February 18, 2017 8:21 pm

How winter fun is done: Edmonton hosts Winter Cities Shake-up

WATCH ABOVE: Edmonton is a winter city and this weekend, the city is hosting a conference focused on embracing the cold. Gord Steinke sits down with Kari Leibowitz from Stanford University, who is in Edmonton for the Winter Cities Shake-Up conference.

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A conference celebrating the best of winter cities is taking place in Edmonton this weekend.

Delegates from over 45 cities and at least nine countries including Japan, Finland, Sweden and Germany have all travelled to Edmonton hoping to share ideas and inspire one another to embrace life on the colder end of the spectrum.

The event covers several different themes including winter business, winter design and winter culture.

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Organizers say Edmonton was chosen to host the 2017 event because residents here “thrive through the winter season.”

“Other city’s [delegates] visiting are jealous of the community support we have here,” Susan Holdsworth, Winter City coordinator, said. “It’s a time for sharing of ideas and time to network- and develop relationships with other cities.”

The major themes at this year’s conference including physical and mental health in a winter city context.

READ MORE: 13 things to do in Edmonton in winter 2016/17

Holdsworth added the biggest challenge for some cities is how to make cities more accessible during the winter months.

“Winter cities have been embracing winter and doing more to improve quality of life in the wintertime,” she said. “We’re making it more fun, more comfortable.”

The conference coincides with the Shake Up Festival.

Edmontonians were invited to enjoy our city’s newest walkable street- The Armature— along 96 Street in the Quarters.

The event offered axe throwing, bannock making, and live song and dance.

“We wanted to have a street party on 96 street, which we call The Armature. We wanted to celebrate the fact that it’s now open,” said Mary Ann Debrinski, director of Edmonton Urban Renewal.

The Armature is a pedestrian corridor, which runs along 96 Street between 103 Avenue and Jasper Avenue. It opened in December.

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