Downtown Bike Grid

On Sep. 28, the City Edmonton's Urban Planning Committee endorsed a new urban bike grid for the downtown core. The plan was brought forward by Stantec and involves two-way lanes that would cover  7.1 km of roadway within two blocks of most downtown destinations. With a growing population and a new arena making our downtown busier all the time, the plan is a thoughtful investment.

Mercer Summer Super Party

Over the month of June – officially proclaimed NextGen Month – NextGen has been out on the town celebrating a new wave of volunteer organizations dedicated to shaping our image of Edmonton as a place that young people choose to live, learn and work. With the NextGen kickoff party at Little Brick, the Pride Parade, and Pecha Kucha Night 25 in the books, we capped off the month-long celebration with the biggest party yet: The Mercer Summer Super Party!

For those who have never had a chance to pop by the Mercer Summer Super Party, it’s an all-floor, close-the-street extravaganza featuring special programming, social spaces, art installations, a dance party and more. The Mercer Warehouse is a hub of creative energy and home to many of the city’s most exciting innovators and entrepreneurs. And having an opportunity to share this creative energy and bring together the surrounding community is the whole point of the #SuperParty.

In the past, we’ve seen collaborations with GURU Digital Arts, HWKRS MRKT, On the Spot Pop-Up Trunk Market, Rapid Fire Theatre, Startup Edmonton and many more; but this year the focus seemed to have been placed on showcasing the incredible and diverse arts community that we have in this city. With AGNT and the talented folks from The Northern Sessions, the streets were filled with a sonic soundscape buzzing with energy. The modern-folk harmonies of North of Here provided the perfect background as people began to stream in, followed by Carter and the Capitals who somehow managed pack all their funk exuberance on to the back of the Steamwhistle truck stage. And thanks to AGNT DJs Freshlan, Mikey Wong, DJ Twix and Kurt Hustle’ the beats kept pumpin’.

Visual arts also took to the streets with the MINDIB Art Auction + Art Battle. Attendees were able to browse the walls of the Mercer Warehouse, bid on their favourite work of art from some of the best local underground artists or sprawl out into the hustle and bustle of 104th Street to witness the live art battle as four artists went head to head, placing the power in the hands of the spectators to determine the victor.

And in the middle of the action were your intrepid NextGen volunteers, spreading the word about everything NextGen has to offer. Thanks to the enthusiastic team of volunteers that manned the NextGen table, and those upstairs who looked after the photo booth (because really, is it even a party if there’s no photo booth?!).

The bevies were cold, more churros from Rostizado were consumed than I would like to openly admit, the tunes were infectious, food truck alley kept our bellies full, and best of all, the sense of community was off the charts.

Thanks to all of you who stopped by and said hello; we can’t wait to do it all again next year!

Pecha Kucha 25!

Pecha Kucha 25!

Pecha Kucha draws its name from the Japanese term for “the sound of chitchat.” Pecha Kucha Night was devised by Tokyo’s Klein Dytham Architecture in February 2003 as a venue for young designers to meet, network, exchange ideas and discuss their work in public. It rests on a presentation format that is based on a simple idea: 20 images, each shown for 20 seconds, for a total presentation length of six minutes and 40 seconds. Why this format you ask? It keeps presentations concise, fast-paced and entertaining

NextGen Month Kick-off Party

This past week, we began NextGen Month with our Kick-off event at Little Brick Café. It was a tremendous night, full of laughs, mingling, fabulous weather and gorgeous scenery of the river valley. If you have never been to Little Brick, you should seriously check it out. You won’t regret it!

Since the weather was gorgeous, everything was outside, and there was plenty of space to allow people to mix, mingle and enjoy some tasty appetizers and drinks. We would like to thank Ribstone Creek Brewery, Redstar, and the Bower for providing some amazing food and beverages. There was everything from chicken wings and donuts to beer and wine. We would also like to thank Mojo Photo Booth, who was there to ensure everyone could take some goofy pictures to remember the evening, as well as DJ Thomas Culture who energized attendees and really set the mood. 

The highlight of the evening was Councillor Andrew Knack presenting the proclamation for the NextGen Month here in the City of Edmonton. He spoke about being involved in the city, doing our part to make it a more enjoyable place, and encouraging others to do so. We would like to thank Councillor Knack for contributing to the success of the event.

An important theme throughout the night was meeting new people and broadening your network of friends in the city. NextGen is a great way to connect with other volunteers and people from all different industries and the Kickoff Party gave people a chance to meet others and discover new opportunities to get involved in Edmonton.

We also announced that NextGen will be organizing it's biggest yet: A music concert with a twist! Instead of asking you to buying a ticket to the show, we want you to donate your time and volunteer. Rack up 15 volunteer hours with a recognized organization, and you'll get into this exclusive, must-see show. Stay tuned for more details!

It was fantastic to see people excited about the City of Edmonton and its future. We are so happy to have June proclaimed as NextGen Month and we are looking forward to what the coming weeks have in store

Check out some photos from the NextGen Month Kick-off Celebration below!

Op: Help the Less Fortunate

Edmonton is home to a number of generous and hard-working organizations and groups with a common goal: to end homelessness. Here at NextGen, we want to showcase the dedication of initiatives around Edmonton and supply our readers with information on how they can get involved around the community and help put an end to homelessness

Originally running under the title of 'OpXmas', the Op: Help the Less Fortunate Street Store first popped up in December of 2013. Organizers and volunteers gathered all the clothing and donations they could find and, for two weekends before Christmas in -30 degree weather, set up their parking lot store in Edmonton's inner city. After seeing such a large turnout at the Christmas event, organizers such as Skye decided the Street Store needed to happen throughout the year: "We realized a much larger need than once a year, so it is now done every two months. We gather our goodies for our friends on the streets... we then pack up and go to our street party to hang out with our friends." 

