On Saturday May 4, the first-ever Yeggies launched in Edmonton, with a daunting ensemble of Edmontonians filling the Shaw Conference Centre. When The Wanderer‘s collective arrived, we were greeted by a warm group of volunteers, and then by an impressive array of hors d’oeuvres. (We had all gone to The Common beforehand, but no-one could resist a second dinner.) The team mingled with event organizers for the following thirty minutes, found an empty table just next to the front stage, and sat down for what would be an entertaining evening.
Much to our dismay, the “Best in Edmonton” award presentation was the last of the evening. So despite the illusion of composure, we were all quite nervous. Thankfully, Trent Wilkie was a good host throughout the night, lightening the mood as he took cracks at members of the audience (not to mention at himself). Wilkie and the event organizers punctuated the evening with a series of videos that kept everyone at ease and engaged much of the audience in laughter. Though the first video was quite possibly the funniest, the collection of skits were all imaginative and thus, entertaining. Seriously, Wilkie has an insane imagination, which is probably why he is such a successful comedian and writer.
Many of the winners were not surprising. The “Best in Arts and Culture,” for example, was GigCity.ca, which is an impressive daily publication that all Edmontonians should check out. Paula Simons in “Best in Political or Current Affairs” must have been a tough one, considering how she was up against the one and only Dave Cournoyer. OilersNation was a strong choice for the sports prize, and KikkiPlanet was the hands-down victor in “Best Twitter Persona” (more on her in a second).
As for “Best in Edmonton,” the grand prize went to Mack Male, a tremendously deserving candidate. Though the crew at The Wanderer was hopeful, a win would have been an upset. Though mildly disheartened by coming up empty-handed, we realize that we are only ten months into this gig, and that the 2014 Yeggies will soon arrive. And with this said, we are excited for what the future holds. The opening edition was outstanding, and 2014 should prove to be much the same.
But before we conclude: KikkiPlanet, otherwise known by her actual name, Kathleen Smith. In what was a wonderful evening, meeting this woman was easily the highlight. Gregarious, witty, hilarious and kind, Smith was just the best. The Wanderer‘s ten or so writers in attendance left with smiles on their faces because of this lady, who is just as awesome in person as she is under the KikkiPlanet Twitter handle.
For all of the night’s winners, go here!