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Don’t Stop Believing!

June 27, 2024

Don't Stop Believing


And we did!

For seven glorious, nail-biting and sometimes agonizing games of the Stanley Cup Finals, an entire city believed the Edmonton Oilers would bring The Cup home.

We managed to simultaneously hold our breath while yelling ourselves hoarse.

We believed right up until the very last moment when the horn blew on the final 2-1 game when we came “that close” to winning.

The instinct now is to say, “Just wait until next year.”

But, no!

There is no need to wait until next hockey season to “Believe.”

The belief we had in the Oilers wasn’t just about hockey but about our city, about ourselves.

CTV anchor Kent Morrison summed up the feelings of so many Edmontonians on the eve of the final game.

“I hope you're proud, not of the team, but of yourselves. This has nothing to do with wins or losses, who has suffered the longest or cheered the loudest, and certainly not about who spent the most money. It's about you and how you've treated each other,” said Morrison. “You’ve been kind and you’ve let yourself dream and even when things look their worst, you chose to believe, celebrating the things that bring us together. Because being together feels good.”

As he went on to say, “Remember, the ‘City of Champions’ is not a slogan. It's an attitude. And you've earned it.”

I couldn’t agree more.

We are a City of Champions and we should be proud to say that.

In fact, we should readopt the slogan that once enhanced our Welcome to Edmonton signs.

As I have said since becoming president of the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce we need to stop thinking like a second-tier city. We constantly compare ourselves to Toronto or Calgary. But the world doesn’t need another Toronto or Calgary. The world needs more pure, beautiful Edmonton.

The Oilers’ run was great for Edmonton financially. According to Explore Edmonton, the first three rounds of the playoffs alone injected almost $180 million into the local economy, most notably to the downtown core.

That is wonderful news. But there was also something profound going on here. The Oilers’ run had us excited and rallying around the slogan “Believe.” The world was paying attention. We were energized to think maybe we are indeed the City of Champions.

We must not let that feeling end. We cannot shrug and say, “We’re done. Just wait until next year.” Win or lose on the hockey rink, we are capable of doing more, punching above our weight and being better than we think we are.

We have to hold on to that feeling.

We need to talk about all the other things that make us amazing. Summer is just starting. We are the Festival City, after all, with a long list of events including the International Jazz Festival, Taste of Edmonton, Folk Fest, the Fringe, KDays, Folk Fest, the Heritage Festival, the Cariwest Caribbean Arts Festival and Edmonton International Airshow.

It’s not just summer, of course. We have the Canadian Finals Rodeo returning in the fall, to mention just one event.

Our economy is turning around. We've got a growing young population. Our population is increasing by 100,000 people on average every year. We're pragmatic, practical and progressive. 

The Oilers just reminded us of how amazing we are. Now, we need to step onto the North America stage, and the world stage, and say, “Guess what else we have to offer?”

We need to be proud of that.

And remember: Don’t stop believing!

Have your say.

The Edmonton Chamber wants to hear from you. What are the top issues and priorities for your business this spring? Start the conversation by writing to 

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