Social Impact

Canadian Index of Wellbeing

Reports on the quality of life of Wood Buffalo residents and identifies where residents are facing wellbeing challenges.

Convergence YMM

Wood Buffalo’s annual high caliber event that brings leaders from the social profit and philanthropic communities together.

Heart of Wood Buffalo Awards

Leadership Awards that celebrate the achievements of non-profit leaders, philanthropists and community organizations.

The Tomorrow Project

Research study to eliminate the knowledge gap and create a profile of the social profit sector in Wood Buffalo.

Congratulations to the 2020 Recipients!

COMMUNITY IMPACT AWARD

VOLUNTEER AWARD

CITIZEN OF THE YEAR AWARD

EVERYDAY HERO AWARD

YOUTH AWARD

INDIGENOUS ADVOCATE AWARD

SOCIAL PROSPERITY LEADERSHIP AWARD

BOARD LEADERSHIP AWARD

EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP AWARD

NEWCOMER ENGAGEMENT AWARD

Congratulations to the 2018 Recipients!

The 2018 Heart of Wood Buffalo Awards was a fantastic collaboration with the ConvergenceYMM 2018 event. It was a great opportunity to start of celebrating all of the wonderful things going on this past year in the Social Profit Sector

The following individuals have been recognized for their achievements which embody the spirit of community innovation, capacity building and leadership:

Cliff Dimm – Board Leadership Award
Michele Taylor & Joanne Angel-Andrusiv – Executive Leadership Award
91.1 The Bridge/ King’s Kids Promotions – Community Impact Award
Natalie Kemeny – Newcomer Engagement Award in Memory of Lyle Leboldus
Elizabeth Wells – Volunteer Recognition Award in Honour of Bill Bloomfield
SMS Equipment – Social Prosperity Leadership Award

Sincerely, we thank you for your contribution to our community!

Congratulations to the 2017 Recipients!

This evening, the Heart of Wood Buffalo Awards Committee announced the winners of the 2017 Heart of Wood Buffalo Leadership Awards, presented by Suncor.

The following individuals have been recognized for their achievements which embody the spirit of community innovation, capacity building and leadership:

Norma Jean Atkinson – Board Leadership Award
Tara Clarke – Executive Leadership Award
McMurray Metis – Community Impact Award
Barbara Weber – Newcomer Engagement Award in Memory of Lyle Leboldus
Reno Laseur – Volunteer Recognition Award in Honour of Bill Bloomfield
Nicole Greville – Social Prosperity Leadership Award

“This past year has been a challenge for our community. However, we have seen our social profit sector step up tremendously to support our community. They have truly taken on a leadership role to ensure our community is as vibrant and healthy as possible.” says Amy Matthews, Vision Ideas Architect at FuseSocial. “It has been such an exciting evening celebrating excellence in the social profit sector.”

Congratulations to the 2015 Recipients!

The 2015 Heart of Wood Buffalo Leadership Awards are proudly presented by Social Prosperity Wood Buffalo and the Suncor Energy Foundation in collaboration with FuseSocial Wood Buffalo Society, the Wood Buffalo Food Bank Association and The United Way of Fort McMurray. In addition, this year’s awards are sponsored by Suncor Energy, Syncrude, Shell, Hedco Group Inc., ATB Financial, Rogers Media (Country 93.3/Rock 97.9), RBC Financial, Northstar Lincoln Ford.

Congratulations to all the winners, finalists, and nominees!

Social Prosperity Leadership Award

presented by Suncor Energy Foundation and sponsored by Social Prosperity Wood Buffalo

Acuren

Organization selected to receive the $5,000 is the Father Patrick Mercredi Community High School Robotics program.

Executive Leadership Award

presented by FuseSocial and sponsored by Syncrude Canada Ltd.

Susanne Chaffey of Northern Lights Health Foundation

Organization selected to receive the $5,000 is Northern Lights Health Foundation

Community Impact Award

presented by The United Way of Fort McMurray

Northern Lights Health Foundation

Organization selected to receive the $5,000 is Northern Lights Health Foundation

Board Leadership Award

presented by FuseSocial and sponsored by ATB Financial

  • Jennifer Best of Support Through Housing Team


Organization selected to receive the $5,000 is Support Through Housing Team

​​ Volunteer Recognition Award in honour of Bill Bloomfield

presented and sponsored by Shell

Vilia Tosio

​Organization selected to receive the $5,000 is Wood Buffalo Midwifery Association

Newcomer Engagement Award in memory of Lyle Leboldus

presented by the Wood Buffalo Food Bank Association and sponsored by Hedco Group Inc.

Valerie O’Leary

Organization selected to receive the $5,000 is Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) for Communities

Congratulations to the 2016 Recipients!

