The Pulse: April 12, 2023

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

Sponsored by:

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


  • 10°C: A mix of sun and cloud. Wind becoming northwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 near noon. High 10. UV index 4 or moderate. (forecast)
  • Periwinkle: The High Level Bridge will be lit periwinkle for IBS Awareness Month, which was designated by the International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD) in 1997. (details)
  • 2-1: The Edmonton Oilers (49-23-9) defeated the Colorado Avalanche (49-24-7) in overtime on April 11. (details)

The white-and-yellow facade of CO*LAB from across the street, under a sky of pink-flecked clouds

CO*LAB seeks funds to cover pandemic shortfall

By Colin Gallant

After cancelling the 2023 edition of its flagship event due to financial woes, CO*LAB is looking to catch up on debt in order to move forward.

"We need to make it known that we're struggling, and cancelling GLOW (Festival) was part of that," Lorin Klask, artistic director for CO*LAB, told Taproot.

GLOW Festival is the annual flagship event from CO*LAB — a.k.a. Community {Arts} Laboratory — and its operating body, the Quarters Arts Society (QAS). The event typically includes lantern-making workshops, a parade, and live entertainment. The ninth annual GLOW Festival was slated for March 23, but was called off on March 15 and replaced with a smaller art-making event on March 25.

Opening CO*LAB amid the global COVID-19 pandemic resulted in debt hovering around $40,000 to $45,000, which makes the organization ineligible for certain grants, Klask said.

"Our debts need to be addressed, and we're trying to do that on many fronts," she said.

That's why CO*LAB launched a GoFundMe with a goal of $50,000 back in October 2022. At press time, it has raised only $2,170, though a separate fundraiser last fall generated around $1,400 not reflected in the GoFundMe total.

"We were hoping that if (the total amount couldn't be raised), that it would just bring us a couple of thousands of operating funding every month," Klask said.

CO*LAB has also entered a repayment plan with the City of Edmonton, from whom it leases the space at 9641 102A Avenue NW. Klask said larger-than-expected utility bills and operating fees resulted in a bill for more than $9,000 this past January.

QAS began working to become the operator of the CO*LAB space back in 2017, building a business plan that relied on revenue from event rentals as its primary earner rather than in-house programming.

Continue reading

Headlines: April 12, 2023

By Kevin Holowack

  • Council's community and public services committee heard from a researcher representing MAPS Alberta Capital Region, who suggested the city should support small-scale Indigenous-led camps to help people transition to secure housing. The non-profit group created a report for the city's Encampment Response Team called Staying Outside is Not a Preference: Homelessness in Edmonton, which compiles the results of interviews with about 120 people.
  • Power outages were reported across Edmonton on April 11. EPCOR said at least five outages were linked to "pole fires," which are caused when an electrical current is created on electric pole insulators due to moisture and debris. The largest outage impacted 6,000 EPCOR customers in northeast Edmonton from about 11am to 3:30pm. Smaller outages happened in south and northwest Edmonton, and in Glenora.
  • The Edmonton Police Service is implementing a new online record request system in response to a growing number of Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIP) requests, which have risen from 459 cases in 2015 to 1,665 in 2022. Police chose to move to a platform called ATIPXpress, which is used by several other Canadian and American agencies including Alberta Health Services, after the province decommissioned its FOIPnet system in 2021. EPS said its new public portal is expected to launch "in the near future" and will "significantly streamline" its management of FOIP requests. The police service is also hiring four additional analysts for its Information and Privacy Unit, which currently has seven members.
  • The city is seeking public feedback on several projects and initiatives. A drop-in public information event for the Rideau Park and Royal Gardens Alley Renewal happened April 11, and a drop-in event for the Crawford Plains, Daly Grove, and Pollard Meadows Alley Renewal is set for April 13. A survey and draft design of the Gariepy Neighbourhood and Alley Renewal are available online from April 12 to 30. Edmontonians are also invited to share their experiences with the Residential Parking Program and provide feedback to help the city draft a Digital Signage Policy.
  • A Calgary-based home builder called 3volution Homes Group had its permits cancelled for 13 builds in the Fraser and McConachie neighbourhoods in northeast Edmonton, leaving several people with mortgage payments for unfinished houses. Four of the homebuyers told CBC they can't afford to pay rent and mortgage payments at the same time and are facing a dire situation. Court documents show tradespeople are seeking more than $180,000 in damages from 3volution for unpaid invoices. The company has not filed a statement of defence. Mary-Ann Thurber, a spokesperson for the city, said the city cancelled the permits due to lack of progress but is in communication with 3volution and committed to working with the company to help it finish the builds.
  • The province announced that it has delivered $10 million to food banks and food security organizations since it made a commitment in November 2022 to provide $20 million over two years. Edmonton's Food Bank and the Calgary Food Bank each received $280,000 through a grant stream for food banks. So far, 210 organizations have received funding, including $3.4 million used to match donations.
  • Associated Press sports writer Stephen Whyno made his predictions for the winners of the 2023 NHL Awards. According to Whyno, Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid stands to win the Hart Memorial Trophy, which goes to the most valuable player in the league, and goalie Stuart Skinner is a possible contender for the Calder Memorial Trophy, which awards the player who is most proficient in their first year of competition.
A newspaper clipping of an ad the reads "Corona Hotel, Attractive Rates, Two Blocks East C.P.R. Depot, It's New — It's Modern"

A moment in history: April 12, 1947

By Scott Lilwall

On this day in 1947, the rebuilt Corona Hotel was advertising for guests.

Most are probably familiar with Edmonton's Corona LRT station (a station name that started hitting a bit differently, say, about three years ago). But not all know where that particular stop's name comes from.

The story starts in 1908 when architect James Edward Wize designed and built a commercial block bearing his name along Jasper Avenue at 106 Street. Wize was well-known in the city, having designed the Alberta Hotel a few years earlier, as well as several other buildings around Edmonton and northern Alberta. The Wize block originally contained retail shops but was transformed into the Corona Hotel after a few years.

As for where "Corona" came from, there is speculation that the hotel was named after corona cigars from Cuba, which were seen as a luxury item around that time. A 1910 postcard advertising the brick hotel touts it as fireproof, modern, and with attractive rates. A few decades later, one of those descriptors would prove to be untrue.

In 1932, the Corona Hotel was utterly destroyed by fire caused by a break in a natural gas line that ran under the building. One eyewitness claimed a local lawyer, who happened to be standing on a manhole cover while watching the fire, was flung "into a short orbit" by an explosion under the street. Eventually, fire crews defeated the fire, but little was left of the once luxurious hotel. A legal battle over who was at fault, which would have a big impact on Albertan jurisprudence, dragged along for years.

The hotel was rebuilt very quickly afterward, and Wize himself continued to run it until his retirement. It was eventually demolished in 1981. Even though the building was gone, the city decided to mark the history of the hotel two years later when Corona LRT station was built directly underneath where it once stood.

Early on in the coronavirus pandemic, there were a few who suggested changing the name of the Corona LRT station, although nothing came of the idea. (Efforts to rename other stations — for very different reasons — have gone ahead.) What the stop is called, and why, has become less of an issue lately, with more attention on safety concerns within the LRT system.

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.