Tag Archives: fort mcmurray

interPLAY – Let the Festivities Begin!

interPLAY - Events Wood Buffalo

interPLAY by Events Wood Buffalo

Well tonight is the big kick-off for arguably the summer’s best activity in Fort McMurray – interPLAY! This will be my third interPLAY, and let me tell you, it seems to be getting better and better every year.

For those of you who have been following Russell Thomas through his Twitter feed, you know that the interPLAY team has been working madly behind the scenes to get the event ready for the community.

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Unwrapping the Research: What will the future for Fort McMurray hold?

With all the hoopla in the news about our national census (short form, long form, who has the right to ask you if you have a cracked bathroom tile etc.), you can be forgiven if thoughts towards our local regional profile and census have fallen by the way side.

Granted, we have had our own issues regarding the all mighty census – in fact, as of this post, the latest Regional Profile available to residents is the 2002-2004 profile. (Hopefully these issues are behind us and an updated profile will be released to us residents shortly…)

But putting the municipal census aside, Fort McMurray and the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB) seem to have caught the attention of a lot of folks. A lot.

Not only have we become a household name (ok, “oil sands”, “tar sands”, and “dirty oil” are becoming household words…) but apparently a healthy amount of researchers have been coming up here to gather data – data to better understand who we are and what makes the region tick. And gather they have.

City-Region Studies Centre Logo

property of the CRSC

Coming up this fall, we will have the opportunity to find out what these researchers have discovered.

A division of the University of Alberta, the City-Region Studies Centre (CRSC) is presenting Unwrap the Research: What now for Fort McMurray and Wood Buffalo.

The  conference will be hosted at multiple venues (Downtown, the Sawridge, and the Suncor Community Leisure Centre) from October 22 to 24, 2010. It seems to be a great opportunity to take a look at what has been found, ask questions and provide feedback on the findings.

(A draft of the the three-day program is available, though it is obviously subject to change.)

From the conference page:

The first of its kind, this conference is structured to facilitate dialogue and learning opportunities
a) among researchers from multiple disciplines; and
b) between researchers and local residents.

Unwrap the Research offers a unique opportunity for social researchers and local residents to share and learn from research conducted in Fort McMurray and the oil sands region of Alberta. These and other topics will be covered:

  • Education in a Resource Economy
  • Childhood Well-being
  • Work and Gender
  • Mobile Workers
  • Francophone Newcomers
  • Immigrants/TFWs in the Service Sector
  • Comprehensive Bibliography of the Region
  • Demographics and Census
  • Urban Planning and Space
  • Recreational Land Use
  • Health and Substance Use
  • Social Meanings of Environment
  • Aboriginal – Industry Relations
  • Visual Images of Community

Looks to be a pretty interesting conference if you ask me – seems to be a great event to truly find out about what makes this place tick. I plan to attend… will you?

Why This Blog (Part Two)

(This is Part Two of the “About” section… Read the whole thing, if you want to)

Ok. Part Two is less about rhetoric and more about me.

So hi. This is me. Matt. Nice to meet you.

This is a blog about the oil sands – an industry in which I make my living as a Human Resources Advisor.

Along with my wife, I moved to Fort McMurray from Victoria, BC, in Feb of 2006, and have had the right combination of hard work, education, attitude, luck and connections to establish a new and (so far) successful life in northern Alberta.

I have a communications degree, am currently in the process of becoming a Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP), and in a previous life I used to be an apprentice cook.

You can see more about my digital presence through my Flavors.me account at Flavors.me/MattYouens. I have a personal twitter account, where I tweet about non-oil sands related bits and bobs as @MattYouens, and once in a while I blog on …and stuff like that….

Why This Blog

I have finally updated the “About” section of the blog – Part One is now live. Here’s an excerpt:

“The world needs oil. That’s the fact. Some people don’t like this, some do.

Most people, I imagine, don’t really think about oil and the role it plays in their lives.

But trust me on this, it’s a significant role.

