Edmonton 2012 New Year’s Eve
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  Posted January 4th, 2016 by Zdenko  in Edmonton | No comments yet.

Edmonton events

By: Zdenko Kahlina

Remember Edmonton 2012 New Year’s Eve?
Remember New year’s Eve several years ago? The odd-shaped pavilions on Churchill Square in downtownEdmonton New Year’s Eve at Churchill square Downtown attracted an audience of 30,000 and featured family-friendly attractions, activities, music and a spectacular fireworks display in Canada’s Festival City. This is what I wrote then:

Celebrations on Churchill Square last year

2012 New Year’s Eve downtown
Edmonton celebrates New Year’s Eve every year with a flurry of activities held on and around Sir Winston Churchill Square. Expect to see lots of clowns, a kids’ craft-making area, live music, street dancing and a roaring fire to keep revellers warm.

For 12 years, Events Edmonton has been producing the city’s flagship event to ring in the old and ring in the new. New Year’s Eve Downtown brings a multitude of family-friendly attractions and activities to (and around) Edmonton’s Churchill Square. The Edmonton New Year’s Eve event has live music, a wandering magician and all sorts of hands-on crafts. “We have two indoor areas for kids to make crafts like masks and headpieces they can wear that night and take home,” explains Albi, adding with a chuckle, “There’s a lot of glittery stuff!”

Edmonton – City hall

Fireworks on Churchill Square

Fireworks on Churchill Square

Ask anyone who’s relatively new to Canada’s Festival City, and they will tell you that the Edmonton New Year’s Eve celebration comes in with a bang. Literally. New Canadians are always amazed that you can do fireworks in 20-below Celsius. Fireworks in the cold are quite spectacular.

Skating in front of the City Hall

But the biggest draw, by far, is the fireworks display. “We have about 30,000 people who come for the fireworks,” says Albi. “Families make a point of staying awake for it.” Churchill Square starts filling up around 10 o’clock. “Before you know it, it’s midnight,” says Albi. What happens the moment after the countdown is a sight to behold. “The traffic stops, people start hugging each other… it’s quite unique to Edmonton. Year after year, what we learn is that this Festival City event is all about people wanting to ring in the New Year as a community”.

Entertainment program in the City hall

Entertainment program in the City hall

To make this downtown Edmonton event more affordable, all the entertainment, including three live bands on the Churchill Square main stage and a showcase of young up-and-comers on the CBC stage indoors, is free and there will be one-dollar parking indoors at City Centre, Canada Place and the Stanley A. Milner Library.

Pavilions will transform Churchill Square into a winter Metropolis
There is something new this year at the Churchill Square. On Thursday they unveiled designs for the six illuminated pavilions made of scaffolding covered in shrink-wrapped plastic that will dominate Churchill Square for eight weeks this winter.

Finishing touches are being made on the odd-shaped pavilions in Churchill Square in downtown Edmonton.

Metropolis is Edmonton’s first winter festival where Churchill Square is transformed into a winter wonderland of lights, sounds and visuals. A variety of activities including winter food, music, live entertainment and interactive exhibits are offered. The exhibit and interactive program spaces operate on Friday evening and weekends for the first year until the February 19th, but will be lit with multicoloured lights every evening. Cold-weather construction technology sees free-standing structural forms made of shrink-wrapped scaffolding, complete with heat and LED lighting. This will provide an opportunity for Albertans outside Edmonton to enjoy the festival.

The iceberg-inspired brew house, towering observation deck, a 15-metre high robot and diamondsided city market were designed pro bono by five local and national architects and festival founder Giuseppe Albi.

odd-shaped pavilions in Churchill Square

A community centre and display tent round out the offering. They will be the centre of the Metropolis winter festival bringing lights, warm and alcoholic drinks, art and children’s activities to the centre of the city from New Year’s Eve to Feb. 20, 2012.

“I think (Albi) really hit a home run here,” said Mayor Stephen Mandel, introducing the festival at City Hall Thursday.

In future years, festival organizers hope to hold an international design competition to create greater numbers of pavilions, giving the festival a global presence. It’s a chance to show the world “we are a great group of creative people,” said Mandel. “It’s well worth it for the citizens to invest in this type of project.”

