Every year Edmonton Made brings together a panel of community leaders, and members of the business and design community to curate a catalogue full of the city’s best wares. Each panellist represents a different area of expertise to form a well-rounded selection committee.
The six-person panel, in consultation with Edmonton Made, will choose the products that will appear in the 2019/2020 edition of Gifted. Find out more about the selection process here.
For the past two and a half years, Ian O’Donnell has advocated for downtown businesses, but his career as a community builder started long before that. O’Donnell was seven when he first set foot in Edmonton. His father had accepted a promotion at Environment Canada running the weather service for the Prairies. As fate would have it, the family landed on Black Friday — the infamous day in 1987 when a deadly tornado struck the city. As frightening as it was, the experience showed O’Donnell how thoughtful and collaborative Edmonton was and encouraged him to get involved.
Over the years, the former Manasc Isaac project manager had a hand in building not only the city's structures, but its community — sitting on various city boards and volunteering for the Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues and the Downtown Edmonton Community League. A champion of local business and of a vibrant, urban community, O’Donnell brings his passion for all things Edmonton to the Gifted selection committee.
Linda Hoang has been blogging since before the literary form had a name. Today, she’s one of Edmonton’s most influential bloggers — sharing her perspectives around food, travel and life on Linda-Hoang.Com. She’s also a social media specialist and has been helping local entrepreneurs and businesses harness the power of this essential 21st century marketing tool through her freelance consulting business.
Up until recently these were just her side gigs. In March 2019, Hoang announced that she would be leaving her position at a local ad agency to focus on her blog and other entrepreneurial ventures. (She’s behind Instagrammable Walls of Edmonton Photo Walks and Edmonton International Cat Festival.) Now that she doesn’t have to juggle a full-time job with (almost) full-time blogging, followers can expect even better and more useful content about where to eat, shop and explore in Edmonton. Hoang’s prowess for spotting local trends will be consequential to the curation of Gifted.
If you like good eats, then chances are you’re familiar with Landon Schedler’s work. From Bar Bricco to Duchess Bake Shop, the third-generation carpenter has furnished some of the city’s hottest eateries since founding Oliver Apt. Design Studio in 2011.
Schedler’s carpentry projects aren’t limited to the hospitality realm. He also builds custom furniture and woodworking projects for residential, retail and office spaces, and recently began offering design services to help clients bring their vision to life more seamlessly. In 2017, Oliver Apt. released its first furniture collection. The studio continues to add to the collection of mid-century-modern wares.
While Oliver Apt. is now recognized as one of Alberta’s premier furniture studios, it began like many Edmonton Made companies — a single-person e-commerce operation, focused on small home accessories. Schedler brings his perseverance, business acumen and craftmanship to the Gifted selection panel.
As part of EEDC’s trade and investment team, Siao Yong helps small and medium enterprises grow and expand beyond our region by facilitating connections in international markets and coaching companies through the export process.
Though she’s worked with companies in a variety of areas, she is currently focused on consumer products — namely lifestyle (beauty, cosmetics and skincare) and food products. Over the past year, she’s taken companies to Hong Kong, Macau, Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto. In addition, her team recently introduced local distilleries to the Japanese market.
Though she loves travelling, Yong says the best part of her job is seeing Edmonton brands on shelves in renowned cities. Her expertise in consumer and international trends will help ensure Gifted is filled with high potential brands.