July 18th, 2016

Food Notes for July 18, 2016

  • A reminder that the last day to buy discounted Taste of Edmonton tickets is July 20, 2016.
  • Workshop Eatery is hosting A Garden Party on August 11, 2016. Tickets for the four-course al fresco meal are $100, with proceeds going to the Canadian Culinary Fund.
  • A modern speakeasy, Nightjar, is now open at 8130 Gateway Boulevard.
  • Jonny visited Curry Corner in Riverbend and shared the great lunch special they offer for $11.
  • Linda was invited to dine at the Highlands Golf Club, which is open to non-members.
  • The Globe is the latest to review Beaumont’s Chartier.
  • El Cortez’s patio received the spotlight from the Journal this week.
  • The Journal covered the local interpretation of the trend towards no tipping: Cafe Linnea will be Edmonton’s first, though Chartier has a model that pools and redistributes tips.
  • SpeakTiki is the latest cocktail collective that is making waves, with a focus on promoting Tiki cocktail culture.
  • Speaking of booze, Edmonton has a new brewery in town, called Bent Stick Brewing.They just released their first two beers.
  • This is a great piece in The Walrus about the place of bannock in Aboriginal cuisine.
  • Do you ever just want to watch people cook without all of the commentary? Then these Silently Cooking videos are for you.
  • You can now get Tim Horton’s iced capps in a bottle. But isn’t the beauty of iced cap the…ice?

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Iced capps

  • I met up with a few friends at Daravara on Friday to catch up over some food. The Southern fried chicken sandwich was delicious!

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Southern fried chicken sandwich and parm garlic fries

  • Before King Noodle House’s vacation (July 18-26), Mack and I made sure to swing by for a pho/bun bo hue fix.

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I love me some bun bo hue

  • Mack and I joined Linda and some of her friends at the Ronald McDonald House of Northern Alberta for our first Meals that Mend experience on Saturday. It was very rewarding experience being able to cook for families whose children are receiving treatment at local hospitals. It was a lot of fun, and the families were so appreciative of the small gesture. Thanks Linda for having us!

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With the birthday girl!

July 15th, 2016

Sri Lankan Comfort Food: Sambol

Sambol is a restaurant I would never have discovered without social media. Tucked away and invisible from the main thoroughfare, Sambol has nonetheless gained a number of fans online. Along with Grandma Male, who is always up for a taste adventure, Mack and I headed to the south side to give this hidden Sri Lankan gem a try back on a Saturday in May.

The interior is modern but cozy, with warm lighting, wood surfaces, and comfortable cushions. When we entered, we were the first party in for an early supper, but were soon joined by a young family and a group of regulars.

Sambol

Sambol

Champa Pathirana, the proprietor of this family-run restaurant was welcoming, and in some ways, it felt like we were having dinner in her extended kitchen. She explained that they had moved to this space after closing Razzelberries, a restaurant located downtown on 104 Street. She was patient with our menu questions, and we were definitely intrigued by a few dishes that we had never encountered before, including the interestingly named string hoppers (cooked rice pressed into noodle form, then steamed and served with a sauce – see how they’re made here). Their menu offers the best of both dining worlds – small plates perfect for groups to share, and one bowl wonders for those on their own. We decided to sample from all of the above.

Of course we had to try the string hoppers ($5). Even with the apt description we were provided with, I’m not sure I fully expected the noodle "patties" that arrived, slightly pink in colour and accompanied by a coconut gravy. Although the textures were interesting, the flavours weren’t particularly pronounced. They were fun to eat though, dousing the porous hoppers with sauce.

Sambol

String hoppers

The lentil patties, deep fried and served with a mint sambol, were a nice surprise. I loved the refreshing mint accompaniment, which tamed the heat level and served as an addictive dip on its own.

Sambol

Lentil patties

Mack couldn’t get enough of the stuffed roti ($8), pan-fried packets of spiced beef and potato. It is the perfect street food – portable, easy to eat, and packed with flavour. They were so good we briefly considered buying another order to freeze at home.

Sambol

Stuffed roti

We also ordered two bowls to sample – the banana leaf bowl ($18) and the chicken biriyani bowl ($15). No question, the portions are beyond generous; Grandma Male barely made it halfway through before calling it quits and packing the rest for home. Mack and I particularly loved the rice, and ended up shredding the chicken leg and mixing it in to allow for more seamless sharing. We also packed some of this for lunch the next day, and it was still fantastic reheated.

