GOOD NEWS ONLY with Mike Jones
Construction has officially begun on the Franklin & Main park downtown. It's expected to be completed this fall and will feature a full-size basketball court, community event space, bike racks, an interactive water fountain feature and micro-business spaces. In the winter it will also feature warm-up areas and an ice skating path!
Scooped up an awesome new Mongoose mountain bike last weekend with the Fort McMurray SPCA Bike Auction! It was a steal at only 50 bucks - mark your calendars and don't miss out on next year’s. Was able to pick it up the very next day and take it out for a rip through our awesome Birchwood Trails!
More good news for downtown - the second phase of the RMWB's Downtown Revitalization Incentives Program has opened. Qualifying businesses can receive up to $75,000 to improve exteriors or facades, up to $50,000 to upgrade or rehabilitate interiors as well as smaller funding packages for beautification projects and murals. Applications are open through March of next year or until funding is exhausted.
My friend Brianna has a new decor company called Spruce Avenue Designs featuring some unique and fully customizable designs! Right now they are supporting local by offering a $10 gift certificate to Paddy McSwigginswith every order placed between now and May 21st.
Speaking of Paddy's - I have to give them and Bulldog Delivery a shoutout. Was feeling lazy and placed an order of Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup and was surprised by how quickly it showed up on my doorstep! By my count, it was just over 20 minutes – amazing!
Shoutout to Second Cup YMM – they were hooking up the nurses at the vaccine clinic with free coffee over the week! Awesome!
Congratulations to Fort McMurray Public School Division on a successful regional science fair. Though it was held virtually this year, I really enjoyed seeing some of the highlights posted on Twitter last weekend.
Remember that with patios closed, small restaurants are taking yet another financial hit. Support them where you can, calling the restaurant directly to place your order goes a long way. Really loved the ginger beef we got from Savor Global Kitchen.
Our downtown Safeway will be re-branding soon as a FreshCo. It's tentatively set to close this summer (likely once Sobey's re-opens) BUT the pharmacy will remain open during construction.
With drier conditions in the region, it's important for all of us to be aware and do our part to prevent fires. Take the Wildfire Pledge on the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo's website and be entered in to win an educational helicopter tour!
I've been enjoying L. Elliott Pierre's work with the Mac City Morning Show the last few months! He just dropped new episodes this week featuring Justin from Accel Physical Therapy & Massage & Jeremy from 57 North Kitchen + Brewery
Huge congrats to Jeremy Wielenga! Jeremy has been the coach of the Huskies Athletics at Keyano College Basketball teams since 2017 and will be joining the Saskatchewan Rattlers of the CEBL as an Assistant Coach! Congrats Coach!
The Fort McMurray SPCA is now open for canine viewing! They are allowing a maximum of five people at a time and all appointments must be booked in advance. Their cat room also remains open!
Kudos to Keith Mcgrath on a great run as school trustee with the Fort McMurray Catholic Schools board. After 17 years, he will not be standing for re-election in the fall. Keith is self-funding a Ten Year Scholarship which will be open to any student in the RMWB. Details on the scholarship are still being funded - but great to hear!
Sweet Meats is featuring their donair sandwich right now in support of Wood Buffalo Animal Rescue Committee and let me tell you it is absolutely delightful! Also, don't miss their peanut butter flavoured popcorn!
Great news for all the musicians out there – my friend Jay Chinn caught word McMurray TV will be stocking guitar strings and picks starting soon! It won't be the same as having our own music store but will be nice to have a place for last minute supplies in town
The Fort McMurray Chamber of Commerce have launched a new pre-paid gift card program (in partnership with Bouchier) These $50 and $100 cards make an amazing gift and can be used at participating local merchants. They feature a very cool Northern Lights photograph by Crystal Mercredi from Life and Portraits. The Chamber is currently giving away a $500 gift card on their Facebook page!
Congratulations to Councillor Krista Balsom on being accepted into law school! I know this has been a goal of hers for several years and I'm sure she will find many other ways to support Fort McMurray even though she will not be standing for re-election this fall. Thank you for your service, Krista!
Thanks for all the poutine recommendations this week. In the end, went with the Bear & Buffalo and paired it with their delicious Crispy Chicken Burger. Well done Nate Catto - those cheese curds were PERFECT for poutine. You can order your own using Bulldog Delivery's app!
And congratulations to one of Canada's finest country artists right now (and frequent Fort McMurray cheerleader) Brett Kissel on the launch of his HILARIOUS new TV commercial for Deuce Vodka. I'm told it's currently available locally at Rocky Mountain Liquor, Back Alley Liquor and both Sobeys liquor locations in Fort McMurray as well as at the liquor store in Anzac! On a personal note, it's been a real privilege to see Brett's career come so far since opening for Dwight Yoakam at the Casman in 2014 and it truly made my day when he called me this week to offer congratulations on my new position.
Big news from Arts Council Wood Buffalo this week - they are officially moving forward with turning the former Landmark Cinemas location downtown into an Arts Incubator! This is a HUGE win for the arts and for downtown! The theatres will be transformed into spaces that focus on culinary arts, dance, theatre and more. There will also be individual artist studios available. There will be no cost to taxpayers.
The YMM Urban Farmers' Market is happening once again this weekend at 8124 Fraser Ave (near Town Hall - entrance on the roadside). Beer, coffee, plants, decor and more. I hear the cookies were an absolute hit last weekend!
It's CBC Music Searchlight season, where several amazing bands and artists from across Canada compete to win a ton of great prizes to take their career to the next level. This year two great Fort McMurray ladies are competing so make sure to vote for Shantelle Davidson and Mychela Music! There's a lot of other great talent involved this year including past Wood Buffalo Ribfest performers The Prairie States.
Kudos to Exhale Yoga & Barre for celebrating Nurses Week by offering FREE virtual classes through the end of May! Exhale are also open for retail and featuring Evermore Kookie and other great local vendors.
Paddy McSwiggins is offering camping packages! If you're heading out to the lake for the weekend you can call ahead and pick up a variety of packs with food as well as off sales They'll also fill your cooler of ice for FREE! And they're giving away a $350 BBQ package - every pick-up order over $50 is automatically entered!
That's it for this week! If you have a suggestion for a future Good News Only - I'd love to hear about it! E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org