Thursday, 31 March 2011

An Invitation: Public Art Action Forum

The  Action Form will provide information regarding the following questions:

What is public art?
  • How can we involve the community in public art;
  • And, how do we make public art a reality in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo

Where: MacDonald Island Park, Fireside Room
When: Thursday, April 14, 2011
  • 2 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Facilitated discussion and presentation on Public Art by Kristy Trinier, Public Art Director for the Edmonton Arts Council

  • 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
A Public Lecture and question and answer period by Kristy Trinier, Public Art Director for the Edmonton Arts Council

Registration: For more information please email
or call 780-743-7877

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

2011 Creative City Summit

The early bird deadline to register for the 2011 Creative City Summit is this Thursday, March 31st.

The Creative City Network of Canada, The City of London and the Creative City Summit Planning Committee are busy organizing what promises to be a fantastic Creative City Summit, May 10 - 12, 2011 in London, ON.

The theme of the Summit, "The New Old: Culture as a Revitalizing Tool in your Community" features an exciting line up of inspirational speakers, educational workshops and networking opportunities that showcase London’s diverse culture and commitment to local cultural development.

The Summit will boast lots of local flare, including a variety of local entertainment, study tours, lunch at the local market, a downtown walking tour and an evening excursion and dinner at Fanshawe Pioneer Village.

Download the Registration Form
Click here for the full Summit Schedule.

For a list of featured "Things to Do" during your stay in London, visit:

A Review: South Asian Art and Cultural Association of Alberta Grand Opening
 Images provided by Mary Thomas

The South Asian Art and Cultural Association of Alberta (SAACAA) successfully launched its Fort McMurray chapter on Saturday 26th March at Golden Years Society under the auspices of Express Media Network.

Shan Ali, Editor, Express Media and Zafar Iqbal founder member took the stage to inaugurate the event as the harbinger of hope for lovers of South Asian art, music, cuisine and culture. They spoke about the mission and vision for the organisation and its focus of integrating the community into mainstream Canadian society while keeping the culture alive with scope for education and entertainment. Desi Nights are expected to become a regular feature on the arts and culture scene of Fort McMurray.

At 7.30 the hall was filled with ladies in their traditional finery and men in business attire. The stage was set. The cuisine for the night was exotic flavored Mutton Biryani, a delicacy across South Asia, Pulao with Chicken curry, Salads and Chole, a curry made of Garbanzo beans followed by Kheer for dessert. After the big meal, some of which was spicy for the Canadian guests, came the music.

Sound system glitches seem to be the feature of every first time event and so SAACAA had a few of those to begin with. It was much after the first round of music that it decided to behave.

Bollywood songs and Ghazals shared the stage with a male and a female singer to begin with. The guests were so charged up as the event progressed that they began to come up to the stage to join in the singing and the dancing. Nirmal Bamotra from the Hindu Society played the Dholak and everyone had a great time.

The program went well past midnight and people were so busy entertaining and getting entertained that they lost track of time. The crowd dispersed late into the wee hours.


Mary Thomas

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Vision: A Video

Here is a video of the grand opening of Margie Cunningham's solo show at the Community Art Gallery.

Saturday, 26 March 2011

An Update: RMWB Programs

Open Art Studio
Attention all Inspiring artists! RMWB Programs would like you to share your talents with other art enthusiasts. Stop by the Haxton Centre every Tuesday between 5:00pm-8:00pm for structured art classes, guest workshops, snacks, hot beverages and great company. Share advice and
materials with other artists to create your own masterpieces.
Wednesday Night Variety Nights at the Haxton Centre

Wednesday Variety Night 
Want to learn how to make your own soap, wall art and edible arrangements? Join RMWB Programs for a variety of fun every Wednesday evening at the Haxton Centre in Borealis Park. All ages welcome! All supplies included for only $2.00 per person.

Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo "Creative Corner"

Creative Corner - Everyone is welcome to join RMWB programs in exploring a wide variety of art mediums through learning the secrets of bamboo making, crafts and painting. The desire to create is the only thing that you need! Great activities and guest workshops round out this fun recreation program at the Nistawoyou Friendship Center every Thursday evening from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Get Lost With RMWB Programs Art of Nature
Seeds, holly, pine, cedar, wreaths, and plants! Get lost in the Art of Nature with RMWB Programs. Join us every Friday afternoon at the Haxton Centre from 1:30p.m. to 3:00p.m. for information and hands-on experience into the world of horticulture.

