Job Title: Street-as-a-Venue Co-ordinator, Responsible Hospitality Edmonton, City of Edmonton
Why She’s Top 40: She’s crunching the numbers to find out how to make Edmonton streets vibrant and alive at night while keeping revelers safe.
If you could change one thing about Edmonton, what would it be? “I would love to see Edmonton become the number-one city in Canada for women.”
When she worked as programming lead on Toronto’s version of Nuit Blanche, which turns city streets into an all-night contemporary art festival, Miki Stricker-Talbot was fascinated by the way an all-night reverie could positively transform a city.
“Special things can happen under the cover of darkness; it’s not this big scary place that a lot of people think it is. It can be magical and playful and wonderful,” she says.
It’s a fitting sentiment now that she serves as a Street-as-a-Venue Co-ordinator with Responsible Hospitality Edmonton. The position, which she has held since 2013, sees her working with industry members, community groups and local governments to explore and support the diversification of Edmonton’s late-night economy in ways that increase livability.
Of late, Stricker-Talbot has been working on a study of capacity in mixed-use entertainment areas – places like Whyte or Jasper Avenues. Once complete, the study’s findings could dramatically impact how cities in North America and Europe implement policies concerning public spaces at night and determine the overall capacity of their entertainment districts.
“We believe that entertainment destination areas have a tipping point between vibrancy and chaos, and that there is a way to determine, measure and manage that tipping point,” she says.
The study will use more than 150 data sets to determine how a celebration can suddenly turn from vibrant to chaotic. “We don’t know what the canary in the coalmine is going to be, but what we do know is that there are predictable and preventable issues that happen at night.”
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Stricker-Talbot was a key advisor to the board for Edmonton’s first Nuit Blanche in September, and celebrated a coup in securing Yoko Ono for the event. She hopes that well-planned nighttime events like Nuit Blanche will change perceptions about nocturnal activity in the city and that, as her two children reach adolescence, they too will be able to appreciate nights on the town.
“I want them to live in a city that’s magical and creative and vibrant. And safe.”