FCM Study Tours

FCM Study Tours

“The study tours are the best,” said Mayor Blake, after returning from last year’s FCM (Federation of Canadian Municipalities) Conference in Halifax.  The observation stayed with me as we began the first full day in Saskatoon, as mayors, councillors, CAOs, reeves, aldermen, and myriad municipal officials gathered from across the country for their annual conference
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iPhone Virgin

iPhone Virgin

I got the SIM error message around 10 am the day before.  No emails were coming in or out of my BlackBerry, and access to the Internet was gone.  For the first time in recent memory I was cut-off from my virtual life.  After about eight hours I joked in a Facebook post that I
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Chattin’ with Ellis Hall

Chattin’ with Ellis Hall

On Sunday night, singer Ellis Hall will join the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra for an unforgettable tribute to Ray Charles as part of Wood Buffalo Alive with Culture activities planned for the weekend.  I had the honour to chat with Ellis on the phone this morning from his home in Los Angeles, California.  It wasn’t a
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Alive with Culture

Alive with Culture

My band teacher from high school retired a couple of days ago.  Mr. Wenner posted the news on Facebook and stories and memories began pouring in from his former students stretching back to the early 1980s.  So, music ensembles had already been on my mind as Theresa Wells and I met with Arndis Bildfell from
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Abasand walk

Abasand walk

In 16 years of living here, I had never taken any of the historic walks in Abasand, an area of Fort McMurray perched on a plateau between valleys formed by the Clearwater and Horse rivers.  In my mind, the system of rough trails leading to the historic site of the former Abasand Oils Limited facility
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Leaders launch

Leaders launch

The largest graduating class in the history of Leadership Wood Buffalo arrived at both an end and a beginning on Thursday night.  On the one hand, it was the end of a 240-day community leadership journey that began with a retreat at Christina Lake Lodge. “240 days since we tentatively came together as strangers to
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The Best Day

The Best Day

It is a good feeling when you can look back on a day at the office and be able to say that it was “the best day!”  We had one of those on Thursday as the Keyano College faculty and staff gathered for our second full day of strategic planning and team-building. We started the
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Above the Line

Above the Line

Over the past week or so, we’ve been working with Mark Bosworth of Kesa, Inc. preparing for a couple of days of strategic planning and team-building at Keyano College.  Mark joined us last year for a similar process and introduced us to a concept called “Leading Above the Line.”  It’s a simple way of framing
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500

500

What’s in a number?  This – the 500th blog post since I started this writing practice on December 26, 2009 – is, in the great scheme of things, just another series of thoughts threaded together by an idea or theme.  Does it need to be anything more special or different than the 499 that came
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Digit dilemma

Digit dilemma

Unaccustomed to having time on my hands, I began to get fidgety yesterday afternoon, mid-way through a long weekend.  So, despite the pelting rain, I threw on a coat, got into the Escape and made a beeline to Chow’s Varieties to grab my minnows.  Rain or no rain, time on my hands meant a fishing
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