Friday, 25 March 2011

Today: A historic vote in Parliament

The federal Conservative government has been defeated on a historic vote in Parliament, setting the stage for a May election.

MPs voted 156-145 in favour of a Liberal motion today citing Stephen Harper's minority Tories for contempt of Parliament and expressing non-confidence in the government.

The contempt charge marks a first for a national government anywhere in the Commonwealth.

Video: Ignatieff introduces non-confidence motion

Below is a Globe and Mail Update: By: Gloria Galloway, Ottawa— Published Friday, Mar. 25, 2011 11:02AM EDT, Last updated Friday, Mar. 25, 2011 4:44PM EDT

Harper government falls in historic Commons showdown
When the cameras were trained elsewhere, several members crossed the green carpet that divides one side of the House from the other to embrace those in the parties opposite – political rivals who will spend the next six weeks of an election campaign castigating and belittling each other.

The second minority government of Stephen Harper has fallen. Early Friday afternoon, 156 opposition MPs – all of the Liberals, New Democrats and Bloquistes present in the House of Commons – rose to support a motion of no-confidence. It was also a motion that declared the government to be in contempt of Parliament for its refusal to share information that opposition members said they needed to properly assess legislation put before them.

Mr. Harper took time to shake hands with Michael Ignatieff, the man who was orchestrating his ouster. But once the vote had been counted, and the results read into the record, the gloves were off. Mr. Harper, who moved the final motion to adjourn Parliament, said he would be visiting Governor-General David Johnston on Saturday morning to “take the only course of action that remains.”

The Conservative Leader said Canada’s economic turnaround would remain his priority and that of his candidates. There was nothing in the budget tabled earlier this week, he said, that the opposition parties should have objected to. “Unfortunately, Mr. Ignatieff and his coalition partners in the NDP and Bloc Quebecois made abundantly clear that they had already decided they wanted an election instead, Canada’s fourth election in seven years, an election Canadians had told them clearly that they did not want,” he said. “Thus the vote today, which obviously disappoints me, and will, I suspect, disappoint most Canadians”

The Liberal Leader said Mr. Harper confirmed his disrespect for democracy by speaking after the vote by making no mention of the fact that his government had just been found in contempt of Parliament and taking no questions from reporters. “This tells you all you need to know about this man,” he said. Mr. Ignatieff, who did entertain questions, was peppered with queries about his willingness to form a coalition government with the NDP should Mr. Harper be returned with a minority. As he has done previously, Mr. Ignatieff did not answer directly, saying only that he is running to create a “Liberal government that respects democracy instead of having contempt for democracy.”

Bloc Leader Gilles Duceppe said the Conservative government has not represented the values and interests of Quebeckers. When asked if he would be willing to form a coalition, he reminded reporters that Mr. Harper asked him and NDP Leader Jack Layton to meet in 2004 to talk about forming a coalition to replace then Liberal prime minister Paul Martin. For his part, Mr. Layton said Mr. Harper lost power because has clearly demonstrated that he is not willing to work with the other parties in the house of Commons. “He made a choice,” the NDP chief said, “and that choice was to take us into an election.”

In the final moments of the Conservative government, there were many kind words of praise offered to Peter Milliken who, after a decade in the Speaker’s chair, was presiding over his last session before retirement. But the debate that was heard across the country during the morning was as rancorous and vitriolic as Canadians have heard from the 40th Parliament, a session of government marked by the animosity expressed on all sides.

Shortly after 10 a.m., Mr. Ignatieff rose to “inform the House that the official opposition has lost confidence in the government.” For the first time in Canadian history, he said, a committee of Parliament has found a government to be in contempt.

“We are the people’s representatives,” Mr. Ignatieff said. “When the government spends money, the people have a right to know what it is to be spent on. Parliament does not issue blank cheques.”

