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Letter From The Editor - Now & Then: Residents remain resilient

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We’ve been here before. Ask the builders of our region about the challenges through the boom and bust cycles. They will tell you about the drops in housing prices. They will tell you about the worry of change to oil sands production.

The Wood Buffalo region has shared similar struggles in the past; the same conversations follow us through the decades. Twenty-twenty has been quite different, though. The COVID-19 pandemic will become a historical phenomenon that has unpredictably impacted our region and the globe.

We’ve been through shocking and catastrophic events before that altered our lives, forcing us to adapt. And we did – we adapted. We’ve seen the aftermath of disasters. We’ve lived through the outcomes.

If you’ve been following Your McMurray Magazine’s Top 50 Under 50 program, then you’ve read the proof of our residents’ adaptability, resilience, and strength in the past five years as the inaugural list came after the 2016 Wildfire.

So, as this edition (Volume 9, Issue 1) celebrates the program’s fifth anniversary, let it be a representation of the many more continued milestones of success to come.

Since its inception, over 250 residents have been recognized in the Top 50 Under 50 program. I can’t help but think about how much longer the list would have been had it started back in the times where Industry icons Jim Carter and Eric Newell were moving and shaking our region.

No matter how many pages we go back through our local history books, one thing has remained consistent: the people here are resilient and highly effective.

This similar statement was shared by people back in the ‘80s, and it still resonates through our present times. I believe the last five years have helped us develop our think-big, think-fast mindsets, just like the challenges did for the residents who faced them before us.

The key to understanding the stories told by our residents is learning from them, finding our similarities and developing new motivations. We discover how our predecessors, like us, have had grace under fire. It’s a reassurance that we, just like them, will get through anything that comes our way.

From the entire team at Your McMurray Magazine, congratulations to the Top 50 Under 50 of 2020 recipients, and to all our residents, who continue to build our region’s communities and create invaluable connections that make living here unique and prosperous.


Dawn Booth


Photo: The sun sets over a wintery Athabasca River in the fall of 2020. Photo by Azaria Photography


Dawn Booth is a local journalist and business owner of the communication service, Media Booth. Residing in Fort McMurray since 2007, Booth has been actively working in the Wood Buffalo region as a media and marketing expert. From her arrival to the city, until November 2010, she worked as the Special Features Editor at the Fort McMurray Today. In April 2011, she co-launched snapd Wood Buffalo and managed the publication for three years, until June 2014. In March 2014, she created Media Booth and is currently working with a wide-variety of clients in the business and nonprofit sectors throughout Alberta. Her passion for volunteering in the community has given her two civic awards from the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. She has also received the title for the Fort McMurray Connect's Top 40 Under 40 and is one of Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta's 2014-2015 Women of Inspiration. A happy wife and loving mother to two young boys and a baby girl, Booth can be found easily at