Taste of Winter, the city-market shaped pavilion by Calgary architect Bill Chomik, will hold a rotating selection of local restaurants, up to 11 at a time.

The children’s pavilion, designed by Albi, holds a 12-metre high inflatable slide and aerial walkway, with room for crafts and other children’s activities at the ground level.

The observation tower with sixmetre and 12-metre decks was designed by local architect Craig Henderson, who also designed Churchill Square. Festival organizers hope to project hockey games from the world junior hockey championships on the two large screens New Year’s Eve. Chinese New Year celebrations, art and fashion displays will be held in the architect Gene Dub’s halfpyramid style community centre, and a series of displays of information technology and public transit are planned for the crystal-shaped pavilion by Toronto architect Taymoore Balbaa.

Finally, the iceberg-inspired pavilion by local architect Richard Isaac will be run by the Canadian Brew house. It will have warm drinks during the day, with beer, wine and mixed drinks in the evenings. It was a challenge designing within the rigid demands of the scaffolding, said Isaac. But you work with the “kit of parts” that you’re given. “I just played around with how one could create a free form.”

Each of the pavilions will be warmed to about 10 C inside with propane heaters.

The festival budget is $1.2 million. Of that, $150,000 was provided by the City of Edmonton, and more has been donated by local construction and other companies, Albi said. Events Edmonton is covering the rest. They hope Edmonton residents will volunteer and expect 10,000 to 15,000 visitors each weekend, said Albi.

“Take ownership of Metropolis, our city’s new winter festival,” he urged those gathered for the launch. “To guarantee the sustainability of this festival, we need the support of the community.”

For those who’d rather celebrate Edmonton New Year’s Eve by hitting the dance floor or merely mingling, the city’s many bars, clubs, and lounges have it all, particularly picturesque, historic (and rockin’) Whyte Avenue in the Old Strathcona area.

Help the City of Edmonton and Events Edmonton ring in 2012 at the 12th annual New Year’s Eve Downtown festival. This free, fun-filled family event will take place at City Hall and Sir Winston Churchill Square and starts with the official launch of the Metropolis Edmonton International Winter Festival.

Nativity by the City hall

Schedule of Events
The festivities start after the official launch of METROPOLIS at 6:15pm and take you right into 2012!

Visit http://www.eventsedmonton.ca/ for details on Metropolis Edmonton International Winter Festival.

• Launch of METROPOLIS in Churchill Square
• DJ on Main Stage
• Activities start in the Children’s Pavilion

• Indoor Programming starts in City Hall
• Programming starts in the Community Centre Pavilion
• Skating Party on City Plaza*
• Taste of Winter – 12 vendors serving soups, chilies and other winter fare
• Polar Brewhouse operated by Canadian Brewhouse serving non-alcoholic beverages

• Outdoor stage live entertainment in Churchill Square
• Street Dance on 100 Street between 102 Ave and 102A Ave

Midnight (12am)
• Fireworks display launched from 103 Avenue.
* Skating at Sir Winston Churchill Square is weather permitting.

For more information on skating at Churchill Square or the fireworks display contact the Civic Events office at 780-944-7740.

Fireworks at Churchill Square

Fireworks at Churchill Square

New Years Eve Parties in Edmonton
Don’t get stuck freezing your butt off unable to get into the best New Years party in Edmonton this year! Plan your Edmonton New Years party with BeforeLastCall and make sure you don’t miss out on the hottest events in the city. We’re your hookup for the best New Years parties in Edmonton, from live concerts to nightclub events and exclusive Edmonton New Years packages. Search BLC now for all the information you need to start planning your Edmonton New Year’s party today!

From hip-hop events to live rock and country, the hottest New Years parties in Edmonton always sell out fast. As people gear up for the biggest party night of the year, there is nothing like celebrating NYE in Edmonton, from the hottest downtown nightclubs to surrounding Edmonton NYE parties.

With so many New Years Eve parties in Edmonton, finding the best ones is completely up to you. Whether you’re looking to celebrate with a large group or just a couple close friends, reserve your own luxury booth or spend a romantic evening with someone special, get your Edmonton New Years Eve party tickets early to ensure you spend the evening the way you wish.


New Years Eve 2010 – Churchill Square, Edmonton Photographer: Anthony P. Jones




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