More advice for new residents
So you’ve nearly survived winter, and sometime between the end of March and the beginning of June the weather may warm up enough for you to dare to go outside unencumbered with fleece, wool, boots, hats, gloves, and scarves. Or it may not. In the hope that it does, here are some of the things you may look forward to enjoying.
What they don’t tell new arrivals.
I LOVE LIVING DOWNTOWN. APART FROM THE WEATHER, I can sometimes forget I’m even in Fort McMurray. There are new immigrants everywhere and at times it can feel like I’m back in Johannesburg or Nairobi. Plus, if I need a cab, there are always about a dozen of them available.
The diversity of this town surprises visitors. There are more than 100 different nationalities, nearly as many languages, and a spread of beliefs and cultures that cover almost the entire range of human history. But sometimes I think we do these new residents a disservice. It is difficult to move from a country on the equator to a part of the world that actually has seasons. It’s one of the reasons why we talk about the weather so much. Up here if you don’t pay attention to what’s going on around you, you might not make it back home. I remember at the Christmas parade about three years ago, watching a new family climb out of their vehicle dressed in their finest traditional clothing. They lasted about five seconds before the heads dived back in and their saris were covered by bulky winter jackets.
Maybe you’ve just moved here or maybe you’re a local. Either way, winter is inescapable and the coming of winter in this town sometimes takes on mythic proportions. A highlight of winter in the Wood Buffalo region is the annual Syncrude winterPLAY Festival, one of Events Wood Buffalo’s four major festivals, which offers the community a wide variety of events, both indoor and outdoor. Going on annually for over five years, winterPLAY has grown from a two day event to a two week event for celebrating winter.
NORTHERN ALBERTA IS WELL-KNOWN FOR ITS sub-zero winter weather and in the Wood Buffalo Region, it’s all Canadian. From traditional winter activities like skiing and skating, our region has all of the outlets. Quite often it’s the more unusual ones that are favoured by most and add the real adventurous experience.