The Pulse: May 3, 2024

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

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  • 11°C: A mix of sun and cloud. Becoming sunny in the morning. High 11. UV index 4 or moderate. (forecast)
  • Red: The High Level Bridge will be lit red for the Kinette Club of Edmonton and Kinsmen Club of Edmonton District Convention. (details)

Two people stand inside a large but empty factory.

Future Fields wins at YEG Startup Community Awards

By Colin Gallant

The winners of the 2024 YEG Startup Community Awards include Future Fields, a biomanufacturer using an innovative fruit fly facility that received US$11.2 million in funding last year.

The company edged out fellow finalists UpRow and vrCAVE in the adjudicated category of Most Edmonton Startup of the Year, awarded at a May 2 ceremony at Fu's Repair Shop. Future Fields was a finalist in the same category at last year's awards but lost to satellite imaging company Wyvern.

CarePros, a pediatric care provider, won in the adjudicated Traction of the Year category, edging out the also-nominated Future Fields.

The adjudicated awards were numerous. Nanostics won Best Startup Workplace, Ashif Mawji of ScaleGood Fund won Community Champion of the Year, David Ferris of Alberta Product Leadership Program (and more) won Volunteer of the Year, David Janzen won Mentor of the Year, Mikayla Balfour of Nexarina won Student Entrepreneur of the Year, Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute won Support Organization of the Year, and Startup TNT won Investor of the Year.

In the people's choice award categories, SpectraCann, a drug-testing company with a proprietary THC breathalyzer test, won New Startup of the Year. Paul Bakhmut, organizer of the Edmonton Design Movement, took home Connector of the Year. Alberta's First GovTech Hackathon by MovEd won the Community Initiative of the Year award.

More opportunities to learn about excellence in the Edmonton region's innovation ecosystem include Upper Bound, running from May 21 to 24 at the Edmonton Convention Centre, and at Inventures in Calgary hosted by Alberta Innovates from May 29 to 31.

Photo: Biomanufacturer Future Fields, co-founded by Matt Anderson-Baron and Jalene Anderson-Baron, won Most Edmonton Startup of the Year at the 2024 YEG Startup Community Awards on May 2. (Supplied)


Headlines: May 3, 2024

By Mariam Ibrahim

  • The Summer Streets program is returning to Edmonton, offering designated mobility lanes and shared streets for active transportation. Crews will install the separated lanes starting the week of May 6, with routes open to the public by mid-May. The program will operate on sections of Saskatchewan Drive, 104 Street, and Victoria Park Road, with speed limits reduced to 40 km/h.
  • The City of Edmonton is currently supporting construction efforts to build, convert, or renovate 2,600 affordable and mixed-market housing, including a new 63-unit site in Holyrood expected to be completed in late 2024. The City has invested $165 million since 2019 to support 3,127 permanent homes, including 783 supportive housing units. Edmonton's Affordable Housing Strategy has set a target of adding 2,700 new or renewed homes by 2026.
  • Edmonton had a 7.2% drop in overall crime rates in 2023 compared to the previous year, according to a new report from the Edmonton Police Service. However, police say overall crime severity increased by 4.6% and violent crime severity increased 7.3%. Chief Dale McFee attributed the drop in crime rates to increased funding and new policing initiatives, particularly in areas like downtown and the transit system, but added there is "more work to do, especially around violence in our community."
  • Edmonton-based Capital Power has cancelled its $2.4-billion carbon capture and storage project at the Genesee natural gas-fired power plant, saying it's not financially feasible. The project would have captured up to three million tonnes of carbon dioxide annually. While the project's cancellation has cast doubts on the technology, the federal environment minister said carbon capture still has a role to play in addressing climate change.
  • Researchers at the University of Alberta are studying the resilience of trees to challenges like drought and wildfires by sequencing their genomes, focusing on species such as pine and spruce. The Genome Alberta Resilient Forests project, led by professor Barb Thomas, aims to identify which tree families can best survive harsh conditions and are suitable for reforestation in Alberta. With climate change altering the traditional growing environments of trees, the research can help inform how forestry practices can be adapted to include drought-tolerant and disease-resistant trees.
  • The Edmonton Valley Zoo announced its three-year-old Bactrian camel Tuyaa was euthanized due to severe complications from hyperparathyroidism. Despite extensive treatments, Tuyaa was unable to stand on her own and her condition worsened, leading to the decision to euthanize her to prevent further suffering. Born at the zoo in July 2020, Tuyaa was a "bright and special soul that captured the hearts of all who worked with her," the zoo said in a post.
  • The Edmonton Police Service said a man wielding an axe allegedly smashed the glass panes of the doors at the 97 Street entrance of the Edmonton Law Courts on May 1. Police said a 45-year-old man was apprehended under the Mental Health Act and faces charges of mischief over $5,000 and possession of a weapon dangerous to the public.
  • The Alberta government says it will introduce changes to its controversial Bill 20, which would grant it the power to dismiss local councillors and mayors, and modify or repeal local bylaws. Municipal Affairs Minister Ric McIver said the amendments would aim to ensure transparency in local elections and accountability of elected officials, adding that removing councillors or changing bylaws would be a last resort. Critics have called the bill a threat to local democracy that would give the province significant power over municipal governments.
  • The Canadian Armed Forces will conduct a large-scale road exercise on May 3 in north Edmonton and surrounding communities, involving 40 military vehicles and 100 personnel. The exercise will happen between 6am and 3pm, affecting travel on several highways, including Highway 216 and Highway 2, and areas in Fort Saskatchewan, St. Albert, and Morinville.
  • The Edmonton Oilers have shown significant improvement and maturity, writes Postmedia sports journalist Robert Tychkowski. The team's focus has shifted from a primarily offensive game to a more balanced strategy, Tychkowski wrote, an approach on display as the Oilers defeated the Los Angeles Kings in five games during the first round of the NHL playoffs. "If words count for anything, the Edmonton Oilers certainly sound like a team that's capable of winning it all," he wrote.
A title card that reads Taproot Edmonton Calendar:

Happenings: May 3-5, 2024

By Debbi Serafinchon

Here are some events happening this weekend in the Edmonton area.

And here are some upcoming events to keep in mind:

Visit the beta version of the Taproot Edmonton Calendar for many more events in the Edmonton region.