To continue with our “Where to Au Pair in Canada” series, we’re going to take you beyond British Columbia (where our head office is located) and into the vast and ecologically-diverse province of Alberta, affectionately known as the Princess Province or Wild Rose Country.
While the most well-known cities include Calgary (the site of the famous Calgary Stampede, or the ‘biggest rodeo in the world) and Edmonton (the province’s capital), we thought we’d introduce you to a smaller and lesser-known town which just might provide you with the ultimate, quintessential ‘Canadian experience’ you may be looking for as a prospective au pair.
Introducing Fort McMurray, the gateway to the North.
Most famously known for its status as one of Alberta’s (if not all of Canada’s) greatest oil hubs, Fort McMurray is a generally underrated town that one might be all too quick to dismiss when considering an offer of employment from a Fort McMurray family.
The purpose of this post is to encourage you not to. As we mentioned in the first installment of our Where to Au Pair in Canada series, an important part of your placement as an au pair will be, undeniably, the location where you are living, working, and exploring. It is absolutely important to take it into consideration when you are deciding between multiple employment offers from Canadian families.
This is why we implore you to not pass judgment on a lesser-known city like Fort McMurray until you’ve had the chance to do some researching and investigating for yourself.
The following are some of the reasons why you should consider doing your au pair placement in Fort McMurray.
1. The people.
According to an au pair who is currently doing her placement there:
The people in Fort McMurray are very open. They are used to people from other countries and that’s why they are very friendly and interested in other cultures.
This account reflects what most visitors of Fort McMurray report about the town’s people: they are warm, friendly, open, and incredibly nice people.
Canadians are certainly known for their politeness and friendliness, and the people of Fort McMurray are no exception.
2. The small-town vibe.
There’s a reason the following song lyric is famous: “where everybody knows your name.”
Fort McMurray is one of those places, those tightly-knit communities where everyone knows everyone and everyone has everyone else’s back.
Fort McMurray is also home to a lot of families who are interested in or already have au pairs or other caregivers to help them get by on the day-to-day, making Fort McMurray a very family-oriented town with lots of outlets for caregivers looking to keep the kids in their care happy, healthy, and entertained.
The Hub, as recommended by the Fort McMurray Tourism office, as well as the MacDonald Island Park (pictured above), are two great places for au pairs and their kids to meet other au pairs, children, and their families, as well as have a lot of fun!
3. The access to outdoor activities.
From visiting the famous Athabasca Sand Dunes, to exploring and camping in Gregoire Lake Provincial Park, to snowshoeing and almost every type of winter activity in and around the city, Fort McMurray boasts a slew of different activities for your outdoorsy side.
These, among other activities, experiences, and other regional parks and destinations, make Fort McMurray a great place for the au pair who is an outdoor enthusiast who enjoys winter, can handle some cold, and is enthusiastic about exploring the depth and breadth of Canadian climate and ecology.
4. The Canadian experience.
Nearby cities of Athabasca and Edmonton would make for great day- or weekend-trips, or, if you have more time before, during, or after your placement, a visit to Banff and Jasper National Parks via Calgary would be an incredible winter vacation!
Want to become an au pair in Fort McMurray, Canada? Contact your local placement agency in your country of residence and perhaps we’ll be working to place you soon 🙂
Thanks to Fort McMurray Tourism for all of their insight and guidance!