find a way to effectively support entrepreneurs, noting that “it doesn’t even have to be that much money.” He talked about finding ways for small businesses to compete with big business for City contracts, something he mentioned in yesterday’s economic vision as well. He also brainstormed out loud that a startup fund or something like the Edmonton Arts Council for startups might be a good idea. From yesterday’s press release:

“There are leaders in this community already working to make Edmonton a hotbed for connected young creatives, engineers and entrepreneurs who can compete in a global creative economy,” says Ken Bautista, local tech entrepreneur and co-founder of next gen groups artsScene Edmonton and Startup Edmonton. “We are strong believers that under Mayor Mandel’s continued leadership and this vision, Edmonton will have the best environment for young entrepreneurs to connect, do and win in the economy of the future.”

The feeling I got from Mandel on this issue is that he sees the creative economy as very important to the future of Edmonton (indeed “creative” seems to be one of his favorite words) and that he’ll help if he can, but ultimately he doesn’t want to get in the way.

Open Data

I asked Mandel about open data and the City’s Apps4Edmonton competition, and he had nothing but positive things to say about the issue. He was familiar with a few of the apps, though he admitted the app he uses most is Sudoku! I mentioned that some departments at the City seem to be hesitant about releasing data, to which Mandel replied “I can’t imagine why they wouldn’t release it. I think we should just make it all open.”


As you may know, Mandel himself hasn’t been updating the @MandelforMayor Twitter account. Paul Mennier, who leads communications for the Mandel campaign, said “it’s his words, my fingers.” Mandel told me he found Twitter “interesting” and that he’d like to explore it more after the election is done.

Development in the River Valley

I think we should explore limited development in the river valley, something Mandel agrees with. He noted that the efforts we have made so far, such as Louise McKinney Park, are not enough. The two biggest roadblocks as Mandel sees it? Proper access, and more vocal public support.

Mayor Stephen Mandel

October 18

I think Stephen Mandel is the the right mayor for Edmonton for the next three years, which is why I signed this letter of support along with hundreds of other Edmontonians. I encourage you to consider voting for Stephen Mandel on Monday, October 18.

Edmonton Election 2010: Final Mayoral Forum Recap

Last night was the second and final mayoral forum, held at Eastglen School. It was extremely well-attended, so much so that the overflow seating was all gone shortly after the event began at 7pm (estimates put the total attendance at around 600). Dozens of people stood at the back of the theatre and in the lobby throughout the entire evening. There were large sections of supporters in the audience, most wearing t-shirts for their respective candidates.

Mayoral Forum

It was an evening full of surprises, heated discussion, and some comedy (perhaps unintentional). When Stephen Mandel delivered his opening remarks, he was greeted with boos and jeers from people in the audience who support his rivals. It would happen throughout the night. Probably the biggest surprise came when Andrew Lineker stood up to deliver his opening remarks. He accused David Dorward of stealing his platform, said Daryl Bonar had no platform, and finished with “this forum for myself is done” before he stormed out. Bob Ligertwood delivered a meandering and off-topic opening address, while Dave Dowling talked about democracy. Dan Dromarsky was strong all evening, and made a good impression with his opening statement. Daryl Bonar presented himself as the alternative to Dorward and Mandel, saying he was “beholden to no one but voters”.

Here are some of the more memorable quotes from the forum:

  • “Vote for the future of Edmonton.” – Mandel
  • “I’m Dan Dromarsky and I can count to seven.” – Dromarsky in response to Dowling suggesting there were only four viable candidates
  • “Being your mayor will be a tremendous challenge, no doubt.” – Dorward
  • “I would definitely support an inquiry, if not a criminal investigation.” – Dowling on EPCOR
  • “That’s a lot of plebiscites.” – Dromarsky commenting on Dowling’s love of direct democracy
  • “Closing the City Centre Airport was a vote against your democratic rights.” – Ligertwood
  • “I grew up in social housing. It doesn’t work.” – Bonar
  • “Our city is at a crossroads, make no mistake about it.” – Bonar
  • “The winds of change are upon us.” – Dorward
  • “We should be experts at snow removal, but the sad thing is, we’re not.” – Dromarsky
  • “We need to place needs before wants.” – Dromarsky
  • “It would be the biggest mistake we’ll make in our lifetimes.” – Ligertwood on the Downtown Arena
  • “We’ve found creative solutions and we’ve moved forward – all of us.” – Mandel
  • “I Dave Dowling…” – Dowling

