artsVest in Fort McMurray

Business for the Arts expands artsVest training program province-wide in Alberta to arts organizations, increasing matching funds investment into the province.

Business for the Arts announces the second year of artsVest Alberta, a two year provincial and Calgary municipal investment in sponsorship training and matching fund incentives for arts and culture organizations.

(EDMONTON, AB – September 7, 2017) Business for the Arts, Canada’s only national charitable organization with a mandate to strengthen the arts and culture sectors across Canada by building partnerships between the private and cultural sectors, announced today that its artsVest program has expanded to reach the entire province of Alberta. With funding support from the Government of Alberta, Calgary Arts Development Authority and the Government of Canada, arts organizations across the province will be able to access not only sponsorship training, but an increase in matching fund distribution to over $300,000 this year.

artsVest is Business for the Arts’ national flagship program that works directly with small to mid-sized arts organizations looking to procure sponsorships and build sustainable partnerships with the business community. The program consists of in-depth training in corporate sponsorship, from one-on-one, group and peer-to-peer learning to online educational tools and mentorship pairing. The participants successful in securing sponsorships are awarded with matching funds at the end of the program, up to a certain dollar amount.

“The Government of Alberta is proud to support Business for the Arts and the artsVest program, and I am very pleased to see the program expand across Alberta,” said Ricardo Miranda, Alberta’s Minister of Culture and Tourism. “Arts and culture are extremely important to Albertans, and we welcome any opportunity to support artists and arts organizations. I wish Business for the Arts continued success with the artsVest program and look forward to it helping more arts organizations engage and forge partnerships with Alberta’s business community.”

“Business for the Arts is thrilled to be continuing the artsVest program in Alberta with an expansion to the entire province,” says Aida Aydinyan, Vice President of Business for the Arts. “When we talk about successful business-to-arts partnerships, we say it should be a win-win-win, in other words, win for the arts organization, win for a partnering business and win for the public at large. We believe this definition of a successful partnership is equally applicable to the artsVest program. It is a triple win program for all three sectors involved: cultural, private and public. It provides comprehensive capacity building, helps to diversify revenues, creates cross-sectoral partnerships and raises the profile of the arts. Thanks to the tremendous support of the Government of Alberta, Calgary Arts Development Authority and the Government of Canada, we look forward to working with some passionate arts organizations in the province.”

To participate in artsVest Alberta, please attend our Information Sessions and Sponsorship Workshop in Fort McMurray on October 12 . To register and see more details, visit

About artsVest

Last year, artsVest facilitated over 650 training and mentorship opportunities for artsVest participants, resulting in the delivery of 749 hours of live session programming. The program proudly boasts over 40 expert mentors across Canada, all seasoned professionals from the non-profit or corporate sector with experience in corporate sponsorship.

artsVest also operates in PEI, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Toronto, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Alberta, and British Columbia. 969 participating artsVest organizations have formed 3,376 partnerships with businesses, of which 2,286 are first-time business partnerships and 2,002 are long-term. These partnerships have generated $13.92M in new private sector investment from $5.61M in matching funds to date, and has resulted in an influx of $19.53M to the cultural sector. Please visit for more information.

— For more information, please contact: Allison Moore artsVest Program Manager 403-852-8461

Fort McMurray Flea Market – Vendors Needed

Vendors needed for the Fort McMurray Flea Market!

This summer, the Regional Recreation Corporation of Wood Buffalo is introducing the new Fort McMurray Flea Market, an opportunity for vendors of used goods, owners of home-based businesses, sellers of vintage wares and creators of arts and crafts to connect with members of the community in a traditional flea market event.

The Fort McMurray Flea Market will take place on the second Saturday of each month, starting in June and ending in September. The dates are as follows:

Saturday, June 10 2017
Saturday, July 8 2017
Saturday, August 12 2017
Saturday September 9 2017

The Fort McMurray Flea Market will begin at 8:30 am and run until 1:00 pm and will take place outdoors, rain or shine, in the parking lot at MacDonald Island Park,

Vendors can register now! Visit their website at or contact

New Horizons for Seniors grant information session

Service Canada will be in Fort McMurray on April 27 to provide an information and grant-writing session on the New Horizons for Seniors Program. The New Horizons for Seniors Program supports local projects across Canada that encourage social participation and inclusion of seniors. It is a $25,000 grant for 2018. It is a fantastic opportunity for groups/organizations looking to do something unique and innovative.

