We Believe in 118

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Judy Allan is passionate about Alberta Avenue. She has worked in the community for almost 13 years as the Avenue Initiative Coordinator with the City of Edmonton. We sat down with her to chat more about the We Believe in 118 Initiative.

Q: Why was there a need for the We Believe in 118 Initiative?
JA: About 15 years ago, Alberta Avenue (118th Ave) had a bad reputation and had become quite run down.  There were several wonderful gems in the area, but few people knew about them.  The Business Association, along with many community members, lobbied the City to invest in the area to improve the quality of life for those living there, and to improve the economic vibrancy for the businesses that call 118th home. We Believe in 118 was born!

Battista of Battista Calzone - Photo by Edmonton Journal 

Battista of Battista Calzone - Photo by Edmonton Journal 

Q: What are some of the campaigns and projects We Believe in 118 initiated?
JA: Many projects were undertaken to change the perception of the area.  The Edmonton Neighbourhood Empowerment Team had a We Believe in 118 logo designed, and we created a sign for storefront windows.  This gave the businesses a voice that clearly said "there is something here that is good, we just need to tell others”. We Believe in 118 became a rallying cry for the people who lived and worked in the area to come together and work towards a clean, safe, vibrant area.

Shortly after, a coalition was formed that included Edmonton Police Service, Neighbourhood Empowerment Team, Avenue Initiative, Arts on The Ave, Alberta Avenue Business Association, community members and business owners. The coalition went on to implement campaigns aimed at making the area safer; Eyes on the Alley placed large images of local’s eyes on dumpsters; a rally was held to urge business owners to remove weapons and drug paraphernalia from stores; and a social media campaign called “Dear John" aimed at creating awareness about the sex trade. For the most recent campaign, Shop Smart, Shop Alberta Ave, information on predatory retail was sent area-wide to business owners on how to keep their store safe and welcoming.

Eyes on the Alley    

Eyes on the Alley 


Q: What was the community's reaction to We Believe in 118?
JA: It was very well received. The majority of business owners responded positively to the project and were happy to display the sign in their window front.

Q: What is the biggest change you've seen in the community?
JA: There has been significant physical change over the years, but projects like We Believe in 118 have helped turn the perception of Alberta Avenue around.  People now talk about the great restaurants, stores, festivals and events.  It has drawn the businesses and community together.

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Champions of Alberta Avenue is community-driven project celebrating Alberta Avenue business owners who left their homeland over the past forty years, spoke little or no English on arriving in Edmonton, and started a new life and business here on Alberta Avenue.

The historic Alberta Avenue neighbourhood has enjoyed a true multicultural atmosphere for over the past 100 years. The area has seen continued influx of immigrants and refugees from all parts of the world since 1891, when the first Ukrainian immigrants arrived, right up to today with the arrival of newcomers from Syria and Somalia. Alberta Avenue is a very special place, with many special people who have chosen to live and work here. This wonderful multicultural reality has created a community of people and businesses that truly represent the greater world.

Kasoa Tropical  Image by The Edmonton Shutterbugs Photography Group

Kasoa Tropical
Image by The Edmonton Shutterbugs Photography Group

In one short block you will see Mama Afro’s Beauty Salon, the Latin grocer, the African/Caribbean grocer and the Portuguese bakery, to name but a few. We believe that 118 Avenue has been named very aptly Avenue of Champions, not just for the sports teams the area has hosted, but for the amazing people who have come from all over the world, many under difficult circumstances, and yet arrived and started a business in their new home. 

This special community project became reality through the creative efforts of: » Justin Brunelle, Moving Artistry Productions » Weyme Teeter, Video Editor » David Baron, Cinematographer » Shirley Serviss, Writer » The Edmonton Shutterbugs Photography Group » Christy Morin, Project Producer » Allison Argy-Burgess, Project Coordinator

Stay tuned for our champion profiles!

Winter Events on Alberta Avenue

The Carrot Coffee Friendship Club
November 29, 2017 1-2 pm
The Coffee Friendship Club at The Carrot is a place where individuals who are single, divorced, or widowed can meet and make new friends with neighbours in our local communities of: Delton, Eastwood, Parkdale - Cromdale, Westwood, Spruce Avenue, and Alberta Avenue.  

