Room to Grow
I was born and raised in Edmonton, and though I’ve traveled the world, there’s just something about this city that always pulls me back.
I think it’s about Edmonton’s ability to inspire creativity. This has been apparent my whole life, from the ability to pursue dance in my childhood days, to having a platform to teach dance for many years, to my current work as the Executive Assistant to the President and CEO of Design Group Staffing Inc., Mike Duff. I have a job that sparks my creativity and provides me the space to pursue that creativity within my position. Perhaps that’s why I’ve been working with the company for over 13 years.
Edmonton has nurtured my creative side since the beginning. My family was very involved in our Community League—Dovercourt—and I was exposed at a formative age to activities such as baton, skating, and dance. And I fell in love with dance. At five I began lessons and went on to teach tap, jazz, ballet and musical theatre. The opportunity for dance in Edmonton was and is phenomenal. In essence, that’s what allowed me as a child to grow.
As a dancer I’m drawn to original, artistic thought forms and at Design Group there is the room to let those juices flow. We have a lot of freedom and the employees are very entrepreneurial. I’ve even been able to weave my love of dance and work life together; for years I’ve offered dance classes to the staff, free of cost, during the lunch hour. I’ve taught jazz and tap—we even dance in the main lobby. The acoustics there are great! The company’s open spirit has always given me the ability flourish personally and professionally and I’ve been able to bring my own ideas into the workplace.
I really feel that Edmonton is a place without boundaries. If you are entrepreneurial and creative and want to start a business, that opportunity is there without too many hindrances. There are so many possibilities. Just look at Edmonton’s diverse festivals, art, restaurants—there are no limits.
I live and work downtown and have what I need right at my fingertips. I’ve seen a big change in the lifeblood of the downtown core within the past few years. With the 104th Street Farmer’s Market, Sobey’s, and Grant MacEwan right downtown, there is the ability to live, work, play and study without leaving the main hub. My home overlooks the river valley and I love watching the distinct seasons play out in that expanse of nature. And yes, I do love winter. The streets here are beautifully decorated and something in the air smells—right. Winter has a very clean smell.
I’ve traveled the world and I always feel happy to come home to Edmonton. I’ve been to India, Singapore, Chile, the Dutch Antilles, and places across Canada in order to learn about dance culture, and I always feel a sense of freedom when I return. We are just so lucky.
Born and raised in Edmonton, Collette Featherstone is the Executive Assistant to the President and CEO of Design Group Staffing Inc.