ARDN Initiatives

CRC Conference & Other Events

Creating Rural Connections

Through Networking


October 11-13, 2012 at Olds College, Olds, Alberta

Creating Rural Connections 2012 was a HUGE Success!

The Creating Rural Connections (CRC) Conference is really the highlight of the year for ARDN. It’s a chance to gather the people who can explore solutions to rural issues, identify opportunities to change our status quo, and transform our communities. It’s a chance to share our greatest asset: knowledge.

This year’s conference, the third in our annual series, operated with the theme of Regional Realities and Approaches. This year marked the first time the CRC conference operated on a national scale. In partnership with the Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation (CRRF), an organization with a national scope, CRC 2012 discussed issues and solutions that extended far beyond our provincial borders.

From economic development to environmental stewardship, rural communities share many common challenges. This year’s delegates came from across Canada, the U.S. and Australia. Attendees benefitted immensely from hearing about the realities and approaches of such diverse regions. The connections made at CRC 2012 provided amazing opportunities. 

If you’d like to take a look at what our CRC conferences offer, you can take a look at our proceedings. Click here

If you’d like to see some of the material covered at the conference, take a look at some of the presentations - check back soon - under construction

Summaries are also available at our Rural Project Library. Click here

CRC 2012 was our biggest and most successful conference yet. If you were unable to attend, we hope that you’ll find the information presented here helpful. And please, plan to attend our next conference in 2013.

Thank you to our wonderful presenters and conference partners:

AAMDC (Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties)
Alberta Innovates Connector Service
Athabasca County
Athabasca University
eCampus Alberta

Economic Developers Alberta
Green Hectares
Northern Lakes College
Olds Agricultural Society
Olds Institute for Community and Regional Development
RR Donnelley
SAIT Polytechnic
Volunteer Alberta

Conference Partners:





Tradeshow Partners        



Keynote PresentationS

Rural Development in a Changing Canada: What the Hell is Going On?!

Rob Greenwood — Executive Director of the Office of Engagement at Memorial University and of The Leslie Harris
Centre of Regional Policy and Development.


Rural Regional Success

Dave Ivan — State Specialist, Community & Economic Development Programs at Michigan State University Extension.

Regional Realities and Approaches: Lessons from Downunder

Peter Kenyon — Director, Bank of I.D.E.A.S., Kalamunda, Australia.


Weaving Regional Networks: case studies and lessons from the field

June Holley — Network Weaver.


Moving the Region Forward Based on our Assets

Cornelia Butler Flora — Charles F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Agriculture and Life Sciences at
Iowa State University.



Ontario Source Protection Planning: An Analysis of Theory, Policy and Practice

by Sarah Minnes

This research aims to evaluate if Ontario’s Clean Water Act, 2006 provided an opportunity in which separate jurisdictions and levels of governance within the same watershed were enabled to work together and negotiate source protection plans in a regional governance network. This research assesses the presence of best practices according to theories of network governance, new regionalism and other theories of collaboration, in source protection planning in Ontario. These theories have provided a framework to understand the challenges and successes faced during the source protection planning process. Issues related to the implementation of the plans and next steps in the planning process were also explored. The case study of the Cataraqui watershed, located in Eastern Ontario, was used.

Wood Biomass Energy Opportunities for Rural Communities — Camrose County Bioenergy Project Example

by Toso Bozic

Located 100 kilometres southeast of Edmonton, the Camrose County is not in a typical forested area. The County has more than 23,000 acres of privately owned forest in its boundaries and has used these resources to reduce the heating costs and create a more environmentally friendly heating source. With natural resources at hand, the County’s interest in using wood biomass for heating their office building became widely discussed among the Council in 2008 after a presentation on the topic. The primary goal for initating the project was to use renewable resources instead of natural gas to heat their office while saving taxpayer money.

Philanthropy as a Vehicle for Regional Development: Exploring Community Foundations in Atlantic Canada

by Ryan Gibson

This poster presents preliminary findings from a new research initiative investigating the synergy of community foundations and regional development in Atlantic Canada. The poster provides a portrait of the philanthropic environment and an overview of the community foundation movement in Atlantic Canada, including the number of community foundation, endowments and priorities. Further, the poster enhances our current understanding of community foundations by identifying potential roles the community foundation movement can play in rural and regional development. The poster also identifies key questions for moving forward from the perspectives of rural communities, government policy makers and researchers.


Saving Rural Alberta by Unleashing Local Capital

by Dan Ohler

The Unleashing Local Capital project empowers communities to invest locally, direct their own economic development and reduce dependency on government supports. It works with community leaders to establish their own Community Investment Fund (CIF). Although it starts locally, the CIF has greater regional implications. Three pilot communities have been chosen to work through the process, providing the research to develop the Unleashing Local Capital Guide. This will be available province-wide. That’s a big region!



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