Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Celebrating Chinese New Year

As you would say in Cantonese, "Gung Hay Fat Choy!", meaning: Happy New Year! 

Chinese New Year, also commonly known as Spring Festival, is marked by the turn of lunisolar in the Chinese Calendar. In 2017, Chinese New Year will take place on January 28. The celebrated date changes year to year, and falls on the second new moon following the winter solstice. The holiday is generally celebrated for 15 consecutive days, starting from New Years Eve, and includes traditional events ranging from family meals/reunions, to prayers and gift offerings. 

Red envelopes are a common gift handed out from married couples or elderly people to children and unmarried adults. The envelopes typically contain money in an even denomination (not including the number four), to represent good fortune, prosperity and a long life. 

According to the Chinese zodiac, which rotates on a 12-year cycle, the year 2017 will celebrate the year of the Rooster. In Chinese astrology, those born in the year of the Rooster will embody the following characteristics: honesty, intelligence, flamboyance, flexibility, and confidence. 

Looking to take part in Chinese New Year celebrations? The Fort McMurray Chinese Canadian Cultural Society will be hosting their annual Chinese New Year banquet at the Suncor Energy Centre for the Performing Arts on Saturday, February 4, 2017 starting at 6 pm. The evening will include a Chinese buffet dinner, cultural performances, a lion dance, and many door prizes. 

To purchase tickets, or for more information, visit http://mcmurrayallconnected.ca/ai1ec_event/2017-chinese-new-year-celebration-banquet/

Monday, 30 January 2017

Survey about Religion in Wood Buffalo

The Collaboration for Religious Inclusion (CRI) is conducting an online survey on religion, hosted by Applications Management Consulting. This online survey includes a fun Trivia Quiz about religion in the Wood Buffalo region. You will be able to see your Trivia Quiz results! Take the quiz now: www.surveygizmo.com/s3/2712974/Collaboration-for-Religious-Inclusion-Survey

All information collected will be kept confidential and will support the development of an Action Plan on religious diversity in the Wood Buffalo Region. 

The Collaboration for Religious Inclusion (CRI) brings together like-minded organizations located in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo to promote unity through religious inclusion and understanding. The group aims to engage and educate the public through workshops, forums, media, and collaborative initiatives. For more information, visit the CRI's website at: http://criwoodbuffalo.wix.com/home.

Friday, 27 January 2017

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 recreationandculture@rmwb.ca.

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

Thursday, 26 January 2017

WinterPLAY 2017 Talent Show

One Direction, Miranda Lambert, Pentatonix, Usher and BeyoncĂ©.  What do they have in common?  They were all discovered in singing competitions.

If you’ve got a secret (or even not-so-secret) talent, there is a local opportunity for  you to shine: WinterPLAY 2017!

The talent competition at WinterPLAY is open to residents of all ages and all talents.  That means we’re looking for singers, dancers, comedians, actors, baton twirlers, magicians, fire eaters, and karate choppers!  Come show us what you’ve got and you could potentially win one of three prizes provided by Peter Pond Mall (first prize is a $1,000 Peter Pond Mall gift card).

Taking place Saturday, February 25 in the WinterSHOWCASE tent (which is a giant, inflatable igloo), performers will show off their talents in front of an audience and a community selection panel.  The judges will determine which acts will move forward to the finals, which take place on Sunday, February 26.

Be sure to register your performance by February 13.  You can register HERE.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Alanna at 780-792-5968.

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Participate in the Canada Day Challenge

Are you creative? Get inspired and celebrate your future! 

Each year, the Canada Day Challenge invites young Canadians from 8 to 18 years old to submit their best, most dynamic drawings, photos or pieces of creative writing that celebrate Canada's culture and identity, illustrate their vision of the future, and reflects their exploration and participation in their community. 

By entering the Canada Day Challenge,  you could win a trip for two to Ottawa and be a VIP Guest on Parliament Hill on Canada Day to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation!

The Challenge is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2017. Entries are being accepted until March 31, 2017.

Get all the details at www.canada.ca/canada-day-challenge

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Celebrate Canada 150 by Learning about Canada's History

How much do you really know about Canada and its history? 

If you're don't remember much from your high school Canadian History class,  don't worry! Now there is a fun, interactive way to get your daily dose of Canadiana with #OnThisDay. 

As the name suggests, every day the webpage will feature a different event from Canada's past. You can learn more about our country, one day at a time!

Here is look at today's #OnThisDay:

January 18, 1904

At the First Annual Banquet of the Canadian Club of Ottawa, the Prime Minister of Canada, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, delivers a famous speech on the future of Canada.

“Canada has been modest in its history, although its history … in my estimation, is only commencing. It is commencing in this century. The nineteenth century was the century of the United States. I think we can claim that it is Canada that shall fill the twentieth century.”

#OnThisDay was launched by Library and Archives Canada in celebration of the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation. To learn more about this project, please click here.

Monday, 16 January 2017

Wood Buffalo Arts and Craft Guild: A Brief History

Last April, the Wood Buffalo Arts and Craft Guild celebrated their 40th anniversary! The Guild was formed in 1976 with one of the remaining founding members, Carol Breen. The Guild's mission statement is “to encourage artists to pursue their artistic goals in the community.”

To date, the Guild has organized over six youth art competition called the Big Spirit Art Competition. Open to artists ranging from age 5 to 18 years old, this competition promotes the value of arts to local youth. The young artists were invited to submit artworks using watercolour, acrylic, pastels, pencil and/or charcoal in categories such as landscape, abstract, still life and portrait. While there was grand prizes awarded for the top artists in various categories, the guild realizes the importance of encouraging youth to peruse the arts and so all the participants were awarded with a ribbon.

