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FortWhyte Alive

Sunset BBQ Champions:  Scatliff + Miller + Murray

Staged outdoors on FortWhyte’s beautiful lakeside plaza, the Sunset BBQ stands out as our signature fundraiser. The Sunset BBQ has earned a reputation for its unforgettable prizes, relaxed vibe, and undeniably unique setting.

To celebrate the BBQ's 30th anniversary, we're chatting with some of our community champions. We caught up with Michael Scatliff from Scatliff + Miller + Murray to ask about his urban and landscape design company's community priorities.


Tell us a little about who you are.

Scatliff + Miller + Murray is a Winnipeg-based urban design firm was formed in the late 1980’s. SMM has assembled a team of approximately 40 staff, largely made up of professional landscape architects, planners, engineers, and environmental scientists. We have a breadth of experience designing parks and open spaces, and have created a unique consulting niche, tackling the exciting challenges of sustainable land development, uncovering the innovations, and putting forth ideas that spark innovation in the design of new neighbourhoods. SMM works with communities to develop carbon reduction strategies, and developing sustainable technologies and point-of-source resource management plans. We have many interesting projects across Canada including:

  • The Oaks Subdivision Master Plan
  • Assiniboine Landing Master Plan
  • Camp Manitou Master Plan
  • 50th Parallel Estate Winery (Kelowna)
  • Bear Street Mall (Banff)
  • Rocky Ridge Recreation Centre (Calgary)
  • Railside at the Forks (Winnipeg)
  • Kenora Beaches, Parks, and Trails Master Plan

We are very proud to have worked with FortWhyte Alive on their overall site master plan, as well as the FortWhyte Alive Buffalo Plains Concept for a sustainable residential & mixed-use neighborhood. At SMM we place a high level of importance on design that blends nature, culture, and habitation.

Tell us a little bit about the Sunset BBQ. 

The sunset BBQ is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for any firm to mix business with pleasure. What if you could design an event that combines pageantry and culinary splendour with casual attire in a natural lakefront setting? The Sunset BBQ is such an event. For us it is the social gateway into summer, and it has now become a company ritual. We bring colleagues and clients that have become our personal friends and we treat them to dinner and drinks on a warm summer night. We also renew old acquaintances with a sea of friends that we can rely on returning each year. It has never disappointed.

How long have you been involved with FortWhyte Alive?

I have been involved with Fort Whyte Alive for over 35 years. It started when I was a university student helping with design drawings for the original building. Fifteen years later our firm was hired to help with some master planning work, and soon after I joined the Board of Trustees. I have been involved in some capacity ever since then, most recently with our firm completing the design and project management for the 2017 Canada Games Cycling Venue, aptly named Bison Butte.

Why do you support FortWhyte Alive? 

FortWhyte Alive not only connects us to nature, but engages us in understanding our individual and collective ‘footprint’ on this planet. Each visit to FortWhyte triggers a sense of responsibility for our planet and builds over time a much stronger environmental and social ethic. The social enterprise programs resonate with our firm also, as they remind us that we are a community, that we are in this together, and that we have a responsibility to each other. FortWhyte has proven to be a catalyst for change. There is a subliminal gravity to their message. With each visit to FortWhyte Alive, whether it be the Sunset BBQ, a program, or a casual visit, you build a stronger conscience for promoting more sustainable living. My theory is that you will change (overtime) to make decisions that are good for your health, good for your children, and good for your planet. The impact of this will find its way into schools, boardrooms, politics, design studios, and the kitchen table conversations that collectively change our world. What sets FortWhyte Alive apart is how visitors will learn so much, with so little effort, and come away with a deeper appreciation of the environment.

What would you like other to know?

My daughter had her ‘best birthday party ever’ after spending the day sailing on the lake with the provincial sailing team (a program offering). She worried that her friends would hate it but ended up being a hit!

Join us for the 30th Sunset BBQ at FortWhyte Alive happening Wednesday, June 6, 2018. Get your tickets at fortwhyte.org/sunsetbbq.

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