The grass roots group's largest event fed and clothed nearly 500 Edmontonians in need. From providing clothing for all shapes and sizes, to filling hungry bellies, to cutting hair, Op: Help the Less Fortunate is a charming and humble event that impacts the lives of Edmontonians in desperate need of assistance. Additionally, it serves as a powerful awakening for volunteers and opens their eyes to the hardships so many in our city face. 

Organizers of the event are ecstatic that the Street Store has gained enough momentum to continue throughout the year and are always looking for more help at their events. 

"Our group of volunteers come from all walks of life, the young and the old with one common goal: to help those in need within our community by direct action. Volunteers are asked to bring whatever they can to the event even if it's only a smile or a listening ear, it all adds up" (Care, Op: Help the Less Fortunate). 

The next event will be taking place July 10. There are numerous volunteer spots waiting to be filled, such as sandwich makers, bakers, some muscle to help unload trucks, friendly faces to strike up conversation, and many more. 

The Street Store is also in need of various donation items such as: 

  • Clothing
  • Backpacks in good condition
  • New underwear/socks
  • Gift cards for food/toiletries
  • Toiletries (ie. tooth brush, tooth paste, shampoo and conditioner, body or bar soap, deodorant, razors, and shaving cream)
  • Blankets/sleeping bags
  • Non-perishable snacks
  • Bottled water

Even if you do not have the means to donate, what you do have to offer is your time and your heart. The Street Store is powered by Edmontonians with a passion for helping those in need and with the support of volunteers, will continue to grow and reach hundreds of  vulnerable Edmontonians. 

"I encourage anyone and everyone to come out at least once, see what we keep going on about. It truly is a life-changing experience. Be kind to those that you meet on the streets; you do not know why they are there till you actually take the time to talk to them. Be kind to people — you may be the only one who is. "
- Skye, Op: Help the Less Fortunate - Anonymous Edmonton

For more information on donations and how to get involved:

Photos provided by Op: Help the Less Fortunate - Anonymous Edmonton

Homeward Walk Run: Moving to End Youth Homelessness

Edmonton is home to a number of generous and hard-working organizations and groups with a common goal: to end homelessness. Here at NextGen, we want to showcase the dedication of initiatives around Edmonton and supply our readers with information on how they can get involved around the community and help put an end to homelessness. 

Each night, 35,000 Canadians sleep without a roof above their head and every year, over 235,000 experience homeless. Homelessness is an issue found throughout Canada's urban areas and affects us all as Canadians, with $7 billion being spent on emergency services and corrections annually. Thousands of Canadians suffer the harsh reality of homelessness, and it is time we work together to put an end to this seemingly never-ending cycle. Homelessness can and will not be solved over night, but with a little help from everyone and the implementation of preventive measures, we can start to make some real change in our city. 

This June 12th, everyone is invited to join Homeward Trust Edmonton at their fourth annual Homeward Walk Run. Proceeds from the event are distributed among upcoming initiatives that aim to put an end to youth homelessness and improve the well-being of homeless collectives living within Edmonton. 

Homeward Trust has been operating with the ambition to tackle homelessness and support vulnerable populations in the city. In a 2014 study, it was found that youth and children make up approximately 29% of the homeless population in Edmonton (Homeward Trust, 2014). With numbers like these, it is imperative that measures are taken to aid this vulnerable collective and work as a community to lift them out of poverty. 

Events like the Homeward Walk Run aim to do just that. By joining in on June 12th, you will be helping vulnerable youth across the city and making strides toward ending homelessness in Edmonton. 

The Homeward Trust Walk Run will be taking place at Whitemud Park Picnic Place #1  (12505 Keillor Rd NW). Family and friends of all ages are welcome to take part and participants may choose from a 1K children's walk, a 5K walk/run, or a 10K run. Registration fee per participant is $40 and kids run free. Spots are limited to the first 500 entrants so get your team and your sneakers together and get ready to move! 


To learn more about the event and get yourself registered, head over to:

 http://www.homewardwalkrun.ca

Sourceshttp://www.homewardwalkrun.ca/?page_id=15
http://homelesshub.ca/resource/state-homelessness-canada-2014

Six Local Food Spots to Help Satisfy Any Craving

Six Local Food Spots to Help Satisfy Any Craving

"Also featured in Avenue, Hathaway’s diner has some major Twin Peak vibes—an excellent selection of irresistible homemade pies to go with your cup of coffee (or tea or water), and all of it at an affordable price. While this place doesn’t seem like much from the outside, the inside is cozy and always filled to the brim. Service is great and quick, you don’t have to wait long for your food and the portions are more than plentiful. There is an eggs benedict special every Saturday and if you’re throwing an event or planning a meeting, Hathaway’s also does catering."

Edmonton's Poetry Community

Edmonton's Poetry Community

Breath in Poetry (BIP) was created in 2009 and is a group of poetry enthusiasts and performers who volunteer their time to promote spoken word in the city. There are three organizers: Ahmed “Knowmadic” Ali, Titilope Sonuga, and Reakash Walters. They facilitate the Rouge Poetry nights on a weekly basis at the Rouge Lounge, a locally owned and operated business. Every Tuesday at 9 P.M. is open mic night. They also hold slam competitions where poets compete against one another. Admission to get into the slam is five dollars but open mic nights are completely free.