The City That Inspires Success: Faces of Fort McMurray project celebrates 20 Wood Buffalo residents

By Kyla Getty - Thursday, December 1 2011

The beauty of life is that there are no two faces the same. Each face we see is that of an individual, with distinct preferences, plans and, ultimately, paths. And in Fort McMurray, we are not only supported as we pursue our goals, but we are also applauded as we achieve them.

The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo’s ‘The Faces of Fort McMurray Project’ celebrates people who make our region unique. The series of digital stories shines a spotlight on our diversity. It is a collection of the stories of 21 very different individuals. Each has thrived in Fort McMurray – each in his or her own way.

When I was approached to be one of these ‘faces’, I was both honoured and proud to have the opportunity to spread my personal, positive message. After all, MY life’s path has taken some unpredictable twists and turns.

When the opportunity to move to Fort McMurray arose just over one year ago, we jumped! Moving here, we left behind the only home we’d ever known in BC’s lower mainland. Like many, we had BIG dreams for my husband’s career.

However, the birth of McMurray Girl (the magazine I now publish) was the direct result of inspiration from this flourishing community.

Our arrival did not prove to be seamless, however. In what felt like a ‘Comedy of Errors’, we faced four additional moves within Fort McMurray: accommodations falling through, a suite flood and limited funds were all hurdles that we faced as we got our footing. What was seamless, however, was our integration into this warm community – a community whose warmth withstands minus 40 degree weather!

With that in mind, it’s only a coincidence that the man who I worked with on my segment of the ‘Faces of Fort McMurray’ project’s name is Sunshine! And while being followed and photojournalled like a celebrity would make anyone feel important, this experience provided so much more. From a rocky beginning in Fort McMurray to being recognized for my magazine’s success only six months later, I couldn’t help but feel as though I had come full circle. How fortunate are we all to live in a place where everything is super-charged… including the road to success!

My story is just one of 21 examples. In a city known to many for only one thing, there is an abundance of opportunity beyond what the eye can see. Fort McMurray is a city where people come to succeed, but the best successes come from those who seek their own paths – doing what it is that inspires THEM.

Those who reach for their own inspiration can create the life of their dreams – in ANY circumstance. And, Fort McMurray is just the place to do it.

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