MacEwan University offers assistance to Fort McMurray evacuees

May 4, 2016

MacEwan University is working with aid agencies to provide assistance to evacuees from areas of northern Alberta affected by wildfires. We are committed to ensuring the safety, comfort and security of the evacuees in our residence.

Returning to Fort McMurray

The Government of Alberta has released information regarding the safe return of Fort McMurray residents.

For more information about returning to Fort McMurray, visit »

For information about travel arrangements to Fort McMurray, visit the Red Cross website »

For additional information about returning to the Wood Buffalo area, including accommodation information for returning evacuees, visit the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo website »

Message from President Atkinson - May 11, 2016

The last week has been an extraordinary one for MacEwan University, as we welcomed nearly 700 evacuees from Fort McMurray. I have been overwhelmed by the generosity of the MacEwan community to our visitors, and by the many ways that everyone has reached out to help.  Faculty, staff, and students have shown a level of concern which I have rarely experienced, working long hours in stressful circumstances to help those who are going through a very difficult time. I want to extend my personal thanks to all those who have represented MacEwan so well.

I appreciate that the current situation is very fluid, and that we have no clear idea of when people might start returning home. I remain committed, however, to ensuring that the needs of our Fort McMurray visitors remain our first priority, and that we continue to provide a positive, supportive living environment for however long they are with us. We shall keep everyone informed as things progress over the next few weeks. In the meantime, I ask that everyone continue to demonstrate the kindness and attention that I know our visitors appreciate.

David W. Atkinson  

MacEwan Residence

MacEwan University is working with the Government of Alberta to accommodate evacuees from the affected regions. If you are an evacuee seeking accommodations, please proceed to the Edmonton Reception Centre »

Volunteers and Donations

Thanks to all those who generously volunteered their time and resources to assist the evacuees. At this time, MacEwan University is not seeking volunteers or accepting donations. 

If you have donations that you would like to give to returning residents and evacuees staying in other communities, donations can be sent to:

Alberta Wildfire Donation Centre
17306 129 Avenue NW

If you are unable to ship the items, pick-up can be arranged. To arrange a pickup, email

If you or someone you know is in need of donated goods, please email: with your needs and to arrange a delivery.

Updates regarding the most needed donations and designated drop-off sites will appear on »,

In the meantime, if you are interested in volunteering, you can find more information here: ».

On-site Resources

Information centre 

An information board for evacuees is located in the Residence lobby.

MacEwan University Sport and Wellness

Fort McMurray and Wood Buffalo residents have free access to:

Fitness Centre: main floor, Building 8 (Hours)

Pool: main floor, Building 8 (Hours, Female Only Swims - Sundays, 10:30 - 11:55 a.m.)

  • Swimsuits are desirable, however if you should not have a swimsuit, clean shorts and shirt allowable
  • Free towel service at Welcome Desk
  • Children 7 and under must be accompanied by, and within arm's reach of, someone 14 or older
  • Includes Value-added (free) aquatics classes

Gymnasium: main floor, Building 8 (Hours)

  • Basketball, soccer, badminton, volleyball nets and equipment available
  • Street shoes are not permitted. If participants do not have appropriate shoes, socks or bare feet are permitted. 
  • Children 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult

Ping Pong: room 8-211, second floor, Building 8

  • Paddles and balls available at the Sport and Wellness Welcome Desk

Edmonton Public Schools

Evacuees who wish to sending their children to school while in Edmonton can contact the following Edmonton Public Schools:

  • Glenora School: Grades K-6
    13520 102 Ave
  • Westmount Junior High: Grades 7-9
    11124 130 St.
  • Ross Sheppard High School: Grades 10-12
    13546 111 Ave

Bus service is available from MacEwan University. For more information, please contact your child’s school after enrolment.

Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers

Offering assistance with finding housing and community resources.

  • Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.  

Save the Children

Offering a Child Friendly Space that provides structured, supervised activities that offer comfort to children whose daily routines have been disrupted.

  • 7 days per week, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Other Resources for evacuees

Provincial emergency information website

The Alberta government emergency information site contains updated information related to the fire and evacuee support, including a link to the Red Cross online evacuee registration form. Visit the Alberta emergency website »

Counselling Services

The Psychologists’ Association of Alberta would like to help evacuees who have been displaced due to fires in Fort McMurray. Their Disaster Response Network members are offering pro-bono psychological services to victims and first responders traumatized by recent events. Those interested in accessing free psychological services can contact The Psychologists' Association of Alberta (PAA) directly at 780-424-0294 (Edmonton) and 403-246-8255 (Calgary) to be connected with a service provider with expertise in this area

Joint Statement re: Alberta Post-Secondary Applicants Affected by Alberta Wildfires

The six Edmonton-area Campus Alberta post-secondary institutions are committed fully to supporting applicants who may have difficulty completing coursework or getting official marks or transcripts due to the Alberta wildfires. To avoid undue disruption to learner pathways, we will continue to work closely with Alberta Education, affected post-secondary institutions, and applicants themselves to ensure students are able to receive post-secondary admission decisions across programs at all six institutions.

For more information, visit »

Statement from President Atkinson - May 6

Every one of us knows about the devastating fires that are destroying Fort McMurray, and as Albertans we feel deeply the concern, panic, insecurity, and loss that our northern neighbours are experiencing. I am certain many of you may have family and friends in Fort McMurray, and we pray for their safety.

Edmonton is anticipating a massive influx of people forced to evacuate because of the fires, who will need places to live. We will therefore be making our residences available, and have been in contact with the City of Edmonton which is coordinating a comprehensive response. Please be assured that MacEwan University will step up in any way it can to support those desperately impacted by the Fort McMurray fires.

I understand that the Canadian Red Cross is accepting donations for the Alberta Fires Appeal. You may make a donation by visiting »

— David W. Atkinson

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