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.

Adventurous Spirit Attains Summit: 13-year-old Maria Fustic sees the world from an exclusive vantage point

By Nolan Haukeness - Thursday, December 1 2011

Not many people have seen the view from the top of the world, let alone at the age of 13.

Maria Fustic, though, is not your average, everyday teenager.

When speaking with her, it’s easily forgotten that she became a teenager not so long ago. Most girls her age are either obsessing over the latest boy band or busy hanging out at the mall. She is wise beyond her years and her ability to channel a ‘can-do’ attitude into awe-inspiring accomplishment is growing as fast as she is.

Building a Legacy: Wood Buffalo’s 2015 Games Committee must meet competition requirements

By Kiran Malik-Khan - Thursday, December 1 2011

“If you build it, they will come,” says a voice that novice farmer Ray Kinsella hears in the blockbuster movie ‘Field of Dreams.’

And never have those words been truer than in the case of the Wood Buffalo Summer Games 2015. From Jersey Day to the massive pep rally, Wood Buffalo showed its Big Spirit and impressed all the members of the Provincial Selection Committee with the result that Cindy Ady, Alberta Minister of Tourism, Parks and Recreation, granted the games to the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo.

The Growing Celebrity City: Big-time celebrities and superstars light up Fort McMurray's long summer nights

By Monica Leslie - Thursday, December 1 2011

There’s something happening in Wood Buffalo. Once described as an isolated northern municipality that encompasses Canada’s oil sands, the Municipality is seeing a shift in perception. The shift has come from within, spurred on by the needs of the people who live here, who want more than a busy life of work.

Teaching: Life's lessons through the journey of finding a personal passion and love for visual artwork

By Myra Ross - Thursday, December 1 2011

Sonia Burke-Smith is a circus carnival, a thrilling, flamboyant, sense-stimulator for young ears and eyes. Her rich, Phyllis-Diller-ish laughter flows freely and her thick cascades of long, tiny ringlets move around her shoulders and back like a tango-dancing partner. Her magnetism commands students’ silent attention as she stands at centre stage in the class, beating softly on the Native drum.

“I am a visual artist,” she announces to the 22 Grade 7 Social Studies students at Dr. Clark School.

The Diverse, Vibrant Voices of Fort McMurray: Newcomers find abundant resources to help them communicate and connect

By Monica Leslie - Thursday, December 1 2011

It is no secret that Fort McMurray is one of the most culturally and ethnically diverse communities in Canada. People travel to Fort McMurray from all over the world, seeking a better life for themselves and their families. With them, they bring their culture, tradition and language. For every language spoken in Fort McMurray, there is a story about the welcoming and inviting spirit newcomers experience when they arrive.

He Swings His Wings: Taking to the skies - local Fort McMurray pilot stands out at high altitudes

By Myra Ross - Thursday, December 1 2011

When 29-year-old Michael Plouffe entered the aerobatic box and flew at a 45-degree upline, did a one- turn spin and then a half Cuban Eight, a loop, a steep turn, a slow roll and an exit, he had no idea how he compared. However, the judges watching from the ground not only named him the winner of the Primary competition, but also, they awarded him the Grassroots Achievement award for the highest score with the least powerful plane (180 horsepower or less) at the 2011 Doug Jenkins Memorial Aerobatic Competition in Rocky Mountain House.

Sustainability in Motion: Transit-centred and sustainable lifestyles hit the road in Fort McMurray

By Myra Ross - Thursday, December 1 2011

2013. One cold winter morning, a 29-year-old site worker living in a residential neighbourhood in Timberlea in Fort McMurray is finishing his morning cup of coffee. At 6:05 a.m., Mike picks up his smartphone to find out whether he has enough time for a second cup of brew before his bus arrives.

In real time, he learns that it will be arriving at the heated hub about 50 yards from his house in exactly eight minutes. As he stands up to pour himself another coffee for the outdoor dash, he tucks his

Wood Buffalo's Foundation for the Future: Community engaged in the region's new planning process

By Nolan Haukeness - Wednesday, June 1 2011

Wood Buffalo is an area that is best known for an abundance of resources and for being one of the fastest-growing communities in the country. It is also known as having a hard-working population who may not have roots within the community.

However, over the past few years the dynamic of Wood Buffalo has changed. People still come up here to work, but they are now bringing their families with them and they plan to be here long enough to call this their home.

Okay, Let's Play Ball!: Smiling kids in baseball gear is what it’s all about at MacDonald Island Park

By Nolan Haukeness - Wednesday, June 1 2011

Walking into Paul McWilliams office at the Suncor Community Leisure Centre is like entering a baseball cathedral. It is filled with autographed bats and balls, jerseys signed by major leaguers, and easily the most prized possession: a picture of his sons in their baseball attire.

For McWilliams, that is what minor baseball is all about – smiling kids in baseball gear.