This week, the opposition-dominated procedure and House affairs committee found the government to be in contempt for failing to release information related to the costs of crime legislation and the purchase of stealth fighter jets. “For four months, this House and the Canadian people were being stonewalled by this government and they are being stonewalled still,” Mr. Ignatieff said. In response, Government Whip Gordon O’Connor was blunt in his assessment of the opposition. “When, during the election, a matter of ethics comes up, I would expect Liberal candidates to put bags on their heads.” Of the Bloc, he said, it “basically has no function. They have no purpose. They are nothing.” And with the NDP, Mr. O’Connor said, “there is drama, screaming, yelling, outrage. It voted against seniors. ... All I ever hear from its members is talk, talk, talk.”

Growing Vegetables

When I lived in my apartment down town I pondered the idea of growing your own very small vegetable garden. I longed for fresh herbs... but  all of my potting attempts ended quickly and the result was almost always a very sad plant skeleton.

But, fear no more my fellow un-green thumbs! Alberta Health Services together with Woodland Garden Society will be holding a free educational session. If you have limited outdoor space – come and learn how to grow vegetables in containers.

Session will occur on Monday March 28th 2011 from 7pm to 8 pm at the Syncrude Sport & Wellness Centre. For more information please contact

I look forward to any future program that focus on outdoor vegetable gardens.  I now have a yard (undeveloped and screaming for vegetation) I would love to attempt a full vegy garden... I know I will need some professional help or I may ended up with a full plant graveyard.

Let me know how the session goes!

Local Discovery 110 Million years old

During my weekly newspaper read of the Fort McMurray Today paper, I was instantly captured by the front page headlines yesterday morning; More Fossil than Fuel: dinosaur bones discovered. What? Did I just read that right? It’s an Oh My Gosh moment for me and as I read on with excitement about the find, goose bumps fill my arms and I can’t wait to share this information with everyone I know.

The article indicates that this past Monday, a shovel operator at Suncor noticed something sticking out of the overburden where he was digging. He stopped work immediately to notify his Supervisor, who in turn notified the on-site geologist. They all agreed to call in the experts from the Royal Tyrrell Museum to help identify the find. The article goes on to state that the fossil may be of a dinosaur known as an ankylosaur and could date as far back as 110 million years old.

Above Image: Ankylosaurs, Euoplocephalus, top, with it's relative, Edmontonia, below. Artwork by John Sibbick. Taken from

What is absolutely astonishing about this find is that the ankylosaur is a land based dinosaur, unlike the marine reptiles such as the plesiosaur and ichthyosaur found in previous years. Speculations and theories are already circulating about how the dinosaur came to find its way in what was once a vast water bodied area.



Below is a section of the Today article (the image above is also from the article), to view the entire document click here.

A significant fossil find has been uncovered at a Suncor Energy mine, about 50 kilometres north of Fort McMurray. Officials from the Royal Tyrell Museum have already been on the site documenting the find which suggests the bones could belong to an ankylosaur, and date back about 110 million years.
To put it in perspective, the age of the dinosaurs from Dinosaur Provincial Park are about 75 million years old, pointed out Leanna Mohan of the museum. The best known of the armoured dinosaurs, ankylosaurus was the last and largest of the ankylosaurids. Its tough skin was covered with bony plates, and it could swing its formidably clubbed tail to render a predator lame. This dinosaur — roaming the earth in the late cretaceous period — is known from fossils found in Montana and Alberta.

According to Mohan, the discovery is a significant find because the almost whole fossil has been "preserved very well." Museum experts flew up to the site Tuesday night to verify the find made Monday in an overburden area of the mine where work has been temporarily suspended until the fossil is removed. "They thought it was a marine reptile which is what is normally found in the oilsands and it turns out it's an actual dinosaur," she added...

Firefighter Rooftop Campout

On March 30th, Fort McMurray firefighters will be holding our first ever Rooftop Campout for Muscular Dystrophy. This event consists of 6 local firefighters who will eat, sleep and live on a chilly rooftop for 4 days. We are very excited to host this event, as we are only the 10th city in Canada to do so. The rooftop we have chosen is Paddy McSwiggins, and we are thrilled to have their support. All funds that we raise go to Muscular Dystrophy Canada, which is a nationally registered charitable organization that helps people with a wide range of neuromuscular disorders. Please check out our list of events and come down with your family to support your local firefighters and our cause.

