Edmonton’s heritage will soon be written in neon lights. Installation of an outdoor museum showcasing various historic, restored neon signs begins February 8. The official launch of the museum takes place on February 21, 2014 at 7pm at 104 street and 104 avenue.
The City of Edmonton has collected 12 signs, eight of which are ready to be installed on the side of the Telus building thanks to a partnership between the City, the Alberta Sign Association, Telus, the Downtown Business Association and The Places. Some of the signs to be installed include Mike’s News Stand, Canadian National Railway, XL Furniture, WW Arcade, Cliff’s Auto Parts and Canadian Furniture. The remaining four signs will be installed over the next few months. There are plans to locate more signs, eventually restoring them and adding to the museum.
These signs were once icons of the avenues they lit up,” said David Holdsworth, a city planner who originated the idea. “We hope that the museum will draw people to enjoy the art, beauty and heritage preserved in these neon designs.
The Alberta Sign Association generously organized the restoration of the signs. Several of their members, including Blanchett Neon, PM Signs, Advantage Signs, Landale Signs, City Neon, Hi Signs the Faith Group, General Signs and Newlook Signs, have committed staff and time to restore the signs.
The Neon Sign Museum is part of the City’s work to revitalize 104 Street. This process began over a decade ago with upgrading of roadways and streetscape, retaining historic buildings, improving building facades, and zoning to preserve the historic character of the area. The street began to flourish with new housing developments and the introduction of the City Centre Farmers Market. This special area is an example of how City investment, combined with community support, creates a catalyst for change and development.