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Graham Hicks' Arguments for Expo 2017

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  • Graham Hicks' Arguments for Expo 2017

    Why Edmonton needs Expo 2017

    (Speaking notes from Graham Hicks’ address to the South Edmonton Rotary Club on Wednesday, June 16, 2010)

    I’m often asked, by those who challenge government spending, why I support Edmonton’s bid to host the 2017 World Expo.

    It will cost about $2.5 billion in taxpayers’ money – $70 for each man, woman and child living in Canada.

    http://blogs.canoe.ca/hicksonsix/gen...eds-expo-2017/
    "Talk minus action equals zero." - Joe Keithley, D. O. A.

  • #2
    Hicks can eat a bag of nuts.

    Spending 2.5 billion dollars so that we can peacock is a terrible idea.
    You want a better city? Work on the basics that make it worth living here instead of wasting money on temporary shelters that will have no intrinsic worth once it's over.

    The reason Calgary exploded had nothing to do with the winter olympics. It happened because Ralph Klein favoured his home town over Edmonton during the lead into the boom. He sent all the business down south, just like he promised he'd do.
    If Hicks seriously thinks that the single event that got Calgary out of the deadwater slump they were in was the olympics, he's nuts.

    He wants us to spend 2.5 billion to promote our 'green oil'?
    How about we actually spend that 2.5 making an LRT that works right and is actually environmentally friendly? Why not research into green tech instead of wasting all this money pushing big oil's agenda?

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    • #3
      spending 2.5 billion dollars and getting a pile of funding from both the provincial and federal governments is, simply put, a good investment. The LRT will cost 3 Billion to complete, the Rossdale improvements, Walterdale Bridge replacement, South Campus improvements, etc will only add to that total. If we need to hold an event in order to get that funding and set all of these projects on a timeline, I'm okay with that.

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      • #4
        most of the money would be spent anyhow as what would be built, would be built anyways (LRT, South Campus, etc). Expo 2017 is a catalyst for getting the money a little bit sooner. That and also a chance to showcase the city, bring in tourist $$ and give us a chance to have a pretty good party.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by grish View Post
          most of the money would be spent anyhow as what would be built, would be built anyways (LRT, South Campus, etc). Expo 2017 is a catalyst for getting the money a little bit sooner. That and also a chance to showcase the city, bring in tourist $$ and give us a chance to have a pretty good party.
          Showcase what?
          According to Hicks, it's our 'green oil' image.
          Our LRT?
          Our incredibly bland city core? Refinery row? One of our many big box shopping districts? The city's complete lack of commitment to making this city better without having to make a festival out of it?

          I love the internet. It makes it incredibly easy to see how others deal with problems or what kind of issues happen from similar ordeals.

          Here's a comment from a guy from Shanghai.

          'The huge losses of Shanghai Expo result from the extravagant way China always behaves in holding big events. They take years to re-build the city, to recruit volunteers, to replace old things with new ones. When the event finishes, newly built constructions are removed, volunteers are dismissed and new things would become useless after the event.

          The government doesn't have a long-sight of organizing such world-class events, there are still a lot to learn.'

          http://forum.globaltimes.cn/forum/sh...ad.php?t=16571

          This is the exact same thing that happens at all of these expos or olympics events. The host is left to deal with all of the issues and no one really remembers the venue. Without looking it up, can you list the last 2 expo hosts? Our city doesn't even have the vision to put in overpasses or lights when they should. and they want to host an expo?

          I could care less about showing off like that. It's the stuffed sock in the junk ploy compared to just being proud of what you've got. It's fake. It's a veneer that masks that problems instead of addressing them.

          Fix the social issues that cause the crime; eliminating the criminals before they do harm. It's not that complicated. We have a bad reputation. Mostly stemming from crime and police. We have horrible marketing compared to Calgary as well.

          I'll give you an example.

          We have Race Week. It's not a bad event but not nearly enough focus on other events that don't involve cars. Dragonboat races are great fun and there's tons of other events we could be promoting too.