Event Schedule:
March 30th, 11am - OPENING CEREMONY. Come out to Paddy McSwiggins to watch as local firefighters get ready to begin their 96 hour marathon. Local celebrities will be there to help kick off the event and at 12:00 watch the ceremonial ladder raise accompanied by a local piper.
March 31st, 3-6pm - BBQ. Come out for an afternoon of fun for the whole family at Paddy McSwiggins. Only $5 to get a great BBQ meal and be able to visit with firefighters and check out our fire trucks.
April 2nd, 9am-1pm - PANCAKE BREAKFAST. Enjoy a nice breakfast with your family and firefighters to mark our last 24 hours on the roof. Come out to see fire trucks, ambulances and some public education displays.

A SILENT AUCTION for charity will take place between March 30th-April 2nd so come down and bid on these amazing prizes: 
  • A WestJet Vacation Package
  • A helicopter tour of the region
For additional information or to donate online, please visit or text the word MUSCLE to 30333 to make a 5 dollar donation. You can also follow us on Twitter at FmFirefighters or visit our facebook page at

Thank you,

Scott Germain
EMT-A/Firefighter 1st Class
Charities Committee

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Vision: A sneak peek at the latest exhibition

Detail of "Abstract #5" Margie Cunningham

The grand open for the third show at Community Gallery at MacDonald Island park is tonight, starting at 7PM.

Vision is a solo exhibition of local artist Margie Cunningham. Margie is extremely dedicated to her practice and has a strong history of exhibiting in our community. This solo show includes abstracts, landscapes, portraiture and studies of historical works.

Stop by and show your support for local artists! I've included a few images of the exhibition as a sneak peak. 

For more information about the Community Art Gallery or its administrative group, the Wood Buffalo Artist Forum please check out the following facebook page:, it is a great resource to local artists and/or patrons of the arts.
"Canola Field Study" Margie Cunningham

Call for: Face Painters & Sketch Artists

Volunteer Wood Buffalo is looking for face painters and sketch artists to help out at the Volunteer Appreciation Event on April 11th from 5-7pm at the Wood Buffalo Community Village.

A small honorarium is available to artists.

Please contact Arndis Bildfell for further information or to sign up;

Funding Opportunity: Alberta Arts Days


The fourth annual Alberta Arts Days will occur from September 30 to October 2, 2011, in celebration of National Culture Days. The Government of Alberta is accepting proposals from those interested in being designated an Alberta Arts Days 2011 Celebration Site. Up to five applicants will be designated Feature Celebration Sites. Feature Celebration Sites are eligible to receive a maximum of $20,000. Smaller grants; up to a maximum of $5,000; are available to those interested in becoming Host Celebration Sites.

Interested applicants should visit and download the Request for Submission package. The application deadline is April 20, 2011

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

2011 Creative City Summit

The New Old: Culture as a Revitalizing Tool in your Community
London, Ontario ~ May 10 - 12, 2011
London Convention Centre
Register Now for the 2011 Creative City Summit!
Early Bird Deadline is March 31st

The Creative City Summit Planning Committee has developed the 2011 Summit program to be more intimate and interactive to provide practitioners with a platform to exchange ideas and learn from your peers. The 2011 Creative City Summit program is sure to offer something for everyone - from those just starting out in the sector to seasoned practitioners with years of experience working in culture. You won't want to miss this exciting networking opportunity to connect with your colleagues from across the country!

Click here for the full Summit Schedule.

Register Now: Early Bird Deadline is March 31!

Download the Registration Form

Syncrude Arts Alive presents: The Time Capsule Tour

Syncrude Arts Alive presents Ted & Marion Outerbridge in The Time Capsule Tour

Since Outerbridge - Magical Moments in Time was introduced to presenters in 2002, empty theatre seats have been disappearing like magic! Returning to the Keyano main stage with a family-oriented production - The Time Capsule Tour, Ted and Marion Outerbridge have taken the art of illusion to new heights by combining it with dance, theatre and day-to-day life - and the results are so memorable, you will want to put them in a time capsule! The Outerbridges' world-class illusion show has played to sold-out houses and standing ovations from coast to coast in Europe. Don't miss this masterfully orchestrated, high-energy magical adventure filled with breathtaking new illusions.

