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 requirements 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 80s, the Multicultural Association concentrated on providing cultural and recreational activities and
supports to new immigrants. An office and resource library were also established. In the early 90s, the Alberta and partnership programs were set up to fund multicultural programming in the involved communities. The Multicultural Association of Wood Buffalo's programs aimed to increase multicultural awareness as a way of live, through workshops, TV Shows and events, such as the Festival of Colours. The federal government continued to provide program funding to keep these running. In 1995, the Alberta Multiculturalism Commission combined with the Human Rights Commission. An Education Fund was established, and project funding changed to support projects that promoted community leadership and self-sufficiency. In 1997, the Canadian Heritage fund 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's needs. The MCA's current programming is drawn from this assessment. Although government funding, both federal and provincial, have since diminished, the Multicultural Association has supplemented these programs by fundraising and through generous supports 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 the 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.