Winter Cities Shake Up 2017

Thriving in the World’s Coolest Season

Choose which day to view


Wednesday, FEBRUARY 15, 2017

3:30 – 6:30 pm
Stantec Field Trip - Hills at Charlesworth Sustainability Plaza Tour (Optional Field Trip)
Located in Southeast Edmonton, The Hills at Charlesworth is a community that draws on low-impact development, sustainable building practices, and placemaking principles to create a neighbourhood with a strong identity and sense of place in all seasons. The design and programming of the central park—the Sustainability Plaza—reflects the climate and incorporates programming and design principles to be a lively neighbourhood hub throughout the year, including a 200 m ice ribbon with seating and warming shelter, vibrant colours, contextual lighting, warm materials, and creative landscaping to provide protection from the prevailing winds. By designing park spaces in this manner, we can begin to develop an urbanism that truly celebrates our winter climate.
Beaverbrook and Stantec invite the Winter Cities Shake-Up attendees to tour The Hills at Charlesworth Sustainability Plaza to experience the plaza in its winter element, complete with food and hot chocolate. Feel free to bring your skates and take a lap around the ice ribbon!
Register for the field trip on the conference registration form. 

*Buses will depart from the front doors of the Shaw Conference Centre (on Jasper Ave). 

7:00 – 9:30 pm
Opening Reception at Latitude 53

Location: Latitude 53 (10242 106 St NW, Edmonton, AB T5J 0J2)
The informal Opening Reception will be held at Latitude 53, in partnership with Media Architecture Design Edmonton's Winter Design Exhibition. Come check out the exhibits, drink a warm hot chocolate on the outdoor patio., and get to know your fellow conference-goers! Food, drinks and music will be supplied by local partners. 


Thursday, February 16, 2017

7:00 – 8:15 am
Winter Cities Warm Up with FC Edmonton
On your way to the Shaw Conference Centre, drop by to chat with the FC Edmonton team and enjoy a warm cup of FREE coffee, provided by Edmonton-based Earth Group. We will be located at the North entrance of the Shaw Conference Centre on Jasper Avenue. 

Sponsored by:

8:30 – 9:15 am
Opening Ceremonies

9:15 – 9:25 am

9:25 – 10:25 am
Opening Plenary: Is Winter the Coolest Season?

The Debaters LIVE!
The Debaters LIVE! is the comedy stage show where comics go toe to toe in a battle of laughs and logic and the audience picks the winner. This special live event features host Steve Patterson and two of his favourite comics performing stand-up and a hilarious debate in the format made popular by the hit CBC Radio One program.  This event will not be recorded for radio and was specially created for the Winter City Shake Up in Edmonton. 

10:25 – 10:30 am
City Champion Remarks

10:30 – 10:55 am

10:55 – 11:45 am
Plenary - The Norwegian Mindset for Loving Winter

Kari Leibowitz, Stanford University
Presentation Slides
In this session, Kari Leibowitz describes her year as a Fulbright Research Scholar living in Tromsø, Norway, located 350km north of the Arctic Circle, which experiences a two month winter period during which time the sun does not rise, known as the Polar Night. While many might expect that the darkness of this winter would lead to high rates of wintertime depression, Leibowitz’s research, which investigated how mindsets about winter are associated with well-being in Norway, found that most people in Tromsø flourish and find much to love about the winter. Leibowitz draws from both her research and her personal experience with the Polar Night to share insights about the Norwegian approach to winter and how you can use the Norwegian mindset to thrive during winter wherever you are.

Sponsored by:


11:45 am – 12:45 pm

This won't be your typical conference lunch buffet - conference attendees will be treated to special menu items made with ingredients from the Northwest Territories! 

