The Conference, the setting, the movement.
The Conference, the setting, the movement.
Discussions and presentations will fall under one (or more) of our three Winter Cities Shake-Up pillars. Although not a formal pillar, the theme of Winter Wellness will also be explored throughout the conference.
How can cities build thriving 'winter' economies?
Can business or industry work with the natural environment; taking advantage of all that the winter season has to offer?
Can business models capitalize on winter?
How do we market winter cities as unique tourism destinations and great places to live, work and play?
Walkways, streets, buildings and public spaces don’t have to become cold, windy and unattractive as soon as winter hits.
Learn about the latest and best in urban design and planning to make our cities liveable year-round.
How can we plan and design cities, and offer opportunities that make it easier to Go Play Outside?
What types of activities and programming do people want? What makes for a great winter festival?
How can we encourage more active winter transportation?
Snowshoe in North America’s largest stretch of urban parkland
Go behind-the-scenes of the world-renowned Ice on Whyte winter festival
Hit the slopes at one of our two city ski hills
Sip a warm drink and soak in the sun at an outdoor patio café
Seven major outdoor winter festivals brighten our dark months - We are Canada's Festival City.
We play outside - cross country skiing at the Birkebeiner, Canada's largest classical-format cross country ski festival, downhill skiing at the city's two ski resorts, skating, tobogganing, cycling and snowshoeing through the largest stretch of urban park in North America.
We are a lab for thousands of entrepreneurs and builders in every realm: Make Something Edmonton.
We've got music, galleries, theatres, and dance companies - not to mention the International Fringe Festival, North America's largest and longest-running festival of its kind.
We are one of Canada’s sunniest cities
We ranked 6th in the world in 2013’s Numbeo Quality of Life Index
We're a leading centre for research in sustainable resource development, nanotechnology, life sciences and more.
We are a gateway to the north and to the Athabasca Oil Sands , the third-largest oil reserve in the world.
We love sports with our two hockey teams, three football teams, a soccer, baseball, lacrosse and women's roller derby team and a world-class community sports organization.
If you're in Edmonton leading up to and following the Conference and are looking for unique opportunities to play and be outside, the River Valley Adventure Company is offering great discounted rates for showshoe and Segway tours in Edmonton's River Valley. Click here for more details!
Alberta is home to the breathtaking Rocky Mountains. We encourage you to explore the sights and activities that they make possible and the picturesque towns nestled in between our stunning peaks and valleys.
Visit Tourism Jasper to check out some great opportunities to experience the mountains through activities like the Maligne Canyon Ice Walk, Skiing and Snowboarding, visiting the Dark Sky Preserve, Snowshoeing, Ice Skating, Ice Climbing, Riding the Steel Rails, Dog Sledding, and more! Click here for information on how to get to Jasper from Edmonton, and click here for a comprehensive list of activity, tour, and transportation prices.
Check out this beautiful video by Travel Alberta and get excited for your visit to our amazing province.
Edmonton’s WinterCity Strategy and Implementation Plan together are a unique holistic approach for transforming Edmonton into a more liveable, inviting, creative and prosperous winter city; a place that is world-renowned for celebrating its northern climate.
They call for social, cultural and economic change. They’re based on best practices from other international cities and, most importantly, on ideas and recommendations from Edmontonians.
Edmonton’s move to become a great northern city actually began in the 1980s, when the city joined the international winter city movement and hosted two major international winter city events. But Edmonton’s involvement in the movement stopped in the 1990s with the economic downturn.
Almost two decades later, Edmonton City Council revived its interest, with one of the city’s strategic plans calling for Edmonton to become a great winter city. The WinterCity Strategy was developed through a year of intensive public consultation.
Edmontonians were asked ‘What would make you fall in love with winter in Edmonton?’. Hundreds of people answered: in discussions and workshops, through an online crowdsourcing tool, in a postcard campaign and through other public input gathering sessions. Their opinions, recommendations and dreams were put together to become For the Love of Winter, Edmonton’s WinterCity Strategy.
Once the Strategy and its Implementation Plan were approved by Edmonton City Council, a WinterCity Advisory Council was established. This group of volunteer Edmontonians continues to work with city staff to oversee implementation of the strategy.
In this way, the heart of Edmonton’s WinterCity Strategy, which is the people who live in this city, will continue to lead as we forge new ground, finding opportunity to create, play, and indeed boast about all the opportunities in our beautiful winter city.
In 1982, the first Northern Intercity Conference took place in Sapporo Japan, with representatives from nine winter cities in six countries gathering to talk about how to make winter cities more liveable. The third such conference was held in Edmonton, Canada in 1988. These conferences continued to be held every two years, in conjunction with the Winter Expo, for industry and business, and the Winter Cities Forum, for researchers and academics. Since 2002, municipal administrators have met annually, while the mayors continued to meet every two years. In 2004, the name of the association was changed to the World Winter Cities Association for Mayors (WWCAM). The most recent WWCAM conference was held in Hwacheon, Korea in January 2014.
In 1978, the Livable Winter City Conference was held at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. This conference was the first of its kind in North America. Following the conference Canadian researchers, architects, engineers and municipal leaders, among others, recognised that winter technologies and expertise existed across the country, but mostly in isolation. In 1982, the Livable Winter Cities Association (LWCA) was created to provide a place for information sharing. The LWCA held conferences from 1982 – 2005, and published a quarterly magazine called “Winter Cities”.
In 2008 the Winter Cities Institute was created to carry on the work of the Winter Cities Association.
Northern communities or “winter cities” have great opportunities to mitigate negative effects of the winter season while reinforcing the many positive aspects to create a vibrant, sustainable and livable environment for a prosperous future. The Winter Cities Institute's mission is to provide information, resources and networking opportunities for those who desire to make northern communities more livable and sustainable. The goal of the Winter Cities Institute is to be the best source for information, research, reports, plans and news from around the northern world, focusing on how to make the best of the winter season.
In January 2015, Edmonton, Canada was host to a unique international Winter Cities Conference. Its holistic approach brought together people from a wide variety of disciplines and backgrounds to discuss all aspects of what makes a successful winter city, to share best practices; to experience what’s working at the Conference’s urban field trips; and to forge new approaches for improving the quality of life in winter cities.