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Monthly Archives:

July 2016

GCL working to address resident concerns around Pokémon Go

Pokémon Go is an unexpected gaming phenomenon that has taken Edmonton, and the world, by storm this summer. It’s a game where virtual reality meets the real world, and gamers can go to designated landmarks to catch creatures within the game, trade creatures and have virtual battles with others.

With the sudden and unexpected influx of Pokemon Go players into our community, Griesbach Community League has been working proactively behind the scenes to ensure the legitimate safety and privacy concerns of residents are being addressed – while striking a balance that respects those who are enjoying the game – and our amazing public park.

Here is what we have to share…

  1. Edmonton Police Services and Peace Officers are both increasing patrols along Gault Blvd., Griesbach Parade and other high traffic areas. We have been told that marked and unmarked EPS vehicles will be ticketing distracted drivers and helping to keep our streets safe for our children and pedestrians. An increased presence will also help to address concerns of drug and alcohol use (which fortunately seem to be fairly isolated).
  2. After some initial confusion, it has been made clear to EPS and Peace Officers that Patricia Park is indeed a City Park, governed by the City of Edmonton’s Parkland Bylaw. As a park, it is closed to the public between the hours of 11 pm and 5 am (don’t worry, you shouldn’t be ticketed for walking your dog at midnight). Police have been directed to disperse crowds between those hours. Violators are subject to fines. We hope this will address noise complaints. (A copy of the Parkland Bylaw has been posted on our website).
  3. Another concern that was brought to our attention is the issue of public urination. To address this, Griesbach Community League has placed a porta potty near Patricia Plaza for those using the park. It is located beside the big tree above and to the south of the park, along Griesbach Parade.
    washroom map
  4. Griesbach Community League made a formal request with the City of Edmonton to increase the frequency of garbage pickups at Patricia Park and around the lake. The Parks Department is looking into bringing more temporary garbage cans into the area as well. Additionally, we are looking into getting discreet ashtrays for the plaza area.
  5. We asked the City what can be done to address the concerns of residents along Gault Blvd. who are having difficulty finding parking on the street. We were informed that all streets are designated for public parking unless otherwise marked – and residents do not receive priority. However, residents are encouraged to call 311 if parking availability is becoming an issue. If they receive a sufficient number of complaints over a prolonged period, the City has the ability to rezone the parking as permit parking or to restrict parking entirely. Unfortunately, this may take time and will not address the immediate parking crunch in our community. We appreciate your frustration and ask for your patience.
  6. There have been reports of visitors trampling the lawns and even flower beds of residents. We hope these are isolated incidents and that increased police presence will help. The Pokémon Go community has been very engaged and are working to encourage players to respect residents and private property.

These are the steps we have taken as a community league to address your concerns, but as a resident you have a role to play as well.

Police and peace officers can’t be in our community 24/7. So if you see any incidents where people are violating bylaws or laws, we strongly encourage you to call 311 or the EPS non-emergency line (780) 423-4567 or #377 (cellular). The more calls they get, the more likely they will respond.

We’re all in this together.

As residents ourselves, we understand the frustrations of those most directly affected and are doing our best to address your concerns.

A large number of residents and their children are actually playing the game, and have had many positive things to report about the way the game is getting kids out of their basements to walk and enjoy the fresh air – and to explore the many monuments in our community. The game is surprisingly social, and encourages interaction between players. In fact, many gamers have been happily showing curious residents how the game works.

We’re pleased to report that the vast majority of visitors have been extremely courteous and respectful of our community.

Unfortunately, it just takes a few to spoil the fun. The Pokémon Go Community has been very active in working with the community to encourage players to be courteous and have even organized litter cleanups. Hats off to all of the residents who are going out of their way to tidy up garbage (something that has been happening for years!)

Ultimately, Griesbach Community League is committed to striking a balance of supporting the respectful public use of our community, while addressing the concerns of residents.

One of the reasons we have become such a hotspot for the game in Edmonton has to do with the abundance of parkland, the amphitheatre and historical landmarks that make Griesbach unique. That’s something to be proud of.

Since Patricia Park is considered a public park, we are actually not in a position to prevent non-residents from visiting – provided they are acting in accordance with the Parkland bylaw. The City does not consider Pokémon Go to be a private, intentional gathering (such as a wedding or event), so users do not require a permit to enjoy the park.


New porta potty, provided by GCL.

We anticipate the excitement around Pokémon Go will soon wain, and our community will return to normal. Next year if the fad continues, perhaps we will request that it be another community’s turn.

You have our assurance that we will continue to monitor the situation. If problems persist we can explore other available options to limit activity in our neighbourhood.

Thanks for your patience and understanding. Griesbach’s friendly, welcoming nature has been one of the traits that truly sets us apart and makes this such a desirable community in which to reside. Let’s show the rest of the City why we are the best place to live in Edmonton.

