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Edmonton's Grey Cup party is something to brag about

Even though the Eskimos didn’t win the Grey Cup last week, Edmontonshowed yet again why we are entitled to call ourselves the City ofChampions.<br />

Even though the Eskimos didn’t win the Grey Cup last week, Edmonton showed yet again why we are entitled to call ourselves the City of Champions.

Being a champion is about more than just winning first prize in a competition. A champion is also someone who is superior at what they do. And a champion is also someone who stands up for and supports someone else.

Edmonton is a champion at bringing people together for some good fun. There’s no doubt that we know how to party hearty. The volunteers that made the Grey Cup festivities in the downtown go along tickety-boo are champions in their own right. And the members of the business community who contributed to the event’s success are true champions of community spirit.

In that regard, Capital Power deserves special mention. It could have donated some money and had its logo plastered all over the place. Instead, it chose to do something that showed they are a part of this community and want to give something back to it. The more than 100 employees who volunteered their time shows that giving back to the community is a value that runs deep in the organization.

The Capital Power zip line was a tremendous hit. More than 2,000 people took a ride across Winston Churchill Square. Having experienced first-hand the amount of work it took to make sure everyone was harnessed in properly, reaching that number of riders was no mean feat. It was also nice to see members of our armed forces helping make sure every one had a good, safe time. We are a military city and we need to acknowledge that more often.

Edmontonians who rode the zip line donated more than $13,000 to the Edmonton Garrison Family Resource Centre, and Capital Power matched those donations dollar for dollar. I hope the families of those who are serving in dangerous places far away believe that Edmontonians recognize the challenges they face and feel support by the city they now call home.

One other thing having the Grey Cup here achieved was to make the downtown feel like a real downtown. There were people on the streets and vibrancy in the air that often lacking in the centre of our city. If a downtown arena could make that the rule rather than the exception, I would support having our tax dollars used to help build it.

 
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