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Creating Rural Connections

Through Networking

Creating Rural Connections 2011 Conference

This was ARDN’s second must-attend conference linking rural communities with Alberta’s post-secondary institutions.

The Alberta Rural Development Network (ARDN) hosted its second rural development conference at the Mayfield Inn & Suites, Edmonton, Alberta from April 12 to April 14, 2011.

With nearly 300 delegates it was three exciting days of presentations, discussions and networking. Top notch speakers shared their rural projects, programs, research and lessons learned. Participants gained new ideas to apply or adapt to your own work or community and met colleagues from across Alberta to explore new opportunities. It was the perfect blend of rural community and post-secondary collaboration.

The conference featured a combination of keynote and concurrent presentations as well as interactive discussion groups, poster sessions and networking opportunities.

Click on the links below to learn more about the conference.
Full Program
Concurrent Sessions
Keynote Presentations
Co-hosts, Supporters, and Sponsors
Thoughts from the Delegates

Click on a link below to read articles on the a few of the sessions.
BC’s Approach to Rural and Regional Economic Development by Andrea Collins
Closer to Home by Kelsie Tetreau
Intercultural Awareness 101 by Diane Morrison
Rural Family Caregivers by Davin Robertson
Rural Routes by Diane Morrison  
The Coordination Challenge by Andrea Collins
Working Together by Courtney Rupertus

To read more articles, read the April, May and June issues of the Rural Connector Newsletter.

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 Keynote Presentations

Click on the photo of one of the keynote speakers to view the presentation. Please be patient as the video can take up to fifteen minutes to load.


Mike Stolte                                  Charlie French    

  Jeff Dixon           

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Co-Hosts, Supporters, and Sponsors

Click here to see who helped make the conference a success.

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Thoughts from the Delegates

“I really enjoyed the conference for a number of reasons. First, it was great to hear about all the different ways that community colleges are partnering with rural organizations from doing research to actually planning projects and pulling together project partners. Second, we are working on several partnerships that involve community colleges and it was perfect to actually meet people that I have only exchanged emails with. And third, I have a much better understanding about the constraints that community colleges work under and a more realistic understanding about how we can work together.”
- Toby Williams, Community Futures Alberta

 “The conference was well organized with knowledgeable speakers and timely subjects. Good in depth background on all presentations. It was well worth attending.”
- Richard Harpe, County of Grande Prairie

“I work with Rural Routes providing support to ESL groups in rural communities. It’s interesting to see how my work fits into a more diverse framework and structure of employment and community well-being. This conference is important to be able to see commonalities and to build relationships with others on a broader economic and social level.”
- Lorene Anderson, NorQuest College

“This conference was very informative and well organized. I came away from some of the sessions with a great sense of learning. The networking is always great and refreshing.  If given the opportunity, it is a conference to attend.”
- Odell Flett, Mackenzie County

“Green Hectares sees the ARDN conference quickly becoming the main event of the year where tangible rural development partnerships are the result of attending. The sessions generate new ideas on our approach to rural development.  Likewise, the networking opportunities and partnership building allow us to follow through with results on those great ideas”.
- Wendy Schneider, Green Hectares

“What a wonderful opportunity to bring together people and organizations who are so passionate about our rural communities. I am so looking forward to seeing the many new projects that ARDN will be supporting in the future and where I (and the organizations I represent) might be able to fit in.”
- Fred Young, AOF and Ag Society Programs

“Thanks for a great conference. Made us realize the potential of our province, helped me to connect with people and learned more about ARDN.”
- Martha Burkle, SAIT Polytechnic

“The conference proved itself a valuable networking opportunity. We made several solid connections for follow up with people who were interested in our project, and with others who have resources and supply services that we need.”
- Kevin Edwards, 24-7 Alberta Web Platform



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