Heart Award Winners Announced

(Fort McMurray, Alberta, May 18, 2016) – The Heart Awards Committee is thrilled to announce the winners of the 2016 Heart Awards.
Even though we cannot be together for this celebration, we wanted to recognize and congratulate the exceptional work these individuals and groups contribute to the community of Wood Buffalo. The Heart Awards recognize outstanding achievement in the non- profit sector in the Region of Wood Buffalo in six categories.

Board Leadership – Paul McWilliams
Nominated by: Arianna Johnson

This award recognizes exemplary leadership at the non-profit board level.


Community Impact – Fort Chip Animal Rescue Society
Nominated by: Jennifer Best

This award recognizes the impact a non-profit organization has made in the broader community, resulting in clear and measurable change


Executive Leadership – Chantal Beaver
Nominated by: Alison Rinas

This award recognizes exemplary leadership at the nonprofit senior leader level


Newcomer Engagement – Suma Jose
Nominated by: Alex Tarasenco

This award celebrates people who are new to the region but quickly support non-profit organizations through their outstanding leadership, commitment and volunteer work. They have a passion for community involvement and are a tremendous advocate for the non-profit sector.


Social Prosperity – Alan Roberts
Nominated by: Rolando Inzunza

This award recognizes significant contributions to the community including financial contributions, volunteer support and in-kind services targeted at helping one or more non-profit community organizations achieve greater sustainability.


Volunteerism – Aiman Naeem
Nominated by: Adrienne Norris

This award celebrates people who invest in their communities and inspire others through their outstanding volunteer work.


“Tonight we were supposed to have our awards ceremony and celebrate the commitment that so many make to the social profit sector in our Region” said Bonnah Carey, Chief Social Entrepreneur at FuseSocial and member of the Heart Awards Committee. “We wanted to announce the winners and appreciate all of these exemplary leaders who contribute in amazing ways to make Fort McMurray the best place in the world to call home,” said Carey. “During this difficult time celebrating these remarkable individuals has even more meaning.”

A big thank you to our sponsors – Suncor, Syncrude, Hedco, ATB Financial, Shell Canada, RBC Royal Bank, and Fort McMurray United Way.

Congrats to the 2014 Award Winners!

The 2014 Winners


Organizers of the 2014 Heart of Wood Buffalo Leadership Awards are very pleased to announce the 2014 Award Winners!

The Awards were held on April 23rd at the Suncor Energy Centre for the Performing Arts at Holy Trinity High School , hosted by emcee Marty Giles and with keynote speaker, Liz Weaver.

In addition to receiving a beautiful, hand crafted award sculpture, the Award Winners each received a $5,000 cash prize that they donated to the Wood Buffalo nonprofit community organization of their choice.

Executive Leadership Award

presented by FuseSocial and sponsored by Syncrude Canada Ltd.

· Lynn Rhoddy, Stepping Stones Youth Homes

· Two Organizations selected were the Wood Buffalo Food Bank Association and the Francophone Association of Wood Buffalo, $2,500 each

Social Prosperity Leadership Award

presented by Suncor Energy Foundation and sponsored by Social Prosperity Wood Buffalo

· Tervita Corporation

· Organization selected to receive the $5,000 is the Wood Buffalo Food Bank Association

Volunteer Recognition Award in honour of Bill Bloomfield

presented and sponsored by Shell

· Rolando Inzunza

· Organization selected to receive the $5,000 is YMCA Immigrant Settlement Services

Community Impact Award

presented by the United Way of Fort McMurray and sponsored by TOTAL E&P Canada

· Santa’s Anonymous

· Organization Selected to receive the $5,000 award was Santas Anonymous

Newcomer Engagement Award in memory of Lyle Leboldus

presented by the Wood Buffalo Food Bank Association and sponsored by Hedco Group Inc.

· Kevin Garbuio
Organization selected to receive the $5,000 award was the Fort McMurray Football Association

Board Leadership Award

presented by FuseSocial and sponsored by ATB Financial

· Ed Kamps, Multicultural Association

· Organization selected to receive the $5,000 is Multicultural Association

2013 Heart of Wood Buffalo Awards

Fort McMurray, Alberta – May 23, 2013 Organizers of the 2013 Heart of Wood Buffalo Leadership Awards are very pleased
to announce the 2013 Award Winners for the Heart of Wood Buffalo Leadership Awards.

The Awards were held on May 23rd at the Suncor Energy Centre for the Performing Arts at Holy Trinity High School , hosted by emcees Amanda Propp and Sean Conroy and featured keynote speaker Dave Meslin.

Feeling alone in RMWB?

Thank you to Epic Productions for capturing some great stories as they got ready for the May 23 Heart of Wood Buffalo Leadership Awards. Click on the video to the right!

