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NorthStar Ford Drives Up to Support the Wood Buffalo Volunteer Centre

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The Giles name has gone hand in hand with philanthropy in our town for decades now. For their most recent support the family has announced $300,000 over the next three years for the Wood Buffalo Volunteer Centre.

The new NorthStar Ford Wood Buffalo Volunteer Centre (NFWBVC) is located at 20 Riedel Street, above what was formally the Boys & Girls Club. According to an official news release, “The NFWBVC will continue to promote volunteerism and support agencies and groups by providing a platform for them to find appropriately matched volunteers vital to local social programs and events, recruit and train skilled board members, and build capacity in the local social profit staff and volunteer workforce. In addition to the day-to-day volunteer support, the NFWBVC will continue to work as a critical partner to Emergency Social Services during emergency activations, as they did during the 2016 wildfire and the 2020 flood. And more recently, NFWBVC partnered with the Arctic Winter Games 2023 to recruit and coordinate volunteers.”

Chantal Beaver, Executive Director, FuseSocial, oversees the Volunteer Centre. She said the group is delighted with the news.

“Funding partnerships are always valuable to a non-profit organization, but partnering with the Giles family is truly special. Marty, Deninne, their sons, and the NorthStar family exemplify the spirt of community, especially our Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo community. I truly love that they have lent their household name to the Volunteer Centre, recognizing that volunteerism helps builds a more cohesive, safer, stronger Wood Buffalo. We will host a grand opening when Covid-19 restrictions lift and we are able to,” she told YMM Magazine.

The news release adds, “since 2020, the NFWBVC has registered more than 3,500 volunteers and produced over 15,000 hours of volunteer service which equates to a value of over $400,000, in the middle of a pandemic no less. This partnership could not have come at a better time. Until now, the WBVC was funded heavily by the Canadian Red Cross Wildfire Recovery Fund – an agreement that is set to expire in early 2022. Without funding, WBVC capacity would have been cut by at least 50 per cent which would have left our community without this powerful resource.”

Dennine Giles notes, “we are so excited about the three-year partnership!  It really made perfect sense to commit the $300,000 over the three years.”

“We have been in Fort McMurray since 1995 and recognized early on that this was an exceptional community,” she tells YMM Magazine.

“We have always been extremely grateful for the support we have received. One of our core values at Northstar Ford is to leave the community better than we found it. Our son Austin came to us with this idea to partner having been on the FuseSocial Board for a few years now. Through the partnership we are able to support so many of the social sector agencies, which in turn supports our citizens. I know firsthand how hard it can be to recruit volunteers for events yet conversely I know so many people that are new and want to get involved. Fuse brings them all together. We will always support the hockey teams, ski team, etc., but this allows us to go deeper to people we would never otherwise be able to reach. We are here forever and are committed to our community forever,” enthused Giles.

Visit for volunteer opportunities, or to recruit volunteers.


Kiran is a national award-winning communications specialist, freelance journalist, and social media consultant. She loves telling community stories, and is a strong advocate for inclusion, diversity, women’s rights, and multiculturalism. Got story ideas? Contact her via Twitter: @KiranMK0822.