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Profession: Art Administrator
Age: 45 • Years in Wood Buffalo: 7

Proudly Canadian since 2015!

45-year-old Ana Maria Mendez is a relatively new Canadian citizen, but her impact on the community has been a strong one.

Born and raised in Lima, Peru, she immigrated to Canada in 2009, and has been calling Fort McMurray home ever since.

Since 2011, Ana Maria has been working with the Regional Recreation Corporation of Wood Buffalo. She is currently the Manager of Arts & Culture, and has strategically navigated a number of cultural projects, including the development of an art gallery, the planning of events and programs, the management and administration of a dance program, as well as the development of two public art projects.

Ana Maria has created or overseen more than 70 art exhibitions engaging artists, cultural non-profit organizations, businesses, industry and regional government with an outcome of building and developing the skills and capacity of local artists, while increasing an appreciation for visual art in the community.

Ever since 2011, Ana Maria has volunteered on several jury selection panels for art competitions and art initiatives. As well, she has volunteered on non-profit and municipal boards and committees.

In 2015, Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta recognized Ana Maria as a Woman of Inspiration for her strong contributions to the arts and culture industry in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. The year previous, the Regional Recreation Corporation of Wood Buffalo awarded her with the 2014 MVP of the Year.

The sense of community, and the warm welcome given to newcomers are some of what Ana Maria loves about Wood Buffalo. The beautiful local landscape, the Borealis forest, and the rivers of the region are also among her favourites.

In her free time, Ana Maria loves drawing, curling, fishing with her husband, Brad, traveling, and learning about different cultures.

As a champion of opportunity for new artists, and as a resident respected for building rewarding relationships in the arts industry, Ana Maria is well deserving of her spot on Your McMurray Magazine’s Top 50 Under 50 list!

IN Her OWN WORDS: I have two favourite quotes that I try to practice every day:

“Always put yourself in other’s shoes. If you feel that it hurts you, it probably hurts the other person, too.” —Rachel Grady

“Always put yourself in other’s shoes. If you feel that it hurts you, it probably hurts the other person, too.” —Rachel Grady