Top 5 things that you probably don’t know about Edmonton

So, I’m back from my whirlwind trip to Edmonton and I had a blast! I spoke with a lot of local entrepreneurs and tech industry leaders while I was there. ItNew art gallery in Edmonton was very inspiring to learn about all of the efforts under way to make Edmonton a world-class mid-sized global city. There is definitely a lot of passion and energy driving the transformation.

Here’s my list of the top 5 interesting things I thought you should know about Edmonton’s arts and technology scene:

5. The arts and tech communities are working together to build a better future for Edmonton as a knowledge-based economy. 
Check out a photo of their new art gallery on my Flickr site. Also, I went to an awesome Bluebird North concert with @omar_aok featuring local songwriters and was blown away by some of the musical talent in the city.

4. Edmonton just received a $400,000 grant from IBM as the first Canadian city to win the IBM smarter cities challenge. The city will work with IBM consultants on strategic projects.

3. You can explore a virtual version of the city of Edmonton in Second Life.
Chris Moore, the CIO for the city of Edmonton’s IT branch had the model created for future social media initiatives.

2. The Edmonton Research Park is home to a number of up-and-coming startups.
Check out their website for more information about some of the businesses housed at Edmonton’s research park.

1. The tech and entrepreneurial community in Edmonton are extremely passionate and enthusiastic about the city’s future.  
A big thank you goes out to the following people for teaching me all about what their city has to offer: Crystal McPhee, Jenifer Christenson, Ken Bautista, Neil Kaarsemaker, Chris LaBossiere, Mack Male, Chris Moore, Omar Mouallem, and Kevin Swan.

Three of Edmonton’s small technology businesses were awarded at the EEDC annual luncheon on Monday. A popular evangelist for technology in Edmonton, Mack Male, covered the event on his blog. Here’s a list of the winning businesses:

For more information about the city’s growing technology industry, check out my post on Techvibes today. Also, visit the Canada 3.0 blog tomorrow to read about my interview with Chris Moore, CIO of the IT branch for the city of Edmonton. Chris taught me all about how municipal governments can use technology to drive innovation and cultural change.

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