Monday, 23 December 2013

Current Opportunities at the Royal Tyrrell Museum

The Royal Tyrrell Museum has tons of employment opportunities, especially for summer students! Check out for more information.

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Open Call for 2D Visual Artwork- Deadline Dec. 29, 2013



The Personal Florist is looking for artwork from local artists to exhibit during it's Grand Opening January 2014.


• The deadline for submissions is 11:00 PM, Sunday, December 29, 2013.
• Judging will be final by December 31, 2013, with notifications emailed by January 2nd, 2014.
• The Grand Opening is planned for mid January; installation scheduled for 1st week of January 2014.
• Artwork will be exhibited for 2 months. Artwork will be brought down nor earlier than 1st week of March.

Please submit an artist bio along with 3-5 samples of work to be exhibited (in jpeg format) to Please include SYNTHESIS in your email subject line.

• We are looking for work with the theme of or incorporates the theme of SYNTHESIS. Boundary-pushing is welcomed and respected; Creativity, Technique and Innovation are expected. Works that use SYNTHESIS will be considered.

The Personal Florist looks forward to seeing and sharing your work!

Please share with all of your artist friends!

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Volunteers Needed for Holiday Gift Wrapping for the SPCA

Sticking around for the holidays?

Volunteers are needed to wrap presents at Shoppers Drug Mart on Franklin Ave from December 14-23 with donations to the Fort McMurray SPCA.

If you are interested in showing off your gift wrapping skills, and are wanting to raise some much needed funds, please sign up! Thank you!

To volunteer, you must be at least 13 years of age; minors will need to be accompanied by an adult, or have legal guardian sign volunteer waiver.  (Please contact the email below for the waiver)

If you have any questions, please direct them to

Mi Dance Academy Presents "The Fantastic Toy Shoppe"- Dec. 20 & 21, 2013 at Keyano Theatre

Mi Dance Academy Presents La Boutique Fantasique

Dance Recital

A Christmas classic! A perfect seasonal event for the entire family! 

Friday, December 20th at 6pm
Saturday, December 21st at 2pm

Adults: $15
Children under 12: $10

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Animated Double Bill @ Keyano as part of TIFF- Dec. 19, 2013

"Face Time" PAM Exhibit at FMPL

Come check out the  Portrait Artists McMurray exhibit "Face Time" at the Fort McMurray Public Library. The exhibit will run until December 31st on the second floor of the library. 

For more information please visit  or contact Megan Storrar at

Friday, 13 December 2013

Full Moon Cafe- Dec. 14, 2013

The next Full Moon Café is this Saturday, Dec. 14 at 7:30 at the Waterways Community Hall.
For next dates, go to

Michelle Wright's Keyano Christmas- Dec. 16 & 17, 2013

Get into the holiday spirit with one of Fort McMurray's favourites, Michelle Wright! 
Syncrude Arts Alive Presents Michelle Wright live in concert for 2 shows December 16th and 17th at Keyano Theatre. The entire family will enjoy signing along to their favourite Christmas songs with Michelle Wright.

Tickets: ON SALE NOW
Keyano Box Office

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

The Indian Chef

This weekend I had the pleasure of participating in an Indian cooking class hosted by the Multicultural Association of Wood Buffalo. Seeing that Indian cuisine is one of my favorites, I was thoroughly anticipating this class and I assure you, I was not disappointed!
Upon arriving at Ecole McTavish, I was pleased to see that the room was full of excited individuals who, like myself, were looking forward to gaining a deeper understanding of the techniques needed to prepare these flavourful dishes. Mary Thomas, Executive Director of the Multicultural Association, started the class by inviting the participants to introduce themselves and stating why they were interested in taking the Indian cooking class. Judging by the many comical responses from the classmates (some who have never tasted Indian food), I knew I was in for a great experience with a fun group of people.
Goan Salmon Curry
Mary divided the room of approximately 32 participants into four food stations. I was stationed with the group who were given the task of creating a dish called Goan Salmon Curry. Our group quickly spiked into action and gathered our ingredients to assemble our dish. Within minutes, the room worked itself into a tizzy of action! While others were cooking, some individuals migrated around the room investigating the other stations to see what they were creating. Within an hour, the room smelled of strong spices and warm aromas that made your eyes tingle.
Chili Cheese Toast