Rareflower at the Carrot
December 1, 2017 7-9:30 pm
Local alternative rockers Rareflower live at the Carrot! Their consists of a melancholic mix of bittersweet melodies and a half-bred mixture of art house rock and punk sensibilities all coated with a thin layer of grunge. 

Winter Patio Party at the Carrot
December 1 | 12 - 4 pm
December 2 | 10 - 4 pm
Patios are not just for summer - think apres-ski meets urban chic! Come to The Carrot and warm up with hot chocolate on the heated patio for Winter Cities 2nd Annual Winter Patio Kick-off. The Deep Freeze ice carving team will be coming out to create a custom tiki-bar. Head down at 11 am on Friday to see it all take shape. Don't forget your warmest and brightest Hawaiian print shirts and leis!

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Bedouin Beats presents The Best Bellydance Pagaent Ever
December 3, 2017 6:30 pm 

Coffee with Cops at the Carrot 
December 5, 2017 10-11:30 am
The Carrot Community Arts Coffeehouse is happy to host our Edmonton police service. 

Connect with local residents and our Edmonton Police Service officers to chat about your neighbourhood and any concerns. This is a great meet up whether you you are a long-time resident or new to the neighbourhood. 


Deep Freeze: A Byzantine Winter Festival 
January 13 & 14, 2018
Arts on the Ave is proud to present the 11th annual Deep Freeze: A Byzantine Winter Festival featuring Into The Winter Grove. Embrace the cold northern climate by enjoying artistic panache and authentic cultural and heritage winter games and fun. 


Arts on the Ave presents Black History Month
February 1 - 28 (Various events)
Arts on the Ave is once again presenting a variety of events in celebration of Black History Month. Take part in everything from a Jazz Jam (Feb 1), African Dance Workshop (Feb 4), an Afro-Inspired Recipe Exchange (Feb 13), Drum Workshop (Feb 25) and more. Check out their website for a full list of events. 


SkirtsAfire herArts Festival
March 8-11, 2018
Founded in 2012, SkirtsAfire Festival is a 4 day multidisciplinary arts festival that EMPOWERS, DEVELOPS, SUPPORTS AND SHOWCASES WOMEN-IDENTIFIED ARTISTS. In conjunction with International Women’s Day, our festival runs each March at various venues in the heart of Alberta Avenue, an area that is reinventing itself as an Arts and Dining district in Edmonton. 

Serca Festival of Irish Theatre
March 16-18, 2018
The Serca Festival inspires and entertains our community with theatre and culture, consciously revealing and celebrating the vast, complex and often unsung contribution of Irish writers, artists and stories to the culture of the world. 


The FINAL INSTALLMENT of 2017's Eats on 118!


The Alberta Avenue Business Association and The City of Edmonton are excited to announce the FINAL INSTALLMENT of 2017's  Eats on 118! Join us for a culinary tour de force that highlights the culturally diverse food and dining district that exists on 118 Avenue.

After 4 sold out tours, we are thrilled to be hitting up a brand new restaurant as well as returning to a couple of old favourites. 

The last event will be on August 30, 2017 from 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM and will feature an epic evening of food and drink at participating culinary stops Mama Asha, Paraiso Tropical and an exquisite dessert on the patio at Passion de France

Purchase tickets here: http://www.wearewildheart.com/tickets/eats-on-118-spring-food-tour-2-1

Tickets are already 75% sold!

Eats on 118 is back this summer with “Brews, Bites and Bowling!”

The Alberta Avenue Business Association and The City of Edmonton are thrilled to be bringing the summer installment of Eats on 118 to Edmonton. Patrons will experience something entirely new as they venture down to the west end of Alberta Avenue on a guided food tour

“Eats on 118 is returning because it was a great success and the most successful initiative our Business Association has had over the last several years,” says Joachim Holtz, Executive Director of the Alberta Avenue Business Association. “We received great feedback from people who were a part of the tours last year, but we have also heard from many of our restaurants that patrons had returned to their businesses for a meal after the tour.”

