A digital media space for all to discover

McMurray Experience is an interactive space located in Fort McMurray downtown’s core to highlight the communities found within the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB).

Found at the Jubilee Plaza at 9909 Franklin Avenue, the facility’s purpose was to create a digital-friendly experience for locals, visitors and newcomers to learn more about the region. (Check out the McMurray Experience promotional video launched in 2015 to engages others to share their experiences.)

Inside McMurray Experience, the digital components feature an HD theatre screen, a digital table for moveable presentations, a screen showcasing social media updates, a free photo booth with printable photos and a fully functional stereo and an audio-visual system and much more.

The facility’s vision further included plans to capture the Region’s culture and has been demonstrating this through the Art in Motion program.

The program also offers unique opportunities for residents to display their works in a kinetic gallery. The artwork rotates on an electronic motion system (which looks like a miniature Ferris wheel.)

This space is dedicated solely to exhibit locals’ collections, and curation takes place monthly with themed submission calls. Submission criteria is listed on the RMWB’s website.

The three-million-dollar facility opened its doors in July 2015 just in time for visitors from the 2015 Western Canada Summer Games (WCSG) to explore.

According to MyMcMurray.com, former Mayor Melissa Blake invited everyone to check it out and told the local news agency “while they’re browsing the Urban Market, celebrating the 2015 Western Canada Summer Games, or anytime they’re downtown. It’s great for residents and visitors, and there’s something for all ages to enjoy.”

It has since been the hub for various local events and some of the RMWB’s biggest community announcements like when representatives from Alberta Sport Connection came to announce the RMWB won the bid for the 2018 Alberta Winter Games.

It also regularly hosts information sessions for the ‘Here For You’ public engagement program which was initiated to help residents with the region’s recovery efforts from the 2016 wildfire.
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With a standing occupancy of 150 and non-fixed seating capacity of 50, the general public can book the space for a $50 per hour rate. There are also four monthly spots available at no cost on a first-come, first served basis for local organizations and social profits to utilize through the McMurray Experience Partnership Program

A representative from the RMWB shared with the Fort McMurray Today how the free service aims to provide access to local groups.

“We’re pleased to provide a centrally located, accessible space for public events,” stated RMWB’s Community Strategies Coordinator Dave Stearman in the Today newspaper. “The program aims to foster and sustain relationships with community groups and organizations by encouraging them to use this one-of-a-kind digital media venue for their public events.”

Operating hours for the McMurray Experience are available Tuesday to Friday from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. and on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The facility is closed on Sunday and Monday. To learn more about bookings, call 780-742-3160 or drop by at 9909 Franklin Avenue.

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