Posted on 1/10/2008 by Jason Kodie
Did you make it Churchill square on New Years Eve? Were you part of the 30 000 strong who rang in 2008 under a spell of hypnotizing fireworks? Did you catch any of the magnificent bands, 14 in total, all hailing from Edmonton? Were you part of an amazing celebration?
I ask these redundant questions to those who were there, with a hint of smugness to those who weren’t. You would have been hard pressed to find any dissappoinment in anyone who attended the Nightworks celebration. There was magic in the air.
Edmonton Cultural Capital and Events Edmonton collaborated in this effort and gave Edmontonians an evening to remember as the year we rang in 2008 as the Cultural Capital of Canada. This massive undertaking was made possible through a string of emails that would stretch from MillWoods to Belle Rive, through meetings that would envy the Presidential race currently running in the States, and through patience and focus befitting of a Buddhist temple.
The cost to Edmontonians, Free!
What more could you ask for - an evening of fantastic entertainment highlighting some of the best musical talent in our town. Neighbourhood comraderie under the chill of a prairie eve, replete with a waning full moon. At midnight, as per usual, came the fireworks. This spellbinding visual feast of exploding sounds and colour put together by ProFX, (Calgary, ok, we can let that one go), was stunning. The soundtrack to the display featured the music of the majority of the evening’s performers. The sea of 30 000, and growing by the second, revellers in Churchill Square swayed harmoniously to the sights and sounds that filled the air with hope and joy. Magic. Did I mention this was free?
This years event was a co-pro which allowed for Edmonton Cultural Capital to fund the entertainment and for Events Edmonton to fund the production. ECC of C had indicated in their initial application that this event was part of their vision – a celebration for all Edmontonians that would usher in the New Year. They delivered as promised.
Sadly, this may not be the case next year as this was perhaps a one time happening for such a large scale event. Events Edmonton has been producing the event since the demise of the former « First Night » celebration. They graciously allowed for this co-production, and will continue to handle New Years Eve celebrations for the future.
I for one believe they could use more assistance and a larger budget which will allow them to continue in the same vein. Next years celebration should be better than the last. Alright, I could handle a reduction in the fireworks as them there things are damn expensive and can eat up a huge part of a budget. Next years celebration should continue in the same vein with all Edmonton bands. 4 stages again, with some re-tooling and ironing out of the kinks, allowing for an even better event that will continue to enforce the legacy and strength of our culture, cuz we will never forget that we were, and still are, the Capital of the Province, and the Cultural Capital of Canada, right?
Call your alderman. Insist upon it.