People in Profile Campaign: Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo is a place of incredible people

Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo Economic Development and Tourism (FMWBEDT) is launching a campaign that offers a glimpse into the lives and livelihoods of people across the region. Welcomed into homes, schools, and workplaces, People in Profile shares the stories of remarkable people in Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo. Some are Indigenous to the land, while others have only just arrived, but everyone has a story to tell about what connects them to the region.

“Authentically showcasing the connection between people and the place they share, increases our understanding of one another and helps us own our region’s story by drawing on the collective strength and voices of those who call Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo home,” said Andrea Haley, Director of Brand, Marketing, and Communications, FMWBEDT. “We invest in capturing real moments and people, which we hope will build a deeper understanding of the families, cultures, and pride that exists in our region.”

In 2021, FMWBEDT partnered with Public Art Wood Buffalo for the region’s first Pop-Up Photography Tour. Leveraging public art and its ability to strengthen the connection between people and the place they share, served as inspiration for the project. Well-known local artists Crystal Mercredi and Lucas Seaward toured the region from Fort Fitzgerald to Conklin to capture the unique landscapes, peoples, and cultures in the region. After curating an extensive library of photos, videos, and language translations for the place brand, the materials can be found on billboards, jet bridges at Fort McMurray International Airport, the new global window into Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo, in the People in Profile Campaign, and much more.

“Creative public art projects encourage people to form deeper connections to where they live,” said Lucas Seaward, Creative and Brand Manager, FMWBEDT. “This campaign helps spark a newfound appreciation for the history, people, and cultures that make up who we are. Strengthening local arts leads to developing a culture economy. It’s important for the arts community to have opportunities to participate in our economic aspirations. This project achieves all these things.”

One of the 14 profiles captured for this campaign is the story of longtime residents, Paulette and Brian Bird. They are keeping the lost art of smoke tanning moose hides alive. Beyond their own work in smoke tanning, the Birds offer hands-on workshops through the Moose Hide Factory and even sell their own handcrafted tools to anyone with new interest in old traditions.

“I grew up with this, I’ve been doing it since I was a teenager. I learned from people on my own reserve,” said Brian Bird, Owner, Moose Hide Factory. “My mother, family, friends, we all did it at one point. As the years went by, fewer people were doing it, and eventually I was the only person who kept at it. So now I’m trying hard to keep it alive.”

We invite you to meet more inspiring people in our region by visiting People in Profile and sharing it with your friends and family!

Sign-Up & Participate

Be part of the region’s united voice and visual identity showcasing the beauty, community, diversity, and opportunity in Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo - the region’s place brand. Sign up to be part of the place brand or the next Pop-Up Photography Tour by completing this form.

Making of the Pop-Up Photography Tour

Local artists, Crystal Mercredi and Lucas Seaward travelled to all 10 communities in the region. By boat, land, and air they traveled from Fort Fitzgerald to Conklin. People in Profile shares some of the amazing stories they captured along the way. Watch the “Making of Video” to learn more about the journey across the region.

For more information, contact Jordan Hertner, Brand, Marketing, & Communications with FMWBEDT: