Outdoor event space in downtown Edmonton almost ready to open

A  new permanent outdoor event space is opening this spring in downtown Edmonton.

The Backyard features repurposed shipping containers and will offer food and beverages from local vendors.

InStreet Developers are opening the outdoor space just east of Rogers Place, located next to the art-covered Vignettes Showcase and Thirdspace Design Group building. The Edmonton-based businesses are also involved in some of the design components for the project.

Amos Kajner-Nonnekes, a partner with Vignettes Showcase and Thirdspace Design Group, said in an interview on CBC Edmonton’s Radio Active on Friday that he is excited to be a part of the project. 

“This is such a fun concept. It’s something that Edmonton really hasn’t seen,” he said. 

Three repurposed shipping containers will be used as a bar, pop-up retail kiosk and washrooms. They will also double as public art installations, which are being designed by Vignettes Showcase and Thirdspace Design Group. The space will also include a custom-made bike rack. The space will eventually be able to accommodate hundreds of patrons are outdoor tables. 

The outdoor event venue will feature local food and beverage vendors. (Jill Stetsko)

“This isn’t just your average kind of pop-up space that’ll be operational for a month or two,” said Kajner-Nonnekes. 

“This is a really well thought out space that is going to be a hub in downtown Edmonton.”

The owner of The Backyard, Peter Stetsko, said the inspiration for the business came from similar concepts he and his wife saw while travelling in Europe. They settled on the name because of the tenderness people feel toward the outdoor space. 

“Who doesn’t love a great backyard?” he said.

“Everyone loves being in their backyard, for a lot of people their backyard is kind of their outdoor sanctuary … why not bring that sort of concept and idea and that space, and create a community backyard?”

The Backyard will open later this spring when public health guidelines allow. (Jill Stetsko)

The idea was born pre-pandemic, but Stetsko says now is the perfect time for it, especially downtown. 

“With what’s happened in the last 14 months and how that affected all communities, but certainly downtown, I think to bring some much needed energy and vibrancy, and a little TLC to our little corner that we have, our location, I think the timing is perfect” he said.

The Backyard is aiming to host events year-round including fitness and wellness classes, recreational games and concerts. 

In the colder months Stetsko hopes to host hockey watching parties, markets, and even curling bonspiels. 

The Backyard was set to open May long weekend, but with the most recent public health restrictions they had to push their opening date. They hope to open as soon as it is safe to do so.

Radio Active8:10The Backyard is almost ready to open

Edmontonians looking for safe outdoor experiences will soon have a new downtown spot to enjoy. 8:10

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