I remember delivering the Edmonton Journal when I was a kid, along with our hometown Slave River Journal. I always envied people who lived in Edmonton because, when I’d sit down to flip through the Edmonton Journal, there was always so much happening. As an adult now, as a proud father and husband, we are so blessed to be growing just a little bit older with our friends and family here.
Edmonton, we are on Treaty 6 Territory, and I give thanks to the traditional keepers of this place. I love your sundogs, your moonrises, your sunsets. And I love how you love it dark and fast: look at the concerts coming in Vue Weekly. I love how your radio stations are stuck in the ’80s cuz I am, too. Your anthem -and you crank it every single day on one of your many radio stations – is Mtley Cre’s “Kickstart My Heart.” I love how you taste. There’s a butcher here – I’ll never tell you which one – who brings in caribou meat from Labrador and Arctic char from the eastern Arctic, and I love how the farmer’s market is all about the vollkornbrot bread, a family pack of buffalo meat, local honey and produce. The apples and empanadas with tzatziki from Uncle Lou’s is gold!
I love your comic scene here: Happy Harbor, Shades of Grey, Variant Edition, Warp 1 and I love your Edmonton Expo, your Pop Culture Fair, your CollectorCon. I love all things Edmonton Public Library. I love that our son was born in our home here in Old Strathcona; I love how there are so many babies being born up and down our street. I love how we make time to visit with each other. I love how we look out for each other. I love how we cook for each other here.
I’m grateful to Audreys Books for launching so many local authors. We’ve launched my last six books there. I love how we showed the cinematic adaptation of my novel, The Lesser Blessed, for two weeks straight at the Princess Theatre: I’m crazy about just about everything that the Garneau shows, too. I love how The Lobby is the last video store standing.
We are the City of Champions because we know what we have here and that is this sweet paradise of a city that feels like one big small town filled with friends.
Richard Van Camp is the Writer in Residence for the Metro Federation of Libraries. He’s also an author of 20 books, a storyteller and a proud member of the Tlicho Dene from Fort Smith, NWT.