Quarterly News - December 2021

Welcome to the seventh issue of our e-newsletter.

There are many components that contribute to the success of economic and tourism development in Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo. It involves targeted activities to achieve the greatest outcomes - increasing our region’s competitiveness. One of which is getting our region on the map nationally to capture the attention of private investors, encouraging people to visit, and attracting skilled talent.

Region wins International Awards for Place Brand

These awards recognize and celebrate our region-wide community Place Brand — Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo.

The world-renowned City Nation Place Award for *Best Citizen Engagement *recognizes a world-leading level of community engagement for the development of the region’s place brand.

The two bronze Excellence in Economic Development IEDC Awards acknowledge the marketing efforts launching the place brand which included an in-region marketing campaign (The Place We’re Proud to Call Home) and a digital community toolkit (

International awards contribute to our economic success by placing our region on the world stage and showcasing our place as a competitive destination for investment, visitors, and talent.


Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo Through Our Shared Lens

In November, we launched a provincial campaign to showcase the region’s identity and share what life is like here. While Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo is known as a place of incredible economic opportunity, this campaign also spotlights the unexpected—our region’s family of close-knit communities, rich culture and history, and breathtaking natural beauty.

This past summer, more than 700 community champions took part in a region-wide Pop-Up Photography Tour, which captured everyday life in Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo as seen through the lens of residents. These photos and videos will be used to promote the region on a larger scale, including this provincial campaign, which is the first creative expression from the tour.

Residents can see and share Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo’s campaign materials by visiting:

Jet Bridges Bring Warm Welcome to Residents and Visitors

We have partnered with the Fort McMurray Airport Authority (FMAA) to give the Fort McMurray International Airport (YMM) jet bridges a brand-new look and feel. New wraps and interiors for the four bridges at YMM - which connect departure gates to their respective planes - now showcase the region’s natural beauty, diverse population and recreational activities. The new jet bridge artwork will be in place for three years and aims to bring awareness to the incredible landscapes, families and community spirit that make our region so incredible.

The interior design is another creative expression of the Pop-Up Photography Tour. We can’t wait for residents to see themselves the next time they are travelling by air. See if you recognize anyone you know!


Launching into the Canadian Meetings & Conventions Market

We officially launched into the Canadian Meetings and Conventions Market at the Canadian Meetings and Events Expo this fall. The Expo brought together professionals ready to book destinations for their meetings and conventions, with communities across Canada vying to attract the new investment into their market.

Meetings and conventions play a vital part of Canada’s tourism industry. We have determined how we will be the most competitive in this space through our Meetings and Conventions Plan and with the support from our local Meetings & Conventions Advisory Committee. Pursuing targeted opportunities, like this Expo, allows us to showcase that we are an attractive event destination and strongly positions us to secure some of the most highly sought-after events.

woman standing at a FMWB booth at a convention

Growing our Community of Entrepreneurs

Startup YMM, operated by FMWBEDT, launched an Industry Connection Pilot Program this fall. This four-part industry program focusses on the oil sands, retail, tourism, and technology segments. The program offers local entrepreneurs training and access to opportunities that will help them achieve success in the marketplace. Each industry segment sponsors five local entrepreneurs to take part in training, tradeshow readiness, and support introductions for investment opportunities or partnership creations.

Supporting local entrepreneurs to scale-up and grow in a number of areas is at the heart of what Startup YMM is all about.

To learn more about Startup YMM and their programs, visit:


Supporting Local Businesses

A Regional Labour Market Committee has been established to support local businesses and address labour market challenges. Led by the Fort McMurray Chamber of Commerce, this committee was formed from the 2021 Regional Labour Study recommendations and aims to identify ways to improve conditions for employers and workers in the region.

The stakeholders forming this committee share the common vision to advance labour market initiatives and create opportunities for people to live and work in Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo.

We look forward to sharing the work we’ve done this year at our third Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Wednesday, April 13, 2022.

Following the AGM, we will be hosting our first in-person Momentum event since the pandemic started. Please save the date for Momentum 2022, our annual economic strategy event, on April 13, 2022.

Wishing you and yours a safe, healthy and joyous holiday season.


Kevin Weidlich, CEO Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo Economic Development & Tourism

Impacts on our region

As the province takes action to protect Albertans against the Omicron variant, the variant’s impact on global oil markets is predicted to be less seismic as initially feared. Over time, governments and businesses have become better adapted to dealing with the coronavirus. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) left unchanged its global oil demand and supply forecast for 2022, with some of the recovery in consumption expected in the final months of this year shifting into early 2022. The following captures our status as we end 2021.


Source: as of December 13, 2021


OIL PRICES: Western Canadian Select Crude

Source: as of December 14, 2021



Brought to you in partnership with the Oil Sands Community Alliance (OSCA).

We continue to grapple with COVID-19 and work through a time of volatility and uncertainty. But as we look to 2022, we have reasons for optimism after a difficult year.

The oil sands industry has made tremendous progress reducing Green House Gas emissions (GHGs) and that continues through significant investment in innovative technologies and knowledge sharing across the industry.

Canada is among the most responsible of the major oil producing countries, across the full Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) spectrum from environmental policy, to social progress/welfare, political stability, regulatory oversight and corporate governance.

“Dollar for dollar, the Canadian energy industry has put more into improving technology and that ultimately is reflected in, if you look at the oil sands specifically, the trend in greenhouse gas emissions intensity, which has dropped considerably,” Dziuba says.

Did you know: In Canada’s oil sands, average emissions per barrel decreased by 27 per cent since 2013. At the same time, other major oil producers globally reduced intensity by just 13 per cent

Source: BMO

We have an opportunity to be the supplier of choice to meet the world’s energy needs and the oil sands industry is committed to finding efficient and effective pathways to a lower-carbon future. The announcement of the Oil Sands Pathways to Net Zero alliance, a group of Canadian oil sands producers that share the vision of getting the industry to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, is an unprecedented and exciting collaboration that can make a significant impact. The first phase includes a proposed Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage (CCUS) transportation line that would capture CO2 from oil sands facilities and transport it to a storage facility near Cold Lake.

2022 will bring new opportunities for us to continue to be innovative and work together to drive greater synergies and competitiveness.

Learn more about CCUS:

Image Source: Cenovus