Sambol

Banana leaf bowl

Sambol

Chicken Biriyani bowl

I hope Sambol doesn’t remain under the radar – the food is excellent and offers great value. It’s a restaurant worth seeking out – not only for the food, but for their warm hospitality as well. We’ll be back for the roti soon enough.

Sambol
9261 34 Avenue
780-309-3199
Wednesday-Thursday 11am-8pm, Friday-Saturday 11am-10pm, Sunday 11am-8pm

July 11th, 2016

Food Notes for July 11, 2016

I rarely take Fridays off, but I did so this past weekend, and learned that I should be doing that more often, especially in the summer! It’ll be a few months until our next vacation, but long weekends may be able to tide me over in the meantime. On to this week’s food notes:

  • The kitchen cook-offs are spreading: The Local Omnivore is hosting their first Knifewear Kitchen Fight on July 16, 2016. Tickets are $35 and include 4 appetizers.
  • The third annual Grand Taste Tour is scheduled for July 24, 2016, and will end with a meal at Tangle Ridge Ranch prepared by Chef Frank Olson from Red Ox Inn and Canteen. If it’s anything like last year, be prepared for a wonderful learning experience and spectacular supper. Tickets for the tour and the dinner are $100, while tickets for the tour and a bagged lunch are $50.
  • The next COMAL Mexican Table Dinners are scheduled for July 30 & 31, 2016. Tickets are $51 for the 3-course meals.
  • The Heritage Festival, which runs July 30-August 1, 2016, has now posted this year’s menus, so start planning!
  • We’re so fortunate in Edmonton to have multiple locations of the Italian Centre, so it only makes sense the suburbs want in, too: the folks behind the Italian Bakery are opening up a similarly-inspired deli and grocery store in St. Albert called Mercato by Italian Bakery.
  • Relish Burger has closed on 124 Street, but may consider a new location in the future.
  • Linda tried out the new brunch menu at Holt’s Cafe.
  • The Hotel MacDonald recently added a Friday night dinner buffet to their roster; Lillian sampled just a few of their indulgences.
  • Jonny returned to an oft-overlooked restaurant, A Taverna, in the Delton neighbourhood.
  • Wendy’s Perogies, a favourite for many Edmontonians, was a recent discovery for Evonne.
  • The Journal continues their patio series with reviews of Cafe Bicyclette (interestingly enough, their third review of Cafe Bicyclette in three years) and Violino.
  • Vue Weekly asks: what’s in a review? Phil, one of the food writers interviewed in the piece, also tackles the subject in his newest Off Menu podcast.
  • Phil put together a price check to compare the cost for products at Safeway versus the new, expanded Duchess Provisions.
  • While the newly revamped Earls on Stephen Avenue in Calgary didn’t completely do away with tipping, they’ve instituted a 16% “hospitality charge” that will divide equally among the hourly staff.
  • Liane wrote a great piece about Alexis Hillyard and her YouTube cooking series called Stump Kitchen.
  • What do you think is healthy? Do nutritionists agree? Based on a recent survey of Americans and a panel of nutrition experts, there is some dissonance in those opinions.
  • Along those lines, Grub Street published their Neurotic Eater’s Grocery List, pointing out ethical, environmental and health problems of supermarket foods, and the New York Post highlights some of the fake food you’ve likely be scammed into buying.
  • The last What the Truck?! at Park After Dark took place on Friday, but if you missed it, be sure to mark your calendar for the next one at Telus Field on August 20, 2016.

Molly's Eats

S’mores cake from Molly’s Eats at What the Truck?!

  • Speaking of food trucks, it’s been a while since I’ve tried new vendors outside of What the Truck?! I was able to do so on Friday downtown. Ka Bao was parked near Alberta Hotel, and I loved that they sold individual baos at $3.50 a piece, which meant I could have it as a snack as we were in-between meals. We tried the pork belly and chicken baos, and enjoyed the flavours of the meat and the consistency of the bao base.

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Cluck’N Dandy from Ka Bao

  • I also stopped by Kitchen on Friday for meatball madness – offered most Fridays out of their storefront at 10130 105 Street. On that day, Korean meatballs on bacon and egg fried rice were on offer for $8. It was a good portion size for the price, and definitely a quick lunch for those on the go! Follow Chef Brad Smoliak on Twitter for their next meatball date.

Kitchen by Brad
Korean meatballs on rice from Kitchen

  • We also took in an Edmonton Prospects game last week. Though we lost, I took solace in my Ukrainian Dog, a hot dog topped with three fried perogies (and only $5 to boot).

