Monday February 13th, 2017 marked an event that has been a year in the making for the CAODC – the 70th anniversary of the discovery of oil at Leduc No. 1 and Oil & Gas Celebration Day in Alberta. In early February 2016, shortly after the launch of our Oil Respect advocacy campaign, we issued a petition to our Alberta members to ask the provincial government to declare February 13th, 2017 Alberta Oil & Gas Awareness Day. A year later, the initiative has been immensely successful.
In the interim, the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association came on board, submitting another petition with the support of its members, asking the Government of Alberta to formally mark the day. More than 25 municipalities across the province have issued proclamations from mayors, councils and reeves, declaring Oil & Gas Awareness/Celebration Days in their areas. We received enthusiastic media uptake, from the major Alberta dailies to radio stations and papers in smaller communities across the province.
The discovery at Leduc in 1947 was, in many ways, catalyst for modern Alberta, unlocking the province’s conventional oil resources and driving Canada toward increased energy independence. This fact, augmented by the CAODC’s efforts, prompted the Government of Alberta to recognize the occasion. Fittingly, the name Oil & Gas Celebration Day was chosen to mark the moment. The event, held at the Leduc No. 1 Discovery Centre, included addresses from Minsters Marg McCuaig-Boyd and Shaye Anderson, as well as the official proclamation launch and a cake-cutting. I was also honoured to be able to address the crowd. A sit-down dinner was also held that evening to celebrate the occasion.
In my morning remarks, I noted that the men and women who work in Alberta’s oil and gas industry represent the beating heart of this province. Alberta would not be what it is today without their grit and tenacity, and one day out of 365 to celebrate their contributions to this province is scarcely enough.
This sentiment informs everything we do at the CAODC, from our commitment to industry best practises to our advocacy work on behalf of our members. We are pleased and humbled to be able to represent working families in Alberta, and we share this milestone with all of them.