Finally, the first dish Chili Cheese Toast was ready to taste! This was made two ways, spicy or extra spicy. With the heating effect of the jalapeno peppers, this appetizer was a bold western twist on a traditional Indian staple.
Next up to taste was the Goan Salmon Curry. With the rich taste of coconut and curry leaves poached into the salmon that was spooned over a bed of cilantro basmati rice, this was a favorite dish among the group.
Puri (Poori) 
One of the more exciting techniques that was demonstrated by Mary was how to cook Puri. The small round dough disks are gently immersed into a pot of boiling oil where they puff up like a blow fish. To accompany these playful treats, the group made a dish known as chole. This dish has the consistency of a thick hummus and it is packed with a punch of flavour! Cumin, chole masala and coriander were some of the many spices that made this dish supremely impeccable. I used the puri shell to dip into the bean melange and alas, my taste buds were in heaven. I will definitely be whipping up this recipe at a family gathering in the near future.
Of course, the 'piece de resistance' was the Kerala Christmas Plum Cake. Adapted from the ever popular Fruit Cake, this mouthwatering cake was jam packed with festive flavour! Mary's homemade rum soaked plums filled this cake with a moist richness.  Nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves were some of the spices used to tantalized the taste buds. Paired with a dollop of vanilla ice cream, this is a cake that will have everyone asking for seconds! Everyone walked away from this class fully equipped with an arsenal of new recipes to try out on their friends and family.
During the entire class, it amazed me how Mary and her assistant, Caitlin, managed to maintain control of the room while personally assisting each station. They both keep a genuine smile and a light and positive demeanor throughout the whole course. These two are certainly a pair of experienced leaders and we are lucky to have them in our community. I would gladly recommend this cooking class to anyone!

Bon Appetite!

If you are interested in taking part in one of these classes, the next one to look forward to is  on January 25th at Holy Trinity High School, 10:00-12:30 and will feature Sri Lankan Cuisine
Tickets can be purchased in advance through Eventbrite, or contact the Multicultural Association of Fort McMurray at 780.791.5186 or email

Christmas with the Critters- Volunteers Needed Over the Holidays!

Volunteers are needed at the SPCA on Christmas Eve, Christmas and New Years Day. Regardless of whether you are more of a cat person or a dog person, the SPCA needs you! You can volunteer for various time slots to brush, walk, and socialize with the animals. Please visit to sign up.  

Monday, 9 December 2013

Heart of Wood Buffalo Leadership Awards- Nomination Now Open!

Nominations are now open for the 2014 Heart of Wood Buffalo Leadership Awards. Nominate someone who you think is the Heart of Wood Buffalo and recognize their achievements, dedication and passion for their community. Nomination deadline is February 7th, 2014.

The Heart of Wood Buffalo Leadership Awards encompass six separate categories:
The board leadership award is seeking nominees that have demonstrated exemplary leadership at the non-profit board level.  
The Newcomer Engagement Award, which was created in the memory of Lyle Leboldus who moved to Wood Buffalo in 2011, celebrates the support of nonprofit organizations from those new to the community. 
The Volunteer Recognition Award, in honour of Bill Bloomfield, is seeking nominees who have made an invaluable investment in the community through their outstanding volunteer work, going that extra mile to help and inspire others. 
The Community Impact Award recognizes non-profit organizations that have had a positive and a meaningful effect on the community, that’s resulted in clear and measurable and sustainable change. 
The Social Prosperity Leadership Award is for those who have made a significant contribution or provided ongoing support to the community through volunteerism, finical assistance and in kind services targeted at helping one or more non-profit organizations become more sustainable.