Telus Field

Ukrainian Dog at Telus Field

July 4th, 2016

Food Notes for July 4, 2016

  • The Valley Zoo Farmers’ Market is back again, beginning July 5, 2016, and runs Tuesday nights from 2-8pm.
  • The final What the Truck?! at Northlands Park is taking place on July 8, 2016 from 5-10pm – take advantage of your last chance to sample food trucks at the horse races before the track is dismantled!
  • Get Cooking is hosting a second pop-up dinner with Chef Doreen Prei on July 8, 2016, from 5-8:30pm.
  • Chef Brad Smoliak is hosting a long table dinner at the Ukrainian Village on July 15, 2016. Tickets for the Ukrainian-inspired meal and after hours tour are $170 per person.
  • El Cortez has a new sibling upstairs – Have Mercy, a Southern restaurant, opened today at 8232 Gateway Boulevard. They’re reservation only until July 6, 2016.
  • Also in Old Strathcona, Izakaya Dorinku is now open, located at 10205 82 Avenue.
  • Stage 104, which took over the Downtown space vacated by The Burg at 10190 104 Street, opened on Canada Day.
  • Looking forward to checking out the new and expanded location of Duchess Provisions after it opens on July 8, 2016. It is located at 10934 119 Street.
  • Remedy Cafe’s fifth location is now open in Terwillegar, at 1707 Towne Centre Boulevard.
  • The Fairmont Hotel Macdonald has begun a series of Friday night dinner buffets, and will be offering them throughout the summer. It’d be nice to have a bit more information to share, but their website is unfortunately mum.
  • Ms. Hangry Foodie checks out the ramen served on Saturdays at Yuzen in St. Albert.
  • Avenue Edmonton released their list of 25 Favourite Things to Eat in 2016, as identified by 25 prominent Edmontonians.
  • Avenue also profiles Ayumi Yuda, the woman behind Ikki Izakaya, and shares that she’ll be opening another Japanese eatery near Ice District.
  • Jason Foster shares his thoughts on the beer  trends in Alberta.
  • Sunshine Organic is one of our go-to vendors at the City Market, so it was nice to get a photo tour of their farm via The Local Good.
  • Great to hear Calgary will open Alberta’s first community food centre this fall.
  • We had our second Sugared and Spiced Cake Club delivery aligned with my birthday a few weeks ago, and we enjoyed this cake just as much as the last!

Birthday Cake

Lemon raspberry cake

  • There’s nothing better than a steaming bowl of pho on a hot day, especially when it happens to be a #phodate.

Pho Tau Bay

My usual at Pho Tau Bay

June 27th, 2016

Food Notes for June 27, 2016

  • A new Vietnamese restaurant is opening on July 4, called Pho Ha & Hoa, at 9616 165 Avenue.
  • Dorinku is a forthcoming Japanese restaurant in Old Strathcona, at 10205 82 Avenue. Thanks Su for the heads up!
  • Learn more about Chef Ben Staley’s vision for his twin restaurants, Alta and the Alder Room.
  • Lillian recaps her experience at the Cafe Linnea pop-up, the breakfast restaurant opening in mid-July from the folks behind Duchess. She notes that the restaurant will feature a no tipping policy, which would make it the first establishment to adopt this concept in Edmonton.
  • On a related note, Provisions will be closed from June 27 – July 7, 2016 in order to relocate to their new space.
  • Rosebowl Pizza has announced that they are closing after 37 years of operation in Oliver, but have plans to reopen locations in both Downtown and south Edmonton. They will be offering free pizza from 6-7pm on June 29, 2016, their last day of operation.
  • Western Living announced their 2016 Foodies of the Year – congrats to Italian Centre’s Teresa Spinelli for making the list!
  • I suppose its inevitable that Edmonton will always be compared with other Prairie cities, but did we need someone from Calgary to say Winnipeg has now surpassed Edmonton’s food scene?
  • Jason Foster is hoping Edmonton will relax its bylaws to encourage more craft breweries to start up in our city.
  • Loblaw’s first City Market location in the Brewery District opened last week. Mack and I checked out the shop over the weekend, and were instantly reminded of the Maple Leaf Gardens flagship in Toronto (that it is, in fact, modeled after). It’s a beautiful store, to be sure, full of ready-to-eat products. The prices are noticeably higher than Superstore though, but the location is definitely more convenient and transit-friendly.
  • Phil’s latest Off Menu Podcast covers the topic of farmers’ markets, and features guests Owen Petersen of Prairie Mill and Kirsta Franke of the 124 Street and French Quarter Markets.
  • Mack and I enjoyed a birthday dinner at Cafe Amore last week. It was the first time in a long while where I finished my plate of pasta in one sitting!

