Fort McMurray, September 3, 2013 – Sustainival, the world’s first green carnival, returned to Fort McMurray at MacDonald Island Park this past Labour Day weekend, August 30 – Sept 2, 2013, and the response was completely overwhelming. Event organizers estimate that over 20,000 people visited the carnival over the weekend, peaking on Saturday with over 12,000 in attendance on that day alone. The attendance Saturday was boosted by the debut of the Green Beast eco-challenge, an Amazing-Race-styled competition at the midway, which saw 800 competitors doing their best to win one of $15,000 in prizes. The Green Beast featured dozens of clues stashed all over the midway (in rides, up towers, on the doors of the port-o-lets) that educated competitors on sustainability in the region; they used these clues to solve a master crossword puzzle, which they submitted (when complete) to enter to win the prizes. Competitors reported spending about 7 hours at the midway, completing the Green Beast.

The Green Beast grand prize, a 7-day all-inclusive trip to Mexico sponsored by Red, was taken home by Layla Underwood and Ryan Leininger of Fort McMurray, a young couple who played hard and came out champions. Upon receiving the prize, Layla commented: “I was honestly not expecting what you guys had. I was expecting like, oh there’s a clue, there’s a clue. The fact you actually had to look for it was amazing. There was little nooks and crannies. And it wasn’t just finding the clue, you actually had to read and learn, and I got to learn all about our region. I have lived here for 7 years and I learned things that I didn’t even know. I appreciate that from you guys.” [Layla Underwood can be reached for comment by contacting Sustainival Staff]

Sustainival gathered and processed approximately 2,500 Litres of used vegetable oil, which was converted to biodiesel to power all of the rides and games. Waste oil was gathered from the Sawridge, Earls and MacDonald Island Park. This oil was converted to biodiesel at the midway in the “Flower Power” mobile processing station. All of the 800 Green Beast competitors and hundreds of other carnival-goers made their way through Flower Power to receive an education in how biodiesel is made. Hines Industrial Services provided 4 of their solar and wind powered utility trailers to provide area lighting to the site, as well as power the main stage which pumped music out across the midway. The stage was entirely solar powered.

Six local not-for-profit and charitable organizations were involved in the Green Beast, which raised approximately $10,000 for these causes. These organizations included Justin Slade Youth Foundation, Girls Inc., Big Brothers Big Sisters, Northern Lights Health Foundation, SPCA, Wood Buffalo Food Bank, as well as involvement from both the Catholic and Public School Boards. In addition to organizational fund raising efforts leading up to the event, Green Beast competitors were given the opportunity to select the organization they wished to support, and $5.00 was taken from each registration was funnelled to the organization. Competitors were also able to form teams to represent the cause of their choosing, and several came out fully decked out in costumes, ready to raise awareness.

The event was made possible with support from Nexen, Suncor, RMBW and dozens of other local companies and organizations.

Kristjan Geekie of Nexen commented: “The Green Beast was a fabulous event that exemplified the ingenuity and uniqueness of Fort McMurray. Nexen was proud to help bring such a great learning experience to the community.”

Tyran Ault of Suncor commented: “Suncor was very pleased to partner with Sustainival over the long weekend and we’re delighted to see that the community embraced the event with open arms. It’s great to see both young and old having a blast in our own backyard, all the while thinking about sustainability at the same time.”

Due to the overwhelming attendance, parking became an issue for many attendees, with people reporting parking at the Snye and walking to the event. At one point on Saturday, it took upwards of 45 minutes to leave MacDonald Island Park. Event organizers have learned a great deal by this surprising turnout and will anticipate and plan for greater turnout in 2014.

Since 2011, more than a million festival goers have experienced the excitement of Sustainival, while the inaugural Green Beast amazing eco-race was hosted for the first time by Fort McMurray this past Labour Day Weekend.


Sustainival is the world’s first green carnival. Since 2011, more than a million festival-goers have experienced the exhilaration of Sustainival, while gaining a hands-on awareness of the potential of clean technologies and renewable energy. For more information, visit us at

Joey Hundert
CEO Sustainival Alberta
1 (780) 982-0334