          Our style of advertising is very point blank. Capital Ex is exactly what it says it is. There's no 'aire of intrigue'. It has the subtlety of someone yelling in your face.

          Compare it to the Calgary based Sled Island Festival.
          http://blog.sledisland.com/

          Poster shows, showcasing local bands and artists. What do we get?
          Competition week. It's bloody pathetic. I mean that with no offense to Thomas and the guys doing all the work for Race Week but it's difficult to work in directed parameters where your scope is limited in what you can offer as events.

          That we promote races over the arts shows exactly what type of demographic we cater to while we aspire to play with the big boys. What a joke.

          Comment


          • #6
            ^ tl;dr "settle for mediocrity and only cater to lowest common denominator"
            be offended! figure out why later...

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            • #7
              yeah we don't have any festivals that cater to the arts at all here in redneck Edmonton :P

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Ander View Post
                If we need to hold an event in order to get that funding and set all of these projects on a timeline, I'm okay with that.
                I have heard (not sure if it is true), that Expo would increase the chance of LRT funding. The proposed lines may not have high enough projected ridership to secure federal funding without an Expo type event justifying the need for the expenditure.

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                • #9
                  armin

                  If you are going to express an opinion on Race Week you will get a response.

                  "We have Race Week. It's not a bad event but not nearly enough focus on other events that don't involve cars. Dragonboat races are great fun and there's tons of other events we could be promoting too."

                  Other events have been invited to join...but we cannot and will not force them...we can only invite.

                  Dragonboats have inquired about being part next year....the rest, who knows, its up to them to take the next step.

                  Race Week Edmonton is open to any event that wishes to be a part of what we are doing...don't care if its by foot, bicycle or rowboat...so far the only ones stepping up are the car guys.

                  So they opportunity will be there next year...and the invite will still stand.

                  Tom

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by armin View Post

                    ...I could care less about showing off like that. It's the stuffed sock in the junk ploy compared to just being proud of what you've got. It's fake. It's a veneer that masks that problems instead of addressing them...
                    Very well put.

                    I'm liking your analogy. I think there's scope there for a new city motto? Edmonton – the sock in Canada's underpants!

                    (By the way, the phrase is “couldn't care less”, Canadians and Yanks always seem to miss the point of this statement).

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Richard, nothing of the sort.
                      Mediocrity is only what you get when you don't strive to do anything better than average. Why shouldn't we as citizens be working to make the community better for us? What makes this city good is the people itself and the lifestyles that we can afford to give to our residents. Making better sidewalks, safer streets, stronger emphasis on police within the community that actually interacts with the locals, and doing less sneaky thing like dropping traffic speeds so they can milk speeding infractions. There's a thousand better ways the city could market the benefits of our city and actually improve them without showboating an extravagent fair when the country is cooling it's heels economically.

                      Ander, we have very few festivals that are arts based aside from music. Cross branding different aspects is a good way to entice a broad spectrum of participants.
                      We have the Street Performer's festival, but how is that a draw to anyone more than some family whittling away a Sunday afternoon? How does that draw in Hip Hop fans, or any other youth demographic that isn't there just to pick up girls?

                      Thomas, sorry to drag you into this but Race Week being so closely allied with cars only perpetuates that we're a NASCAR city commited to tailgate parties. You know how much I'd love to get one of those Red Bull air races here? That would be worthy.
                      The name itself seems like a tagalong to the Indy however. It could still work but we need a blanket term. K-Days was good for that. Capital Ex isn't. There's no theme to Capital HEX. You can't dress up like an Edmontonian without going like yourself.

                      Have you seen the campaign the Stampede is running? A bunch of extremely wealthy looking people holding cowboy hats and other items. That's a good campaign. What we have sucks in comparison. I haven't even seen anything yet for Capital Ex.

                      Andy, thanks. I also have to fight to not use 'irregardless'.

