Thursday, 29 December 2016

Relaxation During the Hustle and Bustle

The holiday season can be so busy, you may get caught up in the bustle and bustle.  It is important to take time for yourself so you don’t feel overwhelmed.  Enjoy the small things.

Put together a holiday playlist with some of your favourite tunes.  Music is a great way to help you relax. A quote by Plato really captures the power of music, “Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, and life to everything.”  Take time to enjoy some music over the holidays.

Maybe a family colouring night is in the books this year.  Colouring is a great way to de-stress and bring out your creativity.  There are colouring books in numerous styles, making it easier to find one that suits each member of the family.  As well, there are many sites which offer free printable pages such as: ; ; and .  Dig out some pencil crayons, crayons or markers and have some fun colouring!

It might be a good time to start reading a new book.  Reading a well-written book can help by taking you away from the busyness of life.  According to Readers Digest, the following are the best new books for December 2016: 

  • 99: Stories of the Game by Wayne Gretzky
  • Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen
  • Canada by Mike Myers
  • The Whistler by John Grisham
  • Appetites by Anthony Bourdain
  • A Game of Thrones: The Illustrated Edition by George R. R. Martin
  • Live by Night by Dennis Lehane
  • Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham
  • Cooking for Jeffrey by Ina Garten
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay by J.K. Rowling.  

You can find a brief description of each novel here. If one of these sparks your interest, why not visit the Wood Buffalo Regional Library and check one out? For those exceptionally cold nights, reading is a great way to pass the time! 

Find some time to relax.  Enjoy the festive lights. Reward yourself with time just for you.

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Reserve Your Booth for the Multicultural Expo

Did you know that people come to Wood Buffalo from all over Canada and all over the world? The Multicultural Association of Wood Buffalo (MCA) is a great first contact for new residents, especially those coming from other cultures. 

The MCA offers a variety of programs, workshops and services to help people who are new to Canada learn more about living in our region. By strengthening our cross-cultural understandings, the MCA also helps to foster a more compassionate and unified community. 

One of the many events that the MCA hosts that truly brings the cultures of Wood Buffalo together is their flagship event: the Multicultural EXPO. 

The Annual Multicultural EXPO is a celebrated event that educates and engages citizens and visitors alike. Showcasing a plethora of vibrant customs including dance, fashion, and culinary delicacies, patrons are always delighted to explore the cultures of the world…right here in Wood Buffalo!

If you are interested in sharing the splendours of your culture, then register to host a booth at the EXPO. At a booth you are welcome to display information, offer activities, sell and/or teach traditional crafts, sell customary foods and more! 

Click here to register for your booth. Act fast as the application deadline is January 16th, 2017! 

The 2017 Multicultural EXPO will be taking place at MacDonald Island Park on February 18, 2017 from 11:00am – 8:00pm. Entrance fee is $10 for adults, $5 for children, and free for children of 5 years and younger.
More information can be acquired by visiting or, contact Rodas Ardres, Events and Volunteer Coordinator of the Multicultural Association of Wood Buffalo at or call the office and speak with Rodas at 780-791-5186

Photos courtesy of Greg Halinda.

Friday, 23 December 2016

Recreation Culture Calls

If you want to know about what's going on around town, then check out Recreation Culture Calls!

This electronic newsletter showcases local recreation and cultural events, job postings, as well as volunteer and funding opportunities, and much more.

If you would like to have your email added or removed from this list, or would like to submit information about an upcoming opportunity please send your request to 

To find out what's going on this weekend, please visit the Recreation Culture Calls page on the Municipal website or click here

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Winter Solstice and Winter Fun!

Winter solstice marks the shortest day and the longest night of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. It occurs every year on December 21 or 22, also marking the first day of winter. 

Winter solstice will take place in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo on Wednesday, December 21, 2016 at 3:44 am. This marks the precise time when earth is the most inclined away from the sun. 

Since we still have a few months of winter left, let's embrace it!  Visit the following links for activities to get you active and warm in the sub zero temperatures.

Ptarmigan Nordic Ski Club 

The Ptarmigan Nordic Ski Club is the official cross country ski club in Fort McMurray. Based out of the Doug Barnes Cabin, next to the ever popular Birchwood Trails, the ski club offers programming for various age groups and levels of experience. Visit for more information. 

