YMM’s bold and iconic art program gives passengers a strong sense of place and connects them to the passion and energy of Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo. The Fort McMurray and Western Canada artists showcased inside the airport terminal were either gifted to YMM or selected by the Fort McMurray Airport Authority to create public art pieces to enrich and elevate the airport experience for passengers. The artwork is listed in alphabetical order.

Fort McMurray International Airport David Robinson Art


David Robinson, 2014
Sculpture composed of Sitka Spruce, Baltic Birch, resin composite, and bronze

Daedalist examines the theme of human aviation as a visionary undertaking of human ingenuity and purpose. The taut lines of this piloted craft are laid bare to the eye and to the imagination. In-flight between the point of departure and the threshold of arrival, this work of art invites the traveller to marvel at all that is held aloft in our ancient dreams of flight.

The word “daedalist” is an archaic name for a pilot or aviator. The term comes from the Greek myth of Daedalus, a skilled artisan who constructed wings to allow himself to take flight.

Robinson’s sculptures undergo a multi-stage process. The figures and formed patterns are first sculpted out of clay and wax, from which rubber moulds are made. These moulds are then used to cast the final elements in composite resin and bronze. The wood elements were formed using a combination of digital and traditional methods of joinery, from computer numerical control (CNC) cutting the Baltic-Birch plywood to the steam-bending of old-growth Sitka Spruce.

The Fort McMurray Airport Authority commissioned this piece.

Artwork Location: Level 1 – Arrivals Hall (suspended above)

Dream Catcher

Richard Nokohoo, 2018

The Dream Catcher at the Fort McMurray International Airport (YMM) is proudly displayed inside its terminal to honour the dreams of the 2018 Wood Buffalo Alberta Winter Games athletes who visited the region. 

Its circumference is four feet with sinew webbing, coloured in gold, yellow, white and black. Red beds and horsehair embellishments are included, along with eight eagle feathers tied with red sinew. The design and creation are by Richard Nokohoo, a member of the Chipewyan Prairie First Nation and the community of Janvier, who has been creating dream catchers for over 20 years. He said the colours represent the people of the world and success in life. The horsehair tassels represent strength.

Gifted to YMM by the 2018 Games Host Society, the dream catcher is one of the most enduring and widespread symbols associated with Indigenous culture. Its iconic hoop-and-web formation protects sleepers by “catching” bad dreams while letting good dreams pass through. This gift represents the dreams of the athletes who visited our region in February 2018. 

The large feathers hanging from the dreamcatcher were tied by one Games representative from each of Alberta’s eight economic regions.

This piece was generously gifted by the 2018 Wood Buffalo Alberta Winter Games Host Society.

Artwork Location: Level 1 – Departures

Lasting Impression 

Lucas Seaward, 2014
Bitumen on canvas

Lasting Impression uses over twenty pictograms to reflect the many elements and interactivities that have helped to define the Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo region over the past two hundred years. From float planes to fly fishing, from locomotives to lone wolves, this piece displays the diverse natural beauty and human activity within the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo.

Designed in the shape of a human footprint, the piece represents the past and present individuals who have called Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo home and symbolizes the industry’s commitment to sustainability. The image signifies the YMM’s impact and influence on the lives of those living in the region and demonstrates its desire to make a lasting, positive impression in the community. 

Seaward’s art technique uses bitumen, the tar-like viscous material extracted from the oil sands and processed into petroleum products. 

The Fort McMurray Airport Authority commissioned this piece.

Artwork Location: Third-floor Observation Area.

Sky Dance Series

Amy Keller-Rempp, 2014
Airbrushed metal art

The paintings depict several features of life in Fort McMurray, including the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis), aviation, wildlife, and the Snye River, which has been a longstanding gateway to the community.

Fort McMurray International Airport Amy Keller Art

Landing on the Snye

A floatplane lands on the quiet waters of the Snye River at dusk. The eagle, one of the largest birds capable of taking flight, is shown as the ruler of the skies. When combined with the Northern Lights, this image represents a magical, spiritual, and timeless symbol of aviation. For many years, float planes landing on the Snye River provided the main access to Fort McMurray.

Fort McMurray International Airport Amy Keller Art

Spirit of Wood Buffalo

Two majestic wood buffalo stand within a northern boreal forest. An eagle soars overhead in front of a stylized depiction of the Fort McMurray International Airport logo merged within the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis). The wood buffalo, the namesake of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, symbolizes abundance, strength, and stability. This piece is intended to evoke a sense of freedom and prosperity.

The paintings were produced by combining metal grinding with automotive airbrushing on aluminum panels. The artist began by grinding the picture into the metal panel, then airbrushing, applying clear coating, sanding, and polishing the piece to transform the metal into a glass-like mural.

The Fort McMurray Airport Authority commissioned this piece.

Artwork Location: Third-floor Observation Area

Fort McMurray International Airport Lucas Seaward Art

Sky Explorer

Lucas Seaward, 2014
Bitumen on canvas

Sky Explorer is a tribute to Fort McMurray’s aviation history. It depicts a floatplane taking off from the Snye River, a base of floatplane operations since the early 1920s. This painting pays homage to early aviation pioneers who plunged propeller-first into the wild, uncharted and challenging terrain of Canada’s northern regions.

The swooshing strokes symbolize the meeting place of the curving Athabasca and Clearwater rivers, which have played a vital role in local trading and growth since the area was settled. Subtly nestled within the piece are images that reflect aspects of northern life, including isolation, vast boreal forests, abundant wildlife, connection to nature, and human ingenuity.

Seaward’s artwork is painted using bitumen, the tar-like, viscous material extracted from oil sands and processed into petroleum products.

The Fort McMurray Airport Authority commissioned this piece.

Artwork Location: Fort McMurray Airport Authority Large Boardroom

Utopia Series 

Jane Ash Poitras, 2015
Mixed media on canvas on a cedar stretcher

Fort McMurray International Airport Jane Ash Art
Jane Ash art at YMM

Utopia Series – Homeland & Northern Utopia 

“A tribute to my Indigenous Peoples, especially my Mikisew Cree First Nation at Fort Chipewyan.”

These two works, entitled Homeland Utopia and Northern Utopia, belong to the artist’s Utopia series: a series of large paintings expressing the euphoria she experienced while awaiting the birth of her first child. The artist’s work combines an awareness of contemporary trends in Western art with insight into aboriginal history and culture. The rich colours of the landscapes revealed in the work also reflect the intensity of the artist’s dream-like expectations of her child’s birth.

This piece was generously gifted by the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC).

Artwork Location: Third-floor Observation Area

Fort McMurray International Airport Liz Ingram Art

Water Ways, Sensing Connections

Liz Ingram, 2014
Photographic collage, printed on adhesive vinyl, applied to glass

Water has always been a central feature of life in Fort McMurray. The city was settled along rivers: the name of one of the city’s oldest established neighbourhoods, Waterways, bears witness to this history. Today, careful water use is essential for the technological development of local industries and for sustainable living in this growing northern city.

This photographic installation emphasizes the sensory experience of water. The piece focuses on the beauty of human hands touching and feeling the water, of the riverbed, and of water in motion. The artist’s digital photographs were edited into a collage using Photoshop software. These photographs feature the two main rivers in Fort McMurray, the Athabasca and the Hangingstone. The piece also includes hands representing the diversity of the people of our northern community.

The Fort McMurray Airport Authority commissioned this piece.

Artwork Location: North end of the post-security passenger lounge