Social Prosperity Leadership Award

Andryia Browne
Andryia Browne selected the Fort McMurray SPCA to receive her $5,000 prize. As owner of Fort McMurray Connect and Vizability Consulting Inc., Andryia plays an integral role in recognizing and sharing news of nonprofit organizations in Wood Buffalo. She is especially devoted to the Fort McMurray SPCA and has been a member of the Board for two years. Through her involvement with the SPCA, she has successfully created ‘petspeak’ adoption advertisements that have increased adoption rates, designed program cards to outline the programs and services offered by SPCA and created the gala fundraiser, Dancing the Stars Wood Buffalo. Her efforts have had a significant impact bringing positive change while inspiring others.

Community Impact Award

Fort McMurray Inner-City Homeless Health Promotion Project
Two organizations were selected to split the $5,000 prize; the Centre of Hope and the Salvation Army. The Fort McMurray Inner-City Homeless Health Promotion Project builds exemplary partnerships and collectively makes positive impacts on access to appropriate healthcare and necessary support for vulnerable members of our community. The project contributes to what we are obligated as humans and a community

– to care for each other, especially the most vulnerable ones. That is a vital component of a healthy community.

Executive Leadership Award

Roseanne Davidson
Roseanne donated her $5,000 prize to the Fort McMurray Historical Society, Heritage Park Summer Camps Program. As the Executive Director of the Fort McMurray Historical Society, Roseann has witnessed the amazing growth of both Heritage Park and the Marine Park Museum. In her role she has had the opportunity to build dreams fueled by dedication, hard work and passion from staff, volunteers and the Fort McMurray Historical Society Board of Directors. Roseann is excited by the enthusiastic laughter and learning at school programs and summer camps. She has also had the opportunity to work with incredible community partners that invaluably support Fort McMurray Historical Society projects and programs. It is the diversity of this community that makes her position unique and rewarding.

Board Leadership Award

Hope Moffatt
Hope Moffatt chose Children 1st Community Childcare Network Society to receive the $5,000 prize. Hope has
been an early childhood and adult educator for most of her life and is one of the founding members of Children First. The Children First: Community Day Home Agency and the Children  First: Eagle Ridge Nest child care centre were built by community partners in response to the community’s need for increased child care services. Hope is grateful for the dedication of the Children First staff and Board of Directors. Children First’s mission is
to “Put circles of support around children and families.” When they do that, they will be living their vision: “Children first, community success.”

Newcomer Engagement Award in Memory of Lyle Leboldus

D’Andre Wilson
D’Andre chose Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta and the Wood Buffalo Youth Science Foundation to split the $5,000 prize. D’Andre Wilson came to Fort McMurray in September 2011 on a temporary work placement and in April 2012 decided to make Fort McMurray her permanent home. Educated in chemical engineering, she always had a passion for promoting STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) to youth and decided to form the BrainSTEM Alliance, working with social profits and educational institutions in the area to do engineering outreach activities. So far she has worked with the Fort McMurray Public Library, Holy Trinity High School and Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta. She recently started her own handbag business called Ziri Bags
& Accessories to raise funds for scholarships toward young women pursuing STEM fields.

Volunteer Recognition Award in Honour of Bill Blomfield

Nicole Park
Nicole Park chose Fort McMurray Autism Support Group, Camp Kids First to receive the $5,000 prize.Nicole has proudly called Fort McMurray her home for 13 years. In 2008, Nicole started the Fort McMurray Autism Support Group for parents to meet monthly and support each other in raising a child or children with autism. This group is what Nicole is most proud of because like Margaret Montoya did for her when she received her son’s diagnosis she has been able to help other families with the journey of an autism diagnosis. Among her many accomplishments, in 2011 she founded Camp “Kids First”, the only outdoor recreation summer day camp in Fort McMurray to provide social and recreational opportunities for children with different needs. Currently Nicole volunteers with the Healing Hooves Therapeutic Horse Back Riding Project at Clearwater Horse Club and is the administration volunteer for the Fort McMurray Special Olympics. She was also integral in getting a special needs class added to
the regular registration at the Norfort Gymnastics Club.

2012 Heart of Wood Buffalo Awards

FORT MCMURRAY, ALBERTA –June 6, 2012 Organizers of the 2012 Heart of Wood Buffalo Leadership Awards are very pleased to announce the 2012 Award Winners for the Heart of Wood Buffalo Leadership Awards.

The Awards were held on June 6th at the Suncor Energy Centre for the Performing Arts at Holy Trinity High School, hosted by emcee Russell Thomas and keynote speaker Ian Hill. Watch Ian’s keynote presentation:

And the Nominees are...