Vista Ridge Ski Hill

The Vista Ridge Ski Hill offers various trails and various activities for families to enjoy. Whether it’s going skiing/snowboarding/skating, relaxing in the chalet, or taking a fun run in the tube park, this place has options for everyone! Visit for more information on their hours of operation.

Nominate your Neighbour Winter Lights Displays and Decorations 

If wintery sports aren’t your thing, enjoy the holiday season with your friends and family by visiting the festively decorated homes throughout the Wood Buffalo neighbourhoods. The Wood Buffalo Communities in Bloom committee has revealed their annual self-guided tour of recognized homes in the annual Nominate your Neighbour program. The map highlights the best of the best holiday lit homes selected by the residents of Wood Buffalo. To view the map, visit

Friday, 16 December 2016

Recreation Culture Calls

If you want to know about what's going on around town, then check out Recreation Culture Calls!

This electronic newsletter showcases local recreation and cultural events, job postings, as well as volunteer and funding opportunities, and much more.

If you would like to have your email added or removed from this list, or would like to submit information about an upcoming opportunity please send your request to 

To find out what's going on this weekend, please visit the Recreation Culture Calls page on the Municipal website or click here

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Community Calendars

September is the most exciting month for anyone with a passion for stationary and office supplies (some adults are just as passionate about those “back-to-school” sales as the students are) .  However, December presents another opportunity for anyone that craves the freshness of crisp blank pages and the excitement of selecting design: buying a new calendar for the year ahead.

As you start to fill your calendar with appointments and meetings, you could consider looking ahead at local events to ensure you don’t miss anything in the months ahead!

There are a few local organizations that provide lists of upcoming community events.  

Arts Council Wood Buffalo:
This is a listing of events within the arts community, and is colour coded by discipline (ie; performing arts, literary arts, etc)

McMurray All Connected:
This community calendar includes a variety of broad, searchable categories (ie; business, seniors, etc)

The Hub:
Have little ones?  Keep them busy all year by finding out what events are taking place at The Hub!

Wood Buffalo Regional Library:
The library is not just for books anymore!  Library events include ESL Conversation and craft classes – all free of charge!

RMWB Community Calendar:

Fort McMurray Tourism:
A wide variety of events are listed in this calendar, along with website links.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Get Your Copy of the 2017 Heritage Calendar

As 2016 draws to a close, many of us have begun to think of our hopes, plans and resolutions for the New Year. What better way to keep yourself on track than with a new calendar?

Each year, the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo publishes a Heritage Calendar to recognize and celebrate the important history of our region. The calendars feature local photos and each month includes interesting "On This Day" facts. You can view the pdf version of the latest calendar here.

The theme of this year's calendar is "Festivals and Events in Wood Buffalo". Created in collaboration with the Fort McMurray Heritage Society and the Fort Chipewyan Bicentennial Museum, the Heritage Calendar is a great resource to learn more about our local history. 

You can also purchase copies of the calendar by donation at the Heritage Village Gift Shop. 

Visit for more information. 

Friday, 9 December 2016

Recreation Culture Calls

If you want to know about what's going on around town, then check out Recreation Culture Calls!

This electronic newsletter showcases local recreation and cultural events, job postings, as well as volunteer and funding opportunities, and much more.

If you would like to have your email added or removed from this list, or would like to submit information about an upcoming opportunity please send your request to 

To find out what's going on this weekend, please visit the Recreation Culture Calls page on the Municipal website or click here

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Dust Off Your Western Boots and Show Your Country Roots

A multitude of great country artists are coming to Fort McMurray in 2017. 

You can kick off your new year with a special concert on New Year’s Eve at Club NV.  Dance the night away with entertainment from the James Barker Band, Alee, Shantelle Davidson, and Craig Moritz.  General admission is $50 or $100 for dinner and admission.  Funds raised will help the Fort McMurray SPCA. Visit for more details. 

