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Panhandling in Edmonton

Posted on May 21, 2015 by

If you’ve spent time around the downtown core, it’s likely you’ve encountered some form of panhandling. But do you know the best way to handle these situations?

The Have a Heart – Give Smart campaign from the City of Edmonton is aimed at educating Edmontonians on panhandling and how to help someone in need. We caught up with 104 Street’s community liaison, Constable Dexx Williams on the subject.


Why is it better to give to agencies that help those in need than directly to the panhandler?

“While those who wish to give money to panhandlers believe they are helping them in a tough situation, we (the police) have often found that these individuals have actually used that money towards purchasing illegal narcotics as well as alcohol. Many of these individuals already have substance abuse problems, so panhandling is a way they generate funds to obtain the substances they are addicted to.

By giving money to local agencies instead, their financial contributions will definitely be put towards providing food, clothing, and other necessities for those in need. The money is then also used to support programs and outreach workers that can help get individuals off of the streets and into a more stable environment.”


What are some tips for responding to panhandlers?

“If an individual encounters a panhandler harassing individuals or deterring customers away from a business, they can call the non-emergency line for the Edmonton Police Service at 780-423-4567.

Another option is to simply ask the panhandler to move along from the location, especially when it is on private property as opposed to a public sidewalk, however if they are displaying aggression, call police instead.”


What constitutes an aggressive panhandler, and what should you do if you encounter one?

“When most people think of panhandlers, they think of a passive individual sitting on the sidewalk with a hat or something similar out to collect spare change from pedestrians walking by them. Some panhandlers will hold up signs stating they need money for food (which they can already obtain for free at multiple locations throughout Downtown).

An aggressive panhandler is more intimidating in their approach. They will typically raise their voice or yell at pedestrians walking past to “ask” for money. Some of these individuals will even block the path of pedestrians walking past, or reach out their hands at them, all in an attempt to scare them into giving them money.

Basically, an aggressive panhandler will almost give a vibe that they may use violence if they don’t receive money, borderline personal robbery, but without actually stating as much. They may also suffer from mental health and/or addiction issues which also make them highly unpredictable.

Needless to say, if individuals encounter an aggressive panhandler, contact the non-emergency line at 780-423-4567  right away so patrol members can deal with the individual appropriately.”


Are there any other forms of panhandling, that the public may not be aware is panhandling? 

“It’s not uncommon for panhandlers to come up with creative stories to tug on the emotional strings of good natured people. I remember one individual even went as far as buying an empty jerry can, then walking around Downtown pleading for money to buy gas for his van which broke down—that also contained his wife and children—who were stranded on their way to Red Deer. He did that story for a couple of weeks until a lot of people started to recognize him.

Busking—performing on the street—could be considered a type of panhandling, but is allowed on most properties with the permission of the owners. In Edmonton’s transit locations (like pedways) permission is required from ETS, etc.”


Anything else to add? 

“When in doubt, or if you have an uneasy feeling about an individual or situation you are seeing, please call the police. We’d rather be notified before something occurs than afterward.”


It’s ok to say “No” to panhandling and “Yes” to giving. To find agencies that accept donations on behalf of people in need, call 2-1-1 or visit

Snapchat Geofilters in Canada

Posted on February 24, 2015 by

UPDATE: Check out our new blog about On-Demand Geofilters which can be purchased for personal and business use! (08/25/16)

We are so excited to announce that our Snapchat Geofilter is now available #on104th!

Snapchat Geofilters are filters that you can swipe on to your snap while in a certain location. Our “on104th” filter will appear for people snapping along 104th Street in downtown Edmonton.

geofilter approved


If you’re not seeing Geofilters, make sure you have location services enabled on your device, as well as filters turned on within Snapchat.


Want to make your own? Visit Snapchat support to find out how, and download the photoshop template.

Couple things to note:

  • All images must be original artwork – no logos or trademarks
  • Businesses are not currently eligible for Geofilters
  • Snapchat will have to approve your submission
  • Snapchat welcomes submissions from anywhere in the world but is limited in processing users from outside the U.S.

It took almost a month for our submission to be approved. We’re also in Canada, so don’t let that last point deter you!

Happy Snapping!


Office Sublet Opportunity

Posted on January 29, 2015 by

Beautifully designed, the rentable space consists of 4 private offices complete with modern desks and chairs, a private boardroom with direct access off the reception area as well as shared space kitchen facilities and staff decompression area complete with a pool table, ping pong and darts.

The shared space opportunity with zag creative on 104th offers immediate access to LRT and bus transit, restaurants, pubs, coffee shops, boutique shopping, farmers market and Edmonton’s new arena and entertainment district.

Lease terms are flexible. Please email to discuss.

Who’s been naughty or nice?

Posted on December 4, 2014 by

This week we came across a fun little app that helped reveal who from our team has been naughty or nice this year.

It’s called Social Santa and it uses Twitter to determine if Santa should leave you with a lump of coal in your stocking on Christmas day.