And if you think you’re hearing about Fort McMurray and the Athabasca Oil Sands now, just you wait. Like it or not, as conventional oil sources are being exhausted around the globe, nations are turning to the “Canadian Oil Sands” to sate their demands.”

So what are you waiting for? Read the whole post.

Music Monday – Corb Lund’s Roughest Neck Around

While not technically about the oil sands, I always get a good feeling listening to Corb Lund’s “Roughest Neck Around” – I feel as though the line “giving power to the people” is pretty much what this town is about. Our slogan is afterall “Fort McMurray, we have the energy”.

My favourite verse in the song revolves around how Corb runs quickly through the “filthy, frozen coveralls on” portion:

“Well, his mind’s a little tired but his back is plenty strong
Got his green kings and filthy, frozen coveralls on
And he’s drilling by the inch and he’s hauling on the winch
Takin’ fuel from the tanks on his short change shift
You’d better hire him on, he’s the roughest neck around
He got the power in his hands to pull the dragons from the ground”

And here’s the video for the song – enjoy!

“Group of Seven” – Tweeters Out of Fort McMurray You Should Be Following (and Why)

Tuesday saw “68 Twitter Feeds from Fort McMurray (#ymm)” and yesterday saw “Top Ten to Follow for #OilSands Info“… So to complete this week’s Twitter hat-trick comes a third post regarding twitter folk – specifically those you should be following if you live or work in the Fort McMurray/Wood Buffalo area.

Without further adieu, here are the “Group of Seven” – Tweeters Out of Fort McMurray You Should Be Following (and Why).

“Group of Seven”

No. One@Country933 (especially with @kennyjones77 at the helm in the mornings) – Why you should follow: A great source of popular culture news (what happened on American Idol last night) and also local news/traffic (collision at bottom of Confed, don’t bother to go round to Thickwood, it’s just as bad etc.).

Never be caught unawares about traffic snarls again. But remember, tweet before you drive, not while you drive.

No. Two@FortMacTodayWhy you should follow: Our local newspaper, the Fort McMurray Today, is not only a great source for local news, but also industry happenings as well.

No. Three@rvthomas67Why you should follow: Aside from Russell being the Director of Marketing & Communications at our local college (Keyano College), he’s also the President of interPLAY Festival – a yearly summer celebration that never fails to entertain and amuse. Russell’s feed is also a great source for local news, events, and organizational info.

No. Four @Jon_TupperWhy you should follow: Not only did Jon recently become President of the Fort McMurray Chamber of Commerce, but his feed is a great combination of local news/events, industry happenings and the odd post about deep-fried pickles.

No. Five@Mix1037FMNewsWhy you should follow: The second radio feed to make the group, this particular Mix 107.3 feed (they have more than one) is always chalked to the brim with local, late-breaking news.

No. Six@Mike_Allen47 Why you should follow: Mike’s a Councillor for the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB), a past president of the Chamber of Commerce, and owner of Campbell’s Music (where the manager, Scott, is pretty much awesome btw). His feed is a good combo of local stuff and besides, it’s always good to have an ear in on local politics.

No. Seven@VolunteerWBWhy you should follow: Anyone who lives in this town knows how strong the volunteer community is… and Wood Buffalo Volunteer Centre’s mission is to “promote, develop and support volunteerism in the Wood Buffalo Region.” Following this feed will let you know where you’re needed most, so check them out and make a difference!

This is just a few of the folks tweeting out of Fort McMurray – there’s a few more out there though


Think someone else should have made the “Group of Seven”? Leave a comment with your argument as to why! Upset this post wasn’t about Canadian landscape painters? Why not leave a comment as well?

68 Twitter Feeds from Fort McMurray (#ymm)

Fort-McMurray-YMM Twitter ListDid you make the list?

Ever wanted to see who’s tweeting from Fort McMurray? If so, you can view 68 twitter accounts out of Fort Mac I’ve found so far.

The question now is – who was missed? Post a comment or tweet me and I’ll add them ASAP.