There wasn’t much time for questions, which was unfortunate. I also thought it was odd that the first question came from Ward 6 candidate Adil Pirbhai. The candidates were surprisingly brief with most of their answers.

Mayoral ForumMayoral Forum

As is so often the case nowadays, Twitter played a role in the event. From 6pm to 10pm last night, there were 1225 tweets posted using the #yegvote hashtag or one of the candidates’ names. There has been consistent chatter on Twitter over the last couple of weeks, but the forum really stood out:

Here’s a wordle of those tweets, with only the #yegvote hashtag removed:

And here’s a wordle with the candidates, #yegvote, and Twitter names removed:

It doesn’t come out as clearly as I thought it might, but the key issues last night included the City Centre Airport, the EPCOR deal, LRT expansion, and transparency.

Here are all the tweets, from oldest to newest:

Hopefully that’s useful as you prepare to vote on Monday. You can read the Edmonton Journal’s recap here. Here’s the CBC’s recap. The recorded webcast will be available here shortly. Stay tuned to the Election centre on ShareEdmonton for updates, including live results on election night!

2010 Mayor’s Celebration of the Arts

Sharon and I attended our third straight, and the 23rd annual, Mayor’s Celebration of the Arts tonight, held at the Winspear Centre. The event “celebrates some of the best artistic talents our city has to offer” and offers “sample-sized performances from some of Edmonton’s most talented artists and performers.” I’ve always enjoyed myself in the past, and tonight was no different.

Here is Mayor Mandel’s message to all Friends of the Arts, clearly inspired by the Vancouver Olympics:

Our creative culture helps make Edmonton the interesting and exciting city we are proud to call home and I’m proud to host this celebration of one of our city’s greatest assets.

Throughout the Vancouver Olympics, many of us felt inspired and proud as we watched out athletes strive for excellence. Like our Olympic athletes, Edmonton’s artists, writers and performers entertain and inspire us…stimulate and challenge us. This evening is all about Edmonton’s creative minds and their drive for excellence and achievement.

As well, during the Olympics we saw many stories of the “difference makers” – those who support our athletes as they strive to excel, and we were touched by these stories. In Edmonton, it is our businesses and community that are the difference makers to our artists – standing behind them and supporting them in their endeavours.

Tonight, we honour every member of Edmonton’s creative culture, and thank those who support it. Enjoy the show!

The full list of tonight’s nominees is available at the PACE website. Here are the winners:

The Mayor’s Award for Sustained Support of the Arts
Players de Novo, nominated by Concrete Theatre

The Mayor’s Award for Innovative Support by a Business for the Arts
Maclab Enterprises, Bruce Bentley, President & CEO, nominated by Edmonton Symphony Orchestra

John Poole Award for Promotion of the Arts
Allan E. Scott, nominated by Art Gallery of Alberta

City of Edmonton Book Prize
Waiting for Columbus, Thomas Trofimuk, McClelland & Stewart

Stantec Youth Artist Award ($2500 cash prize)
Matthew Jonah, nominated by Greg Dowler-Coltman

TELUS Courage to Innovate Award ($2500 cash prize)
Trevor Anderson, nominated by City of Edmonton, Office of the Environment

Northlands Award for an Emerging Artist ($2500 cash prize)
Raymond Biesinger, nominated by David Berry

Molson Award for Excellence in Artistic Direction ($2500 cash prize)
Greg Dowler-Coltman, nominated by Edmonton Opera

