The Power of Ads

The Power of Ads

We received our first piece of mail post-Christmas, three flyers and one piece of business. As we sat around the lunch table enjoying a homemade batch of soup, using Alanna’s ingenious method of simmering canned tomatoes in just a little bit of butter and an onion sliced in half, I leafed through the slim offerings
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Cultural Hall of Fame

Cultural Hall of Fame

I posted a question on Facebook about creating a cultural hall of fame in Wood Buffalo and who would or should be on the inductee list. It was my first post where Comments out numbered Likes ten to one; a lot of people had strong thoughts on the issue. I’ve been ruminating for the better
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Letter from Santa

Letter from Santa

“Ben! You got a letter from Santa,” I said, arriving home on Christmas Eve. The letter was sticking out of the mailbox just waiting to be hand-delivered to Mr. Benjamin. He excitedly grabbed it from me and made quick work of ripping open the envelope and extracting the message, printed on Christmas theme paper with
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Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve

There was a time, not that long ago, when Christmas Eve felt still and somewhat isolated as the world around us scattered throughout the province, country and world. Looking through Facebook and Twitter I can instantly picture clearly and with certainty, friends and colleagues in locations as far flung as Taiwan and as close as
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Holiday Hello

Holiday Hello

I don’t know what possessed me to start the Holiday Hello tradition, but for five years now it’s been an essential element of getting ready for Christmas. A collection of words and images, the editions of our Christmas newsletter capture the passing of the years in an incredible way. In 2006, when I started this
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Drive Safe

Drive Safe

When you’re heading south from Fort McMurray to anywhere, you often get a two word response when you share the news: “Drive safe!” The sincerity with which it is said, and the meaning and the history behind it is unsettling. It’s a dangerous stretch of road, I would argue one of the most feared in
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The Christmas Concert

The Christmas Concert

“Did you know that this is the 42nd annual Christmas Concert at Dr. Clark School,” said Mrs. Demers, in between one of the sing-along numbers last night. When she said it, an image suddenly flashed in my mind of generations of kids and families who wandered through these halls in those years. That time-lapse video
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Private Lives and Public Process

Private Lives and Public Process

We went to go see Keyano Theatre Company’s production of Noel Coward’s Private Lives on Saturday. A play that peels back the fourth wall and allows us to get a very personal (and hysterical) look into the lives of star-crossed lovers, ex-lovers, and lovers reconnected. It was Dylan’s first evening out in quite some time
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Fort Chip Trip

Fort Chip Trip

There had been some snow that morning and the ceiling was a little low for the small planes to safely fly so we were delayed for a few hours. A group of us from Fort McMurray were traveling to Fort Chipewyan, Alberta’s oldest settlement (established in 1788), for the opening of Canada’s largest synthetic ice
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Student Days

Student Days

I emceed the Student Awards at Keyano College tonight. Watching about 150 eager young minds walk across the stage and accept their scholarships, awards and bursaries I couldn’t help but reflect back to my university days between 1985 – 1988. Leaving home and moving to Saskatoon I became a small fish in a big pond.
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