The Pulse: Sept. 9, 2021

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

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  • 25°C: Sunny. Becoming a mix of sun and cloud near noon. Wind becoming northwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 in the afternoon. High 25. (forecast)
  • 18: Alberta reported 18 new COVID-related deaths on Wednesday — the highest number in one day since Jan. 19. (details)
  • 222,000: More than 222,000 Albertans have received their first jab and are eligible for their second, but have yet to receive it. (details)

A photo from Kaleido Family Arts Festival.

Month of the Artist begins as venues reinstate COVID-19 protocols

By Fawnda Mithrush in the Arts Roundup

This September marks the third annual Month of the Artist in the province, as the local arts and entertainment industry adjusts to the return of COVID-19 restrictions.

With a lengthy list of daily in-person events and exhibits, plus a directory of online offerings, the aim of the month-long celebration is "to recognize and support local artists, many of whom have lost work because of the COVID-19 pandemic."

"Art is a profession like any other that requires hard work and dedication," Minister of Culture Ron Orr said in a statement. "For a year and a half, artists in Alberta have had to drastically change the way they work - even putting their careers on hold while facing extraordinary challenges during COVID. Many of us turned to the arts to help us cope with our personal trials and to lift our spirits. I am grateful to every artist in Alberta for making our lives better through their creations."

Events listed on the Month of the Artist site are independently programmed, and include some that have been running throughout summer, like Imagine Van Gogh and Latitude 53's Mamanaw Pekiskwewina/Mother Tongues: amiskwacîwâskahikan. In-person events happening this weekend include Arts on the Ave's Kaleido on Tour and Grindstone Theatre's Mural Massive.

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By Michelle Ferguson

  • Edmonton's city manager could temporarily be given the power to approve masking bylaw exemptions, until the new city council is sworn in. Andre Corbould told the COVID-19 emergency advisory committee that some local businesses have concerns over the impact of the bylaw, particularly those that have implemented mandatory vaccination policies. Council will decide whether to grant Corbould these powers at a special meeting on Friday.
  • Mayoral candidates voiced their support for proof of vaccination and mandatory vaccination for city staff during a mayoral forum at Polar Park Brewing on Wednesday. Candidates Amarjeet Sohi, Kim Krushell, Michael Oshry and Cheryll Watson participated. Candidate Mike Nickel was invited but declined.
  • Dozens gathered at Capital Plaza on Wednesday to demand action on climate change. Climate Justice Edmonton wants to see a moratorium on new fossil fuels and greater investment in public healthcare to address health issues brought on by climate change.
  • The Winspear Centre and Citadel Theatre are now requiring proof of vaccination to attend performances. Beginning Sept. 15, the Citadel will require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours. The Winpsear will accept proof of a negative test within 48 hours, starting Oct. 1.
  • City council is recruiting for three members to join the Edmonton Police Commission, which oversees the police service and ensures professional and ethical policing to the citizens of Edmonton.
  • The Edmonton Police Service conducted its annual sweep of the North Saskatchewan River valley on Wednesday to search for any human remains.
  • Despite not earning an Olympic medal, Edmontonian Marco Arop has been one of the most dominant 800-metre runners in the world this summer. He's climbed the podium in every Diamond League event in which he raced this summer.
  • Alberta's ombudsman found that the province's emergency isolation support program was inconsistent and unfair to some applicants. A review of 86 applications found that some people who should have been eligible were turned down.
A map of Edmonton's Métis ward

Métis: Where the candidates stand on the People's Agenda

By Karen Unland

Taproot asked candidates to complete a 30-question survey based on what we heard when we asked people what key issues they wanted the candidates to be talking about as they compete for votes in the 2021 municipal election.

Here are the answers we've received so far from the candidates in Métis:

We have not yet received finalized surveys from Rob Bernshaw, Brian Kendrick, Daniel John Kornak, or Jim Rickett. We will update the links above when we receive them.

Want to see which candidates line up best with your own stances? Take the survey and find out.

For more coverage of the 2021 municipal election in Edmonton, visit And for more on the origins of this project, visit our People's Agenda page.

Taproot's Karen Unland moderated a candidate forum in Métis organized by the Greater Hardisty Community Sustainability Coalition on Sept. 9.

A clipping from 1942 depicting how a broken trolley line kept some theatre-goers stuck on the south side of the river.

A moment in history: Sept. 9, 1942

By Scott Lilwall

On this day in 1942, a broken trolley line kept some theatre-goers stuck on the south side of the river.

The 25-minute delay was a minor hiccup for a rail system that transported millions of people around the city each year. Edmonton's streetcar system got its start in 1907 when city council approved $224,000 to build the initial track. One year later, the Edmonton Radial Railway (ERR) was up and running, with four trolleys along 21 kilometres of track.

The service was instantly popular — by 1912, the ERR had to purchase nearly 50 new cars to help carry 10 million riders that year.

As the city expanded, so did the trolley system. By 1929, the radial railway boasted six colour-coded lines that ran from 142nd Street to 80th Street and stretched from Calder to McKernan. More than 14 million passengers rode the railway that year — quite the ridership for a city that had yet to crack 80,000 residents.

In some ways, the streetcar was a victim of its own popularity. It's hard to say exactly how many people were using the system during the 1940s, as city data grouped streetcar and bus riders together. But ridership certainly increased, putting more strain on the infrastructure. Maintaining the system had become difficult during the Depression years, a problem that was exacerbated by the Second World War. The cost of replacing aging tracks and trolleys was deemed too much and the streetcar lines were gradually replaced by motorized busses. On Sept. 1, 1951, Edmonton 1 — one of the first trams ever purchased by the city — powered across the High Level Bridge for the railway system's last trip.

But the tracks didn't lay unused forever. While no longer part of the public transit system, some of the historic streetcars have been restored by the Edmonton Radial Railway Society. The group has collected nearly 20 vintage streetcars from Edmonton and around the world (including Edmonton 1).

The society operates some of its historic streetcars for trips across the High Level Bridge, with stops in Old Strathcona and downtown. The popular service was paused last year because of COVID-19 but started up again earlier this summer with new pandemic precautions. Labour Day saw the beginning of the streetcar's fall schedule, which will run until Thanksgiving before retiring for the winter.

This is based on a clipping found on Vintage Edmonton, a daily look at Edmonton's history from armchair archivist @revRecluse — follow @VintageEdmonton for daily ephemera via Twitter.

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Weekend agenda: Sept. 9-12, 2021

Weekend agenda: Sept. 9-12, 2021

By Andy Trussler

Photo: Tattoo & Arts Festival/Terra Connors