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Truffle chicken and tomato pasta from Cafe Amore

  • Mack and I checked out Farm to Fork in Sherwood Park when we were in the neighbourhood. We enjoyed their take on sliders, moist flavourful patties between potato chips instead of the usual bun. We did find the cost on the high side ($15), but recognize that they use local suppliers. We were also touched by the generosity of the kitchen, who provided a dessert on the house in recognition of my recent birthday. For more information about the restaurant, listen to Twyla’s review on CBC.

Farm to Table

Slider bites from Farm to Fork

June 20th, 2016

Food Notes for June 20, 2016

  • The second annual Culinary Cookout returns to Sturgeon County on August 5, 2016, from 4-9pm. Food vendors will include XIX Nineteen.
  • Taste of Edmonton returns to Churchill Square in a month, running from July 20-31, 2016. They just released the menu, and tickets are on sale at 20% off until July 20.
  • K Days also announced its new food items, offered at the fair running July 22-31, 2016. They include a rainbow grilled cheese, a poutine corn dog and deep fried coffee.
  • KB & Co is now open in Fox One (10224 104 Street), offering “casual conscious eats”.
  • Holts Cafe will be revamping its menu now that Chef Julia Kundera, formerly of Glasshouse Bistro, has moved into its kitchen.
  • The Journal paid a visit to the much loved Earls Tin Palace on Jasper Avenue.
  • Graham checks out the variety of Korean fried chicken options in Edmonton.
  • Congratulations to A Cappella Catering, who is celebrating its 25th year in business.
  • Mel Priestly announced her departure of the position of Dish/News Editor at Vue Weekly.
  • It’s a movement that chefs in Edmonton are growing their own produce, shares Vue Weekly.
  • I missed linking to this last week – a profile on Bo and Marrow, a new bone broth vendor at both the City Market and St. Albert Farmers’ Markets.
  • It’s great to see that the Leduc Food Processing Development Centre has received a $10 million expansion.
  • Congrats to District Cafe, who re-opened after an extensive renovation. The space has easily tripled in size, and will accommodate evening hours and an expanded menu. It’s great to have a locally-owned cafe option open late in Downtown Edmonton.

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District Cafe

  • The second What the Truck?! event of the summer took place on Saturday at Blatchford. It was neat to be able to take advantage of the opportunity to check out the view from the observation tower. And the weather was perfect for al fresco eats! I really enjoyed the lamb burger from The Good Stuff, and I couldn’t resist an ice cream sandwich from Cookie Love. If you missed it, don’t despair – the next event takes place in conjunction with Park After Dark at Northlands on July 8.

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The Daily Grind burger from The Good Stuff

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Salted caramel ice cream sandwich from Cookie Love

