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Letter from The Editor

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Wikipedia tells me that innovation can be defined as a new method, idea or product and then the action or application of better solutions that meet new requirements, unarticulated needs or existing market needs. Being in the heart of Canada’s north, the middle of the Athabasca oil sands, Wood Buffalo, to survive, is an absolute success story in innovation and without question a leader within the oil sands industry worldwide.

This edition of Your McMurray Magazine is focused on our local industry and some of the innovative actions taking place throughout the region. For starters, we’re celebrating the success of the Northeastern Alberta Aboriginal Business Association on the occasion of their 25th anniversary - a group of industry leaders in Aboriginal business and within our top oil companies who supported them, began an organization aimed at expanding and helping our Aboriginal entrepreneurs grow and prosper within our region. You can learn more about it on page 12.

There are also all sorts of ways our youth are innovating and learning to work within the confines of a world that just about forces you to at every turn. Technology is helping of course and our youth are best positioned to take advantage of the tools and opportunity it provides. There are three pieces about youth and their innovative stories: you can learn about The District Recording Studio on page 38, the Community Coding Day on page 42, and future robotics engineers getting ready for the workforce at the Fort McMurray Public School District on page 44.

Lastly, I want to tell you all about how our publication is being innovative. Our parent company, Balsom Communications, has just launched a new magazine called ‘YMM Parent’ which is designed to be family-friendly and all about resources found right here in Fort McMurray. We want to serve you - our readers - and provide the best local content you can find right here at home. You can see the first-ever publication on our website at Feel free to send me your feedback directly at

The world is constantly evolving and we’re all just here for the ride, so let’s buckle up and make the most of all the innovative advances in our region and be ready for what’s next! Happy Fall!


Krista Balsom

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