On January 11, 2017 Tim Hicks and Chad Brownlee will rock the Nexen Fieldhouse with their Shake These Walls / Hearts On Fire Tour.  Both artists are Juno Award nominees and Canadian Country Music Associaion (CCMA) Award winners.  Fort McMurray is one of eight locations where they will be sharing the stage.  To purchase VIP tickets, please visit: To purchase floor or club seats visit:

On May 20, 2017 you can kick up your heels at Dean Brody’s Beautiful Freakshow Tour at SMS Equipment Stadium.  The past year saw Brody take home a JUNO Award for Country Album of the Year, along with 4 CCMA Awards for the top selling digital Canadian country single of all-time, “Bring Down the House”.  Dean will be joined by George Canyon, Aaron Pritchett, Madeline Merlo and the James Barker Band.  To purchase tickets, please visit:

Toby Keith will be here to provide an entertaining night on July 13, 2017 at SMS Equipment Stadium.  His albums have sold more than 40 million copies, ranking him among the top-selling all-genre artists on Billboard's Top 200 Artists of the Decade. Keith is also Billboard's No. 1 Country Artist of the Decade and No. 1 Country Songwriter of the Decade.  To purchase tickets, you can visit:

Monday, 5 December 2016

World Human Rights Day

December 10th is World Human Rights Day. It commemorates the day on which, in 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, an international document that states the basic rights and fundamental freedoms to which all humans are entitled. You can check out the Declaration here

World Human Rights Day is a reminder that we can all be champions of basic human rights. This year, the United Nations invites you to stand up for someone’s rights and post it to social media using the hashtag #Standup4HumanRights. For more information on Human Rights Day 2016, visit or 

Locally, you are invited to participate in the Human Rights Day conference hosted by The Multicultural Association of Wood Buffalo in collaboration with Keyano College. This conference will bring together Service Providers, Social Profit Organizations, Businesses, and Community members to promote human rights and to encourage reflection and dialogue. The goal is to enhance the public’s understanding of human rights in general and, more specifically, the rights of immigrants and refugees.

Human Rights Day conference on “Immigrants and Refugee Rights” will be hosted on Saturday, December 10, 2016, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm at Doug Schmit Lecture Theatre, Keyano College with keynote speaker Ms. Sushila Samy, Diversity Specialist from the Human Rights Commission. Admission is free and also includes a networking lunch.  For further information about the event visit here

To contact the Multicultural Association of Wood Buffalo, visit or call 780-791-5186.

Friday, 2 December 2016

2016 Santa Claus Parade and Lights of Christmas

Holiday anticipation!!  In my years of experience being on the Santa Claus Parade and Lights of Christmas planning team, I’ve never seen/felt as much excitement as I do for this event.  This may be the most excited I’ve ever been for a parade.  It’s the biggest one yet!  Growing up in a tiny Acadian fishing village in Cape Breton, we had to drive three hours to Halifax if we wanted to see a holiday parade.  For me, this is a BIG DEAL.

Fort McMurray really does do it Texas style.  Bigger, better, brighter.  People are going to be blown away by the light show we have planned for Jubilee Plaza.

One of my favorite things about being on the event team is seeing the photos and posts from spectators and participants after the event.  No doubt, I’ll spend the rest of my evening trolling Facebook and Instagram crying over the happiness of the children on the parade route as they anticipate the ‘big guy’ at the end of the parade.  This event screams ‘Canadian’ to me.  People braving the elements and bundling their babies up because they couldn’t dream of missing out on the action.  I’m so proud to be a part of this.  It truly is the beginning of the holiday season.

See you all there!

Recreation Culture Calls

If you want to know about what's going on around town, then check out Recreation Culture Calls!

This electronic newsletter showcases local recreation and cultural events, job postings, as well as volunteer and funding opportunities, and much more.

If you would like to have your email added or removed from this list, or would like to submit information about an upcoming opportunity please send your request to 

To find out what's going on this weekend, please visit the Recreation Culture Calls page on the Municipal website or click here

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Shop Local!

 You've heard it before: "Shop local!". But have you ever wondered why? Let's highlight the reasons why shopping locally is beneficial to our community.

  • It encourages entrepreneurship
  • It generates various jobs
  • It builds sustainable and vibrant neighbourhoods
  • It keeps dollars in the local economy
  • It supports locally made products
  • And last, but not least, it creates personal relationships with the business and the customer. 

As we continue to rebuild our community, we encourage you to consider making your holiday purchases from local vendors and get to know your fellow neighbours. 

As an extra incentive to shopping local, the Fort McMurray Chamber of Commerce is hosting their second annual Shop Local Holiday Passport Program for a chance to win 1 of 3 McMurray Money Prize packages. 