June 13th, 2016

Food Notes for June 13, 2016

  • The third annual Porkapalooza takes place June 17-19, 2016 at Clarke Park. Expect a BBQ competition, food demos, and of course, lots of barbecue!
  • Just in time for Father’s Day, Accent Lounge is hosting Back Alley Beer Gardens on June 18, featuring food and beer from Blindman Brewery. Advanced tickets are $25.
  • The pop-up is sold out, but is still worth mentioning, as the excitement around Duchess Bake Shop’s expansion is unparalleled: Cafe Linnea will be offering a sneak peek of their menu on June 18 at Little Brick.
  • Taste Alberta is hosting a special dinner at the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald on June 23, 2016 called Prairie on a Plate. The four-course meal is priced at $69 and is available in the Harvest Room during regular dinner service.
  • Missed the last two Northern Chicken pop-ups? Then mark your calendar for the next one, to take place on July 3, 2016 at Packrat Louie.
  • The expanded District Cafe & Bakery opens its doors on June 14, 2016 with expanded hours – 7am to 9pm! I’m excited to have a local cafe within walking distance open late.
  • Liane has some details about Baijiu, the second venture from the folks behind North 53 to open up this fall next to Rostizado in the Mercer Building.
  • Fuqing Lanzhou Noodle is the second hand-pulled noodle shop to open in a number of months (following Wheat Garden, and joining the longer-standing Noodle Feast on the south side). Jonny is optimistic after his first visit to the restaurant located at 10821 97 Street.
  • Situation Brewing has only been open for a few weeks, but it’s been hopping ever since (ahem). Jonny is the latest to check out the brew pub.
  • Ms. Hangry Foodie visited the newest quick-serve pizzeria in Edmonton, Blaze Pizza.
  • Graham from the Edmonton Sun raved about his perfect experience at Chartier.
  • Wheat Garden Noodle & Dumpling Bazaar received some love from Linda!
  • Linda joined a group of bloggers in the kitchen of the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald for an interactive cooking lesson and dinner.
  • There’s not enough meat to this press release about the food to be expected this fall at Rogers Place, but I counted the use of “local” eight times in the article. I’ll be interested to see what that actually means, since “Alberta beef”, for instance, doesn’t actually mean beef that was raised in Alberta. At any rate, expect a Rogers Place booth at Taste of Edmonton this summer, showcasing some of their signature offerings.
  • Congratulations to Karlynn, whose first cookbook Flapper Pie and a Blue Prairie Sky is now available for pre-order on Amazon.
  • Last Tuesday, Uber Eats was running an amazing promo: several participating restaurants offered dishes priced at $2, and delivery was free. It was all we needed to try the service out for the first time. We selected chicken and beef shawarma from La Shish Taouk. It was great to follow along on the app to know that our order was received, in process, and on its way (delivered in about 30 minutes). We’ll be using Uber Eats again in the future!

La Shish Taouk

Uber Eats Toonie Tuesday special from La Shish Taouk

  • Mack and I kicked off the weekend with some wine and bacon from Tzin at our favourite neighbourhood patio on Friday. Given the intermittent rain on the following few days, it was a good reminder to take advantage of any and all opportunities to eat outside!

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Bacon from Tzin

  • It was only fitting after attending a conference all about Chinatown to head over to Chinatown when we needed a bite to eat! The bun bo Hue from King Noodle hit the spot, as always.

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Bun bo hue from King Noodle

  • We typically make our own pizza dough, but after spending the weekend at the conference, we cheated a bit and picked up some of the fresh dough available at the Italian Centre on Saturdays and Sundays (for just $1.49). It made it really quick to pull together a pizza, topped this time with prosciutto and Edgar Farms asparagus.

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It’s pizza time!

June 6th, 2016

Food Notes for June 6, 2016

Juniper

Pesto chicken grilled cheese from Juniper

  • Not up to cook on Friday, Mack and I headed to Route 99 for some poutine and pizza.

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We love us some Route 99 poutine

  • There was a ton to do on Saturday, which made it feel like the official kick-off to summer. We checked out, among other things, the Meet Me in McCauley Market. It returns to Church Street (96 Street from 107A Avenue to 108 Avenue) on July 9 from 10am-4pm.

Meet me in McCauley

Meet Me in McCauley Market

June 5th, 2016

Back in the 6ix: Escape to Niagara

As much as I love Toronto, I was happy with our decision to escape the bustling city for two days. We rented a car and drove out to Niagara wine country.

Jordan

Jordan, a real life Stars Hollow

I was enticed by the photos and reviews online for the Inn on the Twenty in Jordan, and it was possibly the best decision we made on the trip. The boutique hotel was charming and situated on a street that could have doubled as the set for Stars Hollow. Breakfast was included in the restaurant, and the dinner we enjoyed the night prior was well done. I’d heartily recommend a stay to anyone considering a night in the area.

Toronto Trip

Perfect pickerel and fiddleheads

We also joined a wine tour so neither of us would have to worry about driving. Crush on Niagara Wine Tours offers pick-ups from area hotels, which was perfect for us. It was supposed to be a group tour, but the bonus of travelling in the off-season is that it ended up being a private tour just for the two of us!

We visited 4 larger (160 acres) and smaller (10 acres) wineries, which was a good representation for us. They all offered something interesting – Flat Rock Cellars had the best view, with their tasting room on stilts allowing a glimpse of Lake Ontario and even Downtown Toronto.

Jordan Wine Region

At Flat Rock Cellars

DiProfio was obviously a family-run business, and provided the best hospitality during our tasting, with generous pours.

Jordan Wine Region

DiProfio Winery

GreenLane was the most educational, and my favourite stop, as Jane, our guide, was thorough and able to answer all of our questions about the type of grapes that thrive in cold climate viticulture (explaining why you find so many Ontario Rieslings but never any Malbecs). We had no idea the last two winters had done so much damage to the area’s wineries, some losing as much as 65% of their vines.

