I recently met a guy named Jon whose story made me so mad and so sad.

He had moved here from Toronto about a year ago, but he was about to move back. He had come for a fresh start, intending to love life in Edmonton. After a year, he decided he couldn’t make it work and was packing it in.

Now, there was a chance that Edmonton just wasn’t the right fit for him. But after asking a couple of questions about what he was into and what he had tried, it was pretty clear to me that wasn’t it. He was into late night entertainment but he’d never heard of Grindstone Theatre, where some shows start after 10 PM even on weeknights. He was into BBQ but he’d never heard of MEAT, one of the best restaurants in town.

Nope, the problem was that nobody hooked him up. He never met anyone who could answer his questions, give him some tips, introduce him around and help him discover his best Edmonton life.

This breaks my heart. Such a waste, such a shame. Such a missed opportunity for both him and for our city.

If only I’d met him six months ago! A couple of conversations, a couple of introductions, and it all might have turned out differently for Jon. He might be living the good life here in good old E-town, eating pulled pork every weekend before walking over to catch a late show with friends. Loving it.

Instead, by now he’s back where he started, but with considerably less money and probably pretty bummed out about it.

I hate that this happens. I don’t want this to happen. Which is why I’m doing something about it.

As of today, tickets go on sale for the first Welcome to Town event. If you’re new in town, or if you know someone who is, I hope you’ll consider coming. If you’re already sold on being welcomed to town, get your tickets here without delay!

If you need a little more info, read on, dear friend.

How Welcome to Town will help you meet new people:

  • You will not be left on your own to make small talk with strangers. We will be hosting in the true sense of the word. Every attendee will be taken care of from the beginning by volunteers and professionally facilitated programming, so it’s perfectly ok to come on your own
  • Everyone who comes will be looking to make connections. This is not like going to an event or activity where people may or may not be interested in meeting new folks. If you’re looking to meet new people, this is the place for you
  • You’ll meet people who live in your part of the city and/or share your interests. We’ll ask you about yourself during the registration process so we can set you up in small group conversations with people you’re most likely to click with.
  • You’ll be able to meet people you liked again: part of the program will be dedicated to organizing an ongoing series of smaller meetup events. We will ask for volunteers from the group to lead each meetup, then support them to organize weekly events. You’re not obligated to participate in the meetups, it’s entirely up to you. But this is not a one-shot deal where you have to forge new friendships in one evening.

How Welcome to Town will help you love life in Edmonton:

  • We’ll answer your questions. Help you figure out all the annoying little stuff like where to buy that hard-to-find item, how to register your kid in swimming lessons, or find a good dentist. Tell us what you need to know during registration, and we will do our best to have the answer for you when you walk through the door.
  • You’ll discover great local stuff we know you’ll love. For example: we’ll be recording a live broadcast of one of our favourite podcasts (Speaking Municipally) on site, showcasing the other members of the Alberta Podcast Network (they have something for everyone), and the food will also be local and AWESOME.
  • Power in numbers, friends!! You’ll meet new people in facilitated small group discussions where you’ll compare notes and share what you’ve all discovered so far about thriving in Edmonton.
  • Door prizes. ‘Nuff said.

Why Welcome to Town is totally worth the price ($50/$45 early bird):

Cheaper and easier than finding people one at a time: Through our curated small group discussions, you will make a minimum of 10 connections in a single evening based on things you have in common.

If you made the same 10 connections online and went on coffee dates with them, it would cost you at least $50. If you went on lunches, more like $200. $200>$50, friends.

Not to mention the time this saves you, and the trouble of figuring out how to break the ice in those one on one conversations, and of extricating yourself if it’s not going well. This is a far safer and easier path, in addition to being cheaper.

You get your money’s worth in food and entertainment alone: A light dinner is included in your ticket, as well as an informative and entertaining live show about local politics. With tickets at most theatres (like this one) starting at $25 and quality local food ringing in at around the same for a meal at the lower end of the pricing spectrum, Welcome to Town is a bargain.

STOP! Welcome to Town might not be for you IF:

  • You’re selling something or recruiting for something
  • You’re looking for a romantic partner. Of course, you never know where love will be found, but this is not a singles mixer specifically
  • You need immigration settlement services like job search and housing. Immigrants are very welcome at Welcome to Town, but we will not be providing these essential services. If you are in need of settlement services, please reach out to us and we will be happy to refer you to some of the excellent settlement agencies in town.

If Welcome to Town is for you, I am so excited to invite you to join us September 21st from 6-9 PM at the Work Nicer Beaver House location for an evening of being welcomed the way you deserve. I’m glad you’re here. Let’s get you settled and loving life in Edmonton.

Buy your ticket now: early bird deadline is August 31st.

Love, Nadine