From now until December 10, you can collect a passport stamp for every $10 spent at a participating business. All it takes is 10 stamps to fill a passport, with a max of four entries per person. Once your passport is complete, drop it off at a participating store, or at the Business Innovation Centre (#105, 9912 Franklin Avenue) to be entered into the draw to win one of the following McMurray Money Prize packages: 

1st Place - $1000
2nd Place - $500
3rd Place - $250 

The prize money can then be spent at the participating local businesses. Start collecting your stamps today! Visit to see the complete list of participating vendors. 

Happy shopping!

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Play Readings with Theatre; Just Because

Theatre; Just Because is a local theatre company with the goal to help "grow the local theatre community not only through producing, but giving back at the same time – in the form of affordable workshops and specialized one-on-one mentorships towards professional growth. [They] focus on the individual artist and create unique opportunities for them to create and perform.”  It was with this mandate in mind that the monthly Play Reading Night was formed.

The Play Reading Nights are held in partnership with Suncor Energy Centre for the Performing Arts. Each night brings a different play to life and allows attendees to read a role aloud, or to just listen as the play unfolds. Attendance is open to everyone ages 16+, regardless of theatre experience.

Plays that have been done in the past include selections from various genres and eras including Grey Gardens, Suicide in B, and Adventures of a Black Girl in Search of God

The next Play Reading Night will be held on Monday December 5th and the play that will be read is A Charlie Brown Christmas.

For more information on Theatre; Just Because or the monthly play reading night visit

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

'Tis the Season of Giving

With so much change for the residents of Wood Buffalo, there is an increased need for support.  By giving your time or by donating items, you can help out in a big way.

The Wood Buffalo Food Bank always has a need for volunteers.  You could sort and stock food items, ensure food hasn’t expired, volunteer for events and so much more!  Volunteer hours are between 9 am and 8 pm Monday to Friday and the second Saturday of each month from 9 am to 4 pm.  You can find out more by calling Anna at 780-743-1125 ext. 228 or by visiting:

Santas Anonymous is once again being organized by the students and staff at Father Mercredi High School. If you are looking for a way to help, please consider making a donation on their donation page, dropping off some needed toys (a list of which can be found on the wish list page) or by referring a family on the referral page (the deadline for referrals is by the end of day on November 21).  For more information, please visit: 

The Salvation Army is looking for volunteers for their Christmas Kettle Campaign.  Shifts are a commitment of 2 hours.  To find out more, contact Verna by calling 587-646-0981 or emailing

The Centre of Hope has volunteer opportunities on a regular basis.  Volunteers do need to be over 18 years of age.  To find out more about volunteering, please call Danielle Stagg at 780-743-3912 ext. 227.  If you wanted to donate some items to the Centre of Hope, fresh fruit, hot chocolate and coffee are always appreciated!  The hours of operation are 8:30 am-4:30 pm, 7 days a week, the office is closed for lunch from 11:30 am-12:30 pm.  For more details about their services and programs, you can visit their website by following the link:

The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo believes in connecting citizens through volunteering. Wood Buffalo offers many events and programs that would not be possible without the support and dedication of volunteers.  You can register to volunteer for some of the following upcoming events including the Santa Claus Parade and Lights of Christmas or WinterPLAY.  To find out more or to register, please visit

These are just a few ways you can get involved and help brighten the lives of those in our communities. I think the following quote by Aesop sums things up nicely, “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” 

Monday, 21 November 2016

Let your creativity shine - submit your poems to Words in Motion!

Are you a writer or a poet? Do you like to write clever rhymes or song lyrics?

If so, you should submit your work to this year’s Words in Motion!

Words in Motion is a literacy program that promotes an appreciation for the art of poetry. Poetry can take many forms- whether it be dramatic, lyrical or narrative- so don't limit your creativity! Poems written in any form or language (with an English translation) will be accepted.  

A panel of judges will review the poems and select which ones will be displayed on Wood Buffalo Transit buses and shelters as well as on the RWMB website. 

You have until February 3, 2017 to participate. 

To read last year's selected poetry and to learn more about the program, please visit

Thursday, 17 November 2016

The Other Side of the Pole

"The Other Side of the North Pole" is a family friendly musical that will be playing at Keyano Theatre Co. as a part of the 4-Play Drama Series 2016/17 Season.  

Watch as two young kids Sandy and Willy investigate why Christmas has been banned from their hometown of Split Hoof. In pursuit of answers, the amateur sleuths learn some very interesting things about themselves, their families and the magic of Christmas.

