2018 EPL Gala: An Evening to Remember

What a night it was at our EPL Gala: An Evening with Arlene Dickinson. Thanks to the generosity of sponsors, opens a new window, auction contributors, opens a new window, donors and guests, we raised over $254,000 to support the revitalization of the Stanley A. Milner Library, one of Edmonton’s most loved and best used community services.

Our annual fund and friend-raiser included a silent auction with 25 awesome experiences and packages up for grabs, a makerspace-themed fundraising wall, a pop up shop stocked with library and literary gear (including EPL socks!), and a virtual tour station where guests could see what’s to come in a revitalized Milner Library via 3D renderings.

Of course, the event featured a keynote speech from Arlene Dickinson, one of Canada’s most renowned independent marketing and communication entrepreneurs – best known as one of the venture capitalists on the award-winning CBC series Dragon’s Den.

We also shared two personal stories that prove the positive impact of the EPL Makerspace. Watch the powerful testimonials from small animal veterinarian Dr. Lindsey Kurach and artist Edward Joseph Lowe:


You can help make the new Milner Library an incredible opportunity to learn, create, share and discover. Donate today, opens a new window and help us make BIG changes possible! (While you’re at it, keep an eye on the Milner Live Cam!)

Renderings and progress photos, opens a new window are available on our website, as are floor plans, opens a new window detailing what you’ll discover the next time you visit the Milner Library in early 2020!

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Our guests had a great time – the proof is in our Facebook photo album, opens a new window. We also gathered some comments from library supporters who have attended multiple times:

EPL supporter Carmen Velasquez:
“This year was our fifth time attending. I think that EPL is a great part of Edmonton – thousands of people use it, from every walk of life. The guest speakers are always inspiring, from Todd Babiak to Rex Murphy to Arlene Dickinson; they not only tell their stories, but they always refer back to what impact their local library had on their lives. And the videos! To see meaningful stories from everyday users of the library and know how it has impacted and bettered their life is amazing, and I always shed a tear.

“My husband and I are proud supporters of EPL.”

Mill Woods Branch Manager Virginia Clevette:
“I have attended the Gala twice in recent years and find it an inspiring event that reminds me, once again, why we are a leading library service in Canada. (This year’s) event was no less an opportunity to celebrate a world class library.

“Arlene Dickinson was refreshingly candid, down to earth, and had a message of inspiration and hope.”

EPL supporter Ghalib Ahmed:
“I have been attending the EPL Gala for (at least eight) years. Literacy and community are extremely important to me. My local library was an important part of my childhood and adulthood, and played a key role in my personal development. It opened up a world of possibilities and imagination.

“I attend the Gala to meet other people interested in supporting the community and who also support the library. It’s also a fun event!”

Ward 1 City Councillor Andrew Knack:
“This (was) my fifth year attending the EPL Gala. The reason I attend is simple: EPL does incredible things for all Edmontonians and I feel that attending the Gala is one very small way to show my support for all the staff who make such a positive difference in people’s lives.

“I live across the street from my branch (Jasper Place) and for the first few years that I lived there, I never actually set foot in the building as I always had the impression that all libraries were the same. They were quiet buildings where you went to study. When I finally went in, I realized how wrong I was and libraries in Edmonton are in fact community hubs where everyone is welcome.”

We would once again like to thank everyone who helped make the 2018 EPL Gala such a success. If you're interested in being involved in future events, please reach out to Fund Development Manager Emmy Stuebing.