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.

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.

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.

Bed, Breakfast and Beyond - Chez Dubé style: Wood Buffalo’s ultimate home-based business for all vistors

By Kiran Malik-Khan - Wednesday, December 1 2010

Nestled on the corner of Morrison Street and Fraser Avenue, backing onto beautiful Borealis Park, is a serene retreat at the edge of downtown Fort McMurray. Chez Dubé, a rambling 14-room, 12,000- quare-foot auberge, may very well be the most distinctive building in Wood Buffalo – a countrystyle inn complete with a turret and a wrap-around veranda that stands out in a city filled with new construction, contemporary family houses, mushrooming condos, classic bungalows and converted mobile homes.

Rally Round the Rink: Outdoor hockey in Wood Buffalo? The community says yes to the Northern Classic!

By Andrew Stuckey - Wednesday, December 1 2010

Sheldon Germain, who grew up in Fort McMurray, remembers long winter days spent playing shinny with his brothers on their backyard skating rink, which had been flooded with the garden hose. The weather didn’t bother them; all that counted was the game. “We all imagined we were going to be the next big NHL star,” he recalls fondly.

Heart on Your Sleeve: Giving time and talent to create a virtual army of helping hands across Wood Buffalo

By Becky Rowe - Wednesday, December 1 2010

It’s a typical Friday night for Melanie Framp.  As the sun sinks behind the pines that fringe Fort McMurray’s horizon, she is hurrying down Franklin Avenue en route to yet another meeting. As treasurer for the local United Way and a member of several committees, Framp’s evenings are frequently spent in a boardroom at the Redpoll Centre, helping guide one of the region’s biggest non-profit organizations.