DIYCity Mutt Art Edmonton
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Recap: Exploring Edmonton Spaces on Make Something Edmonton’s #DIYCity Day (June 21, 2015)

Last Sunday, Brittney (@britl) took me on a very Edmonton adventure.

DIYCity Brittney and Linda

June 21 was #DIYCity Day, a day that’s all about making and celebrating public spaces in Edmonton. #DIYCity is a Make Something Edmonton initiative, that started out of the idea (or challenge) to Edmontonians to look at how Edmonton spaces could be turned into places.

A space: just that – an area, an empty street, block of grass, alleyway, atrium or outdoor square.

A place: When art installations or events, activities, activations fill that space and create memories, connections, and emotions with people.

(Mack Male and Jeff Chase recently did a presentation on places vs. spaces. Read more about it on Mack’s blog)

There were over two dozen #DIYCity projects (check them all out here), and I wish we could have visited them all but we had precious little time (plus we had to squeeze in Build Your Own Noodle Bowl lunch at Tao Garden), but we did get to quite a few and I wanted to recap them a bit on this blog!

DIYCity SpaceMaking Make Something Edmonton - Kite City

#DIYCity: Heart Garden

1. Our first stop was Heart Garden put on by RISE – Reconciliation in Solidarity Edmonton.

DIYCity SpaceMaking Make Something Edmonton - Kite City

#DIYCity: Heart Garden

Inspired by the Heart Gardens that will be ‘planted’ across Canada during the Truth and Reconcilation Closing Ceremonies, RISE’s Heart Garden featured a collection of hearts with messages from Edmontonians to residential school survivors and commitments to reconciliation. Brittney actually attended a workshop where she created a few hearts to be added to the garden too.

The hearts were planted at Churchill Square and was a truly beautiful tribute.

DIYCity SpaceMaking Make Something Edmonton - Kite City

#DIYCity: ICUC (#yegfilm)

2. Our next stop was #yegfilm’s ICUC installation outside the Ortona Armoury. They set up 5 different video cameras with monitors, but the cameras aren’t connected to the monitor you’re looking at. The point was to mimic the surveillance / Big Brother-esque feeling that is a part of everyday life now.

DIYCity SpaceMaking Make Something Edmonton - Kite City

#DIYCITY: ICUC (#yegfilm)

You’re rarely thinking about how you’re being filmed or photographed through security cameras, phones and the “everyday eyes on the street.” It was a pretty interesting concept.

DIYCity SpaceMaking Make Something Edmonton - Kite City

#DIYCity: Kite City

3. After being surveilled – we went to Mill Woods for Kite City. Makers invited Edmontonians to come to Sister Mary Ann Casey Park in Mill Woods to simply fly kites together. Materials were provided to make yourself a simple kite, but you could also bring your own kite or borrow theirs.

DIYCity SpaceMaking Make Something Edmonton - Kite City

#DIYCity: Kite City

 

DIYCity SpaceMaking Make Something Edmonton - Kite City

#DIYCity: Kite City

There were a handful of people out flying kites when we got there, including some kids with some grandparents who were having the time of their lives.

DIYCity SpaceMaking Make Something Edmonton - Kite City

#DIYCity: Adventure Town Tree Swing

4. Last on our DIY adventure was a trip to west Edmonton to a last-minute #DIYCity project – the Adventure Town Tree Swing. Some residents in west Edmonton crafted a tree swing out of an old skateboard!

DIYCity SpaceMaking Make Something Edmonton - Kite City

#DIYCity: Adventure Town Tree Swing

 

DIYCity SpaceMaking Make Something Edmonton - Kite City

#DIYCity: Adventure Town Tree Swing

It’s such a simple thing, and yet so neat and creative. It brought a smile to my face as soon as I saw it and I thought – more neighbourhoods should have fun, make-shift swings. (You also get a lot of height on it!) We also made a point to go out to this one in the west end and to the Mill Woods one because they were one of the few that weren’t located in the downtown core – spaces can be everywhere!

That wrapped up our #DIYCity adventure – though Brittney did end up going to check out the Mutt Art mural afterwards too:

(You can check out more of her tweets from #DIYCity here!)

The space-making day also coincided with #yeglongday – the longest day of the year (with the most hours of sunlight). It was really just the perfect day to spend exploring Edmonton and seeing how just a little bit of imagination can transform a place into an interesting, fun, visited area where you can connect with other Edmontonians – maybe strangers, maybe neighbours. As the projects we visited – and the list of all #DIYCity projects show – it doesn’t take a lot. It can be so simple yet have such a big impact on the city. Spaces are what we end up talking about the next day – the next year, to friends, colleagues, visitors to your city. It’s those unique “made in Edmonton” initiatives that light you up and get you excited about your city.

This – and Brittney – have already inspired me to look at how to turn a place into a space – including looking at turning this typically boring wall of King Noodle House into a vibrant, community mural.

I’d also love to create a space like this featuring adoptable kittens/cats – either at the Edmonton International Cat Festival next year – or maybe at next year’s #DIYCity.

The opportunities are endless!

Did you check out any #DIYCity projects?

Would you create one yourself? And if so, what would it be?

Linda

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IMG_0073.JPG
Social Media, Social Media Notes

Social Media Notes (#73) – Links for the Week of June 22 – 28

Social Media Notes

Here’s this week’s round-up of social media (& tech) news. Come by each week for what I hope to be a fun & informative blog post on social stories that caught my eye throughout the week!

Thoughts on these stories? Tweet @ me or leave a comment below!