Show times are:

Preview: Nov. 24, 8:00 pm

Opening: Nov 25, 8:00 pm

Show dates: Nov 26, 30, Dec 1, 2, 3, 2016 8:00 pm

Matinee: Dec 3 at 2:00 pm

To find out more or to purchase tickets, please visit:

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Give the Gift of Music

This holiday season you are invited to make a difference in the lives of local young people as the Legacy Children’s Foundation launches an exciting crowd funding campaign to raise $50,000 for music programs that support at-risk youth in Alberta.

Going on twelve plus years, Legacy Children’s Foundations Gift of Music program has helped deserving youth ages 9 to 24 stay in school by providing long-term mentorship and music lessons. Students receive a gently-used instrument, participate in weekly lessons with instructors, and develop their musical talents and entrepreneurial skills, all while focusing on completing their education. 

Legacy Children’s Foundation encourages caring individuals to rally friends, family, and colleagues to participate in the Indiegogo fundraiser and give the Gift of Music to deserving youth. Without this funding, Legacy Children’s Foundation will unfortunately be forced to scale back operations next year which will leave many youth without mentors. 

The Indiegogo fundraiser campaign runs over the holidays from November 14, 2016 to January 12, 2017, and can be viewed at Be the first to take advantage of exciting perks and incentives as certain quantities are limited.

If unable to make a monetary donation you can help by simply sharing this campaign with others, please help spread the word to give the 'Gift of Music'!

For more information about the Gift of Music program and the Legacy Children’s Foundation, please visit

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Winter BAM!

This past March, Honest Ed's - a famous Toronto discount department store, owned by the infamous Ed Mirvish - advertised a sale of all the store's iconic hand-painted signs.  The line-up snaked around the block.

Since opening in 1948, all of signage inside Honest Ed's is hand-painted by two full-time artists (the store is closing permanently in December 2016).  The signs - brightly painted and riddled with puns - are considered iconic design pieces by many. Here are just a few:

Though hand lettering is rarely seen in stores nowadays, there is still hope for the wonderful art of window displays - something we can soon enjoy as many retailers prepare their windows for the upcoming holiday season.  New York is famous for its many incredible window displays as you can see here:

In fact, the art of the window display will soon be more prominent right here in Fort McMurray. Until November 21, businesses have the opportunity to apply to get a Winter Wonderland-themed window painting of their own.  Based on a first-come, first-served basis, the windows will be painted by local residents and paid for Communities in Bloom, as part of the BAM! program.  All windows will be painted by December 3 - just in time for the Santa Claus parade!

Launched in 2014, BAM! was created by Wood Buffalo Communities in Bloom to encourage storefront beautification.  Visit for details and application forms!

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Remembrance Day Ceremony- November 11, 2016

On Remembrance Day, we commemorate the people who serve and continue to serve our country during times of war, conflict and peace. 

Our local Royal Canadian Legion Branch No. 165 hosts an annual Remembrance Day ceremony for our community. This year, the ceremony is dedicated all those who serve our country. In addition to honouring the sacrifices made by veterans and current military personnel, we will also be paying tribute to the first responders for their bravery and dedication  during the wildfire.

The ceremony will take place in two parts, with the first taking place in the Nexen Field House at MacDonald Island. Doors will open at 8:30 am and the service will start at 9 am. 

The second part of the ceremony will then continue at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch, located at 9317 Huggard Street in Waterways.  

How else can you get involved? 

By participating in Act of Remembrance during Veteran’s Week from November 5 to November 11.  As we stop to remember, salute and honour Canada’s Veterans and active duty personnel, the Government of Canada is encouraging Canadians to pay tribute to our heroes for their service and sacrifice by showing your support on various social media platforms. Share a story, a photo, or send your thanks to #RememberThem. 

For more information of Act of Remembrance, visit

Monday, 7 November 2016

Financial Help Available to Artists in the Entertainment Sector

It's been a challenging year for residents of the Wood Buffalo Region. If you are an entertainment professional who is facing financial hardship, there is help for you by way of The AFC, previously known as the Actors’ Fund of Canada.

The AFC provides emergency financial assistance to all who work professionally in the arts and entertainment industry, including all aspects of film, television, theatre, music and dance. They strive to help Canadian entertainment professionals  when illness, injury or other personal or professional hardships compromise their health, dignity and  ability to work.

