COVID-19 has meant adjusting in-person events throughout the year but it hasn’t dampened our community spirit. Suncor partnered with Syncrude’s Club 63 North and the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB) to present Bright Nights—a magical drive-through holiday light experience in Fort McMurray—in support of the Northern Lights Health Foundation (NLHF).

Approaching the holidays, we wanted to provide the community with a memorable event while ensuring everyone’s safety. This was especially important given the challenging year it’s been for the region due to the pandemic and the flood. In collaboration with many great community partners, Suncor stepped up to lead the event, and helped put on an enchanting, light-up display that followed COVID-19 protocols while raising funds for local healthcare.

The two nights featured live appearances from special guests Santa, Mrs. Claus, and Buddy the Elf. Suncor employees and their families donated more than $29,000 towards the NLHF’s fundraising total of $64,000, while children 12 and under went home with a gift.

“Bright Nights was a reminder that the holidays will still be happy and joyful even after a very challenging year. It was so nice to grab a hot chocolate, take a drive with my kids, listen to Christmas music and welcome the spirit of Christmas,” says Alisha Yetman, a Suncor employee who attended Bright Nights.

Creating holiday memories during a challenging time meant working together with the other key presenters.

“Working with our community partners on Bright Nights really showcased how we are truly stronger together. It was a wonderful learning experience and I’m gratefulfor the new relationships we formed,” says Shannen Rice, who works in oil sands tours and events, and was Suncor’s Bright Nights event lead.

The event took place over a total of 10 nights and was attended by approximately 15,000 people. Suncor thanks all the other partners that helped ensure a safe and successful event.