Published in the March 19, 2013 issue of The Edmonton Sun.
Linda’s social media column can be found every Tuesday in the Edmonton Sun.
Let’s Make Something, Edmonton
What are you making Edmonton?
That simple question is behind a growing grassroots movement gaining momentum in our city.
It began with a blog post, developed into a Twitter hashtag (#makesomethingYEG) and now a citizen-driven mayor’s task force of about 50 volunteers – are working to encourage, inspire and define Edmonton’s identity.
“We’re a city of makers and builders and so we’re hoping this initiative can turn that up and amplify that from a six to a 10 so maybe we all identify with that as true,” says task force co-chair Amy Shostak (@shostakattack).
Shostak says “making something” can be as small as a community garden or as big as creating a new festival.
“A project can really be anything,” she says. “The idea is to get the community involved.”
Lawrence Ly (@CrimsonLaw) is a local designer who has jumped on board with Make Something Edmonton.
The initiative excites Ly, who says he sometimes struggles to find creative outlets.
“With Make Something Edmonton, I feel that our creative contributions to Edmonton have the opportunity to be valued and appreciated,” he said.
“I simply want to make our city a better place to live.
If you’re like me, who wants to make something but isn’t sure where to start, the task force has you covered.
When their website launches March 21, Edmontonians will be able to upload profiles, ideas, and seek out others to help with projects.
”When projects are looking for volunteers or support, we’re hoping it can be a place where project makers can collaborate,” Shostak explains.
March 21 also marks the campaign’s launch party, where 500 Edmontonians will gather to share ideas and inspire.
”The launch party is like planting the seed and then we’ll have another party in the fall that’s kind of like a harvest of all the projects that happened over the summer,” Shostak says.
”We’re hoping the launch party can bring some clarity to people and also inspire them to move forward with their project.”
The hope is the bottom-up grassroots initiative will be more effective when it comes to branding and image than a more corporate-style top-down method.
Will Make Something Edmonton become the city’s new brand? Perhaps. The idea is definitely catching on through social media channels, but it’s still too early to say whether the excited chatter will turn into something more tangible, though I’m hopeful.
“The task force’s job is to inspire Edmontonians to talk about the city in a different way and I think if that happens, if that starts happening, then we’ve done our job,” Shostak says.
The launch party is sold out but can be watched live online.
Follow @MakeitYEG for more information.
Meanwhile the task force will present a report to council on how the initiative went in the fall.
Lets give them something great to report.
Let’s Make Something, Edmonton.
Some Tweets of the Week
@Millertyme86: I love seeing various #makesomethingyeg projects and ideas fill my feed. Great things in a great city! #yeg
@acidfred: …saw the Mayor this morning, almost waved – hahaha! I know his face, he doesn’t know mine though. May have been #awkward #yeg
@thefrankkennedy: Musicians playing everywhere at #YEG airport. Keeps people calm maybe? Making improvements all the time. Good job #edmonton
@sherwoodmurph: They’re opening a Tiffany’s store in #yeg. I’m a size 7 ring, don’t like cutesy things, and am a big fan of pendants. For those wondering.
@LivingEnergyYEG: Wow! So much snow. At least it’s filling in all the potholes in Edmonton! Lol #yeg #nomoresnow
Click here to read the column on the Edmonton Sun website!