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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.