You are eligible to apply for assistance if you have:

  • earned more than half your income in the Canadian entertainment industry over the past 3 years;
  • earned the majority of your income from the Canadian entertainment industry, if you are over 65;
  • experienced an unforeseeable emergency that has led to a financial crisis;
  • made reasonable efforts to find other means of income or support.

Within the last 24 months, The AFC has distributed close to $1 million in emergency financial aid to help entertainment professionals working in all aspects of Film & TV, music, theatre and dance.

Learn More 

For Assistance 

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Graffiti Abatement Mural Program

You might recognize some of these murals from around Fort McMurray, but did you know that they serve more than just one purpose?

The murals were commissioned as part of the Graffiti Abatement Mural Program.  The basis of the project is simple: when a mural goes onto a wall, it is less likely that the wall will be tagged or vandalized with graffiti.  When large spaces become less vulnerable to the threat of graffiti,  it means that property owners and municipalities spend less on graffiti removal and remediation of that space.  

Launched in 2012, the project also provides an opportunity to explore urban art in a legal, respectful way.

Each spring, a Call to Artist is issued nationally.  While the call is open to any artist living in Canada, extra effort is put forth to encourage submissions from local candidates.  

Once all the submissions have been gathered, a local selection panel (comprised of community volunteers including representation from the arts community) reviews the proposed designs and picks the artist and proposal that they feel will be the best fit for our region.  Murals are usually completed by the end of September.

For more information about the Graffiti Abatement Mural Program, please visit:  If you have any suggestions for future mural locations, or would like to discuss the program in detail,  please contact

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Paint Nite

There's a new creative craze taking over local restaurants and bars in Fort McMurray. If you remember the days of Bob Ross and his "happy little trees", Paint Nite is taking the painting lesson to the next level! Combining everyone's love of art, food and drink, Paint Nite has mastered the recipe for bringing creativity into the mainstream. 

Paint Nite offers an inviting social atmosphere where an instructor guides participants through the process of making their own masterpiece as a group. At $45 per seat, you can select your preferred date and unique design that you will take home at the end of the night. All supplies including paint, brushes, canvas and instruction are included with your purchase of a ticket.  

Anyone, no matter their skill level, can participate in Paint Nite. If you're looking for a fun night out, or even a team building session, this is a great activity that brings people together to enjoy each other's company in a creative atmosphere. 

For information on how to book your ticket to the next Paint Nite happening at a restaurant near you, visit Tickets sell out fast! So be sure to book early to secure your seat and easel. 

Check out results from past paint nights by visiting 

Friday, 28 October 2016

Recreation Culture Calls: October 26, 2016

If you want to know about what's going on around town, then check out Recreation Culture Calls!

This electronic newsletter showcases local recreation and cultural events, job postings, as well as volunteer and funding opportunities, and much more.

If you would like to have your email added or removed from this list, or would like to submit information about an upcoming opportunity please send your request to 

To find out what's going on this weekend, please visit the Recreation Culture Calls page on the Municipal website or click here

Thursday, 27 October 2016

The Full Moon Café

The Full Moon Café began in 2005 and was the idea of three women who wanted to create a space for local talent to share their gifts.  Attendees can participate or just come to enjoy the show and a mug of Chai Tea.

The admission for the Full Moon Café is a mere $5.  The café opens with a drum circle at 7:30pm where everyone is invited to join in and play a percussion instrument of their choice. This is followed by an open stage for sharing talents at 8pm.  Many local musicians share the stage with music stylings in all genres from country to rock.  A few poets and dancers have been known to grace the stage from time to time.  Every café is unique. 

To find out more about the Full Moon Café you can follow their Facebook page by searching and liking "Full Moon Café Fort McMurray".  The next café is scheduled for Saturday, November 26, 2016 and will take place at the Art Foundry at River Station (8130 Fraser Avenue).

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

National Novel Writing Month

Have you ever dreamed about writing a novel? Here’s your chance! Join the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) challenge and see if you can write a 50, 000 word story in 30 days. 

NaNoWriMo is an annual, Internet-based creative writing project that brings together professional and amateur writers from all over the world. 

Here’s how it works:
Visit to create a profile
On November 1, start writing!

