Group ramps up efforts to breathe life back into City of Champions motto

As city council readies to debate whether to bring back the slogan City of Champions on May 30, a group calling themselves Friends of Edmonton A City of Champions is hoping that they do. 

The group of volunteers which started in February of this year wants the city to reestablish the old slogan and is putting as much energy and as much information in front of people as they can. 

“A lot of people have their own understanding of it.” said the group’s spokesperson Wilf Brooks. “Notice that we don’t use the word the city of champions, it’s a city of champions.” Brooks continued. 

Friends of Edmonton released a video called What Makes Edmonton A City of Champions on May 23. The video showcases the Edmonton skyline, Edmontonians learning in classrooms and standing in protests. 

As well there are interviews with prominent Edmontonians Lyle Best, Tommy Banks, John Stanton and Don Clarke talking about what the city means to them and what the slogan means to them. 

Brooks calls the video a teaser with more to come. “We’ve got some amazing stories coming together,” Brooks said.

Even though the group is happy that Coun. Tony Caterina called for the debate, some on council have made their opinions very clear about how they feel about the slogan. 

Coun. Michael Oshry feels that the city doesn’t even need a slogan at all. “Slogans are out of date and they don’t work … at the end of the day the city means different things to different people and you can’t encompass what it means to everybody by a slogan.” 

Mayor Don Iveson told reporters last week part of the problem is there’s not consensus on what City of Champions means. “(It) proves the point that it’s hard to tether a civic identity to something that has that ambiguity for people.”

 As the debate gets closer Brooks from Friends of Edmonton A City of Champions says that the group is asking is to bring back the moniker City of Champions, not necessarily bring back the signs.