Sponsored by:


12:45 – 1:15 pm
We Bundle Up: Fashion, Function & Flair Fashion Show

1:15 – 2:05 pm
Plenary -
50 Shades of Beige: I Winter - An Immigrant's Perspective

Tina Varughese, President, tWorks
There is a myth that newcomers to Canada fear winter and therefore ‘hibernate’ indoors for months at a time. Whereas the truth of the matter is that immigrants embrace winter! Winter festivals, winter activities, winter sports, winter food and drink and winter fun are part of the newcomer experience. What can we learn from newcomers in terms of embracing and loving winter? How can we assist newcomers upon arrival so that they are prepared and excited by the winter season? Through three immigrants’ perspectives, learn who, how, and why immigrants love winter and what strategies and tools cities can easily adopt to make the transition of experiencing winter a positive one that they will embrace. Are cities missing out on some simple opportunities to make a profound difference on how an immigrant adopts and embraces winter? Second and third generations are highly influenced by parental values therefore creating a sustainable community where everybody loves to live, work and, most importantly, play all year round.

2:05 – 2:10 pm
City Champions Remarks

2:10 – 2:20 pm
Story Teller

2:20 – 2:45 pm
Netwalking Break / Guided Walk to Breakout Venues

2:45 pm – 3:45 pm
Breakout Sessions - Winter Business: 

1. Prosper with Tourism
Venue: Conference Room A&B, Edmonton Chamber of Commerce

Ephemeral Art in the Cycle of Nature
Arne Bergh, Creative Director, ICEHOTEL
Presentation Slides
Creating a world known brand from the source of nature, the wild Torne River. The contributing ingredients are snow, cold, darkness, northern light and creativity. From a small igloo 200 km north of the Arctic Circle, the ICEHOTEL has grown into a 5000 sq.m. that involves artists, designers and architects from various countries each year. The idea is to have the art and design remain for winter, and then return back to its source, nature once the season is over. The pure ice of the river is now not only the hotel’s building material but also a product for export. Currently, multiple projects developed out of the Torne River’s ice are used across various parts of the world. 

The History of Sapporo and International Winter Sporting Events
Hidenori Tomita, Director of the International Relations Department, City of Sapporo
The development of the City of Sapporo has been sparked by the presence of major international winter sporting events, beginning with the 1972 Winter Olympics. This presentation will briefly go over some of this history as well as introduce the city’s efforts in urban development which aims to make full use of the unique characteristics of winter cities through future sporting events to come. 

2. Prosper with Technology
Venue: CKUA Radio Network

De-icing Concrete
Dr. Chris Tuan, Professor, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Presentation Slides
De-icing concrete is a concrete mixture containing a certain amount of electrically conductive components, designed to enable conduction of electricity. Carbon and steel, in the form of particles and fibers have been used for the conductive components. Due to its electrical resistance, the concrete can generate enough heat to prevent ice formation on a paved surface when connected to a power source. There are many applications for conductive concrete, roadway de-icing, electrical grounding, radiant heating, steel reinforcement corrosion protection, structural health monitoring, electromagnetic wave shielding, to name a few. Some of these applications are passive, such as electrical grounding and electromagnetic wave shielding, where the concrete is not energized.

Net Zero Houses in Below Zero Weather
Tanya Rumak, Sustainability Director, Landmark Homes
Less than ten years ago people were still wondering if it was possible to build a net zero energy home in Edmonton, North America’s most northerly metropolis. Today, Edmonton can make an unofficial claim of the net zero capital of Canada.  This session will take a look at what it takes to build a net zero energy home and how Landmark Homes is overcoming some of the economic limitations that have restricted mass adoption in the past.  As well, their unique precision construction techniques will be showcased.  The innovative processes make on-site work take a fraction of the normal amount of time, yet result in a higher level of quality.

3. Prosper with Creativity
Venue: Council Chambers, City Hall

Business of Winter
Paul Jordan, Chief Executive Officer, The Forks Renewal Corporation
Presentation Slides
There's money in ice and snow. Setting up winter amenities not only drives recreational and community engagement, but also drives the economic bottom line. This session will share practical lessons on what The Forks has done over the past decade to make winter as big of economic driver as summer. 

2:45 - 4:45 pm
A psychogeographic tour of #wintercityyeg

Join the Urban Realities Lab for a one hour psychogeographic walking tour of downtown Edmonton! Using psychological methods, we will try to understand how elements of urban environment influences your personal psychology. *Tour is limited to 10 participants and all participants must have a working smart phone with a data plan.
*Note that this tour will run concurrently with the breakout sessions. The tour will leave from Hall C in the Shaw Conference Centre. Please dress appropriately as this tour will be held outdoors. Pre-registration required. 

