Residence & Alberta in 2020

Natasha Chan - 08 January 2021

This year has definitely been a hard one for us all—but there are still some good things that happened locally in the midst of all the chaos.

Here are 20 amazing things to look back on from 2020!

1. UAlberta Nobel Prize

michael houghton

Dr. Michael Houghton, a prominent researcher at the University of Alberta’s Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, was awarded the Nobel Prize for his discovery of the hepatitis C virus!

2. Addiction & recovery

alberta addiction recovery

This year, Alberta became the first Canadian province to eliminate fees for addiction and recovery programs! This means that individuals without a health insurance plan will still be able to receive care at one of 72 publicly funded treatment centers in Alberta.

3. Pizza for Edmonton's homeless

pizza delivery

The Vegas Golden Knights hockey team donated dozens of pizzas from Panini’s Italian Cucina to the Boyle Street homeless shelter while they were in the Edmonton Bubble! Since then, fans have helped raise enough money to donate 591 pizzas to help with food insecurity among the homeless population in Edmonton.


4. Mackenzie Tower renos

mackenzie tower

Lister’s Alexander Mackenzie Tower renovations were completed this year! One of our oldest residence buildings built in 1968 will house first-year students for decades to come.


5. Developmental disabilities app

developmental disabilities app

Kyle Sue, clinical assistant professor of developmental pediatrics in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry here at the U of A, built an app aimed to help healthcare professionals better communicate with adults who have developmental and intellectual disabilities.


6. Decline in air pollution


Alberta saw a reduction in air pollution due to the decline in vehicle use during lockdown, where students and employees began working from home.


7. World Juniors

world juniors

It was announced that the World Junior Ice Hockey Championships will be taking place in Edmonton from December 2020 to January 2021!

8. Indigenous Canada MOOC

dan levy

Dan Levy, actor and producer of the Emmy award winning show “Schitt’s Creek”, enrolled and encouraged others to participate in U of A’s Indigenous Canada online course!


9. Our new president

president bill flanagan

The University of Alberta welcomed our new president Bill Flanagan in July!


10. Supporting urgent care

ualberta butterdome

Our famous Butterdome is set to become an alternate care center for sick patients, providing 100 extra beds to help alleviate the overcapacity of current hospital units. The Butterdome also served as a COVID assessment centre earlier this spring.


11. Stanley Cup playoffs

edmonton rogers place

Edmonton was named one of two hub cities for the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs!

12. Expedition:Connect launches


Expedition:Connect is an online residence hub hosting residence orientation, leadership opportunities and cohort experiences. Join new and returning residents to make new friends—including those who are participating virtually!


13. Closing in on a diabetes cure

ualberta james shapiro

A team of U of A researchers, led by professor James Shapiro, has brought us closer than ever in reaching a possible cure for diabetes!

14. Queering Cancer

queering cancer

Amanda Bolderston, an educator in the U of A’s radiation therapy program, created a website specifically for cancer patients who are part of the LGBTQ2A+ community. It supports individuals by providing resources, peer support and patient stories.


15. Supporting health care workers

supporting healthcare workers

When lockdown first began, Albertans clapped and cheered on their front porches each evening in support of health care professionals, first responders, and other essential workers who have worked tirelessly during the pandemic!

16. A matching set!

matching tattoos

An Albertan dad noticed his son felt self conscious about a birthmark on his torso and spent 30 hours getting a tattoo to match him!

17. A win for a Canadian high schooler

maryam tsegaye

Maryam Tsegaye, a grade 12 student from Fort McMurray, became the first Canadian winner of the international Breakthrough Junior Challenge! This competition asked students from all over the world to create a short video explaining a scientific principle for a chance to win a $250,000 scholarship, $100,000 toward a science lab for their high school and $50,000 cash for a teacher who inspired them.


18. A greener Edmonton

edmonton recycling

The City of Edmonton has announced that they are rolling out a new waste reduction program by providing green compost bins to each household! This new program will begin in March 2021.

19. Free public transit

edmonton public transit ets

During the COVID lockdown period in the spring, the City of Edmonton provided free public transit and street parking! This helped reduce the spread of the virus by encouraging residents to drive if possible, and facilitated social distancing on public transit by allowing passengers to board from the rear doors of the bus.

20. Bringing Christmas cheer

christmas with a crown

Christmas with a Crown, a feature length TV movie released December 1 2020, was filmed here in Edmonton!