Social Prosperity Leadership Award

Christine Burton

Chrisitne selected the Wood Buffalo Artists Forum to receive her $5,000 prize. A lawyer, Christine has made a big impression on a lot of people with the monthly free notary clinic she holds at the YMCA, where she helps immigrants and foreign workers complete essential paperwork. Given the number of documents that she notarizes annually, a YMCA coordinator points out that if clients paid for the same service at a legal practice, the price tag would be a whopping $90,000. Among her other achievements, Christine is also: A volunteer speaker, panel member and mentor for Leadership Wood Buffalo; founding member and director of the Wood Buffalo Artists Forum and the Wood Buffalo Immigrant Society; founding director of Arts Council Wood Buffalo, and founding member and president of both the Wood Buffalo Wellness Society-Mark Amy Addictions Treatment Centre and the HUB Family Resource Centre.

Community Impact Award

The Fort McMurray Food Bank Association


The Food Bank received the $5,000 prize for winning the Community Impact Award. The Food Bank is fighting to end hunger in our region, providing for the shortterm distribution of food to people in need. Since it opened its doors in a warehouse in Gregoire in late 1982, it has been the liaison between the community and those who require assistance by seeking, receiving, and administering donations from individuals, groups and businesses, and disbursing those resources to the less fortunate. Last year, 1,015 adults and 976 children were supplied with food. Now located in a larger, more convenient downtown headquarters, the Food Bank also acts as an advocate for its clients and provides referral services to other agencies. As a former client turned volunteer says, the “Food Bank is about much more than just distributing food in our community to benefit those in need. It is a committed, community-minded organization that encourages, empowers and educates.”

Executive Leadership Award

Jill Sporidis

Jill chose the Wood Buffalo chapter of the Canadian Cancer Society (Relay for Life) to receive the $5,000 prize. Jill won as the Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer of the Wood Buffalo Primary Care Network, which consists of interdisciplinary health professionals, family physicians, and pediatricians. With more than 12 years of progressive leadership experience, she has championed change, provided strategic direction, encouraged innovation and built relationships with stakeholders to open up new opportunities for growth – such as the recent relocation of the Primary Care clinic to Keyano College after it unexpectedly lost its leased space. As one colleague observes, in that case she turned a “potentially devastating situation” into a venture that “now promises to benefit both organizations.” Efficient and effective, blessed with a unique combination of critical and creative thinking, Jill managed to cut $1.17 million from the budget in the 2010/2011 fiscal year without any employee layoffs.

Board Leadership Award

Dan Fouts


As the winner, Dan chose the Northern Lights Health Foundation to receive his $5,000 prize. He was elected to a two-year term in 2011 as Chairman of the Board of the Northern Lights Health Foundation, having served as a director since 2007. Among his many accomplishments, colleagues say that he has been instrumental in helping the board make the challenging transition over the past few years to a new policy governance model, and in redesigning the process used by Alberta Health Services to request grants from the foundation. Dan is also a member of the stakeholder relations sub-committee, which was previously the human resources sub-committee. President and general manager of Stony Valley Contracting, Dan explains that he became passionate about healthcare after watching his mother fight and eventually lose her battle with cancer. Giving back to the community, he says, “is what my Mom would have expected of me.”

Newcomer Engagement Award in Memory of Lyle Leboldus


The inaugural Newcomer Engagement Award was presented to Lyle’s daughter, Jeanette Leboldus, on her father’s behalf.


Jeanette donated the $5,000 prize to the Fort McMurray Food Bank Association. Lyle moved to Fort McMurray in March 2011, immediately embracing the community and making it home. In the same spirit that he had avidly supported local non-profit groups and charities elsewhere, he joined the Board of Directors of the Fort McMurray Food Bank in June 2011, followed by the United Way Community Investment Committee. His legacy will live on.

Volunteer Recognition Award in Honour of Bill Blomfield

Alejandro (Alex) Bosch Sanchez


Alex donated his $5,000 price to the United Way of Fort McMurray. He works as a caregiver and arrived arrived in Fort McMurray four years ago from Mexico. Having started volunteering when he was 10 years old, he was soon immersed in his new community – eventually becoming involved with 22 organizations, including the YMCA, Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Air Cadets, Events Wood Buffalo, the Northern Lights Foundation and the HUB Family Resource Centre. Much of his focus has been on helping children and teens. Alex says that volunteering has made his life in Fort McMurray “delightful,” and he hopes that others will be inspired to lend a hand and make a difference.

2011 Heart of Wood Buffalo Leadership Awards

On June 21, 2011, Wood Buffalo celebrated excellence in our nonprofit sector with the first annual Heart of Wood Buffalo Leadership Awards.

Congratulations to the 2011 Heart of Wood Buffalo Award Recipients:
Marty & Dennine Giles, Philanthropy Award
Wood Buffalo Housing & Development Corporation, Nonprofit Organization Award
Christine Burton (The HUB Family Resource Centre), Board Leadership Award
Laura Barnes (Fort McMurray Victim Services), Nonprofit Staff Award