Written by Erika Tumbach

Hello everyone and happy autumn! We have all been through a lot the last year and a half, so we wanted to take some time to check in and reintroduce ourselves. While we haven’t been able to see you all in person in some time, we have been moving forward virtually and continuing our work in elevating young voices in the Edmonton area.

As you may know, in late 2020 we made the move to operate as an independent non-profit after collaboration with of the City of Edmonton. ”That said, our board is delighted to have the City's support through funds granted to NextGen to support its first years as a community nonprofit.” – Anika Zepp, Vice President, Edmonton’s NextGen. In doing this, we formally established our society’s key objectives. These are to engage 18-40 year olds in the Edmonton area in civic participation and community building. Further, we want to create connections that create opportunities for 18-40 year old Edmontonians to impact their city and look forward to continuing to work with the City and our partners towards these goals.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we continued that connectedness through online events. This included hosting a very successful MarchMEAET, presented by RBC, which took to social media for a new spin on the classic NextGen event. In addition, we continued to provide our professional development series online and broadcasted a Pecha Kucha Night from the Grindstone Theatre in June. 

These experiences have presented us the opportunity to learn more about how to make our events accessible for as many people as possible. Online offerings can be easier to attend to those with family commitments and those facing other barriers to being at events in person. Our team of board members and volunteers are exploring the potential of maintaining virtual events balanced with in person events when it is safe to do so. “We love the in-person connections that are made at our events and look forward to having this opportunity again, hopefully soon.” – Anika Zepp.

Through all the change and uncertainty, our goals have remained the same. We aim to create an environment and opportunities that promote diversity and represent the true makeup of the Edmonton area. As we determine next steps as we navigate the pandemic, we would love to hear from you! If there is anything you would like to see from us, please find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, or send us a note at [email protected]. We look forward to seeing you all again soon!