Yesterday, at a news conference at City Hall, Edmonton was named the “Culture Capital of Canada” for 2007. Edmonton Journal story Bascially, this means that the city receives a nice $2 million federally-funded injection into its arts community. It appears that the city is kicking another million or so into the project. Although solid details have yet to surface, this is most certainly fantastic news. It’s about time this town received some recognition for its arts scene. Makes me proud to live here. There are many cool plans in the pipe, but the one that caught my eye was “The Year-Long Poetry Festival”. Sounds a tad on the crazy side, as far as organization goes. I’m sure it’ll do nothing but good things for the city’s poetry scene. I will undoubtedly be involved with this on some some level, but we’ll have to see what happens. A fine, fine day for poetry and the arts in Edmonton.
7-11 and other things, Nov 06
StreetRag is an urban weblog and podcast about the city of Edmonton, which is located in the province of Alberta, Canada. It is authored by Edmonton-based writer, web advocate, and poet Michael Gravel and is updated frequently with written urban vignettes, amateurish photographs, deuteronomous audio material, barely coherent musings and rambling ecumenical treatises. StreetRag is a love letter to a lonely prairie burg struggling with its big city ambitions and small-town feel.
The city is Edmonton. It's a subject, not a passion. E-Town is almost universally derided by outsiders as an unlivable tundra wasteland populated by oil-hungry redneck conservatives who despise the arts. All of that is true. But it's not the whole story. There is beauty here. Dusty snowfalls. Brilliant summers. A stunning river valley. A diverse arts community that flourishes. It's a place that inspires a gray relationship - not all good, not all shitty. For that reason alone it is lovable, for what is life but a grayscale?