Rat Creek Press was my introduction to Edmonton when I moved here in 2010. My partner, Larry Loyie, was starting cancer treatment at the Cross Cancer Institute. Since we lived near High Prairie, a six hour drive north, we needed a second place in “the city.” We alighted in Parkdale and I found a copy of Rat Creek Press in my mailbox.
In those days the paper was a black and white edition, but it contained the same informative articles as today. Rat Creek Press was a strange name, I thought. I learned there was a Rat Creek running through our area in the early years. A series of articles about local history was fascinating. Larry and I began to feel at home.
Since November 2005, Rat Creek Press has informed readers about seven local neighbourhoods. The communities of Alberta Avenue, Delton, Eastwood, Elmwood Park, Parkdale-Cromdale, Spruce Avenue, and Westwood are less separate and more united because we read about them in the local community paper.
The past years of COVID-19 isolation affected every business. Rat Creek Press is no different. Publisher Karen Mykietka and editor Talea Medynski forged on with reduced advertising revenue and no casino revenue. The fact that we still have a local newspaper is astonishing.
In November of 2022, we held our AGM. New board members bring ideas and enthusiasm to any society.
Shauna Letendre is a newcomer to our area. She heard about the AGM and ended up becoming a director on the board. “Being involved gives me a chance to learn about my neighbourhood,” says Letendre. “I’m really looking forward to knowing more.”
As the treasurer, Derek Quittenton is a journalism graduate with a background in financial planning. “I’ve always appreciated the independent press,” he says. “Rat Creek Press has a varied area and a diverse audience. I like that.”
Two board members have staying power. Victoria Stevens is a business owner, continuing with the board in her new role as vice chair. “Rat Creek Press is vital to create community and keep us informed. A lot of what happens in our area doesn’t get picked up by other media,” she observes.
Secretary Kevin Blakeman arrived from the U.K. six years ago. In his second year on the board, Blakeman says, “I’m keen on being part of the community through Rat Creek Press. I love living in this area and I love the people.”
As the new chair of Rat Creek Press, I look forward to working with the board.
The newspaper is expanding its outreach with a grant from the City of Edmonton. The focus will be on equity, diversity, and sustainability, and the grant will allow the paper staff to continue to do what it does best. Delivery of the RCP to apartments will be reinstated. Regular articles and ads will bring fresh perspectives on diversity and inclusion. We will also work on sustainability by soliciting advertising, researching grants, promoting donor support, and seeking sponsorships.
Join me in continuing to read and revel in this local paper. Its very existence is the glue we need to keep our neighbourhoods flourishing.