Be sure to visit the NaNoWriMo website often to check in, track your progress, get pep talks and support, and to network with fellow writers. Don’t fret too much about the quality of your work- you can do that later. The main goal of NaNoWriMo is to encourage creativity worldwide and to have participants focus on completion, rather than perfection, of their work. 

To learn more about NaNoWriMo, visit

Happy Writing!

Friday, 21 October 2016

Recreation Culture Calls

If you want to know about what's going on around town, then check out Recreation Culture Calls!

This electronic newsletter showcases local recreation and cultural events, job postings, as well as volunteer and funding opportunities, and much more.

If you would like to have your email added or removed from this list, or would like to submit information about an upcoming opportunity please send your request to 

To find out what's going on this weekend, please visit the Recreation Culture Calls page on the Municipal website or click here

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Fort McMurray Social Dance Club

The Fort McMurray Social Dance Club hosts monthly events for adults to practice and learn ballroom, Latin and other dancing styles. The club plays a variety of modern and classic music to tend to everyone’s preference. Learn to Cha Cha, Swing, Foxtrot, Waltz, Swing, Rhumba, Tango and so much more in a social setting. Whether you’re preparing for your wedding or a special event, or just wanting to perfect your smooth dance moves, this club is for dancers of all levels. No partner or experience is required for any of the events; just a willingness to dance!

The next monthly event will be held on Friday, October 28, 2016 at the Stonebridge Hotel – Athabasca Room from 8 pm to midnight. An introductory lesson on Cha Cha will take place from 8:30 pm to 9:00 pm, followed by an open dance floor where a variety of music will be played. 

Aren't sure what kind of music you can dance the Cha Cha to? Here are some suggestions:

  • Disturbia by Rihanna
  • Tik Tok by Ke$ha
  • Cake by the Ocean by DNCE 
  • Treasure by Bruno Mars

For more information, please visit the group’s Facebook Page: Fort McMurray Social Dance Club 

Monday, 17 October 2016

Keyano College Lecture Series: How to Write Poems About Fires

Keyano College is once again hosting a free lecture series for the community to enjoy.

The lecture series is hosted by various instructors from the College, and the lectures range in theme and topic. Attending a lecture is a wonderful opportunity to engage in meaningful conversation and to learn something new about a topic that has piqued your interest! 

The next lecture will be held on Friday, October 28, 2016 and will explore "How to Write Poems About Fires". The lecture will be hosted by Dr. Ryan Cox, an English instructor at Keyano.  

Dr. Cox seeks to demystify the process of creating a poem and will answer questions such as, "How do you write a poem?" and "What does a poem even look like?"

There will also be a special presentation of new poetry that was written with the support of an Alberta Foundation for the Arts grant.

Be sure to make Oct. 28th in your calendars and join Dr. Cox in the Keyano Recital Theatre at 7 pm.

For more information, please visit

Thursday, 13 October 2016

The 88,000 Project- Share Your Stories!

We all evacuated. We all have a story. The 88,000 Project is asking you for your stories. 

Ashley Tobin, creator of The 88,000 Project, explains: “ The 88,000 Project is a compilation of our stories - stories of evacuation, re-entry, and everything in between.  I came up with this project as a solution to my own anxiety about the re-entry process.  A good friend encouraged me to write my feelings down anytime I felt overwhelmed.  Whenever I felt that I couldn’t breathe, I wrote down how I was feeling.  I transferred my thoughts from my mind to a piece of paper.  It worked!”

Tobin hopes to inspire other residents to share their stories.  “By writing down their stories, residents can have an opportunity to be heard and to put their feelings onto paper, which will hopefully help them in their own journey of recovery.  I also find that reading about other peoples’ experiences helps me to put my own experience into perspective.”  

A few stories have already come in, and Tobin hopes to get 400 entries by October 31.  “The goal is to have the book published by Christmas,” says Tobin.  “As the months march on, it’s important that the community has an opportunity like this – to express themselves honestly and to learn of their neighbours’ stories.”  If you’re stuck for something to write about, there’s a list of potential topics at

A portion of the proceeds from The 88,000 Project will be directed to the United Way of Fort McMurray.  

The submission guidelines are simple: write out (or draw!) your story on one side of an 8.5 in x 11 in paper.  Your submission can be a single sentence or it could take up the entire page.  Stories may be submitted in any language.  Submissions are open to all ages and must be anonymous.  

Check out the for submission drop-off locations, deadline,  and other details.