Saturday, March 26 at 7pm
Adult: $35
Student & Senior: $28

Keyano Box Office is open Monday to Wednesday 12:30 pm to 4 pm, Thursday and Friday 12:30pm to 8pm, Saturday 11am to 4pm and an hour before a ticketed event. To purchase tickets call the box office at 780-791-4990 or buy online at

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Wood Bufalo HIV & AIDS Society: AGM

For more information or to RSVP if you are able to attend please contact Micaela. Thanks very much!

Micaela Belisle
Team Lead of Community Strategies
FMHPC a program of WBHAS
780 743 9200

Monday, 21 March 2011

A Proclamation from Mayor Melissa Blake

Theatriks Presents: Little Mermaid

Thickwood Heights Theatriks presents Little Mermaid

Join Ariel, as she leaves her undersea home for an adventure to the surface. With her friends by her side, Ariel hopes to find the prince of her dreams. Along the way Ariel encounters Ursula the evil sea-Witch and her nasty sharks and eels. Come and join us in the adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen's famous fairy tale.

Tuesday, March 22 at 7pm
All Seats: $10

Keyano Box Office is open Monday to Wednesday 12:30 pm to 4 pm, Thursday and Friday 12:30pm to 8pm, Saturday 11am to 4pm and an hour before a ticketed event. To purchase tickets call the box office at 780-791-4990 or buy online at

Projects for Public Spaces

I have been a frequenter of the PPS website and subscriber to their newsletter for about a year now. They have great articles on how to build community through attention to public spaces, and loads of examples of how other Municipalities, Cities and communities make use of Place Making.

Below is part of an article about  "Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper" (LQC) . I included the intro and an example they used later in the article about Granville Island, in Vancouver BC. I grew up in BC and absoloutly adore Granville Island so I thought I'd use it.

What do you think about LQC?  For the full article click on the logo at the top of this post.

 A Low-cost, High-impact Placemaking Approach to Improve Your Community Now
As people everywhere struggle to do more with less and cry out for places of meaning and beauty, we have to find fast, creative, profitable ways to capitalize on local ingenuity and turn public spaces into treasured community places.

Interestingly, many of the best, most authentic and enduring destinations in a city, the places that keep locals and tourists coming back again and again and that anchor quality, local jobs, were born out of a series of incremental, locally-based improvements. One by one, these interventions built places that were more than the sum of their parts.

The time is right to rethink the way that we do development, using an approach called "Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper" (LQC). This approach is based on taking incremental steps, using low-cost experiments, and tapping into local talents (e.g. citizens, entrepreneurs, developers, and city staff). These smaller-scale projects are being implemented in a variety of environments, including on streets, squares, waterfronts, and even parking lots.

To preserve the character of the Island, many relics of Granville’s industrial past were re-painted, like these corrugated buildings. Awnings and painted pipes were added to unify the Island and create an environment that was bright and fun. Image taken from
Building Multi-Use Destinations
Granville Island in Vancouver, British Columbia, epitomizes how an LQC approach was used over the past 35 years to produce incremental changes and to create, what is today, the most visited destination in British Columbia and second only to Niagara Falls in all of Canada.

To preserve the character of the Island, many relics of Granville's industrial past were re-painted, like these corrugated buildings. Awnings and painted pipes were added to unify the Island and create an environment that was bright and fun.

Granville Island got its start in the seventies when the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) decided to develop a 35 acre island across from downtown Vancouver. Granville Island was home to a variety of marine related uses, a concrete plant, and many dilapidated corrugated metal sheds. CMHC even described the island in 1975 as "a semi-industrial slum." The vision was to create a place here that would provide social and recreational services for the Vancouver community, highlight its arts and cultural resources, and bring in other related services and uses that together would make it economically self sustainable.

The Canadian Federal Government provided a $25M grant to facilitate CMHC's work in redeveloping the Island with no guarantee that any more funds would be available. Even at that time, this was not a lot of money given the large scale of the development and CMHC had to be creative. Instead of using the money to redevelop the Island all at once, the team that re-imagined Granville Island decided instead to use an "incremental redevelopment" strategy. A traditional approach might have been to buy out the leases of the remaining industrial tenants- but that would have consumed most of the grant money, leaving little to re-invent the Island as a great destination over the following years. The redevelopment team instead used an incremental approach that allowed the existing tenants to stay through the duration of their leases, and used the grant money to make small-scale, improvements on the Island. This approach allowed the character of the Island to grow over time so that it could continually evolve to accommodate the demands of the city around it.