Sutton Place People’s Choice Award
Jeff Holmwood, glassworks

ATCO Gas Award for Outstanding Lifetime Achievement ($2500 cash prize)
Alice Major, nominated by John Mahon

2010 Mayor's Celebration of the Arts2010 MAyor's Celebration of the Arts

Performers included:

  • Yellow Ribbon Dancers, who opened the show
  • Good Spirit Trio, classical musicians
  • Jeremy Baumung & Kenneth Brown, who performed Homeless, a really moving story about working in one of Edmonton’s toughest homeless shelters
  • Allez Ouest, the face of Franco-Albertan music
  • 3rd Street Beat, Edmonton’s first hip hop studio, who wowed the crowd after the intermission
  • Andrew Grose, a very funny comedian who made everyone laugh with his “bed in a bag” bit
  • The Wheat Pool, who performed two songs from their new album – I definitely need to check these guys out
  • Vinok Worldance, who closed the show

My favorite performance was easily 3rd Street Beat, they really stole the show for a few minutes! I also really enjoyed The Wheat Pool, Andrew Grose, and Jeremy Baumung’s performance, which was top notch. The diversity of performances seemed to be back this year, though the second half of the night definitely had the most energy.

Sharon and I were kind of looking forward to the big dance at the end – where everyone, including the Mayor, gets up on stage as part of the final performance – but for whatever reason it didn’t happen this year. I guess the High School Musical-inspired foyer dance at the beginning made up for it though!

Congratulations to all the nominees and winners!

You can read my previous recaps here: 2008, 2009

2009 Mayor’s Celebration of the Arts

2009 Mayor's Celebration of the Arts Last night Sharon and I attended the 22nd annual Mayor’s Celebration of the Arts at the Winspear Centre. The annual awards ceremony recognizes members of the local arts community, and features a number of performances. As I said last year, it’s a good way to sample the variety offered by Edmonton’s arts scene.

We were fortunate enough to get tickets to the pre-ceremony reception from Bryan Cox of Molson, one of the event’s sponsors and long-time supporter of the arts community. It was great to meet Bryan and his colleague Ferg Devins. You can read about all of the things they are doing at the Molson in the Community blog.

The reception was held at The Citadel, in an area we’ve never been to (upstairs with the waterfall). It was a really great venue! We had some wine, sampled the food, and took in the sights and sounds. There were lots of recognizable faces in the crowd, including the Mayor himself, a number of City Councillors, and many of the people that keep Edmonton’s arts community interesting and growing.

The main event was held in the wonderful Enmax Hall at the Winspear Centre. Once again we purchased tickets for the Upper Circle and sat in the middle of the front row, which gave us a great view of the entire venue. It seemed as though there were less people in attendance than there were last year, but it was still a fairly big crowd (and the foyer was packed at intermission). CBC’s Peter Brown and CTV’s Carrie Doll once again emceed the event, and they did a great job.

You can view the full list of nominees in this PDF file. Here are the winners:

The Mayor’s Award for Sustained Support of the Arts
See Magazine, nominated by Latitude 53 Contemporary Visual Culture

The Mayor’s Award for Innovative Support by a Business for the Arts
CIBC, nominated by the Citadel Theatre

The John Poole Award for Promotion of the Arts
Ellis Brother’s Photography, nominated by the Arts Touring Alliance

The City of Edmonton Book Prize
Jack W. Brink, Athabasca University Press

The Stantec Youth Artist Award
Roydon Tse, nominated by Ross Sheppard School

TELUS Courage to Innovate Award
Rising Sun Theatre, nominated by Gerry Potter

The Molson Award for Excellence in Artistic Direction
Shelley Switzer, nominated by Bottom Line Productions

The Northlands Award for an Emerging Artist
Kristy Trinier, nominated by the Art Gallery of Alberta

The Sutton Place Hotel People’s Choice Award
Jonathan Kaiser

ATCO Gas Award for Outstanding Lifetime Achievement
Timothy Ryan, nominated by MacEwan Centre for the Arts

