Recap: 2014 Yeggies

On Saturday night at La Cité francophone the 2014 Edmonton New Media Awards, better known as the Yeggies, were handed out. This was our third annual event and with over 300 nominations across 16 categories, there was a lot of really excellent work to highlight! About 200 Edmontonians filled the room to help celebrate some of our city’s best online content creators.

If you’re reading this blog I’d say it’s a safe bet that you know what the Yeggies are about, but just in case:

“The Edmonton New Media Awards, or the Yeggies, is an annual awards show created to recognize and celebrate outstanding social media content creators in the capital region. It’s an awards show to highlight some of the amazing talent we have here in Edmonton — from people who code websites themselves, to those who write, speak, draw, all on their own time. Yeggies recipients inspire, evoke, inform, educate and entertain us, and they do it because they have a passion for it.”

As you may have heard, Edmonton has a vibrant and strong social media community. The Yeggies are an opportunity to highlight the work being done and to say thanks for providing interesting content for us to enjoy. Not to mention it’s a fun evening of networking, catching up with friends, and putting faces to the Twitter names!


Adam and Trent were our emcees for the evening and I thought they did a great job. You might say they crossed the line once or twice, but I thought they were hilarious and kept the show running at a great pace! We went with a Back to the Future theme this year, given that 2015 is a very special year in the trilogy. Sadly no one dressed up in Doc Brown’s white radiation suit or Marty McFly’s orange vest, but as has become custom at the Yeggies, most people embraced the “cocktail comfy” dress code. It was a good looking crowd!

We had a very funny standup performance by local comedian Liam Creswick to start the second half of the show. DJ Polyesterday provided the perfect ambiance to the evening. There was food from Cafe Bicyclette, and the bar featured a special “#iheartyeg” cocktail.


From the full list of nominees, 90 were shortlisted. Our panel of judges then had the difficult task of choosing the winners, based on the quality of their work, their impact on Edmonton, and their ability to build community, among other factors.

Here are the winners for 2014, in order of awarding:

It was great to see so many of the winners in attendance this year. Congratulations to all of the nominees and winners!

I thought Phil Wilson, aka Baconhound, had two great speeches. He acknowledged the loss of BT Edmonton, noting that many people in the room had probably been given a leg up thanks to that show and the great people behind it. And in accepting his award for Best Twitter Persona, Phil recognized the huge impact that Marty Chan has had on Twitter over the last few months, especially during the hashtag election.


We’ve often joked about having a special lifetime achievement award, but this year it actually made sense to hand one out. Dave Cournoyer has been blogging for more than ten years now at, an incredible milestone, and without question he has had a huge impact on Edmonton and Alberta. He’s the go-to source for political news and analysis and for good reason. Dave talked about how he almost gave up on blogging until the Ed Stelmach domain name debacle launched him into the spotlight. I’m glad he kept it up!


I want to thank the volunteers who helped us out during the show, including Carol, Julie, Lindsey, and Sharon. We couldn’t have done it without you! Thank you also to our sponsors for helping to make the evening a success: TELUS, EEDC, Kiwi Productions, Northlands, EIA, Copy City, All About Flowers, Oodle Noodle, Focus Communications, and ACME Meat Market.


You can see the full set of photos from the evening here. Thank you Nanc Price for the incredible photos!

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram to find out when nominations for the 2015 Yeggies open and for details about the 2016 event!

May 2014 Mini Event Recaps!

It has been a busy month, so I haven’t written as much as I’d have liked to. Here are a few small recaps of events I have been to over the last few weeks.

The Yeggies

On May 9, local content producers were celebrated in Edmonton at the second annual Edmonton New Media Awards, affectionately known as The Yeggies. I was thrilled to be a part of the organizing committee for this year and had fun helping to put on a successful show! It was great to see many familiar online faces in person to recognize the work of their peers.

2013 Yeggies

Congratulations to all of the nominees and winners! You can see more photos of the event here. Also check out Lincoln’s video recap here.

interVivos Spring Mentorship Program

I volunteered to be a mentor in the 2014 spring edition of the popular interVivos Mentorship Program. The pairing event took place on May 14. With a speed-dating format, each protege got to spend four minutes with each mentor. At the end of the event, everyone wrote down their top 5 choices. The interVivos folks have since paired us up, and each mentor and protege will meet at least three times over the course of the program.

I have emceed the last couple of pairing events, so it was interesting to be on the other side this time! It’s amazing how quickly four minutes goes by. It felt like you had just barely gotten through introductions before time was up and the protege was moving on to the next mentor!

I know I am not the most experienced mentor, but I have had the good fortune of learning from some incredible Edmontonians over the last few years, and I’m looking forward to paying that forward.

Host Edmonton

I was fortunate enough to receive a media pass for a session at Host Edmonton, which took place from May 22 through May 24 at the Shaw Conference Centre. I decided to attend the afternoon keynote on Friday called “Taking Risks and Setting the Table for the Future” with chef Marc Murphy.

Chef Marc Murphy

I didn’t know what to expect from the session – it turned out to be the story of how Marc got to where he is today. No slides or visuals, just Marc talking. He credited much of his success to having dyslexia, as it forced him to work hard and be willing to take risks. Another key message was, “you can’t be afraid of starting over and picking up the pieces.” Marc started over numerous times throughout his career, learning and growing along the way. As he was telling the story, I found myself wishing we had checked out one of his restaurants when were in New York! Next time.