Dilapidated buildings were stabilized, painted, and linked together with colorful pipes, awnings, and signage. Some buildings were added to create a feeling of an industrial area that had come back to life with many things for people to do.

Today, Granville Island continues to grow as a multi-use destination for both tourists and locals. The marine related uses have been preserved, and a variety of arts, culture and community related uses exist along side, the concrete plant -- a good, if unlikely partner in the development. Granville Island is also home to a vibrant public market and a wide range of uses that have helped ensure the island's economic viability. It is entirely self-sustaining and has required no additional financial support from the Canadian government.

Syncrude Arts Alive Presents: Flamenco Ensemble

“Passion” is a word that applies to the latest work by Jorge Miguel, to the music and to his commitment to explore the roots of the tradition and to find within that depth the seeds of new possibilities for the ancient art of Flamenco.” — Jowi Taylor – CBC’s Global Village

Flamenco is one of the oldest forms of ‘world’ music inhabiting the contemporary performing arts- passionate, fatalistic music that has deep roots in Andalucía in southern Spain. It has three key elements- the guitar or ‘toque’, the song or ‘cante’ and the dance or ‘baile’. Jorge Miguel’s mission is to offer the flamenco tradition through the fingers, voice and feet of an ensemble committed to its authentic spirit. Jorge Miguel is a Spanish Canadian guitarist and composer from Toronto. His family comes from Cadiz, a city in the flamenco heartland and he has spent much time living and studying there. Flamenco is best learned from ‘the elders’ and Jorge’s teachers included some of the best- Carlos del Rio in Madrid, Augustin ‘Bola’ Carbonell in Seville and other veterans.

Jorge Miguel’s style of Flamenco is full contact, hard-core. This is the real thing. Alegrias, Bulerias, Tangos and Sevillanas, the traditional songs and dances passed down through the generations after hundreds of years of development and growth. The arpeggios, rasgueados and alzapua of the Flamenco guitar, the escobillas, zapateado and llamadas of the Flamenco dancers, the cante jondo and chico of the Flamenco song, and the palmas, castanets and percussion driving the complex compound rhythms.

To realize his vision Jorge has drawn from Toronto’s finest flamenco aficionados- singers who have immersed themselves in the tradition, and percussionists and bassists who are at home in many musical styles and bring Latin and jazz influences to the table as well as a deep knowledge of the flamenco ritmo. Flamenco is only partly about music. Flamenco without dance is like Andalucía without sun and Jorge works with several dancers trained in the best schools of Seville and Jerez, absorbing the tradition while grafting new shoots onto old roots. Together Jorge Miguel and associates create new music that both takes flamenco somewhere new and preserves its duende- an untranslatable Spanish word that means spirit or soul. Olé!

The Jorge Miguel Flamenco Ensemble comes to Keyano Theatre & Arts Centre on Friday, March 25 at 8 pm. For tickets, or more information, please visit or call the Box Office is 780-791-4990

Thursday, 17 March 2011

What's the Big Idea?

The below information was taken from the newly launched website for "What's the Big Idea?" initiative. For more info please check out the site:

The Plan:
The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo is an exciting place to be. Located in northern Alberta, this economic engine is one of the fastest growing regions in Canada and has a diverse population of more than 104,000. We are fortunate to have abundant natural resources, a rich heritage and economic opportunities. However our success and rapid expansion present challenges such as infrastructure and adequate housing that need the big, imaginative ideas to address them.

A new Municipal Development Plan for Wood Buffalo will provide a coordinated approach for regional growth over the next two decades. The plan will encourage neighbourhood development, and investment and businesses growth while respecting our natural environment.

In short, our Municipal Development Plan will show how we can make Wood Buffalo a great place to live – a place we’re proud to call home.

Be on the look out for our BIG IDEA CREW in their signature grey and orange jackets. They will be asking for your Big Ideas so don't be shy and say hi!
 Open House
When: Sunday, April 3, 10:00 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Where: Suncor Community Leisure Centre, MacDonald Island

Guest Speaker: Bob Willard
Subject: "Communicating the Business Case for Sustainability, for Businesses and Municipalities"
When: Monday, April 4, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon
Where: Fireside Room, Suncor Community Leisure Centre, MacDonald Island

Open House
When: Saturday, April 9, 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Where: Suncor Community Leisure Centre, MacDonald Island

Click here for more events!