Performers included:

  • Jeremy Spurgeon, who opened the show on the Winspear’s massive organ.
  • The Be Arthurs, who performed covers of Toxic by Britney Spears and Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen.
  • The Raving Poets, who shared three poems set to music.
  • Chris Craddock & Nathan Cuckow, who performed a piece from their gay rap opera, Bash’d.
  • Ann Vriend, who sang three songs at the piano, including a cover of Queen’s We Are The Champions.
  • John Cameron, who encouraged the audience to sing along to a cover of Niel Diamond’s Sweet Caroline.
  • KO Dance Project, who performed an interesting interpretive dance.
  • Bomba!, a latin-jazz group who closed out the show.

My favorite performances were The Be Arthurs and Chris Craddock & Nathan Cuckow – very entertaining! I’m very glad I had the opportunity to see them perform, and wouldn’t hesitate to attend one of their shows in the future. Ann Vriend is definitely talented, but I think I liked Samantha Schultz better last year. I also thought the performances weren’t as varied as last year, which featured theatre in addition to musical numbers.

We were surprised that the event ran past 10pm, especially considering they seemed to be running at a decent pace before the intermission. Still, it was entertaining and enjoyable. Congratulations to all the nominees and winners!

You can see my tweets from the event here, and my photoset is here.

2008 Mayor's Celebration of the Arts

mayor's evening for the arts On Monday night I attended the 21st annual Mayor’s Celebration of the Arts at the Winspear Centre downtown. The annual event features performances by members of Edmonton’s arts community, and awards to celebrate the individuals who helped to make Edmonton the Cultural Capital of Canada. I came across it a couple months ago when I noticed that Teatro La Quindicina would be performing. Sharon and I are both fans, so we decided to buy tickets.

We paid $25 to sit in the front row of the Upper Circle level. The gallery (top level) was filled with students who were sponsored by Epcor and other businesses. The main level seemed to be full of representatives from sponsor organizations, the award nominees, and their friends and family. The reason I mention all this is that we got the distinct feeling we were among the few who actually paid out-of-pocket for tickets. Apparently attendance was up this year though.

The inside page of the event programme contained this message from Mayor Stephen Mandel. I quite like it (wonder if he wrote it, guessing not) so I’ve included it here in its entirety:

Take a bow, if you make your living in the arts – you give us the kind of City we want to live in. You make us laugh and think and smile and marvel and tap-our-toes, and you contribute to our great quality-of-life.

Take a bow, if you’ve supported the arts. Businesses, individuals, groups and volunteers – you’re vital in making sure our Creative Community flourishes so that great quality-of-life continues.

And take a bow if you’ve bought a ticket to be part of an audience. It gives you license to be a critic and a fan – and it ensures that even when we pass the title to another city, Edmonton will continue to be “Canada’s Cultural Capital”.

On-stage, on-screen, in theatres and cafes, out on our streets and in our concert halls, it’s a privilege to live in a City that’s bursting with so much creativity. And a privilege too, to be part of a City that’s filled with those who invest in and support it.

Congratulations to everyone who’s part of Edmonton’s professional arts community – and everyone who supports it.

The event was emceed by Peter Brown from CBC Edmonton, and Carrie Doll from CTV Edmonton. They did a great job, and Peter was especially funny! I found the most boring part of the show to be the awards. You can view the list of winners here (PDF).

The performances were what I really went to see. Kita No Taiko, Renee Brad of the Edmonton Opera, Red Power Squad, Brian Webb Dance Company, Samantha Schultz, Teatro La Quindicina, and Le Fuzz all performed. My favorites were definitely Red Power Squad, Samantha Schultz, and Teatro. The final performance by Le Fuzz was pretty cool too, as many of the attendees got up on stage and started dancing, including the mayor himself.

Not sure if I’d attend every year, but the Mayor’s Celebration of the Arts is definitely a great way to sample the variety offered by Edmonton’s art scene.

Where is everyone? The Winspear Full House Dancing!