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Edmonton Folk Fest, Indigenous Art Garden, Mini Concerts Prepare to Roll Out Summer Programming

June 08, 2021
Published In: Community Investment

EDMONTON, AB – Making sure the events we love don't become the events we loved is at the heart of EPCOR's Heart + Soul Fund. That objective is more important than ever as Edmonton's beloved festivals and attractions gear up for summer with a renewed sense of hope and optimism. To provide the support they need to adjust to easing public health restrictions, EPCOR is announcing another $320,000 in funding to 17 local arts, cultural and charitable organizations.

This significant community investment will foster the creation of new and vibrant activities for Edmonton families; including an Indigenous art garden in the city's core and roving folk music performances in dozens of local neighbourhoods.

"Our beloved arts, cultural and charitable organizations have shown incredible resilience and versatility and we are grateful for the vital role they play in making Edmonton a vibrant and caring community to live in," said Stuart Lee, President and CEO of EPCOR. "These projects exemplify what EPCOR's Heart + Soul Fund is all about and provide us with something to look forward to this summer and beyond."

Edmonton Folk Festival to stage free neighbourhood performances

With support from the Heart + Soul Fund, the Edmonton Folk Music Festival is literally Takin' It To The Streets this year with a reimagined music festival that will bring live performances to 42 neighbourhoods throughout Edmonton. The mini concert series will be held from mid-July to mid-August and provide the opportunity for families and community groups to host a performance right outside their homes.

"After much discussion, we decided to try something new and bring the music to the community," said Terry Wickham, producer of the Edmonton Folk Music Festival. "I think this year's celebration will be special and offer an intimate experience that you don't always get at larger venues. It's also a great opportunity to meet your neighbours and celebrate your local community."

Indigenous art garden to provide program space for performances, workshops and talks

An Indigenous art garden will pop up this summer thanks to the Ociciwan Contemporary Art Collective and Finding Flowers Project. Located in a vacant lot next to Ociciwan Contemporary Art Centre at 10124 96 Street NW, the garden will reflect the butterfly gardens of the late Mi'kmaq artist Mike MacDonald and host a series of community workshops over the summer months.  

"We are excited to provide a space for gathering and hosting a series of community workshops and talks from local and national elders, artists and makers," said Becca Taylor, director of the Ociciwan Contemporary Art Collective. "The venue is open to all members of the public and is a wonderful opportunity to share and learn about Mike MacDonald's legacy, plants and gardens, and contemporary Indigenous arts practices."

TELUS World of Science fundraisers support science programming

TELUS World of Science – Edmonton is preparing for two fundraising events. The first one will be held virtually Wednesday, June 16. The Summer Family FUNdraiser is packed with summer science activities that families can follow along with using their own custom science kit. LUMEN, a fundraiser planned for the fall, will feature entertainment, cocktails and food experiences with a science twist. EPCOR's Heart + Soul funding will help offset administrative costs of running both fundraisers.

"We rely on admission revenue for 80 per cent of our annual budget, however, the health restrictions have kept our physical doors closed since November 2020, so hosting fundraisers like these help us continue to serve our community with engaging science programs," said Alan Nursall, President and CEO of TELUS World of Science - Edmonton. "We intend to use the funding to support our two fundraising events, while also giving Edmontonians safe and fun events they can look forward to."

Pandemic relief a vital source of support for local charities

Heart + Soul Funding also provides much-needed resources to help charities deliver new fundraising campaigns that support social services that have faced increased demand throughout the pandemic—mental health, food, shelter, domestic violence.

Boyle Street Community Services is gearing up to celebrate its 50th anniversary by launching the Boyle Street 50 Campaign, with the goal of raising $100,000. This peer-to-peer fundraising campaign will have teams of four raise funds through actions centered on the number 50. For example, a team may run 50 kilometres, collect 50 pieces of clothing, or bake 50 loafs of breads, the options are endless and all for a good cause. EPCOR will match up to a total of $25,000 in donations through its Heart + Soul Fund.

"As we mark our 50th anniversary the need to help Edmonton's most marginalized has never been greater, particularly given the impact created by the pandemic," said Jordan Reiniger, executive director for Boyle Street Community Services. "The past year has been tough on everyone, but those who are most vulnerable have felt it most. Our community has always stepped up for us whenever we've needed support. Having a community partner like EPCOR as a matching donor really increases the appeal to donate and makes it much more likely that we can make this campaign the success we need it to be right now. It's only by coming together as a community that we will be able to realize our mission to end chronic homelessness."

This funding is in addition to the $465,000 announced earlier this spring for 23 arts, culture and charitable organizations. Wave three applications are currently under review with announcements planned in the coming weeks. View a full list of funding recipients this year.

Quick facts:

  • In March 2021, EPCOR announced new grant support of $1 million through its Heart + Soul Fund. This is in addition to $100,000 in pandemic relief provided by EPCOR to the United Way and Edmonton Community Foundation this year.
  • Last year, EPCOR provided $2 million in COVID-19 pandemic relief and recovery; including:
    • $1.25 million through the Heart + Soul Fund to support 47 organizations.
    • $300,000 to the United Way and Edmonton Community Foundation.
    • $82,000 to local Edmonton charities from employee matching campaigns.

For more information, please contact:

Media Relations
Phone: (780) 721-9001

About EPCOR:

EPCOR, through its wholly owned subsidiaries, builds, owns and operates electrical, natural gas and water transmission and distribution networks, water and wastewater treatment facilities, sanitary and stormwater systems, and infrastructure in Canada and the United States. The Company also provides electricity, natural gas and water products to residential and commercial customers. EPCOR, headquartered in Edmonton, is an Alberta Top 75 employer.

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