It may not have been necessary to damage the Talus Dome in order to extricate a man who got himself stuck inside the piece of public art.
Emergency crews used the Jaws of Life and other equipment to get the 26-year-old man out of the sculpture on April 9 before he was charged with mischief over $5,000. But he wasn't as trapped as he and his rescuers thought he was.
"There is a maintenance hatch, it is used for maintenance by our conservation department," Jenna Turner of the Edmonton Arts Council confirmed to Taproot. "Emergency services (were) not aware that it was there and were acting in the quickest way possible."
Aside from occasional vandalism over the years, an incident like this has never happened before, Turner said. That surprised Speaking Municipally co-host and pro-Talus Dome observer Troy Pavlek.
"It's a pile of steel balls, it's almost asking to be climbed," Pavlek said on Episode 216 of Taproot's civic affairs podcast. "It's on top of a hill, and 'King of the Hill' is a natural game for kids."
Speaking of games, the podcast also looked at a recent motion from Coun. Andrew Knack, passed unanimously, to look into how Edmonton could attract mid-sized and large esports events to Edmonton.
"I believe that Edmonton can be a leading hub in North America for video game development similar to how Calgary and Southern Alberta has become a leader in Canada in film and TV," Knack wrote in a recent blog post. "There is great potential to expand Edmonton's economy through Esports and interactive digital media. Bringing everyone together to work on these areas will only increase our opportunity and I can't wait to see where Edmonton will be in just a few years."
Rogers Place might be a fantastic venue for such events, Pavlek said.
"Esports, of course, doesn't have the same requirements of regular sports, everyone's already inside an air-conditioned venue," Pavlek said. "Whether you're in Arizona, or you're in Edmonton, it doesn't particularly matter to the competitors, nor does it matter to the guests who are viewing."
Hear more about this, as well as the latest on the city's encampment response and a visit with the hosts of Let's Find Out, Taproot's newly acquired podcast, on the April 14 episode of Speaking Municipally.
Photo: The Talus Dome, located near the Quesnell Bridge, was damaged recently when crews extracted a person who fell in after climbing the structure. (A.Brege/Flickr)