Years ago, I had dreamt of growing up and moving away from Edmonton – starting a life in some great big city far from here. As I got older, and started discovering just how much Edmonton (and the surrounding area) had to offer, those dreams faded.
I love living in Edmonton.
When I say I love living in Edmonton, part of that love comes from what the surrounding towns and cities bring to the area. As I wrote in my Edmonton Sun column on Capital Region Rocks, in any given day, my travels can take me Spruce Grove to St. Albert to Sherwood Park and back again.
I love that as an Edmontonian, I also have access to festivals, events, restaurants, and services in all of these other places. We’ve gone for dinners in Spruce Grove, attended a parade in Fort Saskatchewan, visited Mike’s siblings in St. Albert, laughed at comedy shows in Sherwood Park, and Mike drives into Stony Plain each and every day for work. Everything is so close. Everyone is so friendly. There’s so much to do – sometimes too many things to do. (That’s a great problem to have). And every town, every city, surrounding Edmonton, including Edmonton, are always trying to be better, always trying to offer more for us, the people who live and work and play in the area.
I recently attended a PD Day session on an organization’s culture. The speaker, David Irvine, said there are executive leaders, leaders who support the front-line workers, and then there are your grassroots leaders. I think this concept not only applies to the culture of an organization, but also a culture of a city – or in this case, a region – as well. Happy, healthy, energized, and excited grassroots leaders will reinforce the organization (the region)’s culture. I am proud to live in the Capital Region and I am proud to say so. I feel like there’s been a surge of community pride lately and I hope that just grows and grows and grows, as more grassroots leaders for the Capital Region, share their stories, support their communities, and just be loud and proud about living here. #CapRegionRocks, like Make Something Edmonton, is a spark to reinforce community pride and identity.
Of course the area is not perfect. I don’t think any region can be called perfect. And there will always be complainers. I complain too – about potholes, about construction, about too many winter days. But the good outweighs all of those things.
There are very exciting things happening in the Edmonton and surrounding area. Specific things that pop out to me – The food industry here is just blossoming and there are so many entrepreneurs and start-ups, trying to build something amazing from the ground up. There are also incredible people here. I say it all the time and I’ll continue to say it probably for years and years to come – our community, especially the local online community, is amazing. How active, supportive, engaging, everyone is… it simply rocks.
‘Why the Capital Region Rocks’ will mean different things for everyone. The food, the events, the close proximity of all the different towns and cities and their food & events, and the amazing people – are some of the reasons why the Capital Region Rocks for me.
So, why does the Capital Region Rock for you?