Mike Hingston is the first to admit that Edmonton isn’t always at the top of the Most-Popular-Canadian-Cities list. But that doesn’t stop him from loving it all the same.

“In the decade-plus I’ve lived here, I’ve struggled to explain to others why I’m so fascinated by it—what makes #YEG, for my money, the most interesting place in Canada,” says the author, who was born and raised in North Vancouver before making the move to the prairies with his partner years ago.

And so, in attempt to explain to the world why the City of Champions has stolen his heart, his Edmontonia trading cards were born.

The all-ages set celebrates, as Hingston puts it, “this odd, charming, mostly frozen city,” with original artwork from local illustrators and photographers on each card depicting a neighbourhood institution.

Hingston crafted the text on each of the 60 cards. Any given pack of eight might feature an ode to Edmonton’s quintessential post-war architecture for one; artful musings on the Walterdale bridge; or reflections on local wildlife.There are four different cards spotlighting the quirks of the West Edmonton Mall… but can you blame Hingston for his fascination? She’s an icon!

Justine Ma designed the overall set, Valéry Goulet drew the magpie mascot, and a veritable cabal of artists (well, a dozen anyways) tagged in to create the colourful images that adorn each card (find the full list here). “The goal was to make something beautiful and collectible that kids and adults can both enjoy, and that showcases some of the things that really make Edmonton an interesting place to live, in what I hope is an interesting way,” Hingston explains. 

This isn’t his first foray into collectible print goods—or celebrating local talent, for that matter. His annual Short Story Advent Calendar series (done in collaboration with graphic designer Natalie Olsen) is always at the top of our holiday-season wish list.

Snag a pack of random cards from YEG retailers like Glass Bookshop, the Prints and the Paper, Audrey’s Books or Parcel and Prose, or you can order individual packs or the full set online to ship anywhere in Canada

Even the born-and-bred West Coasters at the office are itching to collect them all.

“Edmonton is far from perfect, obviously,” says Hingston. “But I don’t want to live anywhere else. And now, as we start to (carefully) venture outside again, I hope these cards can be a small reminder of the city that’s out there waiting for us.”