Pegasus traffic light scheduled to be operational by Sept 30

A resident inquired about the anticipated completion date for the traffic lights at Pegasus Blvd and 137 St. He was informed by a Traffic Engineer that the tentative start date is September 30th, 2016.
Thanks for sharing, Mark!

Seeking artists for Griesbach Art Walk – Sept 17

We’re looking for artists to participate in the 3rd annual GRIESBACH ART WALK, Saturday September 17, 2016, 1 pm – 6 pm. Tables are free. The registration deadline is September 8th.

To register, email Bryan Evans (click here).

The Art Walk is held along Bedford Basin in conjunction with the Griesbach Shake At The Lake event (featuring children’s activities, live music and beer garden). The event typically attracts over 300 people. Please share with any artist friends. It keeps getting bigger and better each year.

We’ve had a great deal of interest so far, so we encourage you to get on it quickly

Griesbach Dance Company to show kids all the right moves.

Meet Haley Shewciw of Griesbach Dance Company

By Eliza Barlow

Haley Shewciw can vividly picture her four-year-old self in a little black spider costume, waiting backstage at the Jubilee Auditorium, her dance recital moments away.

She was in tears, and having serious doubts about whether she could overcome her shyness and fear and take the stage with the rest of her dance group. Her dance teacher told her she didn’t have to do it, but added, “You’re part of the team, and we need you.”

Those words made the difference, and Shewciw somehow found the courage. “I remembered my steps, and coming off the stage, I had confidence.”


Haley with son Ben.

Shewciw’s experience as a small child in that north Edmonton community dance group inspired a love of dance that led her to Victoria School of the Arts, where she competitively danced her way through junior high, and a one-year stint on the Edmonton Eskimos Cheer Team after she graduated from Eastglen High School. She decided to pursue a career in marketing, earning a marketing diploma from NAIT and finding success in that field. But her desire to spread the joy of dance always remained in the back of her mind.

Now, almost 30 years after that formative recital at the Jubilee, Shewciw is bringing community dance to Griesbach with her new Griesbach Dance Company.

She’s spending the summer getting the word out and collecting registrations, with dance classes – including ballet, jazz/lyrical and hip hop – for kids three to 12 to begin this fall at Major General Griesbach School.

A lifelong northsider, Shewciw, 33, is thrilled to be putting down roots in Griesbach – she, her husband and young son Ben are moving into a new Griesbach home in August. She also got better acquainted with some of the neighbourhood’s children during her two years as a volunteer coach for community soccer.

“The time has finally come and bringing my love for dance to the community is a dream come true,” she says.

Shewciw hopes to inspire the same confidence in children as she found through dance.

“What I took away from dance – I was a super shy kid, an only child, and I totally came out of my shell,” she says.

“It just makes you feel good. It just makes me happy. I can perform, I can express myself – my form of communication is through dance.”

Shewciw also wants hers to be a truly community dance program.

“The main thing is, I started off in non-competitive dance and that’s why I wanted this to be non-competitive,” she says. “I think at this age, they have their whole lives to be competitive. This is about performing in the community.”

With that in mind, she has plans for Griesbach’s little dancers to perform for the seniors at the CapitalCare Kipnes Centre for Veterans this season. Shewciw currently works part-time in marketing and communications for the CapitalCare Foundation.

Ben helps mom deliver flyers in Griesbach.

Ben helps mom deliver flyers in Griesbach.

Shewciw isn’t sure yet whether she’ll be personally teaching any of the classes at first. She already has one instructor on board, her cousin Jessica, a former instructor at Variations dance academy, which once operated in Griesbach – coincidentally, on the same piece of land where Shewciw’s new house is being built. She’s looking to hire more dance instructors, and would love to hear from anyone in the community with a dance background who’s interested in part-time casual work.

To find out more, visit griesbachdancecompany.com.


 Eliza Barlow is a Griesbach resident and one heck of a talented writer whose work often graces the pages of Avenue Magazine.



Welcome Pokémon Go players

Hey gamers… as a busy PokéStop, Griesbach  Community League wishes you luck in finding Pokémon. We ask that you please be respectful of our community, its monuments and the privacy of our residents. Be safe, courteous, and keep your eyes open for traffic. We encourage you to bike, carpool or take transit as parking is limited.

Residents… if you see unsafe activity or witness any behavior that is disrespectful of private property we encourage you to contact the City of Edmonton at 311 or the appropriate authorities. Please share your concerns with GCL. We are all doing our best to adjust to the unexpected influx of visitors that has come with the release of this game. We are hoping the excitement will eventually die down and the traffic and parking challenges will disappear. In the meantime we ask for your patience and understanding.

FYI, we’ve put in a request with the City to schedule more frequent garbage pickups in the park as that is a concern that has been brought to our attention.