Ambassadors are always finding new and innovative ways to support the businesses and communities they serve. The projects below reflect some of the initiatives Ambassadors are engaged in
If you feel like there are is a project that you would like to work on with Ambassadors - let us know!
The YEG Ambassadors provide an “on-the-street” presence in Edmonton’s Business Improvement Area (BIAs). Working in the North Edge, Chinatown, and the Quarters, they connect businesses to the resources and services they need to succeed while engaging with and supporting visitors, community members, and social agencies. Working with community and small businesses in developing the local economy, the YEG Ambassadors improve the safety and vitality of the area and its many vulnerable businesses and community members.
Thanks to the environmental scanning and other data collection work of the past few years, we know so much about the community the YEG Ambassadors work in. This data has been shared with 311 and used by the North Edge Business Association to inform stakeholders regarding graffiti and other social issues in the area and to affect City policy, such as with the public washroom pilot project. The City of Edmonton has committed to four years of funding for the YEG Ambassador program.
The YEG Ambassadors serve as an extra set of eyes on the street, conducting environmental scans on a regular basis in the NEBA, Chinatown BIAs, and Quarters areas to collect data and report activities of concern or environmental conditions that need to be addressed. Ambassadors are responsible for collecting, analyzing, and communicating data to the appropriate response system or service. The environmental scanning data also serves as a baseline for future safety and cleanliness projects in the area.
In 2022, at the request of the program partners the YEG Ambassadors initiated a new initiative in North Edge and Chinatown to reduce the negative visual impacts
One achievement of the YEG Ambassadors program in 2022 was the successful application of the collected data to address the top issues identified in our environmental reporting. As graffiti was identified as the number one issue, YEG Ambassadors collaborated with the Capital City Cleanup Unit (CCCU) of the City of Edmonton to reduce graffiti vandalism within the North Edge BIA from November to December 2022. We identified the locations of the graffiti, visited affected businesses and properties, obtained the necessary cleaning consent forms, and assisted CCCU in securing extra funding for a blizzard clean-up campaign. This project resulted in the successful removal of 68% of the captured graffiti vandalism from the initial scanning
YEG Ambassadors' Role in Supporting the Single-use Item Bylaw
The YEG Ambassadors are actively collaborating with the City of Edmonton to promote awareness and adherence to the Single-Use Item Bylaw, which officially took effect on July 1st, 2023. This bylaw holds crucial significance in curbing single-use items' usage and their environmental impact.
The primary focus of the YEG Ambassadors lies in engaging with restaurants and businesses possessing food handling permits within the five Business Improvement Area (BIA) the program collaborates with. Given the significant impact of the bylaw on these establishments, the Ambassadors' efforts are particularly directed towards assisting them.
As part of their responsibilities, the YEG Ambassadors work on the streets to collect essential information from businesses. This process involves assessing their awareness, compliance, and preparedness for the bylaw's implementation. Additionally, they actively educate businesses about the bylaw's provisions, identify potential barriers to smooth implementation, and distribute informational materials, including pamphlets and postcards,for public display.
By collecting and recording this data, YEG Ambassadors contribute to a city-wide database that maps each business affected by the bylaw, ensuring a smooth transition towards a more sustainable and environmentally-conscious Edmonton.
Edmonton Downtown Farmers Market Vintage Car Show
The YEG Ambassador team truly left their mark at the Edmonton Downtown Farmers Market Vintage Car Show on Sunday August 13, during the past weekend. Embracing a co-hosting role, the team embraced a range of crucial duties from orchestrating the event's flow and sponsoring an onsite live band, to amplifying the program's presence through savvy social media promotion. Meanwhile, their inviting booth drew in visitors - a well-crafted hub of knowledge that not only illuminated their program's inner workings but also adeptly addressed common questions, fostering a sense of community camaraderie. And let's not forget the delightful touch of free popcorn, a gesture that added an extra sprinkle of joy to the attendees' overall experience
YEG Food Fiesta
The 2023 Dining Month Campaign, called The North Edge Food Fiesta, ran from June 10th to July 2nd and highlighted 10 participating food establishments in The North Edge BIA.
Each restaurant selected a promotional dish to be showcased during the event. The YEG Ambassadors played a pivotal role in recruiting businesses, helping to fund live performances at these establishments, curating website content, distributing marketing material, coordinating live show options, and promoting the event extensively on their social media platforms.
The YEG Ambassadors also organised post-event business visits. The campaign received widespread coverage through radio broadcasts, community blogs, and social media platforms.
Online Mural Campaign
The Online Mural Campaign aims to promote murals and small businesses in BIAs, while encouraging community participation.
The YEG Ambassadors use social media to share mural images and hints, engaging followers to guess the locations. Winners are selected weekly and receive a $20 gift card.
The campaign motivates community members to explore their neighbourhoods, support local businesses, and participate in the guessing game. By showcasing these murals and providing contextual information, the campaign educates the community about different art forms, local businesses, and specific locations, enhancing the understanding and appreciation of BIAs.
Winter Holiday Bonfire at Habesha Market
The purpose of the event was to bring the North Edge community together during the winter season. It was a free outdoor event designed to provide a space for support, networking, and collaboration. The event aimed to provide a safe space for local community members to connect with each other and a platform for their voices to be heard on issues affecting them. Information about services was provided at the event to empower locals with the resources they may need. The bonfire theme was chosen to provide a feeling of warmth outdoors in the cold winter and to invite locals to connect. We provided fire pits to roast marshmallows, along with hot drinks, blankets, and resource/service information.
Month of Murals
The Month of Murals is a month-long social media promotion of the murals and other pieces of public art located around Edmonton in its 13 Business Improvement Areas (BIAs).
With this project, the YEG Ambassadors hope to highlight the beauty, creativity, and fun that comes from public art, while helping visitors connect with the history and purpose of the artwork, buildings, and areas they are located in.
Public Washroom Prototype
Through continuous environmental scanning efforts in the North Edge and Chinatown BIAs and the Quarters district, the YEG Ambassadors recognized the real need for public washrooms in the area.
In collaboration with 311 and through the City of Edmonton, a public washroom prototype project was initiated to combat this issue. The prototype is still underway as of 2020, with a delay due to COVID-19.
The Foodie Friday project was a 9 month long campaign designed to promote the fantastic and often hidden-gems that are the restaurants in the North Edge and Chinatown BIAs.
The YEG Ambassadors visited dozens of restaurants, taking photos of the fantastic food, meeting with owners, filling out details in Google Reviews, and promoting restaurants and cafes on social media; working hard to put these well deserving restaurants on the map.
Light the Edge
To celebrate the holiday season, foster an inviting shopping experience, and bring light and life to the streets, the YEG Ambassadors held the Light the Edge contest in the North Edge BIA.
After canvassing business owners all over the North Edge BIA, the YEG Ambassadors distributed boxes of free lights to businesses so that they could create a display and decorate their street-facing windows. With twenty-five participants, the YEG Ambassadors encouraged businesses to compete in creating great displays, awarding prizes in the form of gift cards to other North Edge Businesses.
Reacting to the declaration of a pandemic by the WHO and quarantine protocols from local health authorities, the YEG Ambassadors quickly pivoted their work to ensure that businesses and individuals had access to the information and resources they need.
Through our communication channels, the #YEG Ambassadors disseminated the COVID-19 Supports Guide.
Work continues for the YEG Ambassadors in assessing the impact of the Novel Coronavirus on businesses in the North Edge and other BIAs in Edmonton. This work will inform economic recovery strategies and efforts in advocating for small and medium sized businesses.