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Letter from the Editor

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It’s hard to believe that Your McMurray Magazine is heading into it’s fifth year. Time flies when you’re having fun and blessed to be a part of something that has truly become a part of who I am. 2016 will go down in the history books as a monumental year for not just YMM Magazine, but “YMM” itself as we all experienced May and “The Beast” together. We’ve been proud to work with an incredible team to tell some of the stories this year of both the fire itself, but just as importantly, the recovery and rebuilding of our region.

This anniversary edition of YMM is focused around our new recognition program - the “Top 50 Under 50”. I’m very honoured to be able to work with our team, to recognize just some of our region’s brightest stars. Special thanks goes out to Kerri, Pauline, Brandon, Andrew, Jen and Jerry for making it happen, as well as the selection panel who had the honour (or incredibly tough job) of putting the list together. It was extra-ambitious to put together all of the photos and profiles you see in this edition, as well as the videos that are online in the digital world of YMM. I know not everyone is going to agree with the list, but that is in the very nature of these kinds of projects. I can say we intend to continue with a new list next year that will recognize another 50 people making a big impact on our region. If you did make this year’s list - congratulations - you’re in great company as everyone who made it onto this prestigious list has made a difference and is worthy of the honour.

There are also a couple of other features inside this magazine that highlight some other regional superstars - a general theme of this issue. The first of which is the Fort McMurray Chamber of Commerce Awards which showcases business and community leaders. Read all about the winners on page 71. The second awards showcase that we have within the pages of YMM this issue is the newly created Arts Council Wood Buffalo “Wood Buffalo Excellence in Arts Awards” a.k.a. The Buffy’s. This event is brand-new and I’m sure it will be sticking around as the arts community “stars” get the recognition they deserve. Read more about the event on page 93. From the team at YMM and Balsom Communications, congratulations to all of the nominees and winners.

As you go into the holiday season, let’s all be collectively grateful that the year is coming to a close, and please hug your friends and families a little tighter this year. Let’s make lots of memories and look forward to all that 2017 will bring.

I want to send a big thank-you out to everyone who participated in Volume 4 of YMM - the writers, photographers, advertisers and the readers. You’re all a part of why and how we continue to put out this publication that we believe truly celebrates everyone who lives, works and plays here.

From Jason, Madison, Jayden and me -  Happy Holidays to you all and cheers to a bright and awesome 2017.


Krista Balsom





Top 50 Under 50

Behind the scenes at the video and photo shoots…

Jerry Neville is always goofing around.

Tara & Jerry get ready for a video shoot.

Local leaders Elena Gould and Mitch Mercredi


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