ACSRC Monthly News
January, 2016
Greetings and happy new year from the ACSRC! 
As we start a new semester of teaching, and continue to work with a variety of community partners on research, planning and knowledge mobilizations projects, I am also given an opportunity to reflect upon the many changes, opportunities and successes of the past year. Naturally, the first Rural Alberta Innovation and Learning Commons was a major highlight of 2015, as were other events and conferences like the Network Leadership Symposium, the Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation Annual Conference in Summerside, PEI and the ongoing work of the Rural Policy Learning Commons (based at the RDI in Manitoba). While Alberta (and Canada) saw major political changes, we are still uncertain as to where rural communities fit within the emergent policy and budgetary structures of these new governments, but I remain highly optimistic that our work, and the work of rural communities across Canada, will gain in priority and attention. This is driven home for me by the many rural communities and organizations who continue to seek out and foster partnerships and collaboration with post-secondary partners (whether at the University of Alberta or elsewhere), and the willingness of these partners to contribute their time and resources to initiatives that matter in their communities!
On the policy front, I was honoured to have the opportunity to speak to a number of different audiences (ranging from teaching and school board members to newly elected provincial politicians to community members, local business owners and Alberta Parks) last year on the importance and challenges of rural development and sustainability, and to see that there is interest, engagement and concern about rural people, rural communities and the future of both. This year is already shaping up to be a busy year, with new collaborations focused on water in rural municipalities, watershed governance in the Canadian north, and ongoing partnerships looking at economic development, continuing care, youth retention, aging, sustainability planning and policy, and the health and well-being of rural populations. There are also new and recurring events to look forward to - the RAIL Commons will take place again in the fall of 2016, and there are plans for other events linking water, Aboriginal communities and rural communities across Western Canada. Please check our newsletter, website and facebook page for details on these events, and other opportunities, as the year progresses. 
Wishing you all health, happiness and prosperity in 2016.

Lars K. Hallstrom, PhD
Director, Alberta Centre for Sustainable Rural Communities

Upcoming Events
Regional collaboration is currently a popular buzz-phrase.  But what does it mean?  What would it look like in your region?  How would you go about making it happen?  Join the Alberta Centre for Sustainable Rural Communities in a one-day facilitated workshop to address these questions.  Workshops will be held in:
Camrose, January 26, 2016
Hanna, February 17, 2016
Bonnyville, March 9, 2016
 Edson, March 30, 2016 
For more information or to RSVP (at least 10 days before the event), please contact 
Trish at 
780-619-7545 or
Beaver County Youth Engagement Project
The ACSRC, Viking/Beaver Family and Community Support Services (FCSS), Tofield FCSS and a number of Beaver County municipalities have partnered to propose regional programming that explores youth engagement, youth infrastructure and youth economic development in Beaver County.   As part of this project the ACSRC is hosting four asset mapping workshops with community members, service providers and businesses:
Tofield January 28th 2016
Holden: February 2 2016 
Viking: February 18 2016
Ryley: February 23 2016
RSVP at least 10 days before the event. 780 679 1672

I n Augustana's Extended Education Sustainability 101 short courses, only
a few spots remain in
 'Governance for Sustainability'.
Follow the link to register before
sessions fill up!
Information regarding the
Enhanced Protection for Farm and Ranch Workers Act in Alberta. 
Consultations and changes.
THE WAY FORWARD: Envisioning Treaty Rights in Modern Resource Management
Presentation by Hanni Arnon
director of the Arava International
Centre for Agriculture Training. A glimpse into the world of the Central Arava, and how AICAT is making that area viable despite the challenges from excessive
heat and lack of water.
January 31 2016 at 7pm
Examine the need and opportunity to incorporate treaty rights into Alberta's natural resource management approach, featuring perspectives from First Nations leaders, leading researchers, lawyers and government regulators.
 February 19-21 2016 in Camrose, AB, at the University of Alberta's Augustana Campus.

Upcoming Webinars
Sustainable Strategy
Execution Webinar 
Ecohealthy people growing things: food, policy,people, communities and places in between

Migrant Worker Motivations
Learn how to effectively execute the strategic plan; learn about the steps and actions required to effectively deploy strategy and best practices to lead your organization.
February 2 2016.
A discussion of journeys with food, food systems, and growing various "things", ranging from policy, to community development projects, teaching, and herb growing.
January 20, 2016. 
Motivations of Mexican workers to participate in Canada's Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program: an empirical analysis'
January 27 2016 at
10:00 am CDT
Alberta Centre for Sustainable Rural Communities