3:45 – 4:00 pm

4:00 – 5:00 pm
Call for Presentations Sessions

Breakout #1
Venue: Conference Room A&B, Edmonton Chamber of Commerce

1. Creating a Winter City Sourcebook
Bree Kessler, 
Researcher, Institute of the North

2. LIVING IN THE MILD NORTH: Towards Seasonal Resiliency in Urban Design
Olivier Legault,  
Urban Planning Councellor, Vivre en Ville     

Breakout #2
Venue: CKUA Radio Network

          1. Alternative Approaches to Fostering Winter Cities
          Dan Penner,
 Urban Planner, Urban Systems
          Chad Carlstrom, Engineer, Urban Systems

         2. WINTER STREET: Towards a Sustainable Identity Design of the Streets right-of-way of Quebec City
Marc-Antoine Viel, Student, École d'architecture de l'Université Laval
         Bertrand Rougier, Intern Architect, Atelier Pierre Thibault

Breakout #3
Venue: Council Chambers, City Hall

1.  WinterCity Design Guidelines
Susan Holdsworth,
WinterCity Chair, City of Edmonton
Isla Tanaka, WinterCity Planner, City of Edmonton

2. From Guidelines to Hardlines: Implementing High Density Winter Design
Nola Kilmartin, Senior Urban Planner & Designer, KENNEDY
Brad Kennedy, Principal, KENNEDY

5:15 - 6:30 pm
Downtown Fat Bike Tour

Local organizations, Blitz Conditioning and Revolution Cycle, will take you on a guided tour of our beautiful downtown. Yes, there will be snow, and it might get a bit chilly. Fear not, we will provide you with some hot chocolate to warm you up to start the ride, and dinner at the Blue Plate Diner on 104 street, family style! If you don’t have a bike, that’s okay! We have bikes for you. First come, first serve on our Fat Bikes.
The ride will be led by Chris Tse from Blitz Conditioning. Fat bikes will be provided by Revolution Cycle

6:00 - 10:00 pm
The Winter Pecha Kucha Night & Winter Culture and Innovation Showcase
We're teaming up with Edmonton’s NextGen to present an evening of winter celebration and the PKN team is looking for presentations with a winter focus. Perhaps you have a neat idea ready-made for a winter city, keen wisdom on how to embrace the chill, or maybe some warm recollections of recent snowy travels. Share your insight with the masses!

One ticket to the Winter Pecha Kucha Night is included with conference registration, and registrants may buy additional tickets as part of their registration. To register for Pecha Kucha Night Only, please click below to be directed to Eventbrite.

In partnership with:


The Winter Culture and Innovation Showcase will feature technologies, practices, activities, equipment, music, art, fashion and food that contribute to thriving winter cities, winter living and economy. It will be a celebration of the people, organizations and businesses that make winter life enjoyable, safe and unique.

The Innovation and Culture Showcase will begin at 6:00 pm with the Winter Pecha Kucha Night following at 7:00 pm.


Friday, February 17, 2017

6:00 – 7:00am
Winter Cities Warm Up with November Project
Let's run hills! The November Project team will pick you at up at your hotel bright and early in the morning. Together you will run to the start of the workout (about a 2.5km run) to join the rest of the November Project tribe. After the hill workout, you'll run back to your hotel with enough time to get ready and make it back to the Shaw for the start of the conference!  

5:30am - Pick up at Westin Hotel / 5:40am - Pick up at the Courtyard Marriott
6:00 - 6:40am - Hill Workout
6:45 - 7:15 am - Run back to Hotels

8:30 – 8:35 am
Moderator Remarks

8:35 – 10:00 am
Plenary - Making Cities More Livable in Darkness

Urban Lighting for Winter Life
Darío Nuñez Salazar, Lighting Design Leader, Verkis Consulting Engineers
Presentation Slides
This session will explain the intrinsic relation between light, winter, and urban life. This relationship is particularly critical for winter cities, where the rhythms of light and darkness are extreme. The presentation will begin by explaining the meaning of light from practical and symbolical perspective. Then it will take us to a visual journey through the evolution of urban lighting and then finalize making statements and proposals of how cities can be illuminated to improve winter life. Examples of projects will be presented, as well as references and inspirational images.

