Diss – To disrespect, badmouth or slag.
Dat – Dat’s about enough outta you!
Seriously, there has long been a rivalry, between the two major cities in Alberta, in population numbers, in business, in skyline, in politics and in sports. Good-natured banter often occurs between the proponents of each city, but sometimes, it can degenerate into downright contempt. We refer to Calgary as Cowgary and they in turn refer to us as Deadmonton.
I have been guilty of this with statements like….
- the best thing about Calgary is the view you get in the rear view mirror, as you drive away
- Calgary only has 4 types of trees and three of them are poplar
- The good thing about Calgary is that is close to the mountains, the bad thing about Calgary is that it is close to the mountains
Years back, I was listening to an “out there” Edmonton radio station who was having a joke at Calgary’s expense. The DJ said he had been listening to a Calgary radio station that announced “The temperature in Canada’s most beautiful city is 23 degrees C”. The Edmonton DJ promptly phoned the Calgary station and said, “I understand that the temperature in Canada’s most beautiful city is 23 degrees”. The Calgary announcer said, “That’s right”. The Edmonton DJ said, “That’s great, but, can you tell me what the temperature in Calgary is”? Laughter ensued.
Great, good-natured banter. No harm done. But, sometimes the locals of each city take it too far in expressing their pride for their town and disdain for the other. Not quite to Dog River/Woolarton standards from Corner Gas (no spitting), but, a bit mean. My wife came downstairs the other morning, just fuming. Apparently, two “experts”, one from Edmonton and one from Calgary had been on with the usual banter about whose city was better. The Calgary expert was extolling the virtues of the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth, the Calgary Stampede, that was now on. He finished by saying “You guys got K-days, right. what does the K stand for? I suppose you are all heading down the highway to see the Stampede and coming for one of our pancake breakfasts.” The Edmonton expert, formerly from Calgary, said nothing in defense. Too bad, but understandable.
Yes, the Calgary Stampede is now on and each year, it draws in excess of 1,000,000 visitors through the gates, while K-Days (which also has rodeo events as a minor part) draws 750,000-825,000, but like our fairs, both prairie cities are vastly different and we should not try to be the same. Our uniqueness is what makes us interesting. Edmonton does not need to make any excuses for lack of attendance at K-Days (What does the K stand for anyway?) They are known as the Festival City and festivals are non-stop throughout our short summer and festivals are plentiful throughout the rest of the year, as well. Below, are but a few of the summer festivals, with attendance numbers. (Source:Wikipedia)
- The Works Art and Design and Jazz Fest (13 days) – 75,000
- Edmonton Street Performers (10 days) – 250,000
- Taste of Edmonton (11 days) (largest in Western Canada) – 350,000
- Edmonton Heritage Days (3 days) – 370,000
- Edmonton Fringe Festival (11 days) (2nd largest in the world after Edinburgh) (largest in North America) 1,500 artists, 220 shows, 850,000 attendees, 130,000 theatre tickets sold
- Edmonton K-Days(10 days) – 816,000
Edmonton is frequently named by major publications as one of the best cities to visit during the summer. As one who has lived in the area for 45 years now, I have to agree. Why would we travel anywhere else, let alone Calgary in summer? The weather is good here and there is lots to see and do. And, I have been to the Calgary Stampede. Once.
Here is but a sample of what we encountered for “free” in our 4 hour visit to the Whyte Avenue area of Edmonton on July 6/19. Our costs for the day were $8 for 2 Jamaican Patties, $7 for mini donuts (you just gotta eat mini donuts), $7 for a bottle of Kim Chi and $5 donation to one of the street performers.
Whyte Avenue Art Walk – 500 local artists on display for 3 days
The Edmonton Street Performers Festival – 10 days
Old Strathcona Farmers’ Market – operates every Saturday throughout the year.
the High Level Street Car that runs from North of Government Centre to Old Strathcona – operates daily from mid May to mid October (we did not ride on this day)
Old Strathcona Street Scenes – always there and always changing
ᐄᓃᐤ (ÎNÎW) River Lot 11∞ – Aboriginal Art Park – a new park just opened and so sweet after all the rain we have had
The beautiful Edmonton River Valley. Always there and ever changing. I was doing a bit of hiking training with a 32 pound pack on this day.
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