So who made the naughty list? It’s time to find out!




Besides Hannah (LOL), those are kind of disappointing results hey? All those 0% mean they haven’t done a SINGLE thing naughty on Twitter this year.

How did you stack up? Find out at


| December 12 | Who we are
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zag on Global!

Posted on November 21, 2014 by

This past Wednesday, we held our first ever flu clinic! Our friend Jen from Shoppers Drug Mart came in to administer the shots and nasal spray.

Yesterday, we spoke to Global News Edmonton about our attempt to help stop the spread of influenza.  Check out the video below!


Business Moving Checklist – Digital Strategy

Posted on September 29, 2014 by

Congratulations, you found the perfect new space for your business. You have the new location, the movers and all your things packed. Is that it? Not quite…

Use this checklist to ensure your online presence is up to date, and your customers and clients are well aware!


Social Media

Change your address

  • Take note of all your active social media properties like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Only change your address once you are officially in the new space.
  • Are you anywhere else online? Google your business name and discover which directories have you listed. Inform them of your new address.
  • Don’t forget review sites like Yelp and FourSquare as your clients or customers may have added your details without your knowledge.

Post about your move

  • Whenever it is that you decide to let your clients/customers know about your move, let your social following know as well. This announcement will vary depending on a lot of factors, but you should definitely give your following a heads up in the week before.
  • Will you be closed? Ensure you post about any closures, or delays customers and clients may experience because of this move.

Capture the move

  • Take advantage of this content and capture images of your old space, the moving process and the new space.
  • Share these images across the appropriate profiles through individual posts, albums and cover photos.


Google My Business

  • Update your Google My Business listing with your new address. This will update your Google+, Google maps and Google search listing.
  • Don’t have a Google My Business listing? Every business should – find out how to get yours here.


Website & Blog

  • Update your address in the footer, contact page and anywhere else your address is listed.
  • Use your blog to post important information about your move. This can include:
    • Date your moving
    • New address
    • Days you are closed
    • How to contact your business during the move
    • Why you are moving
    • Photos of the moving process
  •  Does your old space need a new tenant? Everyone needs some good karma! Help out your landlord/realtor by posting about the space your leaving. Don’t forget contact info!



  • If you utilize email newsletters as part of your digital strategy, ensure you include information about your move in your next couple campaigns.
  • If you send newsletters infrequently, create a campaign to specifically announce the move. Include important details like move date, closures, delays and the new address.


Email Signature/Out of Office

  • Give your clients and customers plenty of notice by adding your new address and move date with a short blurb to your email signature.
  • Once you’re in the new space, encourage email recipients to take note of your new address. *Don’t forget to remove this after a couple months or weeks depending on your preferences.
  • Closed on moving day? Use your ‘out of office’ to let customers and clients know you’re currently closed, your new address, and the day you will be back open for business.

Our Office is Moving

Posted on September 26, 2014 by

That’s right, change is coming. We’re moving to an even cooler downtown location on 104 Street.

Effective September 30, 2014, our office will be located in Icon Tower II at:

#301, 10154 – 104 Street NW
Edmonton, Alberta
T5J 1A7

Please note: Even awesomeness needs a day off to move. Our office will be closed Monday, September 29. ALSO, because we know how easy it can be to schedule phone hookups, we will only be reachable via email on Tuesday, September 30.

Stay tuned for additional changes happening soon!


The zag team

Follow us on Facebook to check out the behind the scenes peek on our move!

Facebook Ad Scheduling is here!

Posted on August 5, 2014 by

The feature we’ve all been waiting for is finally here! Facebook Ad Scheduling has been added as a new feature to the Facebook Power Editor.

What Is Ad Scheduling

Anyone who has ever used other ad serving programs like Google Adwords, will appreciate the control this update brings!

From only having your ads show in peak hours, to having specific campaigns for lunch hours, you can now program your ads to show exactly when and where you want! This feature is only available for campaigns that utilize the lifetime budget option.

Need help or advice with your Facebook campaigns? Let us know in the comments or shoot us an email at


Google My Business

Posted on June 18, 2014 by

Having your business on Google through search, maps and even Google+ is an important part of anyone’s online strategy.  For months we have been advising our clients to complete their auto-generated Google+ page, the one that comes with being on Google maps. Today Google has made the link between their sites official with Google My Business.

For some, it seems like Google is forcing Google+ on us again. But with Google+ reviews and recent posts appearing in search and maps, it may be time to include Google+ in your social media marketing efforts.

If your listing needs help, or you’re in need of a social media strategy let us know, it’s something we specialize in.

OK Go – Being Strategic and Awesome!

Posted on June 17, 2014 by

OK Go just released their latest music video for The Writing’s On the Wall – and it is awesome!

This band is known for their conceptual videos getting major traction online, and this one is no different with a ton of perspective illusions.

Strategy, planning and proper execution make each of their performances a phenomenal success. We love seeing concepts like this, since strategic marketing is one of our core values here at zag creative group.

Check out the video that started it all here: