Denali Turnaround contractors take time to recharge at MacDonald Island Park

Like many of his fellow 4,500 Syncrude employees based in Fort McMurray, Jimmy Rubalcava and his family have spent many days and evenings at MacDonald Island Park, from swimming laps at the Syncrude Aquatic Centre to working out at the fitness centre to golfing at Miskanaw Golf Course.

Jimmy also sees how the approximately 2,500 craft workers brought in by Syncrude for this spring’s Project Denali turnaround would appreciate the world-class recreational complex.

“Syncrude brings in the top tradespeople from across Canada for our annual spring maintenance turnaround,” says Jimmy, Project Denali’s Event Manager. “Turnarounds are demanding physically and emotionally. People are working long hours under the pressure of deadlines and budgets. We wanted to look at ways to help our contractors’ well-being. And that’s when we looked at MacDonald Island Park. It’s a fabulous facility where our contractors can take a break from site and camp.  It gives them a chance to enjoy the many healthy distractions offered by MacDonald Island Park and can help them recharge themselves for the next shift cycle, both physically and mentally.”

Syncrude partnered with the Regional Recreation Corporation of Wood Buffalo to distribute recreational passes to contractors working on Project Denali. Syncrude will also provide busing from camps to the facility.

“People who come to work our turnarounds usually only ever see the airport and a camp room so we saw this as an opportunity to show them the community,” says Shandra Linder, Senior Advisor, Corporate Labour Relations. “Getting them to town and showing what our community has to offer can help in creating ambassadors for Fort McMurray and Syncrude so they can promote this region when they return to their home provinces and towns. Who knows? Maybe some of them will see what this community is and realize Fort McMurray is a great place to raise a family and have a career with Syncrude or another local company. When you have world-class facilities such as MacDonald Island Park, it’s a selling point.”

Syncrude Aquatic Centre (Layla Underwood/Regional Recreation Corporation of Wood Buffalo)

Project Denali will also distribute passes to local contractors and workers not living in camp that are working on the turnaround.

“This is not limited to the workforce housed in camps,” says Jimmy.

We think it’s very important for all the people who work on the turnaround to look after their physical and mental health. There’s no better place to do that than MacDonald Island Park.

jimmy rubalcava

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