Linda

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Homes Alive Pets Edmonton
Giveaways, Life, Olive And The Cats

Recap + Giveaway: Our Shopping Spree For #OliveAndTheCats + Win a $50 Gift Card to Homes Alive Pets

There’s a new breed of pet store in town!

Homes Alive Pets is a new pet store located at 13340 St. Albert Trail. They actually opened on the same day as the Edmonton International Cat Festival (maybe next year they can be a part of the festival!) and co-owner Evan reached out to me and asked if I would be interested in checking out the store and bringing along Thor, Loki, and Olive for the fun. Loki does not travel well so we left him at home, but Mike and his friend Mike (lol), along with Olive and Thor and I, were eager to see the new shop.

Homes Alive Pets Edmonton

Homes Alive Pets is located at 13340 St. Albert Trail.

Homes Alive Pets is a family-run pet store. Leon and Evan Ropp are a father-son duo who originally started Homes Alive Pets in Lethbridge in 2010. Their family has been in the pet shop business for much longer than that though – Evan’s grandfather actually started selling pet supplies out of his garage in Brooks, Alberta in the 1970s.

Essentially, Home Alive Pets offers the convenience, selection, and prices you would expect at a big chain store, but they have the small mom and pop shop feel that you’d get with a family-owned, Alberta-run store. Evan says they’re somewhere in the middle, “bringing the best of both worlds” for pets and pet owners (hence the clever, “new breed of pet store” tagline).

Learn more about Homes Alive Pets here!

Homes Alive Pets Edmonton

Huge selection of pet food/treats at Homes Alive Pets.

Evan, who manages the Lethbridge location as well as marketing for the company as a whole (while dad Leon and brother Caleb are operating the Edmonton shop), gave us $200 to shop at the new Edmonton location for our fur babies, and also generously offered to give me two $50 gift cards to give away to readers!

Scroll down for the giveaway, or read on to for more about our shopping spree!

Homes Alive Pets Edmonton

Olive on her shopping spree at Homes Alive Pets!

Olive immediately went around and picked out her own toys (lol).

Homes Alive Pets Edmonton

Olive picking out her own toys at Homes Alive Pets.

She was obsessed with the tennis balls but we also found her a new rope, “Mrs. Dragon” crunchy toy, and a very sturdy “Mr. Bear.”

We were amazed at how big Homes Alive was – and how their selection is even bigger than what we’ve come to find at even your big chain pet stores.

Homes Alive Pets Edmonton

Recently opened, well-stocked!

I have personally never seen that many dog/cat beds, rows and rows of toys, and cat towers in a single shop.

Homes Alive Pets Edmonton

Lots of cat perches, towers, lounges, etc. at Homes Alive Pets!

In fact, I’m pretty sure they’ve got the biggest assortment of cat towers I’ve ever seen in a single shop.

Thor was quick to settle onto a cat tower, but then I spotted this gorgeous Vesper brand cat tower that I fell in love with and had to plop her into to see if she’d like it. (Fun fact: Vesper is under the Hagen brand, which also runs Nutrience, who was the title sponsor at this year’s Edmonton International Cat Festival!)

Homes Alive Pets Edmonton

Thor settles into a Vesper cat tower at Homes Alive Pets.

I know cats (including mine) are happy to be sitting in a box or a bag (and lately, Loki’s been obsessed with sitting on towels), but I could not resist getting this cat tower (the $200 gift card helped, lol).

Homes Alive Pets Edmonton

Super fancy line of cat towers at Homes Alive Pets

We ended up spending over and above the $200 gift card (the Vesper cat tower is on the pricier end of cat towers lol) – which is not unusual for us when we head to pet stores.

We always go in with the aim of picking up a few specific items (food, litter) and then walk out with lots of (probably unnecessary, but anything for our fur babies!) toys and accessories. Our visit to Homes Alive Pets was no different :-)

The pet industry is soaring right now as fur parents more and more spare no expense to ensure their animals are comfortable (maybe a bit spoiled) and #OliveAndTheCats are no exception.

Homes Alive Pets Edmonton

Thor checking out her new toy. Olive throwing Thor some shade.

Homes Alive Pets Edmonton

Loki looking up at Thor in her new Vesper cat castle/tower from Homes Alive Pets.

Homes Alive Pets Edmonton

#OliveAndTheCats play with their new toy!

I’m excited for the Ropp family and their expansion from Lethbridge to Edmonton. We were pretty impressed with what we saw – and are eager to make Homes Alives Pets our go-to spot for Olive, Thor, and Loki’s pet needs. As I said, the selection was like nothing we’d seen before, and the prices = great. They’ve also got a nice points/rewards system, lots of coupons/discounts, and you can order products online too – they ship throughout Canada!

Homes Alive Pets Edmonton

Evan (left) and Caleb (right) – brothers at the family-run Homes Alive Pets!

Hopefully one of the $50 gift cards I’m giving away will give you some incentive to go visit Homes Alive Pets! Enter below!

** GIVEAWAY **

ENTER TO WIN A $50 GIFT CARD TO HOMES ALIVE PETS

I’ve got 2 Homes Alive gift cards (valued at $50) to give away!

to Log into Rafflecopter below for different ways to enter – leaving a comment on this blog post telling me a little bit about your pet(s) is mandatory in order to win! a Rafflecopter giveaway

This contest closes on Friday, July 10, 2015. I’ll randomly select two winners from all entries.

Note: Comments are moderated so don’t be concerned if your comment doesn’t appear right away!

Good luck! And even if you don’t win – be sure to check out Homes Alive Pets!

Congratulations on your opening / expansion to Edmonton Evan and family! Thanks for having us come and check out the new store. We’ll be back real soon!

Linda

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