When: Thursday, April 27, 1:00-4:00 pm

Where: Redpoll Centre in Shell Place (MacDonald Island Park)


For more information or to RSVP, please contact:

New Horizons for Seniors Program: 1-844-836-8127 (RSVP by April 21, seating is limited)

Please note, this session will be offered in English only.


UPDATED – Syncrude Fort McMurray Artist Program

Syncrude Fort McMurray Artist Program

With generous support from Syncrude, The Nextfest Arts Company is pleased to announce our new Syncrude Fort McMurray Artist Program for Nextfest 2017.

The Syncrude Fort McMurray Artist Program will support two emerging artists from Fort McMurray by bringing them to Edmonton to collaborate, network, learn, and celebrate with other Albertan emerging artists at Nextfest, June 1- 11, 2017.

Emerging artists of all mediums are encouraged to apply. Due to festival deadlines, we cannot guarantee that work by the selected artists will be presented during the festival. However, we will do our best to provide an opportunity through one of our programs. Details will be confirmed after the application process is complete; project ideas could be included in application if desired.

Successful applicants will receive:
-­‐ Round trip airfare to Edmonton from Fort McMurray
-­‐ Board for the duration of the festival (up to thirteen nights)
-­‐ An exclusive Nextfest Artist Pass which includes: free entry to every event during

Nextfest, access to all artist only events in the festival, and access to all festival workshops
-­‐ A Nextfest t-shirt
-­‐ The opportunity to meet, mix, and mingle with over six hundred emerging artists from Alberta

Applicants must be:
-­‐ An emerging artist of any discipline
-­‐ Available to attend Nextfest in Edmonton June 1-11, 2017 (it is not necessary that applicants come for the entire duration of the festival, though it is encouraged)
-­‐ Under 30 years of age
-­‐ A resident of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo area for at least one year

To apply please send:
-­‐ A letter of interest
-­‐ An artist’s bio and resume (CV)
-­‐ A sample of your artwork in ANY format

Applications are to be submitted to Festival Director, Ellen Chorley, at no later than April 24 at 11:59pm. No phone calls please.

For more information on the SYNCRUDE FORT MCMURRAY ARTIST PROGRAM please contact Festival Director, Ellen Chorley, at

Click HERE to download pdf.

ACWB Executive Director Job Posting

Arts Council Wood Buffalo – Executive Director Position

Arts Council Wood Buffalo is excited for the opportunity to bring new insights and leadership into our growing non-profit organization. Below is a summarized version of the job description. For the full job description click HERE.

Who We Are

Arts Council Wood Buffalo (ACWB) is a non-profit organization that champions investment in the arts in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. ACWB was established to raise the profile of the arts in our region and to provide support to all facets of the arts community.

ACWB offers a variety of services and events that: build the capacity of our local artists to compete and thrive; create collaborations between artists, arts organizations, non-profits, and industry; and, provide opportunities for the community to express itself through the arts.

Through these initiatives, Arts Council Wood Buffalo is working to create a remarkable quality of life for all those living in our region.

Job Description

The Executive Director of the Arts Council Wood Buffalo (ACWB) is responsible for the successful leadership and operations of ACWB according to the strategic direction set by the Board of Directors.

The Executive Director is responsible for establishing and implementing goals and objectives for the Arts Council which align with the ACWB Strategic Plan and clearly articulating these goals in annual business plans.

The position is responsible for leading the evaluation of all projects, programs, and operations to determine effectiveness in achieving the organization’s strategic priorities. The ED develops and maintains an effective organizational structure and manages all aspects of human resource development. They direct major activities through ACWB staff and through collaboration with other organizations. The Executive Director represents the Organization to the ACWB membership, wider arts community, Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, other social profit agencies, funders, and the general public.

