Soaring Spirits: Taking to Wood Buffalo's skies, Big Spirit alive and flying high with all female air crew

By Judy Monchuk - Wednesday, June 1 2011

Leanne Burton’s most challenging memory of fixing an aircraft is literally frozen in her mind: three days on the tarmac in Fort Chipewyan at -47C, winds ripping across the landscape and a heater operating at half-power as she tried to locate the problem, a slipped pulley on a cable.

Jack of Inspiration: Helpful Conklin community school principal sets out new pathways for local students

By Kiran Malik-Khan - Wednesday, June 1 2011

Dillon Bone wants to be just like Mr. Howell when he grows up – a helper.

And a helper would be a good way to describe Jack Howell, principal, Conklin Community School, but guardian angel would be even better.

The school’s very core changed in September of 2009 with his advent. There was no janitor, no bus driver, no cook, and no supplies. The school had gone through many teachers in the last five years, with the exception of one dedicated teacher who has been there for the last 10 years.

A Commute Worth Keeping: Working in Fort McMurray lets families stay at home in popular Newfoundland

By Andrew Robinson - Wednesday, June 1 2011

When Perry Budden was growing up, his family made a living off the fishery, like many others based in rural Newfoundland and Labrador.

Born and raised in Salmon Cove, a community of 700 on the northeastern portion of the Avalon Peninsula and a little over an hour’s drive from the capital city of St. John’s, Budden was unsure where his future lay. But if his father Orville was going to have his way, Perry wouldn’t follow in the elder Budden’s footsteps.

Vision Quest: An innovative eye doctor improves lives of his Wood Buffalo patients, one eye at a time

By Heather Reid - Wednesday, June 1 2011

Dr. Hugo Sutton is a man perennially ahead of his time. He founded the first laser refractive eye surgery clinic in Canada in 1990 and has since performed 40,000 of the operations. He is a world-class health professional and he has set up shop in Fort McMurray. When Sutton opened his clinic, AltaVision Plus, he substantially expanded the eye care services available locally. He says it’s typical to find one ophthalmologist for every 20,000 people – Fort McMurray had none.

Capturing the Image: A fresh perspective on Wood Buffalo - getting the big view on our region's natural beauty

By Jamie Tobin - Wednesday, June 1 2011

Chris Salvo is trying to retrace footsteps. He’s doing his best to line up bushes, buildings and backstops to get an exact location for his tripod and camera at J Howard Pew Park in Fort McMurray. His objective is to match an image taken in the same location last summer.

Sort of.

The City's Big Bright Lights: Grand old theatre in Fort McMurray stepping forward to centre stage

By Kiran Malik-Khan - Wednesday, June 1 2011

Famous Irish author Oscar Wilde said, “I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being.”

It is this sense of sharing that is alive and well in Wood Buffalo. From interPLAY to Katie’s Playhouse Theatre to the dynamic Keyano Theatre, drama exists in all its forms and boasts a very high calibre.

Natural Resuscitation: Oilsands reclamation work restores Wood Buffalo's Boreal Forest Ecosystem

By Barbara Aarsteinsen - Wednesday, December 1 2010

As Leni Courtorielle hikes through the South Bison Hills on the southwestern corner of the Syncrude lease, striding through lush meadows and passing through stands of white aspen, spruce and jack pine as a chorus of birds twitters away, she reflects on how she may not enjoy the tour de force of her career until she is retired.

Investing in the Future: Innovative program develops Wood Buffalo's leaders while building a better community

By Kiran Malik-Khan - Wednesday, December 1 2010

When Cheryl Alexander gently reminds her staff to not pay attention to the water balloons, they know exactly what she’s talking about.

General manager of the Northeastern Alberta Aboriginal Business Association, Alexander is also a 2009 graduate of Leadership Wood Buffalo (LWB), a non-profit, community-minded program that cultivates current and future leaders from across the non-profit, public and private sectors in the region.

Splish Splash What a Bash: New aquatics centre makes MacDonald Island Park the ‘perfect’ community hub

By Barbara Aarsteinsen - Wednesday, December 1 2010

When 8-year-old Brayden Cooper put his name and phone number on a mini beach ball and dropped it in a draw box at MacDonald Island Park, he had no idea what kind of contest he was entering. He just thought that using a beach ball as a ballot was a cool idea.

Balancing: The 'Triple Bottom Line' - estabishing all the essentials to an attractive and full quality of life

By Barbara Aarsteinsen - Wednesday, December 1 2010

After three years on special secondment with the provincial government, Suncor Energy’s Heather Kennedy is back in the field, dividing her time between the company’s Firebag oil sands operations and her command post in Calgary as vice president, in-situ projects.