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

"It's Kinda a Funny Story"


Come to the Keyano Mainstage for a free community screening of "It's Kind of a Funny Story" starring Zach Galifianakis (of "The Hangover" fame) and Emma Roberts (Movie poster pictured above).

March 17, 2011 @ 7pm
Keyano Theatre & Arts Centre - Mainstage Theatre
No charge.
First come, first served seating.

After the film, join us for a presentation from Ned Vizzini, the award-winning author who wrote the book that this movie is based on (Cover of the novel can be seen above). Ned will present his humourous and informative presentation called "How Not to Go Crazy in College". This is a ticketed event ($23).

For tickets for the lecture, please visit
For more information, please call 780-791-4990

Launch Event: NorthWord magazine fourth issue

WHAT: NorthWord magazine fourth issue launch event – hosted by the Northern Canada Collective Society for Writers
WHERE: Frames & More – 10015 Centennial Drive
WHEN: Friday, March 18, 2011 – 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
WHY: You are cordially invited to the launch of NorthWord magazine’s fourth issue. This is a wine and cheese event.

At this time a triptych featuring linked art, poetry and photos will be on display featuring talented local artists, poets and photographers.

Admission is free. Bring a friend and come to support Wood Buffalo arts and culture and your very own local literary magazine.

For more information, please contact:

Kiran Malik-Khan
Media Director
Northern Canada Collective Society for Writers
780- 791-8971

South Asian Arts & Cultural Association of Alberta

Join in at Golden Years Society for the Desi Night on 26th March Saturday at 6:30 pm for the first of a series of events that will add colour to the night lights of our very own city of Fort McMurray. Tickets are available at Import Connection. 

Below is a message from Mary Thomas:

Among its 100,000 residents Fort McMurray boasts of multicultural communities which have individual associations to celebrate their unique cultures, music and art. Although these diverse cultures have representation unfortunately the interaction between these communities has been minimal. Indians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, Nepalis, Sri Lankans and other South East Asians have their own circles which are more or less sacrosanct.

That was until one day when some visionaries landed on the scene and saw what others had not seen. One example of such an individuals is Zafar Iqbal. Zafar came on a business visit to Fort McMurray from Mississauga, and decided he had to do something about the disconnect between the cultural groups. Immigrating to Canada from Pakistan 30 years ago Zafar who brought up his three children in Mississauga. He is happy for the opportunities to interact with some of the city’s many cultural and multicultural associations . However when some of these interactions proved futile, he took it on himself to stage a cultural programme to bridge the gaps he perceived to exist. The South Asian Arts and Cultural Association of Alberta has just been instituted in Fort McMurray under the leadership of Zafar Iqbal. He called on a few like minded people to collaborate with him and after fixing a good venue, conducted innumerable meetings and radio interviews, he invited many leading figures to watch and enjoy the South East Asian food, music and dance.

The South Asian Canadian Music Fest was a first time summer event organised at Mac Island last year. It was then that the idea of a non profit cultural body, SAACAA was brought up. It has just been registered and is to be officially inaugurated on 26th March. It is expected to be the first in a series of Desi Nights planned to take place once a quarter or once a month with Indian food and live music.

It takes tremendous foresight and perseverance to put up such an event. Every aspect of the programme was carefully planned and coordinated to reach a grand finale. The event was a first in Fort McMurray and drew crowds and visitors who enjoyed till the wee hours of the morning. This brought some exposure to the vibrant South Asian culture and people suddenly began to take notice. Those who enjoyed the food inquired why we don't have an Indian restaurant. To cater to their tastes is Curry Pot opening up at Eagle Ridge shortly.

Breaking walls and making bridges, people are sure to come together and interact more closely across the different groupings. Like blood running through the body energising every cell so does the excitement that runs through the community in planning, anticipating and participating in the next event, the institution of the South Asian Art and Cultural Association of Alberta.

South Asian Art and Culture Association of Alberta is inaugurating its operations and opening memberships to the South Asian community and well-wishers. All who love the South Asian culture, music and cuisine, this is where you can splurge on all of those exotic things you wondered where you could find in the northern tip of Alberta.