Duties and Responsibilities

The Executive Director performs a wide range of duties including some or all of the following:

• Leadership & Influence

• Advocacy & Stakeholder Relations

• Operational Management

• Financial Planning & Management



• Completed a post-secondary education in non-profit, business, cultural management, or related field.

• A preference will be given to art related experience

• Proven record of five or more years of senior management experience in a non-profit environment, preferably in the cultural sector.

• Experience working with Wood Buffalo’s diverse communities would be considered an asset.

Knowledge, skills and abilities

• Knowledge of leadership and management principles as they relate to non-profit organizations.

• Knowledge of and experience with all federal and provincial legislation applicable to operating a non-profit organization including (but not limited to): employment standards, occupational health and safety, taxation, privacy, anti-spam, etc.

• Knowledge of current community challenges and opportunities related to ACWB’s mission and objectives.

• Knowledge of human resources management, financial management, and project management

• Proven track record of developing and adapting the operations of a growing organization with diverse programs and stakeholders.

• Experience and ability with advocacy and government relations • Demonstrated ability to develop and implement policy guidelines with a sound understanding of effective governance within a policy governance structure.


Click ACWB Executive Director Position Description for the full job description. Please submit your resume by email to Application deadline is December 30th 2016. Please note that it is our practice to contact only those candidates who are chosen to proceed in the competition.

2016 Buffys, A Sold Out Success That Celebrated The Achievements Of The Arts Community

On October 22, Arts Council Wood Buffalo (ACWB) transformed the Suncor Energy Centre for Performing Arts into an extraordinary scene, created to amaze all the guests of the inaugural Wood Buffalo Excellence in Arts Awards. The sold out “Midnight Circus” themed awards showcase event treated guests to a breathtaking evening that included several high energy performances from a variety of disciplines, a visual arts display, a delectable assortment of carnival foods and for the main act, the presentation of 13 awards.

The Arts Awards, AKA the “Buffys”, were presented to 13 local artists who have shown outstanding achievement and accomplishment in the arts. Each award was hand crafted by local Aboriginal artist Kathleen Marsel. The 2016 award categories and winners are Arts Administration – Ana Maria Mendez; Arts Education – Marie Gazzard; Creative Collaboration – “Fanny & Manny Tie the Knot” dinner theatre by Theatre; Just Because and Waypoints; Dance – Kim Hurley; Fine Craft – Leo Parent; Literary Arts – Kevin Thornton; Media Arts – Sean McLennan; Music – Dan Gillies; Theatre – Michelle Thorne; Visual Arts – Carol Breen; Traditional Aboriginal Arts – Lily Marcel; Rising Star – Avery Rex; and Arts Champion – Loraine Humphrey. 12 of the categories were open to nominations from the community, while the Arts Champion recipient was chosen by the ACWB board of directors to acknowledge an individual, small business, corporation, social profit, or foundation which has strengthened arts and culture in Wood Buffalo through their support and commitment to the sector in the past year.

The focus of the Arts Awards event is to celebrate the achievements of local artists though an artist showcase and to place tangible value on the essential role the arts play in creating a balanced community. The showcase included a visual art display, live theatrical performances, film, instrumental music, song, poetry, duets, and collaborations from different performing arts disciplines. The audience was made up of members from all facets of the community, not just the arts.

Diana Moser, interim executive director, explains that “ACWB’s mandate is to champion investment in the arts in the region and the Wood Buffalo Excellence in Arts Awards is designed to do exactly that. The Buffys provide artists with an opportunity to build their portfolios through the recognition gained as an award nominee and recipient, as well as by performing or exhibiting during the showcase event.” The Arts Awards is an annual program that will continue to recognize the achievement and accomplishments of the arts in the region year to year, invest in the future of the growing arts community, and allow artists to compete and thrive within the region and even beyond the borders of Wood Buffalo. “We look forward to the partnership opportunities and relationships we will continue to build to make the awards and the showcase event an on-going meaningful experience for our community,” says Moser.

ACWB thanks the 2016 Arts Awards sponsors, the team at SECPA, the event coordinators, various partners, all the artists, the volunteers, ACWB staff and board, and of course, the Wood Buffalo community.

