The Pulse: Feb. 11, 2021

Here's what you need to know about Edmonton today.

Want this in your inbox? Sign up to get The Pulse by email. It's free!


  • -25°C: Mainly sunny. Wind becoming northwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 late in the morning. High minus 25. Wind chill near minus 40. Frostbite in minutes. (forecast)
  • 5pm: The Oilers (8-7-0) will play the Canadiens (8-3-2). (details)
  • 421: As of Feb. 10 at 4:30pm, there are 421 people in hospital in Alberta due to COVID-19, including 77 in intensive care. (details)

City of Edmonton takes first step to reopen rec centres

City of Edmonton takes first step to reopen rec centres

By Jackson Spring

The City of Edmonton will open some of its public recreation facilities, primarily sports arenas, to school groups and sport organizations on Feb. 11.

The facilities chosen to open include the Terwilliger, Callingwood, Clareview, Mill Woods, Castle Downs, The Meadows, and Kinsman arenas, as well as the Kinsman and St. Francis Xavier sports centres. It’s the first step in a staged approach to fully reopening all recreation centres.

In a report presented to the emergency advisory committee on Feb. 10, Edmonton’s city manager Andre Corbould said the decision to begin the staged reopening was made based on the province easing COVID-19 restrictions, as well as declining hospitalizations in the Edmonton zone.

"We seem to have bent the curve to pre-December levels," he said.

Rec centres have been closed since Dec. 11 due to provincial health restrictions, but the Alberta government eased some of those rules on Feb. 8, allowing them to open with limitations. The city had not made any announcements regarding its own facilities until Thursday’s emergency advisory committee meeting. Rec centres are still subject to mask and social distancing requirements, and there are limitations on capacity.

Continue reading


By Emily Rendell-Watson

Edmonton responds to federal transit funding announcement

Edmonton responds to federal transit funding announcement

By Emily Rendell-Watson

The federal government announced $14.9 billion in transit funding on Feb. 10 to be shared by municipalities across the country over eight years, including $3 billion in permanent annual funding beginning in 2026. The amount of short-term funding allocated to Edmonton has not yet been announced, but Taproot will provide updates as they become available.

  • "Today’s announcement is a landmark investment in the post-#COVID recovery Canadians need. Investing in transit creates jobs, shortens commutes, reduces emissions. Transit is the backbone of livable, competitive cities," tweeted Mayor Don Iveson about the news. The mayor also spoke at the federal announcement.
  • "The funding includes $5.9 billion in short-term funding that will be disbursed on a project-by-project basis, starting this year," said CBC News.
  • "The city can continue to plan and build out the LRT network to areas like Castle Downs and Heritage Valley," wrote CTV Edmonton.
  • "Another project that could benefit is the planned Capital Line South extension to Ellerslie Road. Preliminary design work on the project is complete and the city was awaiting funding to be able to move forward on construction," reported the Edmonton Journal.
  • Other local politicians responded positively to the announcement as well.
    • "Excellent news for the Edmonton Metro Regional Transit Commission," said Mayor of St. Albert Cathy Heron.
    • Edmonton councillor Bev Esslinger said: "Many in North West are looking forward to LRT and today’s announcement is good news to moving it forward."
    • As for next steps: "Now we just need to get the permanent transit funding reintroduced by #ableg. Once permanent funding is place from both orders of government, municipalities can more easily make long-term public transit decisions," tweeted Coun. Andrew Knack.
Neon Sign Museum glows again

Neon Sign Museum glows again

By Fawnda Mithrush in the Arts Roundup

The usual warm, soft-lit lustre of 104 Street has been restored after Blanchett Neon put in a good deal of elbow grease to revitalize the Neon Sign Museum — a collection of vintage signs hanging along the exterior walls of buildings between 104 and 103 Avenue.

The museum, which is operated by the City of Edmonton with advisory from the Alberta Sign Association, had fallen into disrepair recently, and Blanchett Neon was awarded the service agreement to get the display up and running again.   

"Neon has gone the way of the dodo bird with LED revolution that's come through," noted Blanchett Neon's operations manager, Christopher Rogiani. He adds that because neon is extremely dangerous, running at high voltages with a tendency to arc out, displays like this one are increasingly rare, and repairs can be challenging as materials become obsolete. Especially in extreme temperatures, artefacts like these take extra care. 

Continue reading
A moment in history: Feb. 11, 1920

A moment in history: Feb. 11, 1920

By Karen Unland

On this day in 1920, "women curlers" got some attention in the local press. The bonspiel in question occurred at the Royal Curling Rink, which #LostYEG shows at 10145 121 St., now home to the Signature Place Apartments.

Curling had come to Edmonton in 1888, says Curling Canada, which credits the arrival of the five-day work week in 1910 for helping the sport take hold across Canada. Bonspiels attracted men's and women's teams from miles around — the final depicted in this picture featured rinks from Red Deer and Tofield.

The Royal Curling Club eventually merged with the Glenora Skating and Tennis Club and the Braemar Badminton Club to create the Royal Glenora Club, which opened in 1961.

The Royal Glenora no longer has curling sheets, but the Edmonton area boasts more than a dozen curling clubs, including the Granite Club, where the 63rd Annual Western Canadian Medical Bonspiel became one of Alberta's first COVID-19 superspreader events in March of 2020.

The pandemic has led to the cancellation of Curling Alberta's 2020-21 competitive season. Curling Canada is still planning to run the national championships in a "bubble" in Calgary — the 2021 Scotties Tournament of Hearts is set for Feb. 19-28, with Edmonton's Laura Walker representing Alberta.

This clipping was found on Vintage Edmonton, a daily look at Edmonton's history from armchair archivist @revRecluse.

More information

Weekend agenda

By Emily Rendell-Watson and Fawnda Mithrush

Quiz time: History

Quiz time: History


Test your knowledge with this daily quiz, brought to you by SkirtsAfire:

In what year did SkirtsAfire debut?

  1. 2012
  2. 2013
  3. 2014
  4. 2015
  5. 2016

See Friday's issue of The Pulse for the answer.

The answer to the Feb. 10 quiz was c — Michele Vance Hehir wrote the Sterling award-winning The Blue Hour, which headlined SkirtsAfire in 2020.

SkirtsAfire is Edmonton’s only theatre and multidisciplinary arts organization featuring women-identifying and non-binary artists. It’s happening online and outdoors March 4 to 14 — see what's on.

Photo supplied by SkirtsAfire

Learn more