Full-blown spring may not be here yet, but when you see another Edmonton Home and Garden Show on the horizon, you have to feel reassured that winter’s grip is fading.
The 2017 show, March 23 to 26 at the Edmonton Expo Centre, has many of the popular features of past years, but each new show presents additional opportunities for the nearly 60,000 visitors who come.
After each show, organizers review a visitor survey, looking for ways to create an even more satisfying experience the following year.
This year, Alison Farrell, acting show manager, says there will be more celebrities in areas other than home improvement. The cooking stage, in particular, will feature the Food Network’s Massimo Capra, a judge on Chopped Canada and a renowned restaurateur.
“There’s a huge crowd that attends the garden stage, and the cooking stage is growing, so we wanted to refocus for this show because the whole idea around the show is it’s all about gardening and home improvement, but it’s also about cooking, so it’s kind of a one-stop shop, Farrell says. “We give something for everybody.”
A hit at the last show was the first pro-am cook off. The entrants more than doubled this year to 382 submissions from everyday cooks looking to pair up with local Edmonton professionals to show their stuff on the Cooking Stage.
The idea is to offer enough variety that visitors don’t think about going home while they’re there,” Farrell says.
“We want to keep people at the show as long as possible, and having these interactive features, where they can sit down and watch presentations and get knowledge definitely adds to the overall experience.”
Carson Arthur, landscape design expert, will be returning with tips on gardening trends and outdoor renovation investment. Arthur does presentations at home shows across the country, but he tailors each stop to the local market’s issues and concerns, he says.
His two topics this year are urban farming and getting the best return on the money you put into your outdoor space.
Arthur has noticed Millennials, saddled with more school debt than ever before, still want to own a property with a little space. They often turn to Pinterest to find ideas, and he says part of his project at the home show will be to correct some misconceptions. He says he will tell visitors “all the things that Pinterest doesn’t tell you.”
For instance, creating planters out of old tires is a popular DIY idea, but people need to know that the chemicals in those tires will leach into the soil where you’ve planted those vegetables you think are fresher than store bought.
He will also point out that stats show building a deck and maintaining it will pay off in the end. He’ll answer questions such as “How much money should you spend on a backyard deck, and how much money should you expect to get back if you did sell the house in the next 10 years?”
And like last year, the Edmonton Home and Garden Show will feature a village of tiny houses. One novel type of small abode is made by Daniel Engelman’s Honomobo. His company is making its first appearance at the Edmonton show.
Engleman and his partner buy shipping containers sent from China at the end of their one-way trip. The containers are refashioned into fully serviceable ‘houses’ as small as 270 square feet (one will be on display at the show) and as large as a modest bungalow with more than 1,200 square feet. They can be hooked to the power grid and the sewer line, and are also equipped to go solar.
Honomobo can fabricate a new unit in 10 weeks and deliver it to a lot in an urban or rural community. Engelman has a small version in his backyard in an older Edmonton neighbourhood.
The company has 100 orders on the go, mainly in western Canada and the western states.
Tickets to the Edmonton Home and Garden Show are $13 at the door or can be ordered from http://www.edmontonhomeandgarden.com/
There’s a discount for seniors and for online ticket purchases.