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Save the Date – AGM & Member Mixer

Arts Council Wood Buffalo was forced to postpone its 2016 Annual General Meeting due to the wildfire evacuation earlier this spring. The Board of Directors is pleased to announce the AGM has been rescheduled for Saturday, September 24, 2016. Further details on a time and location will be available in the August newsletter and other member communications – so keep an eye on your inbox!

Revised 2016 Urban Market schedule

Potential Vendors & Community Groups

Thank you for your patience regarding the confirmation of the revised schedule for the 2016 Fort McMurray Urban Market.


2016 Urban Market Dates:

Wednesday, August 10th (11:00am – 6:00pm)

Wednesday, August 17th (4:00pm – 9:00pm)

Saturday, August 27th, (10:00am – 3:00pm)

Wednesday, August 31st (11:00am – 6:00pm)

Saturday, September 10th (10:00am – 3:00pm)

Wednesday, September 14th (11:00am – 6:00pm)

Wednesday, September 28th (11:00am – 6:00pm)


If you are interested in becoming a vendor please fill out the necessary forms and submit via email or in person.

Vendors are required to complete and submit the following:

1)      Vendor Application Form

2)      Vendor Rules and Regulations Form

3)      Vendor Waiver Indemnity Form

4)      Equipment Sponsorship Form (for local handcrafters only)

5)      Copy of your business insurance (unless purchasing from the Urban Market on a per market basis)


Community Groups please submit to following (we approve 2 community groups per market)

1)      Community Group Application Form

2)      Vendor Rules and Regulations Form

3)      Vendor Waiver Indemnity Form

4)      Copy of your business insurance (unless purchasing from the Urban Market on a per market basis)


Note: If you have already submitted your application for the 2016 Urban Market you are NOT required to submit a new application form – please confirm that you are still committed to attending or not.


To encourage participation and assist local businesses, LOCAL vendors will not be required to pay the daily stall fees ($35 plus GST). All vendors are still required to provide a copy of their insurance or purchase insurance from the market for ($23 plus GST) prior to the start of the market. Along with this, we will be continuing to offer the Equipment Sponsorship again this year to those who apply and are approved, which provides a local hand craft vendor a tent, weights and a table.


Thank you again for your patience. We are very excited to be moving forward with a market this year and we look forward seeing you!


If you have any questions, please refer to the Urban Market Frequently Asked Questions at or you may contact us by email at or phone at 780-215-2669.

Urban Market Team

2016 Community Group Application Form

2016 RulesRegulations

2016 Vendor Application Form

2016 Vendor Waiver Indemnity


Leave your Wallets at Home; Art Paid with Heart at the Wood Buffalo Timeraiser

FuseSocial is thrilled to announce that the fifth annual independent Timeraiser presented by Suncor and Shell will be happening once again during National Volunteer Week April 10 to 16.

Timeraiser is a volunteer matching fair for the social profit sector, a silent art auction, and a night out on the town. The big twist is rather than bid money on artwork, participants bid volunteer hours. The Opening Reception will be at MacDonald Island Community Art Gallery presented by Kirschner Family Corporation on Thursday April 14, 2016 at 6:30 PM. This year, 48 pieces of art have been purchased from local artists for the event, which means that approximately $18,000 has gone into supporting the Wood Buffalo Art Community. We anticipate that the combined art pieces will generate close 3,700 volunteer hours similar to last year’s event.

“We are pleased to host the fifth annual Wood Buffalo Timeraiser during National Volunteer Week,” said Katie Loutitt, Champion of Change at FuseSocial. Timeraiser is a unique way to increase volunteer capacity within our community while supporting local artists. In the past, the Wood Buffalo Timeraiser has been more generous, per capita, in volunteer hours compared to larger cities such as Toronto, Calgary, and Vancouver. It is a testament to our community spirit.”

The evening will also include an opportunity for volunteers to engage with 20 social profit organizations and the silent auction. Appetizers will be served and beverages will be available. Tickets are on sale and are $15 each. For full event information and tickets visit

For more information:

Katie Loutitt, Champion of Change

T 780-791-9333