Design the Nightscape – Shaping Darkness
Sabine De Schutter, Director, Studio De Schutter
Presentation Slides
This session will provide examples of a variety of projects that discloses a great sensibility to darkness, shadow and light. Taking the well-being of animals and humans into account, Studio De Schutter redesigned the public lighting in parks questioning the notion of increased safety with increased light. This lighting concept revealed the potential of designing a nocturnal environment. The presentation will give an overview of the potential and the risks of light through, temporary and permanent projects. There are roughly 8760 hours in a year and 4700 of them are dark, see the potential and embrace it!

R + G + B = W Lighting Installation –

R + G + B = W is an installation that uses the three primary colors of light: red, green and blue. When combining any two of these colors, we can create the secondary colors: cyan, magenta or yellow. Mixing all the primary colors together results in white light. This phenomenon is called additive color mixing. It is a known principle that at the same time surprises us as it is somehow counter intuitive. When stepping into this white light, created by the monochromatic sources, multiple colored shadows will appear. Your shadow will keep changing as you interact with the installation, creating new combinations of colors. Go on, give it a try!

The installation is designed by Sabine de Schutter, Director of Studio de Schutter in Berlin, Germany.

Location: Rice Howard Way, between 100st & 100A st. The installation will be set up from Wednesday, February 15 – Sunday, February 19.

Sabine will also be creating a lighting installation for display. For more information CLICK HERE.

Sponsored by:


10:00 – 10:05 am
City Champions Remarks

10:05 – 10:25 am

10:25 – 10:30 am
City Champions Remarks

10:30 – 11:35 am
Plenary - Vision Below Zero: Walking and Cycling in Winter Cities

Daniel Firth, Chief Strategy Officer for the City of Stockholm
Presentation Slides
Tyler Golly, Associate, Stantec
Presentation Slides
Bartek Komoroski, Project Leader, Vélo Québec
Presentation Slides
Cities can be a challenge to run at the best of times. Their complexity and changing daily patterns and needs supports the creation of resilient transportation systems. Supporting this resiliency doesn't end when snow falls. This session will discuss how street design and maintenance practices could be improved to enable more walking and cycling and to achieve Vision Zero goals in the winter.

11:35 am – 12:40 pm
Plenary - From Bitter to Bright: The Importance of Micro-Climates Demonstrated Through Case Studies

Harold Madi, Senior Principal, Stantec
Our tolerance of winter conditions corresponds to degree of comfort that can be sustained outdoors.  Minimizing wind and maximizing sun exposure are key considerations to that end.  Join Harold in building an understanding of the link between human comfort and micro-climate conditions, and explore demonstrated case studies of the right and wrong way to go about it.

Sponsored by:


12:40 – 12:45 pm
City Champions Remarks

12:45 – 1:30 pm
Hop On Buses To Silver Skate

1:30 – 4:00 pm
Winter Culture: Get on the bus and Get out there!
Delegates will travel to Hawrelak Park to experience the Silver Skate Festival in Hawrelak Park located in Edmonton’s scenic river valley. For more festival information, visit:

2:00 - 3:00 pm
Call for Presentations Sessions

Venue: Silver Skate Festival

1. Where do we play in Winter? Creating and promoting attractive outdoor winter recreation spaces
Isla Tanaka,
WinterCity Planner, City of Edmonton

2. Stories on Winter
Zoe Rezac,Communications and Aboriginal Engagement, Stantec

7:00 pm
Flying Canoe Races at the Edmonton Ski Club
The Flying Canoe Races will be a unique event meant to contribute to a thriving winter community in Edmonton and to remind us of our rich cultural diversity reflected in the Flying Canoë Volant festival.

Check out this video for a taste of the action!



Saturday, February 18, 2017

7:30 am - 8:45 am
Learning From Others: A Workshop on Sharing Successes (Optional)

An informal Q&A / discussion session with WinterCity Edmonton. Come have breakfast with us and learn more about Edmonton's WinterCity Strategy and their Winter Design Guidelines. 

