RUSSELL THOMAS

RUSSELL THOMAS

A little about RUSSELL THOMAS

Russell is a 19 year resident of Wood Buffalo, a community builder, facilitator, social media practitioner, actor, director and artist. He began his Middle Age Bulge blog as a way of capturing his journey to wellness. It has morphed into a daily journal about all aspects of life in the north. Russell works with The United Way of Fort McMurray and co-owns Birdsong Connections with his wife Heather.

All posts by RUSSELL THOMAS

Sep
30
2016
Volume
4-5
Published in Regulars
I could not have predicted my reaction to coming back home to Fort McMurray after four weeks of being evacuated.  All of my attention was on opening the door to our downtown house and seeing the state of things.  I couldn’t think beyond that, as I felt I needed to…
Sep
30
2016
Volume
4-5
Published in Features
Three months ago, unbelievably hot and dry conditions created a perfect fire storm in Fort McMurray and led to the evacuation of the entire city.  While there are similarities, everyone’s perspective of what happened during those harrowing hours is completely unique.  Stories have been told and retold.  In fact, each…
Jul
14
2016
2016
WILDFIRE
Published in We Will Rebuild
May 3rd started like most other days. Agencies were hard at work in The Redpoll Centre, and United Way staff were scattered about doing a variety of different tasks.  I was out of the office much of that morning, as I had hosted Stephen Bryant from Centre of Hope on…
Mar
27
2016
Volume
4-3
Published in Regulars
In many ways, theatre has been the one constant in my life in Fort McMurray.  Jobs have changed, as have volunteer roles.  Creatively, I’ve slowly developed my writing skills and have become a rather prolific painter, but acting has always been there, a constant companion.  
Mar
27
2016
Volume
4-3
Published in Arts & Culture
I set out to do this feature story on Danny Tulk, Shantelle Davidson and Daniel Gillies in a way that was different. Rather than lobbing a standard set of questions via an email or a conversation over coffee, I invited each of these musicians to Birdsong Studio to hang out,…
Jan
28
2016
Volume
4-2
Published in Regulars
I had lived in the region for over a decade before we seized the opportunity to drive up the winter road to Fort Chipewyan.  My wife Heather had been up in Alberta’s oldest settlement several times in her previous role as a public health inspector and had driven this storied…
Nov
27
2015
Volume
4-1
Published in Regulars
In the back alley between Hill and Demers Drives are three murals.  They provide a surprise for everyone who wanders down this way, a splash of colour and personality. The portrait of Metis elder Elsie Yanik was first, painted back in June 2014.  At some point my shop got tagged…
Sep
26
2015
Volume
3-6
Published in Regulars
If My Escape Could Talk I got the sense that my Ford Escape was a little annoyed with me on a recent camping trip to a remote lake in the Kootenays.  I had left a cooler plugged into the lighter receptacle overnight and woke up on the Sunday of a…
Sep
26
2015
Volume
3-6
Published in Features
I have been working in close proximity to the oil sands for almost 20 years.  Though its reach extends to the north, south, east and west of me, I have never been engaged directly in the work of extracting oil from the sand or the process of turning it into…
Jul
29
2015
Volume
3-5
Published in Regulars
10,000 First Impressions As the 2015 Western Canada Summer Games Countdown Clock gets closer and closer to zero, I have increasing moments of delight in anticipating the reaction of the thousands of guests who will visit Wood Buffalo for the very first time.  Let’s face it: we have a reputation…
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