Letter from The Editor
MacDonald Island Park is one of my favourite places in all of Fort McMurray. It is a place that transformed my career, introduced me to some of the world’s best mentors and friends - and truly helped define my relationship with our city.
Before the birth of YMM Magazine, and before a few other jobs since then, I had the privilege of being hired by Tim Reid, the then COO of MacDonald Island Park as a marketing and communications coordinator.
Tim Reid was a mentor and friend of mine who truly embodied the “Think Big” phenomenon of this region, and he worked so hard to instill it in not just me, but the entire “Mi Team”. It was during these years, working at MacDonald Island, when the idea of an expansion project for the Island would be initiated and first discussed. The big vision for the Island, beyond the amazing place it had already become, was a massive dream - and I’m so proud of the team that has made it happen. I may no longer work down at the Island, but my heart sure visits it an awful lot.
It is my pleasure that this issue, and just about all of it, is dedicated to the newly built Shell Place and the other great pieces of the puzzle that bring it all together into a masterpiece under the Regional Recreation Corporation umbrella. A huge kudos to the entire “One Team” that have so very much to celebrate. Read more about the project on page 16.
I also want to give a special mention to one of my favourite and inspirational McMurrayites - Dave McNeilly. I first met Dave when working at MacDonald Island, when we were working on the grand opening of the Suncor Community Leisure Centre and more specifically, a memorial fountain for former Mayor Chuck Knight. Dave worked tirelessly with Chuck and a few others at ensuring MacDonald Island was preserved for our region for recreational usage. Through my first encounter back in 2010, and a few visits and moments since, Dave struck me as one of the most humble, passionate, sincere and strong people who have literally helped to build our community. Carol Christian does a great job of capturing his spirit, and that of his beautiful wife Vivian, in her story on page 36.
Please enjoy this special issue and if you haven’t had the chance, get down to MacDonald Island and make sure your summer plans include a “staycation” at one of the many amazing events taking place this summer right here in our own backyard!