Edmonton: The Festival City Gets Serious About the Future

Edmonton has certainly earned its reputation as The Festival City. Alberta’s capital city hosts over 75 festivals a year, including major film, food and culture events. The city is adding to its impressive list of world-class events in 2019 when it hosts the SingularityU Canada Summit.

The two-day Edmonton event will be only the second 
SingularityU Summit held in Canada, following the first 
edition that was held in Toronto in 2017. The SingularityU Canada Summit is presented by Singularity University, a benefit corporation that was established in 2008 by tech industry innovators Ray Kurzweil and Peter Diamandis, 
and is partnered with organizations such as Google, Deloitte, Genentech, and UNICEF.

The Edmonton summit aims to inspire participants to think big, take risks and have a global impact using innovative technologies, such as artificial intelligence, robotics, and digital biology.

Edmonton by the Numbers

• Incorporated as a City: 
 October 8, 1904
• Current Mayor: Don Iveson
• Population (2016): 932,546
• Population Change 
 2011-2016: 14.8%
• Land Area: 685 sq. km
• Impact from Hosting Major 
 Events (2017): $28.7 million
• Increase in Median Household 
 Income Since 2005: 26.6%
• Average Household Income: 

Sources: Statistics Canada, 
Edmonton Economic Development Corp

“Edmonton’s best asset is the people who live here. We’re a city of makers and risk takers, of doers and dreamers. We’re a city that extends a hand and then rolls up its sleeves to make things happen,” says Derek Hudson, CEO of Edmonton Economic Development Corporation.

The SingularityU Canada Summit is being held at the Shaw Conference Centre, an event space that sits at the foot of Edmonton’s downtown core – which is currently going through its own innovative transformation, including the addition of a public plaza that can accommodate up to 10,000 people.

The public plaza is part of the ICE District, the centrepiece of $5.5-billion in active investment helping revitalize the province’s capital city. The expansive ICE District is a 25-acre development that combines condos, office towers, a hotel and Rogers Place (the new arena for the city’s professional hockey team the Edmonton Oilers). While many amenities are already open for business, complete construction of the ICE District is expected to be complete in 2020, which will also include the 60-storey Stantec Tower, the tallest sky- scraper west of Toronto.