On the evening of Tuesday June 11, I had the opportunity to chat with Mark Connolly, host of CBC News Edmonton. Entering the conversation, all I knew about Connolly is that he works for the CBC and happens to be presenting at Pecha Kucha 16 about the Downtown Story. So not much. Ten minutes later, I emerged inspired by what seems to be an innovative and incredibly detailed project that will enhance Edmonton’s downtown.
The idea behind the Downtown Story is straightforward: to engage more Edmontonians in their downtown through the sharing of maps, stories, photographs and an interactive website. The Downtown Story website officially launched on Thursday morning – with the PKN 16 talk taking place later this evening. As we spoke, Connolly provided a clear vision of what the project entails. And it is impressive. Daunting, even.
Over the last several months, the CBC has interviewed multiple Edmontonians, ranging from prominent downtown developers and architects to the men and women behind places like Mercer Tavern. As just one of many examples, the CBC asked Edmontonians to tell stories about their favourite downtown areas – while interviewing these individuals in the given locations. On top of this, the CBC has poured through archives of photographs, building designs and documents in an attempt to share the narratives that have shaped our downtown core over previous decades. This ambitious project is now open to the public, right in time for PKN 16.
It is difficult to provide a precise definition of what Connolly and his CBC crew have been working on. There is simply so much to cover. However, I encourage all Edmontonians to head straight to the CBC when they open their laptops and consume their dose of dark roast coffee on Friday morning. This is the sort of project that Edmonton needs – an interactive attempt to bring Edmontonians closer to their downtown’s rich history.
Image courtesy of CBC Edmonton.