The City that is Edmonton
It was only a short time ago…when a hockey player and a mall defined us.
It was only a short time ago…when our downtown had more empty lots than buildings.
It was only a short time ago…when we wrestled with how to describe ourselves.
And it was only a short time ago…when we were challenged to envision our future.
But a short time ago…now seems like a long time ago. And it’s time to say goodbye to the Edmonton that once was…and say hello to the Edmonton that now is. Amidst a year of economic headwinds, this resilient city pushed forward once again. People came here in droves…looking for opportunity…and finding it in the most unusual places. Amidst a year which could have been dreary, this city lit itself up to a new level and accomplished things that many said could never be done. And amidst a year which could be described as unlucky, this city took destiny into its own hands and showed the world that it is a force to never be counted out.
This is not the same city as it once was. This is a city of beauty, a city that’s engaged, a city that is alive 52 weeks a year…a city that can now be seen through a new lens, with colour and light and excitement.
A city that welcomed the world…in sport, in life, in food, in prayer, in the skies and on the streets.
A city that is a Region, filled with prosperity, and compassion and endless opportunity.
A city that has learned how to play…and inspire…and lead…and win.
A city that cares…and cries…and loves…and lifts people up.
Gone are the cold days of winter. Gone are is the feeling that there is nothing to do. Gone are the days of being unconnected. Gone are the days of being old and tired. This is Canada’s youngest, fastest growing city…a $94 billion hub of activity in the West. Canada’s 5th largest municipality, responsible for 1 out of every 4 jobs in this country over the past three years. A university town, a government town, an industrious town, an entrepreneurial town, a sports town, a bike-riding town, a dog-walking town.
A city of courage and encouragement, where anyone with an idea to make something, no matter how outrageous, can always find a helping hand.
A city of music and dance and life, that makes a winter of dark nights…shine.
A city of leaders, young and old, who work together to overcome challenges and inspire a better future.
A city of artists and risk takers. A city of lovers and peacekeepers. A city of tolerance and acceptance. And a city where your neighbours are your friends and your friends are your family.
This was once a barren land. It has grown so much. What we are building today is the foundation for tomorrow. And tomorrow will come, when someone once again will say, it’s time to say goodbye to the Edmonton that once was, and hello to the Edmonton that now is.