Fort McMurray Nonprofits Accelerate Wildfire Recovery Efforts with Creative Help from Guelph Academic and Business Community
November 23rd, 2016
GUELPH, Ontario — (BUSINESS WIRE)–The Fort McMurray wildfire in May led to the mass evacuation of the city’s residents and destroyed more than 2,000 homes and businesses in less than a few hours. Now, fellow Canadians 2,300 miles away in Ontario have rallied to support Fort McMurray nonprofits with the long-term recovery effort.
In a pro-bono, 24-hour creative marathon, Alchemy Systems, in partnership with Capacity Canada, Fuse Social and graphic design students from Conestoga College, created new communications materials to help 12 Fort McMurray nonprofits more effectively reach those in need.
The 12 Fort McMurray nonprofits that Alchemy and Conestoga College supported are:
- The Canadian Mental Health Association
- Careers: The Next Generation
- Centre of Hope
- Children First Eagle Ridge Nest
- Fort McMurray Public Golf Club
- Fort McMurray Search and Rescue Society
- Fuse Social
- Habitat for Humanity Wood Buffalo
- Northern Lights Health Foundation
- Ptarmigan Nordic Ski Club
- The Support Through Housing Team Society
- Wood Buffalo Metis
The marathon was part of CreateAthon, an annual pro bono event where creative professionals and students spend one day (and night) working around-the-clock to deliver the communications strategies and materials nonprofits need to move their missions forward.
“Once the emergency response phase is over, the long-term recovery is really driven by the community and the nonprofits that are there for the long term — building houses, sheltering the homeless, and providing mental health services and outdoor recreation,” said Raj Shah, chief marketing officer of Alchemy. “The Alchemy creative team and the amazing students at Conestoga College wanted to support that recovery effort in a meaningful way.”
Habitat for Humanity Wood Buffalo Executive Director Crystal Lewis-Wilton explained what they were looking for. “Our new Wildfire Recovery Program started after the wildfires to help connect under- or uninsured homeowners with the right resources for rebuilding. It’s quite different from our regular program, so we wanted a means of distinguishing between the two, and these new brochures and posters speak directly to our community.”
“It’s quite gratifying to provide the nonprofits with Ad agency calibre creative materials so they can be more effective in community outreach and connecting with those in need,” said Terry McGuire, director of interactive at Alchemy’s Guelph office.
The creative teams also included several solo graphic artists from Guelph and in conjunction with nonprofit representatives, they brainstormed significant branding products, creating everything from new logos and branding materials to outreach campaigns, building signage, and website designs.
“We presented the new ideas and designs to all 12 nonprofits and the reception was amazing,” said Scott Martin, VP of Creative at Alchemy. “The Alchemy creative team and the Conestoga students did excellent work, and we felt a great sense of accomplishment to receive such heartfelt thanks.”