More Than Fine Here

How an international snub inspired a visual love letter

For Vikki Wiercinski Edmonton is “my community of practice and where I look to for opportunity and collaboration.”

Wiercinski’s scope of practice is as diverse as the city she loves. Trained as a graphic designer, her visual art ranges from ceramics and drawing to murals, some of which can be seen in public spaces including Jasper Place Leisure Centre.

“Almost every project I’ve ever done has had a big element of curiosity to it, and I follow my questions into a design or art project.” Wiercinski says — a characteristic that is well represented in her whimsical and vivid pieces.

EATF Recipient Vikki Wiercinski – Photo by Cooper O’Hara

One of her most playful pieces started as a joke on social media. Edmonton: It’s Fine Here, is a map that outlines some of the more whimsical destinations around the city. The custom map and visitor’s guide was created in response to Lonely Planet — a popular travel website — stating that Edmonton was not worth visiting. Having started in 2017, the map is on its third edition, and has been updated to reflect the ever-changing landscape of the city. “It’s a cheat sheet to Edmonton,” she says. “A love letter.”

Edmonton: It’s Fine Here

Following her Edmonton: It’s fine here project, Wiercinski focused even more locally and tackled the city’s most well-known landmark, West Edmonton Mall. Wemories is a crowd-sourced map and guide to the mall that answers that question: What have people actually been doing at West Ed for the last 40 years? With the help of the Mitchell Art Gallery (Allard Hall), Wiercinski collected memories from visitors to the gallery’s The Mall exhibit and whittled them down 87 points, separated into categories such as The Whale, Oddities, and Hijinx.


“To me, this map is an artwork,” she says, crediting the Edmonton Artists Trust Fund (EATF) with giving her the opportunity to take time away from her job as a freelance digital artist to complete the project.

The EATF was established in 1997 with the objective of investing in artists living and working in the greater Edmonton area. A joint venture between the Edmonton Arts Council and the Edmonton Community Foundation, recipients are nominated for their work in areas including literature, music, theatre, visual arts, dance, and filmmaking. The $15,000 trust award is intended to support artists with both their living and working expenses.

Wiercinski’s affection for Edmonton is clear in her work and involvement in the local arts scene. An organizer of the Royal Bison Art & Craft fair since 2010, she says Edmonton deserves to be seen differently. “I don’t think you can say ‘Edmonton’ without saying ‘community’ in the same breath…Most people I’ve met who have moved away say they haven’t been able to find something like it in other places.”

To celebrate the 25th year of the EATF awards, in 2023 there will be 25 awards of $15,000 each.