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30 Years in the Making

In 1984, the Secretary of State...

...met with members of cultural communities in Fort McMurray to determine how to meet the needs of the increasingly culturally diverse community in the region. An ad hoc Committee was formed which met once every month to discuss the requirement for a multicultural association. By 1985, the Multicultural Association mandate and future objectives were determined. The Multicultural Association of Fort McMurray (MCA) was granted society status in July.

In the late 80's, the Multicultural Association concentrated on providing cultural and recreational activities and support to new immigrants. An office and resource library was also established.

In the early 90's, the Alberta Multiculturalism Commission was formed and "Partnership Programs" were set up to fund multicultural programming in the communities. The Multicultural Association of Fort McMurray (MCA’s) programs aim to increase multicultural awareness as a way of life including workshops, TV shows, and the Festival of Colors. The federal government continued to provide program funding to keep these running.

In 1995, the Alberta Multiculturalism Commission was combined with the Human Rights Commission. An Education Fund was established and funding changed to projects based on promoting community leadership and self-sufficiency. In 1997, the Canadian Heritage funding reoriented towards projects based on community based criteria. The Multicultural Association conducted a Needs Assessment to review the programs already in place and to understand the community needs. The MCA’s current programming is drawn from this assessment.

Although government funding, both federal and provincial have diminished, the Multicultural Association has supplemented these programs by fundraising and through generous support from various sponsors.

In 2012, the Multicultural Association of Fort McMurray decided that its mandate is inclusive of outlying communities and changed its name to Multicultural Association of Wood Buffalo. The MCA currently runs several successful programs and annual events, which foster an inclusive community and understanding amongst diverse cultures as well as offering much needed resources to newcomers in collaboration with our partners.