Champions of Alberta Avenue

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 Champions of Alberta Avenue is community-driven project of Arts on the Ave. This project offers a unique opportunity for community members to celebrate the multicultural richness of the District and the people who have contributed to it – the true Champions of Alberta Avenue. 

This project claims the title Champions of Alberta Avenue, and celebrates those business owners on Alberta Avenue 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. In this project, we focus on only eleven of the many businesses started by immigrants and refugees on 118 Avenue, and we would like to thank each of them for the generous support and kind participation in this project. 

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. 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. Arts on the Ave believes that these extraordinary stories need to be told and shared with our City. 

We would like to thank the following businesses for agreeing to share their fascinating stories and be a part of this project:

  1. Lan's Asian Grill
  2. Downtown Auto
  3. Popular Bakery
  4. Kasoa Tropical Food Market
  5. Paraiso Tropical
  6. Passion de France
  7. El Rancho
  8. Nolan Drugs
  9. Donair Express
  10. Optimum Auto
  11. T and D Noodle House

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

And through the generous funding support of the Edmonton Arts Council, the Edmonton Heritage Council and the Alberta Avenue Business Association.

Alberta Avenue in the News

A great read / interview about Alberta Avenue with Arts on the Ave's Executive Director, Christy Morin. The article opens with some interesting facts about the area and speaks to the past, present and future. Read the full article.

People call it the tipping point,” she says. “We haven’t tipped yet. But more and more people are moving in. That’s what the arts are doing. We’re a presence, and we’re advocates, and we’re humanitarians and lovers of life, so whatever we can help grow and be part of, we are. It’s pretty exciting.