Arts & Culture(Archives)
Jerry Neville's Wood Buffalo Events
This is my second year writing this article for YMM Magazine and it`s the one thing I pull out of my pocket when people say there is nothing to do in Fort McMurray. There is so much to do here, and if you don`t think there is, mark these dates on your calendar!
I like to call it MacDonald Island mini, but it is really The Anzac Recreation Centre, and although people are already using the amazing facilities, One Recreation is having its Grand Opening May 2-3 and 4th. You will want to take in a whole weekend of festivities including a football clinic by the Edmonton Eskimos, a community BBQ and a concert by Canadian classic rockers Trooper! Check it out on line at anzacrec.ca/events.
May 16th sees the return of MMA fighting to The Casman Centre with Prestige FC 5! A brand new 10 sided cage will make its debut with a full card of fights topped off with local MMA favorite Dwayne D Bomb Lewis taking on Clay Davidson. This will be sold out, so get your tickets at www.fortmcmurrayoilbarons.ca under tickets now!
So when was the last time you saw a real roller derby team…and I don’t mean in the movies! In Fort McMurray we are lucky to have the ladies from the Tar Sand Betties who host bouts at the Casman Centre, and their home opener is May 17th! Catch all the action in the track side seats, or bring the family and sit in the stands! Find out more at tarsandbetties.com.
The Wood Buffalo region is rich in Aboriginal History and you will find it throughout your stay. The Metis Festival is happening May 24th and you can find The Metis culture on display. You can even see Canada`s Got Talent 2012 winners Sagkeeng’s Finest strutting their fast moving jigging live! My buddy Jerry Serada will be headlining the main stage as well. Everything you`ll need to know is at fortmcmurraymetis.org.
There are miles of trails all over Wood Buffalo! They are a great way to get out and enjoy the natural beauty that this region has to offer. The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo has it`s Parks Department going to schools to teach trail safety to your kids, and speaking of safety, Safety Day is coming up May 24th at Ecole McTavish. Your whole family can check out the RCMP bike rodeo, bike helmet exchange and if you’re lucky you might get to sound off the sirens on a real fire truck! safecommunitywb.ca/initiatives/family-safety-day.
The weekend of May 31-June 1, you have so much to choose from there is no way to take it all in! On top of golf, fishing or a visit to the Oil Sands Discovery Centre the rodeo is in town and so are the Snow Birds! The Tour North Ranch, on your way to the airport, hosts its annual 2 day rodeo complete with bull riding, roping events, the wild woolly sheep rodeo for your young cow folk and the usual rodeo food! This is the real deal, and a must see! Wood Buffalo will also be home to the brand new Fort McMurray International Airport, and you are invited to a ribbon cutting 30,000 feet in the air! The Canadian Armed Forces Snow Birds and CF-18 demo team will be on hand along with several aerial and ground displays. Find out how to get your tickets and more fortmacairshow.ca.
On June 13th is the one event that I love to participate in…the Canadian Cancer Society`s Relay For Life! So many families are touched by cancer (as is mine) and this is a great way to celebrate wins in the battle against cancer and to celebrate the lives of those who lost. If you have never seen real giving, you will see why Fort McMurray is the most giving community in Canada with one of the highest fundraising relays in Canada, plus lots of local entertainment and Zumba! You can sign up, donate or see more at cancer.ca.
We love to think big in Wood Buffalo and the biggest road hockey tournament happens every year all across Canada with Hockey Night In Canada’s Play On 4 on 4 Road Hockey Tournament June 14-15. If you are going to be going to MacDonald Island Park to enjoy the great facilities, give yourself some extra time because they actually play on the road out of MIP to add to the reality of the day! It`s so much fun and there are age categories for your whole family to get in on! Register and find out more at playon.ca/events/mcmurray/ups.
If you have young children, then you need to know about the Hub Family Resource Centre. They offer free programs for your kids all year long, and once a year they have a big community fundraiser called the June Bug Festival! This year the family fun day is going on June 14th at the Syncrude Athletic Park in Timberlea, complete with family entertainment, food and bouncy castles. Then on June 15th at the Casman Centre get your tickets for the Disney Channel`s Choo Choo Soul live on stage! Have your kids singing their favorite Disney songs with Genevieve, just like the TV show! Click on tickets at fortmcmurrayoilbarons.ca to make sure you get yours.
If you like golf, OK who am I kidding, if you are like me and you love golf, then you have to see the PGA Tour Canada Syncrude Boreal Open June 16-22 at the Fort McMurray Golf and Country Club. If you really want to see how the pros hit, you can even get up close and personal by volunteering to caddy for one of the pros! There are clinics, contests and oh yeah, some great pro golf! Get involved or just sit back and watch, all the info is here syncrudeborealopen.com.
As I said earlier, the Wood Buffalo region is rich in Aboriginal heritage and culture, and every year Fort McKay treaty days is one of the must see events in town! Stop in June 19-21 and you will not be disappointed with the lineup of events. They always have concerts, family entertainment and lots of chances for you to immerse yourself in the local culture. Just as a note, they are known for their amazing fireworks displays in the midnight sky!
To say Heritage Park had a rough year is an understatement after last year`s flood. Thanks to great community support they will restore any artifacts back to original. The history of Wood Buffalo lives, and you can still stop into the gift shop to get all your Fort McMurray paraphernalia. Nothing will be stopping their summer camp programs for kids though! You can find out why parents put their kids back in all the programs year after year. Your kids can find out all about the history of not just Wood Buffalo, but how we helped build Canada. You can also explore all the camps at MacDonald Island Park too! There are all kinds of camps for all kinds of kids in all kinds of things! Find out more on all the day camps by clicking on or fortmcmurrayhistory.com or macdonaldisland.ca/misummercamps and get in now!
Canada Day is always fun in Wood Buffalo, and with the sun going down so late, you’ll have to make sure your kids get some sleep after supper so they can enjoy the fireworks June 30th. A parade, family activities and live local entertainment will keep the fun going on a Fort McMurray long weekend. There will be everything from pancake breakfasts straight on up to pretty much everything you would expect for family fun! Check out local media for more coming up!