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                      • #12
                        Im still scratching my head to if this is a good ida or not and I am not sure. Although I understand the attention it will attract on an international level, I echo the sentiment that all of our issues and the problems with our city will still remain when this event is gone, with little or no improvement, and a debt load on our shoulders.
                        youtube.com/BrothersGrim
                        facebook.com/BrothersGrimMusic

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Expo is nothing but good... being able to host these types of events makes the difference between a city like Hamilton, which is just a local player, and a city that plays on the international stage like Calgary, Toronto Vancouver and Montreal. We are Canada's 5th Largest City and it's about time time we take our place.

                          I love the fact that Hicks acknowledges that the best thing that ever happened to this city in the last 30 years was a Liberal Gov't. This city owes Anne BIG TIME!!
                          Last edited by edmonton daily photo; 20-06-2010, 10:18 PM.
                          "Do you give people who already use transit a better service, or do you build it where they don't use it in the hopes they might start to use it?" Nenshi

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Armin

                            "Thomas, sorry to drag you into this but Race Week being so closely allied with cars only perpetuates that we're a NASCAR city commited to tailgate parties."

                            You're hanging Race Week for non involvement of others, from day one we have tried to bring the runners, the bicyclists etc in...blame them not us. Race Week currently has a car bias because they are the ones that came out and got involved...maybe that says alot right there.

                            "You know how much I'd love to get one of those Red Bull air races here? That would be worthy."

                            In MY Opinion
                            You will never get a Red Bull Air Race here regardless of how much you or I want it or how good it would be for the city. It is a straight expense with costs higher than the Indy and no chance of admissions to balance the budget...and in this city the money won't be spent due to the high percentage of whining.

                            "It could still work but we need a blanket term."
                            There is a blanket term…Race…foot, paddle what ever but if you want it to be more than cars you need to get involved otherwise it will be driven by those that are and again right now the ONLY ones stepping up are the car guys.

                            I want it to be more…but you can lead a horse to water, you can’t make it drink.

                            “K-Days was good for that. Capital Ex isn't. There's no theme to Capital HEX. You can't dress up like an Edmontonian without going like yourself."

                            I won’t argue Cap Ex was a bad idea…but IMO there is a bigger problem and frankly Hicks nailed it.

                            Edmonton likes to fail…everyone finds someone else to blame or blames the government or whatever but in general no one wants to work to be a success.

                            That is what it takes to be successful WORK, COMMITMENT, EFFORT by everyone from the residents to the municipal politicians to the business community and frankly there are examples of those trying but the vast majority just sit back and want a magic wand waved to make it so…and that isn’t gonna happen.

                            My final 2 bits on EXPO…much as I would like to see it be hugely successful I think trying to do an Expo when we can’t even support an Indy Race tells the whole story.

                            Tom
                            Last edited by Thomas Hinderks; 20-06-2010, 08:57 PM. Reason: Grammar, punctuation and heavens knows spelling

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                            • #15
                              While I'm excited for the prospect of having a big event in Edmonton for the first time ever, I'm still a bit hesitant to support the Expo fully, for a few reasons:

                              1. Edmonton isn't in the best spot, geographically. Plenty of international flights in and out of Edmonton have to make their way through Calgary, Winnipeg, or Toronto. The nearest sizable city is around 3 hours away by car. The fact that we have an international airport that's 20 minutes drive away from the city isn't really going in our favor.

                              2. Edmonton isn't that well known. Although this isn't such a big problem, all things considered. Some host cities aren't well known. But all the really successful Expos were in places that were well known internationally (Montreal, Chicago, London).

                              3. The city hasn't really gotten its s**t together, so to speak. The LRT has been going really slow, and the downtown has let itself go, although it has been improving. There are not a lot of places in Edmonton that would interest the kind of industry brought by the Expo, thanks to urban sprawl.

                              But it seems like a lot of the budget for Expo 2017 is going to more permanent projects in South Campus, which is a great idea. As long as they don't decide to abandon everything after the Expo, I say go for it.

                              Except for the river taxi. Just scrap that idea.

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