This was Marc’s first time to Canada, and he seemed to be enjoying Edmonton when I asked him what he thought so far! I hope the other guests felt the same way and left Edmonton with a positive feeling.

I am still unclear about who exactly Host Edmonton was meant for: those in the hospitality industry, foodies, or both? Attendance certainly didn’t match the expectations I had for the event given the high quality marketing and branding. A tighter program and clearer messaging for next year’s event would both be positive changes. And possibly even some different price points. Great to see EEDC experimenting with some new approaches and initiatives, however!

What the Truck?!

On Saturday, May 24 we held our first What the Truck?! event of the season. It took place on 104 Street from 5-9pm and featured 12 trucks. I think it’s safe to say the event was a success – perhaps too successful, as the lineups were quite long that night! I myself spent nearly an hour in the line for S’WICH, but it was worth it.

What the Truck?! on 104 Street

We know the lineups were long, and while we’re working to have more trucks on hand for our next event, lines cannot be entirely avoided. On the plus side, it was great to see so many people chatting and enjoying the sense of community that comes with one of our events. I was also pleased to hear that downtown restaurants and businesses benefited greatly from the crowds we were able to attract into the area!

You can check out more of my photos from the event here (and more from Dave here). Save the date for our second event of the season: Friday, June 13 in Old Strathcona from 5-9pm!

RISE Awards

Last night I attended the 11th annual RISE Awards, courtesy of the Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers. The gala event took place at the Edmonton Expo Centre and featured a fancy stage setup by Production World (they seem to be at every event lately!). The program went quite long, but featured some great entertainment and an inspiring keynote by Zahra Al-Harazi. It was also fun to see former mayor Stephen Mandel enjoying himself up on stage!

Seven awards were handed out:

  • Oliver Kamau won the Community Leadership, Immigrant Award
  • Wildman Institute won the Community Leadership, Non-Immigrant Award
  • Linar Dahir Waliyi won the Youth Achievement Award
  • Erica Vela Namsechi won the Arts & Culture Award
  • Enbridge Pipelines Inc. won the Welcoming Workplace Award
  • All Weather Windows won the Workplace Innovation Award
  • Dr. Man-Joe Watt won the Lifetime Achievement Award

Congratulations to all!

Up Next…

Tonight, along with journalist, rapper, and cat-lover Omar Mouallem, I am hosting a poverty simulation with the United Way. I attended the first one in Edmonton back in November 2012 and found it highly educational, so I was thrilled to be asked by the United Way to encourage other young Edmontonians to participate. As you may know there is now a Mayor’s Task Force for the Elimination of Poverty in Edmonton, so I think this is a great time to be getting others involved.

This weekend I am attending the Good 100, “an annual two day gathering that brings together a diverse group of 100 Edmontonians involved in good work in their communities.” The event takes place at Rundle Park and sounds like it’s going to be an intense but rewarding couple of days. I’m looking forward to meeting some new people and to learning about some interesting local projects!

On Monday I’m doing a session at the 66th annual IPAC National Conference. IPAC is the Institute of Public Administration of Canada, and my session is entitled Sparking the City’s Creativity with Technology. I’m looking forward to sharing some of the interesting things happening here in Edmonton with public administrators from around the country!

There are so many other exciting events coming up, you can tell that we’re into the summer swing of things now.

The Yeggies will recognize and celebrate online content creators in Edmonton

the yeggiesToday was a very exciting day for Edmonton’s vibrant social media scene! Adam Rozenhart of The Unknown Studio (among other things) officially announced the Edmonton New Media Awards, a.k.a. “The Yeggies”:

Edmonton has a particularly strong social media community. It’s quite remarkable, and I think pretty unique. I know other Canadian cities have enthusiastic social media users and communities as well, but — and I’ll admit to complete and total bias here — there’s just something different about Edmonton’s community.

You know what’s missing from Edmonton’s winning formula? True, unabashed recognition.

That’s where the new awards come in!

The Edmonton New Media Awards, or the Yeggies, is an annual awards show created to recognize and celebrate outstanding social media content creators in the capital region. It’s an awards show to highlight some of the amazing talent we have here in Edmonton — from people who code websites themselves, to those who write, speak, draw, all on their own time. Yeggies recipients inspire, evoke, inform, educate and entertain us, and they do it because they have a passion for it.

I’m really thrilled that this is really going to happen – there are so many creative people in our city making interesting things online. I am fortunate enough to be on the organizing committee, so I can tell you that coming up with the categories wasn’t easy. I’m sure we’ll hear lots of great feedback on how to improve, but I’m very happy with the award categories we decided upon for the first annual awards:

  • Best in Edmonton
  • Best in Political or Current Affairs
  • Best in Sports
  • Best in Food
  • Best in Arts and Culture
  • Best in Humour
  • Best in Fashion & Style
  • Best Twitter Persona
  • Lifetime Achievement Award

Yes, this means that a sports blog could be up against a sports podcast, for example. Blogs and podcasts are two different animals, but once you go down the path of having separate awards for each service or network you quickly realize it never ends. There is a special category for Twitter, but to me that’s a recognition of the outsized impact Twitter has had on the entire scene here in Edmonton.

Want to nominate someone? You have until the end of January!

Details for the awards show are still being worked out but it is currently slated to take place in the spring. If you’d like to get involved, we’re looking for both volunteers and sponsors.

Finally, I want to thank Adam for driving this forward. I think The Yeggies are going to be a big success, and I just hope I can play a role in helping him realize his vision for the project. Take a few seconds and thank Adam for once again giving meaning to the “Make Something Edmonton” idea.