Shops are closed and events are cancelled, but there is still plenty to do in Edmonton, and plenty of ways to support local. (Please check websites for possible changes).
By Cory Schachtel | April 1, 2020
It’s OK to be stuck in the house
Just because you’re cooped up doesn’t mean you have to miss out on Edmonton’s great theatre artists. The Citadel presents its Stuck in the House Series, featuring artists who have lost income due to cancelled performances, until April 20. See past and upcoming performances — and donate directly to the artists.
Binging shows is only fun for so long (we do have suggestions, though), and now’s the perfect time to get in shape. Check out our list of local trainers offering online classes and ideas on where to get your gear and get into tip top, post-quarantine shape.
Stay home and draw
Edmonton artist (andAvenue contributor) Emily Chu has a great remedy for the isolation blues: drawing! Each week, she posts a drawing prompt list on her Instagram page, encouraging followers to draw their surroundings. Whether you’ve sketched before or not, it’s a great way to stave off boredom.
Check out the library
You can’t visit in person, but the Edmonton Public Library has a wealth of online resources for your education and entertainment needs. While you’re clicking, consider donating to help keep our library system world-class.
You’ve probably cleaned every nook and cranny of your home like never before, but to prevent grocery store shortages going forward, follow Alberta Health Service’s guidelines to make your own disinfectant. It will save you money and leave the Lysol wipes for those who can’t make their own.
Clear out your cans
SkipTheDepot takes your empty bottles and cans to the nearest depot, and is now picking up electronics and clothes, too. Simply download the app and schedule a pickup and, if you don’t need the refund money, SkipTheDepot will donate it to one of over 250 local charities and non-profits.
The West End Gallery has its collection available for viewing online, and is happy to ship orders to your home (individual pickup appointments can also be scheduled).
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Treat your pet to Club Mead
No doubt your cat or dog is loving all the extra attention but, if you know people who can’t care for theirs, Club Mead Pet Resort (just east of the airport) will feed, groom and play with them (using social separation strategies during drop offs) until they can return home.
Teach your dog new tricks
There are plenty of online courses for kids and adults, but don’t forget about your furry family members. The Dog House uses positive reinforcement strategies to K-9 train and is now offering adult and puppy classes online. Sherwood Barks is offering a similar course, as well as hosting weekly human-free dog socials.
We have a feeling home gardening will be big this summer, and we’ll definitely have tips from the experts. Until then, Spud.ca will deliver healthy, organic food right to your door (while following health guidelines).
Get some (regular) sleep
Last summer, University of Alberta Professor Cary Brown gave us tips on getting better sleep during the longer, sunnier months, but her advice applies equally to these days of lounging at home, surrounded by our bright screens.
Get your gourmet cheese fix by ordering fresh, off-the-wheel cheese (plus condiments, olives, oils and cheese-related giftware) from Paddy’s Cheese, all without leaving your home (it will do curb-side pickups at the store or at your front door).
The Welling Centre’s psychologists and homeopath workers are conducting video and phone sessions, and its registered massage therapist is guiding clients through self-massage, stretching and strengthening, to tend to clients’ mental and physical wellbeing.
Edmonton’s tech industry is fortunate to be less affected than most, so it’s using its privilege to ease the pain of others and wants your help! If you or someone you know is economically unaffected by the health crisis, please consider joining #YEGTechCares in donating one hour of your monthly salary to Edmonton’s Food Bank, which is bracing for an extreme demand.
Feed our heroes …
Love Pizza, along with Northern Chicken, Woodshed Burgers and Delux Burger Bar, has already delivered food to the University of Alberta Hospital ER, Youth Empowerment and Support Services (YESS), St. Albert Ambulance and Fire, and the Sturgeon and Grey Nuns Hospitals. Purchase a $5 support pizza to feed our hungry heroes.
… then buy one of them a drink
When this is all over, Edmonton’s doctors, nurses, EMTs and all AHS staff will need a drink. Buy one for them now at Analog Brewing by pre-purchasing a pint that can be claimed by anyone with an AHS ID. We all know they deserve more, but it’s a small gesture and great way to say thanks.
We’re living through historic times — it’s a good idea to keep notes. Journaling is good therapy even when things are normal, but at the very least, it’s a good record keeper to later look back at and rediscover exactly how you felt. A group diary on a shared Google doc can serve as a daily social check-in for your family or friends.
Punch it out
Every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday, Champs Boxing Studio will stream live, 40-minute workouts on its Instagram page that will stay up for 24 hours after. They include boxing instruction, a warm-up and full-body workout, and require no equipment.
In these hectic times, it’s important to stay grounded, look inward and just breathe. Lifestyle Meditation can help keep you calm by offering online meditation classes in which you will practise peace and patience.
OrcaLab is streaming video from around Johnstone Strait in British Columbia, and offering soothing underwater audio sounds of the area with its hydrophone feature.
Spend quality time together
For parents of young kids, a sort of quasi-summer vacation has started early. The recently issued online classes provide structure, but it’s not the same as when they’re at school, and it doesn’t mean things are easy. As professors Christina Rinaldi and Lia Daniels explained to Avenue, parents tend to over-schedule their kids’ lives when they’re home full-time. Read their advice on finding balance and the benefits of free time while you’re all cooped up at home.
Have a (virtual) dinner party
For all its social ills, this is a time when social media can actually bring us together safely. Organize your favourite people on one of the many social platforms, order your favourite dish from one of Edmonton’s great local restaurants, pair it with your favourite wine or cocktail and chat the night away.
Take a walk …
… but be cautious and smart. We’re lucky to live in a beautiful city with lots of green space, and it’s still OK to use it — with an emphasis on space. Find different times and places to go, and when you encounter others, smile and keep your (two-metre) distance. Get out and enjoy spring, just don’t crowd.
Go on a global art tour
Google Arts & Culture has partnered withover 2,500 museums and galleries around the world, including Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum and London’s National Gallery, allowing you to view the greatest works of all time from your home. There’s a street view that lets you wander the institutions as well as galleries of the artwork.
Bonus binging and book suggestions
We all want to use this extra home time to clean the house and self-improve, but some sedentary time is inevitable. Here are some personalAvenue faves to watch or read with your feet up and mind off.
Is there a more lovable leading man than Bill Hader? Well, yes — Henry Winkler, and this show‘s got them both! Hader plays a disillusioned hit man looking for a purpose, and Winkler plays a praise-needing acting teacher whose class provides it (plus the most polite Chechen mobster ever).
Remember the weird, awkward and embarrassing years of puberty? This animated show explores them in a way only an animated show (with fantastic voice actors) can — including the parents’ perspective. No matter your gender, orientation or social status in school, you’ll identify with some character’s struggle, or at least enjoy the dream and musical sequences. Fair warning: this one’s vulgar. But it’s also got a lot of heart. And it has Edmonton’s own Nathan Fillion playing his handsome self.
If you’re looking to escape the news with some apolitical comedy, Nate Bargatze’s The Tennessee Kid will take your mind off things with his slow-witted stories on dead horse removal, coffee ordering and how the movie The Sixth Sense is actually a film about marriage.
The Stench of Honolulu
A few years ago, Jack Handey — yes, that Jack Handey— wrote a book, the unreliable narrator of which talks in that unjustifiably smug voice you know and love. He goes on a tropical adventure, full of mishap and mayhem (mostly caused by him), and is full of sage-sounding (but not actual) wisdom like, “The ruins were impressive. But like so many civilizations, they forgot the rule that might have saved them: Don’t let vines grow all over you.”