About Us

Creating Rural Connections

Through Collaboration

What is ARDN?

The Alberta Rural Development Network (ARDN) is a partnership with 9 of Alberta’s publicly-funded, publicly-governed colleges, and universities, working together to support and enhance rural development. These institutions have combined their expertise, ideas and resources to strengthen Alberta’s rural way of life. The value of this network is that it draws on the strengths of diverse organizations, gathers and conducts extensive research, and perhaps most importantly, has deep connections in all regions of the province.

Some Specifics

We believe:

  • Rural communities are a significant part of Alberta’s spirit
  • Capacity building is an integral aspect of rural development
  • Collaboration provides not only a means to assess issues, create solutions, reduce duplication and share best practices, but also the power to shape our collective future
  • A single portal through which to access the combined expertise of our post-secondary system is a vital resource for rural Alberta

We Aim…To create a model of rural development by:

  • Identifying rural issues and enabling their solutions
  • Creating opportunities for networking, relationship building, and collaboration among rural stakeholders
  • Connecting rural communities to the resources of the post-secondary system
  • Providing strategic research on economic, cultural, environmental, and social issues
  • Mobilizing knowledge so that the right information gets to the people who can use it

We Strive…To enhance the well-being of rural communities, individuals, organizations, and institutions. Specifically we work to:

  • Build inter-connected networks of people interested in sharing transformative ideas, collaborating, and becoming innovators and early adopters
  • Support proponents during project development, implementation, reporting, dissemination, and adoption
  • Facilitate community-driven, post-secondary supported rural development research and events
  • Provide and assist with obtaining the resources needed for rural development projects
  • Offer a proactive source for up-to-date information, knowledge, and models of best practices in rural development
  • Host events that bring together diverse stakeholders and create public awareness about rural development initiatives

We Demonstrate…Our value through multiple successes, including:

  • Enabling a business retention and expansion project that impacts more than 20 rural Alberta communities and involves four post-secondary institutions
  • Helping post-secondary institutions, especially colleges, increase their rural research capacity
  • Connecting researchers and community organizations to create and implement a project to reduce the social isolation of rural deaf Albertans
  • Administering a Rural and Remote Homelessness funding stream on behalf of the Government of Canada



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