WestJet hosted almost 1

WestJet hosted almost 1

A Christmas miracle for Fort Mac

For the fifth year in row, WestJet released its annual tear-jerker Christmas video and this year they stayed close to home.



An Albertan community in desperate need of a little magic, got a well-deserved Christmas miracle – thanks to WestJet.

For the fifth year in row, WestJet released its annual tear-jerker Christmas video and this year they stayed close to home.

WestJet went into the community for Fort McMurray and concocted a special surprise for families devastated by the May 2016 wildfire that saw the entire city evacuated.

“This year, we wanted Christmas to mean just a little bit more for the residents of Fort McMurray,” said Richard Bartrem, WestJet vice-president of marketing communications.

“WestJet is deeply connected to the community, which is why we wanted to show them how much we care. We were at the airport the day the fire hit town, and several WestJetters also lost their homes. This year’s Christmas miracle was an opportunity for WestJet to do what we do best – help connect a community, celebrate the season and bring a smile to peoples’ faces.”

WestJet hosted almost 1,000 local residents at a Snowflake Soiree at the end of November for a night they would never forget.

The party was full of surprises for families, including a variety of crafting activities, a performance by Canadian music superstar Johnny Reid and the of course the biggest surprise of all – special white boxes that floated down from the sky.

Each gift box contained personalized family portraits in a Christmas ornament and – WestJet flight vouchers for the entire family.

“I think it’s important for myself, all the people here, for the rest of the world, to show Fort McMurray that we care,” said Reid. “And that even in our darkest times, there are people out there that are going to show up and show them light, love and support.”

Among the Snowflake Soiree guests were seven families who received special gifts from WestJetters who heard the families’ stories and wanted to help by giving their own irreplaceable items.

These included an heirloom watch from the Second World War, a special snowboard and a childhood book with an encouraging message. View the families’ stories here.

“We know this will be a difficult Christmas for the community,” said Bartrem. “It’s important for us to show the people of Fort McMurray they are not forgotten.”

If you need a good cry today, Christmas Miracle: Fort McMurray Strong may be just for you.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A cougar was spotted at Royal Roads University on Sunday, Jan. 24. The sighting was reported on the western edge of the campus. (File photo)
Cougar spotted at Royal Roads University Sunday afternoon

Animal reported on western side of campus near Langford Fire Department

Frank Bourree was awarded the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce’s first Governors’ Award of Distinction for his leadership in the business community. (Courtesy of Frank Bourree)
Frank Bourree receives award of distinction from Victoria chamber

Award recognizes positive role model in business community

The Habitat for Humanity Meaning of Home contest is open to students in Grades 5 to 6. (Screenshot/Habitat for Humanity video)
Habitat for Humanity launches national writing contest

Entries accepted from students in Grades 4 to 6 until Feb. 19

Colwood Fire Rescue is reminding the public to only burn dry, seasoned wood in fireplaces after heavy smoke filled the intersection of Sooke Road and Acacia Drive when a homeowner tried burning a plastic item on Sunday, Jan. 24. (Emily Jessop photo)
Colwood homeowner burns plastic in fireplace, causes emergency response

Colwood Fire Rescue says burn dry, seasoned wood in fireplaces only

A rolled-over car was spotted in a ditch along Sooke Road near the border of Langford on the morning of Sunday, Jan. 24. (Black Press Media photo)
Car ends up in ditch along Sooke Road Sunday morning

Single vehicle spotted rolled-over just after 10 a.m. on Jan. 24

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

Wet’suwet’en supporters and Coastal GasLink opponents continue to protest outside the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, February 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
‘We’re still in it’: Wet’suwet’en push forward on rights recognition

The 670-km Coastal GasLink pipeline was approved by B.C. and 20 elected First Nations councils on its path

The sky above Mt. Benson in Nanaimo is illuminated by flares as search and rescuers help an injured hiker down the mountain to a waiting ambulance. (Photo courtesy Nanaimo Search and Rescue)
Search plane lights up Nanaimo mountain with flares during icy rope rescue

Rescuers got injured hiker down Mt. Benson to a waiting ambulance Saturday night

Jennifer Cochrane, a Public Health Nurse with Prairie Mountain Health in Virden, administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Robert Farquhar with Westman Regional Laboratory, during the first day of immunizations at the Brandon COVID-19 vaccination supersite in Brandon, Man., on Monday, January 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tim Smith - POOL
Top doctor urges Canadians to keep up with COVID measures, even as vaccines roll out

More than 776,606 vaccines have been administered so far

From the left: Midway RCMP Csts. Jonathan Stermscheg and Chris Hansen, Public Servant Leanne Mclaren and Cpl. Phil Peters. Pictured in the front are Mclaren’s dog, Lincoln and Peters’ dog, Angel. Photo courtesy of BC RCMP
B.C. Mounties commended for bringing firewood to elderly woman

Cpl. Phil Peters said he and detachment members acted after the woman’s husband went to hospital

Dr. Jerome Leis and Dr. Lynfa Stroud are pictured at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on Thursday, January 21, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘It wasn’t called COVID at the time:’ One year since Canada’s first COVID-19 case

The 56-year-old man was admitted to Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

An Uber driver’s vehicle is seen after the company launched service, in Vancouver, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. Several taxi companies have lost a court bid to run Uber and Lyft off the road in British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Taxi companies lose court bid to quash Uber, Lyft approvals in British Columbia

Uber said in a statement that the ruling of the justice is clear and speaks for itself

Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. (News Bulletin file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Nanaimo hospital

Two staff members and one patient have tested positive, all on the same floor

A long-term care worker receives the Pfizer vaccine at a clinic in Nanaimo earlier this month. (Island Health photo)
All Island seniors in long-term care will be vaccinated by the end of this weekend

Immunization of high-risk population will continue over the next two months

Most Read