In the past, the Guild has also partnered with Keyano College to host a high school art competition within Keyano’s art gallery. Winning competitors were awarded with prize money funded by the Wood Buffalo Arts and Craft Guild, as well as scholarship funding offered by Keyano College. Unfortunately, with a declining membership base and lack of funding, the Guild can no longer offer these competitions at this time. However, with a plan to boost membership registration, this worthy program may have the potential to be reintroduced.

The Wood Buffalo Arts & Craft Guild is also heavily involved in the community and host a variety of fundraising events that support local social profit organizations. A great example of this is when they hosted an art auction for Unity House, a local woman and children’s emergency shelter, where proceeds from the auction were divided between the artist and Unity House.  In addition to this, the President of the guild, Margie Cunningham, initiated a program called Healing Halls at the local hospital where a percentage of the proceeds from the sale of art goes to the Northern Lights Health Foundation.

The Guild also participates in several community celebrations like Alberta Culture Days in Wood Buffalo for which they created a community canvas on a large drop cloth and the public was invited to join in and paint.  Then, large pieces of it was auctioned off to raise money for the Kids Forever Foundation, a recently dissolved local charity that supported families who provide for sick and disabled. The guild began the creation of the community canvas at MacDonald Island Park, then continued out of the Oil Sands Discovery Centre, and finally donating the last of the pieces to be auctioned off at the Festival of Trees event, an annual fundraiser for various community charities.

The Wood Buffalo Arts & Craft Guild is one of the longest running art groups within the Wood Buffalo region. Guided by philanthropic principles, this group places the arts at the forefront of creative fundraising.  

The Wood Buffalo Arts & Craft Guild welcomes new members. To learn more, or to become a member, contact the President of the Guild, Margie Cunningham, at mecunningham@shaw.ca 

Stay informed on all upcoming events through their Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/WoodBuffaloArtsAndCraftsGuild

Thursday, 12 January 2017


Meetup.com – Friend making made easy! 

The beginning of a new year is the perfect opportunity to set goals and aspirations- commonly referred to as "New Years Resolutions"- for yourself.  Why not add making new friends, creating memories and experiencing new adventures to the list?

With the rise of social networking, it's easy to do! The Fort McMurray edition of www.meetup.com offers many exciting and interesting groups  Whether it’s hiking, cooking, board games, investing, dancing, volunteer or reading, this website has so much to offer.

Each of the Meetup groups and events are coordinated by volunteers, and is open to all Wood Buffalo residents. To begin, simply visit the website to create a profile, add your interests, and select your region. You can also view a calendar of all of local events. 

Here are just a few for example of some of the many groups found on Meetup.com:
Fort McMurray Hikers and Walkers
Fort McMurray Do Something! 20s and 30s
Fort McMurray Language Conversation Group
Latin Dance Fort McMurray
Fort McMurray Investors Meetup Group
Wood Buffalo Women in Networking
Fort McMurray Potluck and Games Meetup
And so many more!

So what are you waiting for? Join an upcoming event, or create your own and start making new friends.

For more information, or to find a “meetup” near you, visit www.meetup.com.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Canada Summer Jobs

Are you looking to hire more help for the summer? Why not hire a student? Financial assistance for wages is available through the Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) initiative.

CSJ provides funding to not-for-profit organizations, public-sector employees and small businesses with 50 or fewer full-time employees to create summer job opportunities for students. The initiative is designed to focus on local priorities, while helping both students and their communities. 

The application form as well as the applicant guide are currently available at www.canada.ca/canada-summer-jobs. You can submit your application online, by mail or in person at any Service Canada Centre.

For more information:

Click: www.canada.ca/canada-summer-jobs
Call: 1-800-935-5555 (ATS: 1-800-926-9105)
Visit: a Service Canada Centre

Friday, 6 January 2017

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 recreationandculture@rmwb.ca. 

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

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Calligraphy Workshops

Think of the last time you got a letter – an actual, hand-written letter – in the mail.  It was probably a quite some time ago, and you likely took great delight in opening the envelope to read the contents inside.

Every day, we are bombarded with e-newsletters and junk mail.  Our virtual (and actual!) mailboxes become so full of corporate messaging that all the content seems to run into each other.  Among the piles of glossy adverts and the unread messages in our inbox, the hand-written note is the rare and true gem.  Each letter represents and personal and unique part of the sender with a message crafted for a very specific audience: you.

Whether you’re sending out invitations for a special event, or if you’ve made it a goal to send more written correspondence, the Gothicized Italic Calligraphy Workshop might be for you!  Running January 18-February 15 (Wednesdays, 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm), this course will walk students through the art of beautiful penmanship.

The course will be held at the Suncor Energy Centre for Performing Arts and registration is open now.   

Monday, 2 January 2017

Free Poetry Workshops

Did you know that April is National Poetry Month?

Established in Canada in 1998, National Poetry Month strives to increase awareness and appreciation of poetry and the important role it plays in our culture.

Poetry is celebrated in Wood Buffalo through the annual Words in Motion program. Residents of all ages- whether they are a student, a professional writer, or a novice wordsmith- are encouraged to submit their poetry. You can learn more about Words in Motion at www.rmwb.ca/wordsinmotion 

The deadline to submit your poetry is February 3, 2017. Once the program closes, an external panel of judges will select the poems to be displayed in Wood Buffalo Transit buses and on the Municipal website. Authors of the selected poems will be invited to participate in a celebration event at the Wood Buffalo Regional Library in April.

To help get your creative juices flowing, Dr. Ryan Cox of Keyano College will be facilitating two poetry workshops on January 10th (for adults) and January 18th (for ages 13-18) at the Wood Buffalo Regional Library. Attendance is free of charge! Be sure to register your spot here.

Happy Writing!