Happy New Year Edmonton! We had the opportunity to speak with some of Edmonton’s prominent leaders and they shared with us their resolutions for the City of Edmonton for 2015. Below are their own personal goals, and their hopes and dreams for the city this year. Cheers to a new year, new opportunities, and new possibilities!
My hope for our city during 2015 is that significant progress will be made on the Plan to End Homelessness. We are so fortunate to live in such a wonderful city and every citizen should be doing their part to ensure that no individual or family is without a home. Edmonton Public Library’s outreach workers have assisted many individuals in their quest to find homes and see firsthand the positive effect it is on many other aspects of their lives. Permanent supportive housing needs assistance from all communities in our city and I am hopeful that 2015 will see neighbourhoods embracing opportunities to end homelessness.
– Linda C. Cook, Chief Executive Officer, Edmonton Public Library
When you’re someone who’s doing a lot for the community and giving to it, it can be easy to slip into not allowing oneself to receive from it. I host a lot of events, but don’t have time to go to many events. I want to really enjoy what Edmonton has to offer and to let it feed me. Sometimes you carry the community and sometimes you let it carry you. If I had a resolution, I’d love to see the city develop a mechanism like Live Local to support independent, local businesses and promote the idea of shopping local. The city doesn’t do this and yet it’s the only institution with the capacity to do so. We need to support those who are making things here. We need that to become the norm.
– Tad Hargrave, Co-Founder, TheLocalGood.ca
My New Years resolution is to enjoy the great stand up community that I have found here in our very own city of Edmonton. They have been so welcoming. Also, I am hoping to see more LGBT faces in the stand up circuit this year! As for the people of Edmonton, lets get out there and laugh more. As a city we should be supporting all of our local talent. Music, comedy, art, whatever it may be. Go support it. You never know who will hit it big time and you can say “I know that person, sorta. Well, ok I knew a guy who went to school with their sister.”
– Nadine Hunt, prominent Edmonton comedian
Well, I don’t think I could have prepared for what 2014 had to offer in provincial politics, so I feel 2015 is an opportunity to continue to pursue a resolution to get more and more of our generation involved and engaged. This is more important now than any other time in the history of our province. As well, every year I say I don’t want to miss a moment of my daughters’ growing up and I always try very hard to spend more time with them, and this year… I will do just that!
– Matt Jeneroux, MLA, Edmonton-South West
In 2015, I resolve to remain focused on what drew me to a career in broadcasting in the first place: the compelling stories of people all around us. It’s an important and exciting time for our city and province. Conversations about inclusive social policy, energy diversification, infrastructure investment and citizen engagement have arguably never been more important (or more interesting)!
– Ryan Jespersen, Broadcaster
My resolution for 2015 is simple: To make Edmonton the safest major city in Canada – to live, to play, to visit and to work. It’s an ambitious goal, but it is one that every one of our police officers and every one of our citizens can commit to. If the bad guys know that every Edmontonian is watching, they will think twice about committing a crime. This is our city, and we should all take ownership in making it the safest city.
– Rod Knecht, Chief of Police, Edmonton Police Service
I dream of an Edmonton where it’s the norm to drop into your local community league’s activities and events on any given day. Imagine the young and the old (and anyone in between) gathering after dinner by the community fire pit to tell stories about the past, the present and the future. Imagine the sharing of cultures, traditions and technologies between first generation and fourth generation Canadians. Imagine making the most of the diversity we are blessed with.
I guess it’s time I stop dreaming, hey? 2015 sounds like a good time to start turning these dreams into reality!
– William Lau, Students’ Union President, University of Alberta
After being delayed by six months in 2014, the Metro Line LRT to NAIT should be opening in early 2015, and that’s something I am really looking forward to because LRT has such a transformative effect on our city. I have no doubt that the new extension will be successful (in terms of ridership), but we need to learn from that project as we select the winning bid for the Valley Line LRT by the end of the year (with construction slated to start in 2016).
I would like for Edmonton, in 2015, to capitalize on the energy and momentum that we all can sense in our city. Maybe it needs a bit of structure, maybe it needs a bit of shepherding, or maybe we simply need to better define what “it” is, but whatever approach we take, we cannot let this opportunity pass us by!
– Mack Male, prominent social media leader, blog.mastermaq.ca, entrepreneur, software developer
2015 is going to mark my 10th year doing improvisation with Rapid Fire Theatre (RFT.) I hope to chronicle the formative years of my performance training with RFT to culminate in a show I am creating with fellow Edmontonian Colin Matty at the Edmonton International Fringe Festival. It will be a year of investing locally to achieve widespread impact. Exploring how the immediate vicinity can affect the larger landscapes.
– Kory Mathewson, prominent Edmonton actor, MSc in Biomedical Engineering, University of Alberta
In 2015, my hope is that all Edmontonians talk about native-newcomer relations and our messy histories and daily realities, with the view of real reconciliation and a legacy of respect and cooperation. This year, Mayor Iveson’s Year of Reconciliation winds down, but I hope it will just be a jumping off point for ongoing actions by the City and citizens to recognize the past and plan for a better future.
– Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail, Historian Laureate, The City of Edmonton
Indigenous teachings tell us the future belongs to the generations to come, so in my role I turn to youth for leadership. Edmonton/Amiskwaciwâskahikan (Beaver Mountain House) is a vibrant city with a rich Indigenous history (over 12,000 years!) and the fastest growing urban Indigenous population in Canada. Difficult issues have arisen in 2014, from the Truth and Reconciliation commission’s finale and the shameful history of residential schools to very public issues of racism.
Youth are engaged in critical discussion amongst their peers and the community at large. They are inspired to reclaim their Indigeneity, support Elders who speak up about injustice and find their own voice in the process. They are making space with other Edmontonians in schools and in public to educate and collaborate, calling for space for consultation with marginalized peoples and incorporation of our Traditional knowledge. My resolution is that we would all face issues of racism with such bravery, learn more of about our collective history in this territory, and look to our young leaders for inspiration to do so.
– Brianna Briskool Olson, Anishnaabe woman, social worker and activist, 2014 John Humphreys Human Rights Award recipient
Banner photograph courtesy of Wanderer Online Photography Editor Antony Ta