Jordan Wine Region

A revelation in discovering the difference made by aged vines

The sommelier at Vineland Estates was clearly experienced and had a fine palate, but both Mack and I were suspicious of the technology they chose to adopt. They’re the first winery in Canada who has invested $250,000 in an optical-based camera that only selects the ripest grapes for inclusion in their wine (everything else is blown off the conveyor belt, and not considered even for compost). It seemed unnecessary and wasteful, but then again, what do we know? At any rate, the tour was a great way to get a feel for some of the area’s wineries without the stress of having to navigate the wine trail on our own.

Jordan Wine Region

Vineland Estates, complete with two helipads

Before heading back to town, we made a pit stop at Dillon’s. The distillery is not only known for their spirits, but also for their bitters (found in Edmonton at The Silk Road and Habitat, among others). We didn’t have enough time for a full tour, but did taste some of the products not available in Alberta. I really enjoyed their Limoncello, sweeter than the traditional liqueur. But we both found their gin 22 (with 22 botanicals without a juniper-forward taste) to be the one we will pick up in the future (thankfully, available in Alberta, including Everything Wine, where we picked it up in Sherwood Park).

Dillon's

The very photogenic Dillon’s tasting bar

We didn’t even make it out to Niagara Falls this time but neither of us regretted that decision – there was just so much else to experience! If you’re able to schedule a day trip out to Jordan or the surrounding communities the next time you’re in Toronto, I’d highly recommend doing so.

June 2nd, 2016

The Future of Edmonton’s Chinatown: 2016 Chinatown Conference

Three years ago, I was part of a group that organized the 97 Street Night Market in Chinatown. The idea was inspired by conversations and observations made by my market co-organizer Kathryn Lennon at the first ever Chinatown Conference held that spring. In some ways, the market was our way of trying to grapple with the generation gap in the neighbourhood, and an attempt to enliven the streets and encourage Edmontonians to rediscover their Chinatown.

97 Street Night Market

97 Street Night Market

The event gathered vendors and food trucks, created a stage for cultural performances, and offered walking tours of the neighbourhood. Overall, we felt the market was a success, and although it was a lot of work to pull together, I felt inspired to continue the momentum with another event.

The following summer, I was part of a team that hosted a second 97 Street Night Market. The event built upon the foundation of the previous year, and though the turnout was comparable, we decided the challenges we faced in mounting the market weren’t worth the returns.

97 Street Night Market

97 Street Night Market, 2014 edition

It was an incredibly eye-opening experience, learning firsthand about the complexities of the neighbourhood and the numerous parties involved in the community. Chinatown has many players – the BRZ, individual businesses, community associations, McCauley Revitalization, the Quarters Revitalization – just to name a few, and they don’t all agree on how to approach the issues surrounding Chinatown:

  • How can Chinatown leverage the positive developments of the Royal Alberta Museum, Ice District, and the LRT Connector?
  • Should the old (cultural) and new (commercial) Chinatowns be linked?
  • How can Chinatown better work alongside social service agencies?
  • How can Chinatown attract more businesses and amenities?
  • Is Chinatown still relevant?

These are just some of the questions that the community is grappling with, and there are no easy answers. Consensus is unlikely, but one thing is true – Chinatown will change, but who will lead this change? Will the players be able to come together to move forward with solutions in a meaningful way, or will external forces dictate the change?

Chinatown

Edmonton’s Chinatown

As a follow-up to the first Chinatown Conference, the 2016 Chinatown Conference hopes to answer some of these questions. On June 11-12, 2016 Chinatown advocates, researchers, planners and youth from across North America, will gather in Edmonton at the University of Alberta, including 15 representatives from Chicago, Seattle, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary. The intention is to exchange ideas about how to preserve, celebrate, and ensure Chinatowns remain relevant in municipalities amongst demographic shifts, changing civic priorities, and gentrification efforts.

I’m particularly excited to hear from C.W. Chan from Chicago, as they have reversed the trend of diminishing Chinatowns, and instead, have continued to expand and and garner city investment in infrastructure. The conference will also host respected Toronto Chinese historian Valerie Mah and Washington, D.C. filmmaker Yi Chen, who will screen her documentary Chinatown. The second day of the conference aims to build a plan for Edmonton’s Chinatown. The full conference schedule is here.

Registration is now open, and tickets are $50.