EPCOR’s 120th Anniversary

Last night EPCOR held an event to celebrate its 120th anniversary. A few dozen EPCOR employees, board members, VIPs, and other guests met on the 20th floor of the new tower for a brief program before being invited up to the 28th floor for a reception and the opportunity to step out onto the balcony of Edmonton’s tallest building. President & CEO Don Lowry spoke briefly about EPCOR’s history and the opportunities ahead. He also thanked Mayor Mandel for his leadership and presented him with a pair of ice grips for his shoes, a nod to the Mayor’s recent slip and fall.

EPCOR's 120th

The 28th floor of the building is where EPCOR’s executive and legal offices will be located, and they are set to move in this week – the last of EPCOR’s employees to do so. I’m told the interior was being worked on right up to the reception, but the last minute completion didn’t show. Guests were invited out onto the balcony for a unique view of Edmonton at night.

Edmonton from Above
Looking north

Edmonton from Above
Looking west

Edmonton from Above
Looking back at downtown

There seem to be more opportunities to look south (from the Crowne Plaza, Coast Edmonton House, or the CWB building, etc.) so the view north is not one most Edmontonians are familiar with. It’s amazing at night to see just how far the lights go. You can see my post about the new EPCOR Tower here.

EPCOR's 120th

Founded on October 23, 1891 as the Edmonton Electric Lighting and Power Company, EPCOR has grown significantly over the years, and today provides water, wastewater, and electrical distribution services to over 1 million people across Western Canada. With a series of acquisitions in Arizona and New Mexico, EPCOR is becoming a series player outside of Canada as well.

Here are a few highlights from EPCOR’s history:

  • 1891: Electric lights come on in Edmonton.
  • 1903: First water treatment plant built at Rossdale
  • 1933: Edmonton’s first traffic light installed at Jasper Avenue and 101 Street
  • 1955: Rossdale switches from coal to gas
  • 1976: E.L. Smith Water Treatment Plant opens
  • 1996: EPCOR Utilities Inc. formed
  • 1999: Aqualta renamed EPCOR
  • 2009: Capital Power Corporation established

EPCOR was named one of Western Canada’s 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures and one of Alberta’s Top 50 Employers in 2010 (see a full list of awards here). President & CEO Don Lowry was named Alberta Venture’s Business Person of the Year in 2010 as well.

Here’s to another 120 years!

Recap: Edmonton Twestival 2009

Wow, what a fantastic evening! Thanks to everyone who came out tonight, and to everyone who supported Twestival. I think it’s really cool that the Edmonton community was able to participate and help make a difference for those in the world who don’t have access to safe, clean drinking water.

Our hope was to have around 50 people attend this evening, and we came very close – the final tally was 45. Everyone donated $20, which means we raised at least $900 from ticket sales. I know at least another $100 was donated online via tipjoy, so that brings us to $1000 raised for charity: water. Well done everyone!

Photos by momentsindigital (site)

Thanks once again to everyone who donated the door prizes: @sassycakes, @transcendcoffee, @bruceclarke, @NAIT, @thechadj, @Out_Inc, @cmscritic, and @tonyratcliffe. Thanks also to @sharonyeo for doing a ton of work to make tonight happen!

I’ve posted a few photos and a video here, @bruceclarke posted some much better ones here, and @tonyratcliffe posted his photos here. If you know of any others, please let me know! If you’re feeling adventurous, you can read some of tonight’s chatter at Twitter Search.

I can’t wait to hear how Twestival went in other cities – there should be lots of exciting news over the next few days. Keep an eye on @twestival for updates.

Our next Twitter event here in Edmonton will be EdmontonTweetup4. See you there!

UPDATE: We raised at least $1000 but because of the online donations and other ways to help out, our total raised may end up being higher than that. I’ll update again when I know the official numbers.

Twestival Edmonton – February 12th, 2009

I’m excited to announce the latest Twitter event taking place in Edmonton: Twestival 2009! More than 100 cities around the world are hosting Twestivals on February 12th to raise money and awareness for charity: water. When I heard about the idea, I knew that Edmonton had to participate. After all, we’re known for our support of community and charitable causes, and the Twitter community here is second-to-none! It’s going to be an evening of great fun for a great cause!

Here are the details:

WHO: You and your friends!
WHAT: Edmonton Twestival 2009
WHEN: Thursday, February 12th at 6:30pm
WHERE: Vintage Lounge, 10124 124th Street – map
WHY: To have some fun while supporting a great cause!
COST: We’re asking for a $20 donation which will go entirely to charity: water.

Click here to register for the event. If at all possible, please use the donate online option when you book your ticket as that’ll simplify things for us.

Here’s a bit more information on Twestival:

The Twestival is organized 100% by volunteers in cities around the world and 100% of the money raised from these events will go directly to support charity: water projects. Unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation cause 80% of all sickness and disease, and kill more people every year than all forms of violence, including war. By rallying together globally, under short timescales, for a single aim on the same day, the Twestival hopes to bring awareness to this global crisis.

Needless to say, I think it’s a cause worth supporting. The cost of funding a well project in a developing country starts at $4,000 USD. Together with our friends in Calgary, I think Alberta can definitely raise enough to fund an entire well!

Some cities have organized elaborate programs for their Twestival, which is cool. Here in Edmonton, we thought it would be better to keep things simple. Here’s what we’ve got planned:

  • Come anytime after 6:30pm to Vintage Lounge. If you’ve registered online, we’ll have a special nametag waiting for you. Meet people who are new to you, and reconnect with people you already know. Put faces and real names to Twitter usernames!
  • Also if you’ve registered online, you’ll have a shot at winning one of our door prizes! We wanted to highlight local organizations on Twitter, so have asked a few for donations. Our first supporter is SassyCakes! Let me know if you’d like to donate something.
  • Connect to the free wireless provided by Vintage Lounge and chat with Twestival-goers in other cities. We’ll have a screen setup thanking our supporters, and showing real-time Twestival chat from around the world!
  • Feel free to bring friends who are currently missing out on Twitter – we’ll get them registered on the spot!

Beyond that, let’s just have a good time and raise some money for charity: water!

If you’re interested in sponsoring the event, or donating a door prize, or otherwise helping out, please let me know. Stay tuned to the wiki and the @edmontontweetup account for news and updates.

Major thanks to Sharon (@sharonyeo) for helping me get this off the ground, and to everyone else who has provided input and support so far (@dibegin, @Roger, @amanda etc.)

See you there!

UPDATE: Here is charity: water’s official Twestival page.