9:00 - 9:10 am
Throat Singing Performance

9:10 – 10:40 am
Plenary - Winter Design: Thrive In It. 

Winter Cities Can Be A Lot More Fun – And Healthy!
Dr. Karen Lee, CEO and Founder, Dr. Karen Lee Health + Built Environment + Social Determinants Consulting
Presentation Slides
What if our cities could be a lot more fun for all our residents, make us healthier at the same time?  Obesity, diabetes, heart disease and strokes, and some of our most common and deadly cancers are now the leading health problems in Canada and around the world.  Their rapidly rising health care costs are eating up larger and larger portions of our national and provincial budgets, and threaten the sustainability of our healthcare systems.  At the same time, cities around the world also need to address other emerging priorities such as an aging population, safety issues, traffic congestion, environmental pollution, affordability and economic competitiveness. Join Dr. Karen Lee ( for a presentation about how winter cities, could better design and operate to help us enjoy all the seasons, including winter, more while helping us to also address many of our communities’  most pressing needs today. She will share information from studies, as well as her experience from working with organizations in over 40 cities globally.

Winter Urban Design: Perspectives from Health Care, Placemaking and Psychology
Robin MazumderPHD Candidate, University of Waterloo
Presentation Slides
The session will explore the intersection of urban design, winter and mental health. Robin will share insights gained from his experience working as a health care professional in mental health, placemaking initiatives he has helped organize, and his current research in neuroscience where he explores the causal link between urban design and mental health. Results from a pilot psychological experiment on urban design in downtown Edmonton will also be shared.

Sponsored by:


10:40 – 10:45 am 
City Champion Remarks

10:45 – 11:00 am 

11:00 am – 12:30 pm
Plenary - Winter Design: Build It

Urban Design in Winter Cities: Enabling Lovable Places
Hazel Borys, Managing Principal, Placemakers
Presentation Slides
The majority of ways we have sought to make winter cities more livable over the last decade have played to the regional strengths of our city centres, tempting people to dare to live outdoors with festivals that honour history and culture. However, the most beloved winter places are all about the neighbourhood scale, not the regional scale. This session will talk about what it means to be a livable winter city on the neighbourhood scale, encouraging walkability and bikeability along with shelter from arctic blasts. Critical elements are: street character, the useful walk, a fine-grained street grid, being civic at heart, and the human scale.

Focus on Winter Cities
Jason Roberts, Founder, The Better Block Project
Build a Better Block How to Make Real Change in Your Community, Today!
How can we drive change in our communities and move past unproductive committees and outdated regulation? How do we become the “bike part of town” and revitalize stagnant blocks? In this funny, smart, energetic, and breathless talk, arts activist Jason of the Better Block Project encourages us to stop waiting around. Even if that means painting in our own crosswalks, bringing in our own trees, and blackmailing ourselves into action.

Sponsored by:


12:30 pm – 12:45 pm

Shake-Up Festival
The Armature: 96 Street, north of Jasper Ave
Join us for free sleigh rides, live entertainment and more. Visit for more information.

Pre and Post-Conference Activities

What better way to top off your Winter Cities Shake-Up experience than to take in activities before or following the conference. Immerse yourself in snow, sub-zero fun and experience what this winter city has to offer! Click here for more information and to register for one or more of these events!

We would like to offer you the following activities to enjoy before or after the conference: 

Canadian Birkebeiner Ski Festival, Cooking Lake, Blackfoot Provincial Recreational Park, The Ukrainian Heritage Village and Elk Island National Park
February 10 & 11, 2017

The annual Canadian Birkebeiner is Canada's Largest classic cross country ski event with events for all ages and all levels of skiers! 

Edmonton Oilers vs. Arizona Coyotes Hockey Game
February 14, 2017

Puck drops at 7:00 pm at the new Rogers Place Arena

Edmonton Oilers vs. Philadelphia Flyers Hockey Game
February 16, 2017

Puck drops at 7:00 pm at the new Rogers Place Arena

Pre or Post-Conference Ski Trip to Jasper (several date options available)

Spend Valentines Day or Family Day in Jasper National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy 2 nights for 2 at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge resort.