Involving Every Community Reveals What Life Is Like In Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo
Fort McMurray, AB – The region Ephemeral photographic tour ended with the participation of hundreds of residents of Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo. Aiming to capture the people and places that make this region so amazing, well-known artists Crystal Mercredi and Lucas Seaward hosted 19 pop-up sessions in 10 communities, with nearly 700 registered participants.
“I’ve always loved this region – coming into contact with people from Fort Fitzgerald all the way to Conklin was a nice reminder that what makes us unique is also what really brings us together,” said award-winning photographer Crystal Wednesday. “I saw connections between communities, like puzzle pieces that fit together so perfectly, and I can’t wait for us all to see what we have started to create together.
The duo started in Fort McMurray, then traveled by land, air and sea to visit every region in the region. Stopping at a beekeeping farm, capturing teens creating new technology, and joining in the Indigenous celebrations are just the beginning of telling the rich stories of our region. Residents were thrilled to have the opportunity to join in the fun, bringing their families – and pets – with them for the photos and videos.
Cheyenne Jones happily participated in a pop-up photoshoot at a baseball tournament supporting the United Way, saying she found her connection to the area and other community members by joining the team. “I moved here with my kids, but found so many connections once I signed up to resume baseball – these people are now part of your family. The tournament coach says it was amazing to be a part of the photo tour.
Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo Economic Development and Tourism (FMWBEDT) and Public Art Wood Buffalo have teamed up on this tour to showcase the incredible and diverse daily life of the people of the area.
Photos and videos captured during the tour will become part of the Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo venue branding and will be used on a larger scale to promote the area. A compilation of the images will also be used to create a vibrant mural at Kiyām Community Park.
“It’s an amazing place to live and raise a family, and the community involvement proves it,” said Kevin Weidlich, President and CEO of FMWBEDT. “The region gave us a glimpse into their lives to share on a larger scale, and we’re delighted people see themselves in the end products. “
“Getting to know a community through art can help strengthen the bond between people and the place they share,” says Sharon Heading, board-appointed committee member of Public Art Wood Buffalo. “Seeing these beautiful landscapes and the people who inhabit them can change the larger narrative of what it is like to live in this region.”