David Shepherd

Edmonton’s Downtown Enrichers

Edmonton City Centre is proud to be collaborator within Edmonton’s downtown. As the largest group of retailers (80+ stores) and businesses tenants (TD Tower, 102A Tower, Centre Point Place) we are passionate about all of downtown, the people, residents, businesses, workers, commuters, shoppers, tourists. This series is our way of reflecting on some of the people that are making a difference in your downtown and enriching the community with the work they do. We hope you enjoy the series.

David Shepherd, MLA Edmonton Centre

David Shepherd is a second-generation Canadian and life-long resident of Edmonton. His mother arrived from the Netherlands in 1948 and his father from Trinidad in 1967.

MLA Shepherd’s first love was music, and he spent many years as a professional musician and studio engineer. He holds diplomas in music performance and studio recording from MacEwan University and a BA in professional communications from Royal Roads University.

Prior to being elected as Member for Edmonton-Centre, he held positions as a trainer, facilitator, writer and communications officer in the municipal, provincial and federal public service. He was reelected for a second term in April 2019 and serves as the Alberta NDP’s critic for Health and a member of the Standing Committee on Legislative Offices.

Since his election, David has been an active advocate on a number of issues including:

  • Access to housing for families downtown
  • Ending the stigma around substance use and mental health
  • Championing small business and entrepreneurship, particularly in tech and innovation
  • Supporting the rights of marginalized communities including 2SLGBTQ+ and BIPOC Albertans
  • Expanding services for newcomers
  • Empowering diverse communities to participate in community and political leadership
  • Advocating for arts organizations
  • Promoting active living and transportation, especially cycling downtown

Through this work, he’s developed a reputation for engaging speeches, thoughtful commentary on public policy and candid discussion of his own journey with mental health.

1. Are you from Edmonton or what brought you here?

Yes, I’m happy to say I’m a life long Edmontonian and was born and raised in Castle Downs. Although there have been brief stays in both Cranbrook and Regina, they served to reinforce Edmonton as home.

2. If you couldn’t live in Edmonton, where would you live?

That’s a great question. Although I really love travelling and enjoy big cities like Vancouver and Toronto, the feeling of community in Edmonton really appeals to me. A close second might be Montreal with its classic architecture and unique neighborhoods and communities.

3. What excites you about Edmonton’s downtown?

Wow! There’s a lot…the Stanley Milner Library is such a great addition to our downtown Arts District, the increase in residential options, the markets, Ice District, The 124 Street area. As an Edmontonian and downtown resident Its exciting to see the possibilities that are opening up.

4. Tell us about the possibilities you see collaborating with Edmonton City Centre?

There a lot of people and organizations including the Edmonton City Centre that are creating energy and collaboration in our downtown. It all starts with people joining together for a common purpose – to find innovative ways to build a community that’s safe and welcoming for everyone.