The second tour of 2017 launches Wednesday, June 28th, 2017 from 6-9P. Featuring three brand new establishments to the Eats on 118 series, patrons will fill up at Lan’s Asian Grill, The Blind Duck Pub and finish with some craft beer and bowling at Plaza Bowl.

“Lans is a critically acclaimed restaurant, the Blind Duck Pub has a Red Seal chef in their kitchen and Plaza Bowl is a 3 generation establishment on the Avenue. These are just a few amazing things that we discovered while working with Alberta Avenue and are excited to share with patrons”, says Kirsta Franke, one of the Coordinators of the event. “We sold out two tours for our spring tour, food tours seem to be very popular right now!”

Eats on 118 is a unique and cost effective way to tour the many diverse restaurants on 118 Avenue. Alberta Avenue hopes you will join them to taste and tour the flavors of 118! Tickets for each event in 2017 will be $40.00. More details and tickets are available at http://www.wearewildheart.com/tickets/eats-on-118-spring-food-tour-2-1

North Edmonton Town Hall for Cultural Businesses and Entrepreneurs

North Edmonton Town Hall for Cultural Businesses and Entrepreneurs

Date: Friday, May 26th
Venue: South Clareview Community League (3250 132a Avenue)
Time: 5:30pm to 7:30pm
Perks: Free event, food and refreshments provided

What is the North Edmonton Town Hall for Cultural Businesses and Entrepreneurs?

At the North Edmonton Town Hall for Cultural Businesses and Entrepreneurs, Hon. Deron Bilous and representatives from Business Link, Futurpreneur, and other organizations will share provincial resources with African, Caribbean, and Indigenous entrepreneurs who either own or want to start a small business in Alberta.

Go to Business Link:
(English) http://businesslink.ca/
(Françias) http://businesslink.ca/fr

Go to Futurprneur:
(English) http://www.futurpreneur.ca/en/
(Françias) http://www.futurpreneur.ca/fr/

Building on the success of MLA David Shepherd event in October, this town hall is a hands-on opportunity for participants to learn about the following:

  • How to start a small business in Alberta
  • How to access capital for small businesses
  • Available provincial supports and resources, including the Alberta Investor Tax Credit and Alberta Capital Investment Tax Credit

At the end of the event, participants will have a chance to gather in the main hall and engage Minister Bilous in a Q & A session.

Food and refreshments will be provided. This is also an excellent networking opportunity, giving business leaders in north Edmonton a chance to meet and share their experiences.

More information?

Please contact Clarice at the Edmonton-Beverly-Clareview Constituency Office at 780-476-6467 or edmonton.beverlyclareview@assembly.ab.ca

We hope to see you there!

Eat's on 118 2017


The Alberta Avenue Business Association and The City of Edmonton are excited to announce the return of Eats on 118! Join us for a culinary tour de force that highlights the culturally diverse food and dining district that exists on 118 Avenue.

Our first Tour in April sold out so quickly that we had to launch a second seating! Don't miss out on this round of dynamic food tours. 

The next event will be on June 28, 2017 from 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM and will feature an epic evening of food, drink and BOWLING with Lan's Asian Grill, The Blind Duck, Plaza Bowl & more! 

Tickets are limted. 

Purchase tickets here: http://www.wearewildheart.com/tickets/eats-on-118-spring-food-tour-2-1

For questions regarding Eats on 118 please email event coordinators at hello@wearewildheart.com


Winter 2017 Newsletter from the Alberta Avenue Business Association

You can find our latest newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/cx05Or

And our newsletter archive here: http://us11.campaign-archive2.com/home/?u=fac248323173f5fa4c6661098&id=1627affe87

You can sign up to receive our newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/cpdVbX

Subscribe to the Alberta Avenue Business Associatoin mailing list

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Business profile of Lan’s New Asian Grill

Business Profile of Lan’s New Asian Grill

By Read Fenton - Communications Director

My Name is Read Fenton the new Communications Director at the Alberta Avenue Business Association and I had the pleasure of sitting down with Tom the owner of Lan’s Asian Grill for a chat about the history and values of his family run business. I came back later with my fiancée and I sat down and had a delicious meal and can attest to the delicious food myself. Those gyoza (asian dumplings) are the best I’ve had in Edmonton.

What is the history of the business?
It was founded in 2008 by Tom and his sister Monica who were inspired by their mother Lan and built on the inspiration from his grandmother and great grandmother’s cooking. Lan  had always really wanted to open a restaurant but because of children and very little  english skills they did not. The family was always blessed with great food. She would  work  8-12 hours  then come home and cook for 4 hours because she loved it and had a passion for cooking. Everyone in the Family is involved, Monica  is the head chef and his mother is the master chef and they create the menu. Tom’s father Sunny, brother Vinse and himself are big parts of the business.

What are the values of the business?
Tom said
“It’s always about standards and quality of the ingredients we use. Those are the biggest value especially when it comes to food the best way to ruin your recipes is to use bad quality. So when you use great quality it speaks for itself. All you need to do is cook it well.”-Tom owner of Lan’s Asian Grill

What do you look for in new hires?
For service it’s all about personality, skill can be gained but good character and personality are hard to come by. When Tom does interviews they are sometimes unconventional to see how they interact and carry themselves and find out if they have a drive to better themselves. Emotional intelligence is very important to hiring his service staff. How do we make sure they can read people and give them great service.

What is Lan’s known for?
Lan’s would like to be known for quality first when you step in you might not like a certain dish because you are not culturally familiar with  the cuisine but, you can taste that it is great ingredients and you will want to keep trying new things. When you can tell there is quality there you will always come back. Tom said that he also hopes that his service is something that people notice and appreciate as well.

How do you describe the business?
Southeast Asian, Fresh, healthy, no additives or preservatives, made from scratch. We really believe that made from scratch is the best way and it allows us to make food allergen free. Lan’s has gluten free, vegan, vegetarian options even with the drinks they try to consider celiacs and have rice vodkas that are gluten free as well.

I quite enjoyed my meal at Lan’s Asian Grill and I recommend you stop in.


Business Profile of Norwood Dental Associates

Business Profile of Norwood Dental Associates

By: Read Fenton

I got to sit down and Interview Dr. Jalal Abouhassan, a General Dentist, from  Norwood Dental Associates last weekend.  He is a University of Alberta graduate who went on to receive his Dental Medicine Degree from Midwestern University in Chicago.  Dr. Abouhassan started working part-time at  Norwood Dental Associates in November and when he saw the hard work from the team and great commitment to the  patients from everyone in the clinic, agreed to come on full time.    Dr.  Abouhassan sees joining the practice  as a great opportunity especially with the Avenue remodeling and seeing how the community is really coming together and making all the small changes that are improving the neighbourhood.

What are the values of the Norwood Dental Association?
We are a very family oriented  practice started by Dr. Randall Croutze and this is mostly a family business. And it shows how well they work with the community. The practice is very family oriented and pointed towards the needs of the community. They have been around now for more than  60 years which is truly special. Dr.  Abouhassan saw this as a great opportunity to be a part of.

Can you tell me a bit about the history of the company?
There used to be 5 dentists here at  one time and they were the largest and oldest cost sharing group practice in Western Canada. Sustaining for 60 years as a small business is a real testament to great business practices and family values. Dr. Croutze began his own career here as an Associate in 1985 and purchased the practice the following year.

Who are your customers?
We see patients of all ages. We   have a great number of  patients who came here as children who have come all their lives and are now bringing their significant others and children to the clinic. We have great relationships that have lasted. Many folk who come to the clinic live outside of Edmonton, or work downtown, and even some folk who live 4-5 hours away and make the long commute because they trust this office. It’s a challenge to live up to this high expectation but a welcome challenge.

All the staff work hard together to provide care for the patients. It is really people oriented dentistry and people come first. Dr Croutze really wanted to find someone to provide quality care to his patients  and he feels he found that with Dr. Abouhassan.

I want to thank Dr. Abouhassan for taking the time to talk to me and to wish  Norwood Dental Associates another great 60 years of service to the community.