The Pulse: Aug. 18, 2022

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!


  • 30°C: Sunny. High 30. Humidex 32. UV index 7 or high. (forecast)
  • 27,000: The number of Cree speakers in Canada, according to the latest data from Statistics Canada. (details)

Two happy men stand in the Edmonton Stingers merchandise store in front of a pop-up banner that reads "Ordr: Skip the Lines: Download the app for mobile pick-up

Missed fight inspires app to help fans skip lines

By Karen Unland

Jade Chiles's lightbulb moment happened in a lineup at Rogers Place on Jan. 29, 2020.

He had left his seat five minutes before the end of the period during a game between the Oilers and Flames, hoping to avoid the crowd at the concession stand. He was not the only one with this idea. So he was not alone in his regret as the roar of the crowd alerted him to what he was missing: a fight between the normally peaceful Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Sean Monahan.

Now, your mileage may vary on whether fighting belongs in hockey. But it was a moment that Chiles didn't want to miss. And it got him thinking.

"How, in 2020, do we still have these issues?" he said on Episode 27 of Bloom. "Tap one button, and you have a car that shows up. You tap one button, your hotel is booked. But I can't order ahead or have my order delivered to me."

That led to the creation of Ordr, an app that allows fans to order food, drinks, or merch from the stands, turning every seat into a point of sale. He and co-founder Evan Wain have been fairly quiet, but Ordr is starting to make waves now, with integration with stadium software provider SpotOn and deals with various teams and leagues, including the Canadian Elite Basketball League, home of the Edmonton Stingers.

They started work on Ordr just a few weeks before COVID-19 shut down practically every sport. That might seem like a setback, but the timing was actually perfect, said Chiles. It gave the team a chance to do market research and figure out how to differentiate themselves from competitors such as Yinzcam, StadiumDrop, and SEATSERVE.

"We actually built the company through the pandemic and launched it on the tail end, while our competition was hemorrhaging capital to keep their doors open, while all of these venues were closed across the globe."

Continue reading

Headlines: Aug. 18, 2022

By Kevin Holowack

  • Lyft, the rideshare company, is lobbying the province to remove the Class 4 licence requirement so that anyone with a Class 5 could drive for the company. "Lyft believes that Alberta should join the provinces of Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan in adopting modern regulations for the passenger transportation industry," said the company. Coun. Andrew Knack, an early proponent of bringing rideshare services to Edmonton, said he believes the Class 4 requirement should remain to ensure safety.
  • Starting the week of Aug. 22, Jasper Avenue will be closed between 90 Street and 91 Street to accommodate the demolition and reconstruction of the Latta Bridge. The section is slated to reopen in the fall of 2023. In the meantime, the city will run a temporary shuttle service between Stadium Station and 87 Street. ETS bus stops for routes 2 and 101 in the affected area will be moved.
  • City council voted unanimously not to punish Coun. Michael Janz for retweeting a post that refers to a police officer as a "pig," which he later deleted. Jamie Pytel, the city's integrity commissioner, cautioned council to be more careful on social media. "(If) we don't keep retweets and things like that in check, it could be used as a way to harass or participate in conduct that would be offside the code," she said.
  • Some local entrepreneurs want to see another round of The Edmonton Project, a competition launched by five companies in 2017 to generate big ideas for the city. In 2018, a proposal for a gondola concept led to Prairie Sky Gondola, which was grounded this week when council voted against a proposed land deal. "This city needs more big ideas for people to believe in and more empowered city builders daring to do them," said Prairie Sky CEO Jeffrey Hansen-Carlson. Aziz Bootwal of Kasian Architecture, who co-founded the competition, suggested the "prospect of success would be much higher" with less lofty projects.
  • Majesty and Friends, a design boutique in Manchester Square, has the best restroom in Canada, declared Cintas Canada. "When we opened this location last year, I put all my savings into it to make our shop a truly memorable and fun destination for our community," said owner Julie Morrison. "I'm so grateful to Cintas for highlighting our business."
  • CBC Edmonton is releasing new episodes of Slumtown, its podcast about disruption and disorder in the McCauley and Alberta Avenue neighbourhoods. Slain landlord Abdullah Shah is the focus of the two new episodes.
  • Alberta Health Services is outsourcing the rest of its food vendors in Edmonton and Calgary, entering into negotiations with Aramark, Compass, and Sodexo to provide food at facilities such as the University of Alberta Hospital, Royal Alexandra Hospital, and Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital.
A collage of artist pieces from the Shifting Articulations of Asian-ness in Contemporary Canada exhibit

Curator Yang Lim seeks to broaden art's reach

By Brett McKay

Putting together a purely online art exhibit presented independent curator Yang Lim with both an opportunity and a puzzle — how do you choose and display the pieces without compromising either the art or the viewer experience?

"It was an interesting challenge," he said of Shifting Articulations of Asian-ness in Contemporary Canada, which recently closed after a six-week run. "I had a lot of back and forth with the artists."

He tried not to curate based on how easily an artist's work would adapt to the screen. "It was more, 'OK, I'd like to start working with what she's doing. Let's see what we can do to translate it for an online exhibit.'"

While pandemic limitations gave the online format advantages over a gallery showing, Lim said he had been toying with the idea for some time as a way of addressing the accessibility of art shows and growing his own craft as a curator.

"I was hoping that by presenting something online, that it could maybe attract a broader audience. It's an inconvenience on someone having to physically go to a specific space to experience an art exhibit."

The online format also saved Lim the cost of shipping artwork from across the country or renting equipment to properly display it, allowing him to stretch the funding the exhibition received from the Edmonton Arts Council and the City of Edmonton and include artists that might have otherwise been outside his budget.

Shifting Articulations featured the work of 12 artists of Asian heritage from across Canada, pulling together a complex diversity of communities, perspectives, styles, and mediums. Some, like Edmonton-based artist Wei Li's contribution, were digitally native and easily incorporated into the web layout. Others were not.

Continue reading