One of my favourite things to do is write this letter to our readers in every edition of Your McMurray Magazine.
It sure is hard to believe that I’m writing this one, 10 years after I wrote the very first one back in November of 2012. This edition of YMM represents 10 years of history, hard work, passion and creativity from all corners of our region.
Seven years ago Your McMurray Magazine began the tradition of honouring the best of the best in our region – our annual Top 50 under 50 recipients – and to date, we have honoured literally hundreds of recipients. This program is one of the best we offer and certainly exemplifies what we intended this magazine to become: a magazine for everyone who lives, works and plays here. The people on these lists do all of those things and bring so much to our region with their dedication and commitment to making our region such a fantastic place.
This edition is a tribute to their hard work, commitment and dedication to making our region brighter, stronger and more inclusive. We applaud their efforts and their contributions to our home. We hope this recognition gives them the encouragement to keep pushing our community forward. We’re proud to stand by their side as they keep making a difference.
I’d like to thank our presenting partner ACDEN for supporting this program in its seventh year and for hosting our recipients at the celebration event, making the experience even more special. We have also partnered with FuseSocial to bring forward a leadership and capacity-building program that merges the Top 50 recipients with the current cohort of Leadership Wood Buffalo participants. This program will bring together enthusiastic individuals who are all taking a leadership role in our region and who are continually stepping up to encourage growth, positivity and change in our communities.
I’d like to give special recognition to the 2022 YMM Builder award recipients. For three years now we have taken extra care to thank those that we believe helped to “build” our region. We consider these awards to be somewhat “lifetime achievement awards” to honour decades and more of work to help grow our community in all aspects. This year’s recipients include Elder Robert Cree, Elder Lina Gallup and Marty and Dennine Giles. Their contributions are unmatched by what they have provided and done for our region, but also by the inspiration they provide to so many. I’m proud to call each of them friends and certainly look up to and respect them all.
If you have someone that you think is a deserving nominee for either the YMM Builder award or our Top 50 designation, please feel free to email us all about their contributions to our Associate Publisher and Managing Director, Kerri Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org before April 30, 2022.
I hope you enjoy reading all about each recipient as much as I have enjoyed getting to know them all.
A sincere congratulations to each of this year’s recipients. We look forward to having you in our YMM Top 50 Under 50 family and can’t wait to see what else you do in the years to come.
I would like to end this 10th-year anniversary letter with a sincere thank you to everyone who has worked on this magazine over the past 10 years. We still have some of our very original team including Andrew Johnstone, our Creative Director who has designed every single edition. Our first roster of writers (and this one) includes one of the originals – Michael Jesso and his classic column Fabulous, Derailed. Our CFO, and backbone, is Pauline Kelley – without her tireless efforts behind the scenes, none of this would happen. Our Managing Director and Associate Publisher Kerri Johnson has been with us since year two and pours her soul into this work. There are so many more and I thank each and every one of you for your contributions. Every writer, photographer and person who has appeared on these pages and shared your stories – we are better because of you.
Cheers to the next 10 years!
About the author
Born and raised on Random Island, Newfoundland, Krista Balsom grew up dreaming big. Moving to Fort McMurray in 2001 and attending Westwood Community High School and Keyano College before heading to the University of Ottawa to study political science and then public relations at Algonquin College, Krista returned in 2009 after working on Parliament Hill as a legislative assistant, to work and put down further roots in Fort McMurray.