New hires, business exchanges and anniversary celebrations

By TIM O’ROURKE, Publisher of Connect Weekly

A big thank you to Dawn Sidoroff, Manager of Marketing & Fund Development for the Wood Buffalo Regional Library for the invitation to attend their annual Investors Reception and The Banff Mountain Film Festival (BMFF) at Keyano College last Thursday evening.

The reception in the Elements Dining Room was relaxing followed by the 2016 BMFF presented by Northland Forest Products Ltd. in the Keyano Theatre.

Outstanding films were presented, everything from climbing the third-highest peak in North America to saying goodbye to a special friend to women skiers. I was never bored, so I never looked at my watch. Looking forward to next year’s event.

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Congratulations to 3% Realty Broker Kathy Bowers who recently celebrated her 30th wedding anniversary with hubby Tim in Bora Bora.

They did pretty good there because when newspaper mogul Conrad Black went on vacation with his wife Barbara Amiel in Bora Bora, they only lasted three days in 2007 because it didn’t fit. Obviously, it fit for Kathy and Tim.

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Did you know there are two Rotary exchange students in Fort McMurray? Natalia Sowinska from Poland is being hosted by the Oilsands Rotary Club of Fort McMurray and Malou Haulund from Denmark by the Rotary Club of Fort McMurray.

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A good hire by McMurray Métis by bringing on new General Manager Daniel Stuckless. Stuckless has spent the past five years as the Fort McKay First Nation Senior Manager for Environment and Regulatory and replaces Kyle Harrietha, now Director of Parliamentary Affairs at Environment Canada in Ottawa.

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Smitty’s Canada Limited has entered into a partnership with AMA Rewards.

As of February 1, AMA/CAA card holders will receive a 10% discount when dining (excludes the purchase of alcohol or gift cards) at Smitty’s restaurants across Alberta. Smitty’s Fort McMurray owner/operator Ramona Morrison is excited about the new promotion and hopes all AMA/CAA card holders take advantage to these savings at her restaurant located downtown on Hardin Street.

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I had earlier mentioned in a column that Robert Vargo was going to sell Alberta Motor Products after 40 plus years. It’s official and Vargoville is now called Summit GM, part of the Kaizen Automotive Group – a good fit to our community. In other Vargo news, his daughter Rhonda exchanged wedding vows last Saturday with Chad Cox in a Fort McMurray winter wedding with the venue at Shell Place.

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A good source told me The Ricky’s Restaurant Group of Family-Style Restaurants is seriously scouting Fort McMurray as a possible new location. Officials have been in town talking with landlords of empty buildings.

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A former longtime McMurrayrite and Re/Max Fort McMurray owner Tim Walsh celebrated a major milestone last month. Walsh celebrated his 65th birthday with family and friends in Calgary. He and his wife Marianne reside in Canmore.

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The Justin Slade Youth Foundation launches Teen Skating Nights on January 15 at the Syncrude Athletic Park on Cartier Road from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. every Friday night for the remainder of the winter season. Free hotdogs and hot chocolate for youth ages 12-17 years.

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This week’s ‘Separated at Birth’ comes from my daughter-in-law Anastasia from Vancouver who met Photomagic Foto Source owner Dan Sorensen during the holidays and thought ‘Teddy Mountain’ Sorensen looked a lot like Canadian actor/comedian Martin Short. SEE PRINT COPY

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If you hear of a good tip, contact me at tim@starnews.ca.