My Multicultural McMurray Art Show- Dec. 12, 2013

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Dinosaurs in Alberta's History

When people talk about history, they tend to discuss past events, particularly in  human affairs.  One amazing aspect of Alberta's history, however, is not of human origins, but that of the mighty Dinosaur!  Its hard to believe that these large reptile creatures that are seen in countless movies roamed the vast valleys and hills of Alberta.  Yes, indeed they did.  This is an article from the National Post online newspaper dated November 28, 2013.  Enjoy!

Alberta researchers unearth rare complete baby dinosaur fossil

Attached are images of the baby ceratopsian dinosaur.

It’s incredibly rare to find a complete skeleton of a baby dinosaur, but that’s just what a team of researchers at the University of Alberta and The Royal Tyrrell Museum did when they found the juvenile fossil of a Chasmosaurus belli, a dinosaur similar to a Triceratops. The find is the smallest ever for dinosaurs of this type.
The team made the find in Dinosaur Provincial Park in southern Alberta.
“The big ones just preserve better: They don’t get eaten, they don’t get destroyed by animals,” Dr. Philip Currie, a paleobiologist at the University of Alberta and research associate at the Tyrrell Museum told Live Science. “You always hope you’re going to find something small and that it will turn out to be a dinosaur.”
The skeleton was so well preserved, it seems, because the animal was sucked into a sink hole and trapped just as it died. The team estimates the dino was about three years old when it perished and about a metre and a half long. Ceratopsids such as the Chasmosaurus and the Triceratops reach full size after about 20 years when just the animal’s skull would have been about two metres long.
The corpse did not have bite marks or other obvious causes for death, so the scientists presume that it died from drowning.
“I think it may have just gotten trapped out of its league in terms of water current,” Currie told LiveScience.
The fossil was found when Currie noticed something sticking out of the side of the hill which turned out to be the frill of the Chasmosaur.
Adult Chasmosaurus finds are relatively common Dinosaur Provincial Park, which is about two and a half hours southeast of Calgary and one of the most active fossil sites in the world. The park, where more than 40 dinosaur species have been found, was named a World Heritage site in 1979. In 1985, the Royal Tyrrell Museum opened near the park, which offered a place to display and study the finds from the area.
Currie — a preeminent palaeontologist and one of the inspirations for Jurassic Park‘s Alan Grant — was one of the people to push for the creation of the Tyrell museum and is supporting the creation of the Philip J. Currie museum in Northern Alberta to serve as a similar resource to the Tyrell in the south.

The first Government of Canada History Awards

Old black and white photograph of Parliament Hill
The new Government of Canada History Awards is a new program that will honour outstanding students and teachers who show an interest in celebrating Canadian history. The Awards will be administered by Canada's History, an independent national organization with a mandate to make our nation's past relevant and accessible to all Canadians.
The Awards consists of up to 225 awards for secondary school students and up to 30 awards for secondary school teachers. Award winners will be selected from across Canada, with fair distribution for all provinces and territories. They do not interfere with provincial and territorial educational systems, but rather promote an appreciation of Canadian history by rewarding excellence from teachers and students who choose to compete.
Recipients of Government of Canada History Awards for students will include secondary school students who demonstrate outstanding achievement in undertaking projects on Canada’s history. The Government of Canada History Awards for teachers will be awarded to secondary school teachers for their innovative teaching plans on Canada's history. Canada’s History will be responsible for screening applicants’ submissions and for choosing the assessors to evaluate those submissions.
The first Government of Canada History Awards will be presented in 2014. Please visit for information regarding the Awards and visit the site often as more details of the awards process will be posted.

UpTown Winter Gala- Dec. 13, 2013

For more information please visit

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Friends of Royal Alberta Museum Hiring Business Manager


The Friends of Royal Alberta Museum Society (FRAMS) is a registered charity and not-for-profit organization that supports and promotes the Royal Alberta Museum, Alberta’s provincial museum and one of Canada’s leading museums. FRAMS assists the Royal Alberta Museum with the collection, preservation and interpretation of the rich cultural and natural history heritage of Alberta. FRAMS also serves as a vital link between the community and the museum. 

