We kicked off NextGen month last week with the latest edition of Pecha Kucha Night at the Maclab Theatre inside the Citadel. It was a special PKN, hosted as part of the City of Edmonton’s Reconciliation Week, celebrating the second anniversary of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Final Report.
While municipal drainage may not seem like an appealing topic of conversation, it is an important one.
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.
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 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