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
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.
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.
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.