Pop-Up Photography Tour concludes with overwhelming participation

The region-wide Pop-Up Photography Tour has concluded following the participation of hundreds of residents across Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo. Aimed at capturing the people and places that make this region so incredible, well-known artists Crystal Mercredi and Lucas Seaward hosted 19 pop-up sessions across 10 communities, with nearly 700 registered participants.

Dancing in a circle

“I’ve always loved this region—connecting with people from Fort Fitzgerald all the way to Conklin was a beautiful reminder that what makes us unique is also what truly brings us together,” says award-winning photographer Crystal Mercredi. “I saw connections between communities like puzzle pieces that fit so perfectly, and I can’t wait for us all to see what we started creating together.”

The duo started in Fort McMurray then travelled by land, air, and water to visit each area of the region. Stopping at a bee farm, capturing teens creating new technologies, and joining Indigenous celebrations only begins to tell the rich stories of our region. Residents were thrilled with the opportunity to join the fun, bringing their families – and pets – along for the photo and video shoots.

Cheyenne Jones happily participated in a pop-up photo session during a baseball tournament supporting the United Way, saying she found her connection to the region and others in the community by joining the team. “I moved here with my kids but found so many connections once I signed up to get back into baseball – these people become part of your family.” The tournament coach says it was amazing to be part of the photo tour.

Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo Economic Development and Tourism (FMWBEDT) and Public Art Wood Buffalo partnered on this tour to showcase the incredible and diverse everyday life of people in the region.

 The photos and videos captured during the tour will become a part of the Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo place brand and used on a larger scale to promote the region. A compilation of the images will also be used to create a dynamic mural at Kiyām Community Park.

“This is such an amazing place to live and raise a family, and the participation from the community proves that,” says Kevin Weidlich, President & CEO of FMWBEDT. “The region has gifted us with a glimpse into their lives to share on a broader scale, and we are excited for people to see themselves in the final products.”

“Getting to know a community through art can help strengthen the connection between people and the place they share,” says Sharon Heading, part of Public Art Wood Buffalo’s Council Appointed Committee. “Seeing these beautiful landscapes and the people who inhabit them can change the broader narrative of what it’s like to live in this region.”