FRAMS is a registered charity and not-for-profit organization comprised of a volunteer board of directors and general members. FRAMS was established in 1982 by citizens dedicated to maintaining and encouraging a high level of public support for the Royal Alberta Museum. FRAMS is involved in fundraising and friend-raising, public and school programs, maintaining artifacts and expanding collections in support of the museum. 

The Position 
The FRAMS Business Manager is the primary employee of FRAMS and plays a key role in ensuring the day-to-day efficient administration of FRAMS. The position is offered as a contract, with a defined description of responsibilities. Flexible full-time hours are offered, with some evening and weekend work required. 
Key Roles and Responsibilities 
1. Financial Administration including: Complete payables and receivables Complete GST Reports Manage investments as per the board’s direction Provide quarterly financial statements to the board for its review Complete monthly bank reconciliations Complete bank deposits Maintain project/fund accounting Support the annual audit process, in conjunction with the board treasurer and the board- appointed auditor, to ensure completion prior to the Annual General Meeting (AGM) in June 
2. Human Resources (HR) Administration for contract museum employees including: Complete payroll - including Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) remittances, T4s and T4 Summary, ROEs, timesheets - and maintain standardized personnel files Develop and administer employment contracts Liaise with Royal Alberta Museum (RAM) staff as required 
3. Project Administration and Operational Support including: Research, prepare, and submit grant applications Prepare financial reports to granting agencies as required Prepare and submit reimbursement reports to granting agencies and Government of Alberta Manage casinos and other special events in conjunction with the board Maintain strong working relationships with staff at RAM and enlist their support for accomplishing projects and programs 
4. Office Administration including: Assist in producing quarterly Friends’ Notes newsletter (hard copy and electronic) and complete mail-outs Prepare spreadsheets, brochures, invitations, forms, and procedure statements as required Keep membership and donor database current and secure Track membership and donor numbers and report quarterly to board; provide comparisons to previous quarter and previous year to date Ensure that membership program and benefits meet the board’s policy guidelines and reflect the board’s priorities Prepare and submit T3010 and Charity Return annually Maintain and report quarterly to the board on FRAMS projects and their progress (e.g. Discovery Room, GO! Program, etc.) Liaise with web developer, online merchant company, and board representative to ensure website is maintained and kept up to date
5. Board of Directors Liaison including: Provide an office report to the board prior to each board meeting Provide board documents and attachments – as per direction from the president (or designate) – to the board members prior to each board meeting Provide support to the president and chairs of board committees as required Support board committees as needed administratively and operationally 
6. Security of Records Provide adequate security and restricted access to financial, personnel, donor, member and other confidential information and records 

Skills and Attributes
Solid bookkeeping background and familiarity with accounting software
Ability to manage government contracts 
Ability to use and manage FRAMS-related technology and computer programs (database management, donor tracking, tax receipts, etc.) 
Ability to manage events (FRAMS Talk & Tours, Preview evenings, casino, etc.) Ability to attend board and committee meetings Flexibility to attend evening/weekend meetings/events Good computer skills (Word, Excel, Publisher, etc.) 
Good interpersonal skills to liaise with FRAMS members, donors, museum staff, public, etc. Strong time management skills and ability to meet multiple deadlines 
Solid organizational and multitasking skills 

For more information on FRAMS and the Royal Alberta Museum, please visit:   
Salary and other position details will be discussed at interview. 
To apply, please email your resume and cover letter in confidence to:  
Note: applications will be reviewed as they are submitted. Apply early!


Closing Reception & Silent Auction in Support of Girls Inc- Dec. 5, 2013

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Arts Council Wood Buffalo Annual General Meeting

Arts Council Wood Buffalo is an organization committed to supporting, enabling and championing the arts in our region.  The Arts Council Wood Buffalo's annual general meeting and board election is set for Wednesday, December 11th at 6:00pm, Keyano Theatre. Although there is an interim board, there will be 11 members elected during the AGM and this board will begin the development of the mission, mandate, vision and values of the Council. The arts are alive in Wood Buffalo and there couldn't be a better time to develop such an amazing organization.  Types of membership include;
  • Individual - $10 per year
  • Social Profit Organization - $25 per year
  • Business or Corporation - $50
Benefits of membership (stated on the Arts Council Facebook page) 
  • You will be able to let your name stand for nomination for one of the director positions on the board, either as an individual or as a representative of a business, corporation or social profit organization member.
  • You will be kept informed of all our activities, workshops, gatherings and invited to attend and participate with the Member's discount when there are fees involved.
  • You will join a team of individuals, companies and organization who value the arts and are committed to working in common purpose to strengthen the sector. From developing grant programs to advocating or more arts and cultural facilities to inspiring more financial support, the members of Arts Council Wood Buffalo will directly impact the future growth and sustainability of arts in Wood Buffalo.  There is strength in numbers.
Please visit the Arts Council Wood Buffalo Facebook page for membership forms, applications for board nominations,and other detailed information regarding board structure and the Council.
Save the date, December 11th on your calendars and come support this wonderful addition to our Region.  

Monday, 2 December 2013

HIStory& HERitage: Christina Gordon

                           HIStory & HERitage

When Christina Gordon arrived in Fort McMurray, it was little more an isolated Hudson’s Bay Company post. The land was vast, the weather was unforgiving, and living off the land was hard work.

Christina Gordon was the first white woman to permanently settle in the area. She emigrated from Scotland sometime in the 1890s while her brother, William, had arrived in Canada about a decade earlier. Christina appears to have first settled in Athabasca Landing, which was a popular layover site for those adventurous souls en route to the Klondike Gold Rush.  Christina is listed in the 1901 census as living at Athabasca Landing, but William is not listed as living with her at this time. She identified herself as the head of the household and she owned a restaurant. 

By 1906, Christina and her brother were living in Fort McMurray. Together they operated a successful trading post. Four years later, William was appointed the first postmaster of the growing settlement of Fort McMurray. Whenever he was away trading with Aboriginals, it was Christina who was left to run both their store and the post office in her brother’s absence.

Christina was truly a woman before her time.  In an era when women were expected only to be wives and mothers, Christina never married nor had children. She was a businesswoman and she even owned land in her own right, a very uncommon occurrence for women in the early 20th century. Her land was located south of the Clearwater River near the area where Home Hardware and Keyano College now stand. It was there that Christina grew her large garden of fruits, vegetables and herbs and where she prepared food and medicines for the ill and the poor.

This photo shows Christina Gordon (right) standing in front of a vegetable stand. Photo courtesy of the Fort McMurray Historical Society

Christina Gordon was a resident of Fort McMurray until her death in 1949. She was highly respected by the community for her kindness and generosity, so much so that she was awarded one of the highest honours of the Aboriginal people: a Lob Stick. When Chief Paul Cree was dying, he requested that a Lob Stick, a tree that has all of its branches removed except for a tuft at the very top, be created in Christina’s name. Her Lob Stick is said to be somewhere along the banks of the Athabasca River with her name carved at the bottom in the Cree language.

Christina is buried, along with her brother William, in the Fort McMurray Cemetery on Biggs Avenue. Although she didn’t leave any children to carry on her legacy, Christina’s name lives on in the region she so loved.  Both Christina River and Christina Lake are named in her honour as well as the future Christina Gordon Public School in Timberlea, which is scheduled to open in 2015. 

To see Christina in the census returns for 1901, 1906 and 1911, check out the websites below. They are available for free online at

1906 Census ( In this census return Christina lists her year of arrival as 1894 while William arrived in 1884).

Closing Reception & Silent Auction in Support of Girls Inc- Dec. 5, 2013

For more information please visit