Edmonton Transit System’s 2008 Centennial celebrations rolled away with a Canadian Urban Transit Association (CUTA) Award in June.
The Edmonton Transit System (ETS) Centennial, known as Join the Ride of the Century, was honoured for Exceptional Performance/Outstanding Achievement.
The CUTA, in its award citation, praised ETS for the wide range of centennial events and programs that helped raise awareness of public transit’s importance:
“During its 2008 Centennial year, Edmonton Transit System (ETS) staged an extensive series of historically themed events and programs to build awareness and civic pride around the history of ETS and the role public transit has played in Edmonton’s growth.
"The success of the Centennial was built on the foundation of a year-long public relations and advertising campaign. Professionally produced commemorative items (Centennial calendar, an historical video and a book on the history of ETS), helped market the Centennial. An effective corporate sponsorship program raising more than $100,000 helped fund the celebrations," the citation said.
"Key partnerships with the Edmonton Radial Railway Society (ERRS) and leading media outlets also helped leverage resources available to stage large scale events,” the transit association noted.
Some of the ETS Centennial activities in 2008 included:
- the Canadian Urban Transit Association Annual Conference in May.
- Travel Through Time at Fort Edmonton on June 15, where the Edmonton Radial Railway Society (ERRS) and ETS showed off their vintage streetcars and transit buses.
- ETS Homecoming on June 21 saw over 1,000 past and present ETS employees and their families celebrate the Centennial at Fort Edmonton Park.
- ETS Historical Tours operated between July 26 and August 23. Hundreds of Edmontonians and visitors took a ride on a vintage ETS bus along routes that included many historical landmarks.
- ETS Transit Centennial Week was held September 12 – 20. The Centennial Week featured Streetcar No. 1 (courtesy of the ERRS), displays of vintage vehicles, an “antique road show”, historic tours, live concerts, movie in the Square, displays, school tour groups, costumed period actors, family entertainment, live play, prizes, ETS facility tours, and other activities.