2015 EcoCity Edmonton Grants

This year, the City of Edmonton and Alberta Ecotrust entered into a partnership to deliver environmental grants to help citizens engage with the City of Edmonton’s long term goals of being a sustainable and carbon-neutral city. This grant program is called EcoCity Edmonton, and through the program citizens can learn about Edmonton’s environmental vision, find inspiration to take action in their community, and apply for funding to help get ideas off the ground.

The primary emphasis for EcoCity Edmonton  is on projects that focus on climate change and energy but there are funds available for water, land use, and air projects. The maximum grant amount is $50,000.

This year, the EcoCity Edmonton selection committee collectively decided to invest in four projects in the capital region totalling an investment of $120,000. Details about each of the projects is below.


Project: Solar Gazebo

Grantee: Riverdale Community League
Priority: Climate Change

Renewable Energy is an important element of Edmonton’s Energy Transition Strategy. The Riverdale Community League will install a 8.64kW utility-tied flat roofed Solar Gazebo. This project will showcase a functional form of green energy appropriate for school and league grounds where there is often perfect solar access and a need for shade. The project could alternatively serve as a power-producing band-shelter, picnic shelter, or bike/car shelter.

The system will provide verifiable data that can be collected and disseminated as a focal point of public education initiatives. This project will serve to establish the potential of all of Edmonton’s 157 leagues as effective partners for promoting uptake of Edmonton’s Energy Transition Strategy. By 2035, the strategy will reduce Edmonton’s GHG to 35% below 2005 levels. All of us will have to work together as climate change effects everyone. As we build more localized renewable energy systems we all need to learn that there are easy ways to reduce our own energy use by the needed 25%.

This project demonstrates that Riverdale is proud of Edmonton’s Energy Transition Strategy and wants to help every citizen pull together to understand and reach the goals of the transition strategy.


Project: Sunny Side Up in Crestwood

Grantee: Crestwood Community League
Priority: Climate Change

Crestwood Community League – established in 1917 – is the oldest continuously operating Community League in Edmonton, in Alberta, and, possibly North America. This is a reflection of the character and strength of it’s residents for almost 100 years to be leaders and volunteers in efforts to create a healthy, attractive, inclusive living milieu of which it’s residents can be proud.

The need for action on Climate Change is urgent, and Crestwood Community Leagues wishes to model proactive leadership and make the volunteer Community League more long-term financially stable and environmentally friendly.

The project will be the first phase of a two part process. This first stage will install solar panels on the Hall roof and provide half of the Community Leagues electrical needs. The Community League will generate half of its electrical energy from the sun, lessen annual utility costs, reduce dependence on high emission coal/gas fuels and model a working solar system for Crestwood and the broader community. The other major project objective is for the League to take a proactive leadership role in demonstrating to 1000 homes within Crestwood, where much infill housing is taking place, that solar power is an affordable, effective source of energy which must be broadly adopted for the sake of future collective health and well-being.


Project: PCL Studio Theatre LED Lighting Replacement

Grantee: Fringe Theatre Adventures Society
Priority: Climate Change

Electricity costs represent a significant percentage of the overall operating cost of most performing arts facilities. Conventional Theatre lighting systems require a lot of electricity to power them as a typical theatre light draws between 500 Watts and 2000 Watts of electricity when powered on. Stages around the world are lit with hundreds of these fixtures in order to create the varying looks and mood using colours and texture.

Recent innovations in LED technology have evolved to the point at which most theatre lighting can now be replaced with LED equivalents, with little or no compromise to light quality, and in some cases, even offer new features and capabilities not available in the past. Modern LED theatre lights run on only 25% of the electricity of their conventional equivalents, and as a result represent not only savings on electricity, but also have a significant impact on heating and cooling loads in the theatres that they are being used in.

This grant will replace ageing lighting instruments with state of the art equipment for one of three theatres (the PCL Studio Theatre) to ensure this venue continues to be attractive, affordable, and well-used by arts groups in Edmonton.


Project: Energy Efficiency Education (E3) Project

Grantee: Inside Education
Priority: Climate Change

Students will be made aware of their role in and connection to energy production, use, conservation and efficiency and will be challenged to make a personal and/or school-wide commitment to reduce consumption. After learning from experts, students will make a commitment to work within their school and their homes to become more sustainable, to first calculate then reduce their personal GHG contributions – making a connection to the ‘why’.

Alberta is also well known for its fossil fuel production, use and consumption – less well known is the extensive renewable, alternative and energy efficiency exemplars. By featuring some of Edmonton’s world-class alternative and renewable energy projects, alongside energy efficiency initiatives, students will have a chance to want to discover more, and contribute NOW to these endeavors, not at some later, undefined “when I grow up” time frame.

More than ever young people are interested in their connection to energy efficiency, use, conservation and and alternative and renewable energy. This program will provide an outlet for them to extend their knowledge, understanding, engagement and provide venues to learn more, and act appropriately. This project will also provide teachers in Edmonton curriculum relevant learning opportunities at the elementary level – plus provide an outlet for students with interest in energy and environment to move from local to global through the solar lantern project.

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