Monthly News
January 2021
Clark Banack Appointed Acting Director

Congratulations to Dr. Clark Banack on his appointment to Acting Director of the ACSRC!
Clark Banack grew up on a farm near Camrose and attended Hay Lakes School.  After one year at Augustana in Camrose, he completed his BA (Hons) in Political Science at St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia before completing his Masters and PhD in Political Science at the University of British Columbia.  He taught Politics at both York University in Toronto and Brock University in St. Catherines, before returning home and teaching at the University of Alberta's North and Augustana campuses and serving as a Senior Research Associate at the Alberta Centre for Sustainable Rural Communities. 
He is the author of God's Province: Evangelical Christianity, Political Thought, and Conservatism in Alberta (McGill-Queen's University Press), as well as several articles and book chapters on Alberta politics, Religion and Politics, Rural Issues, Populism, and Education Policy.  He is currently working on collaborative projects that utilize ethnography to better understand public opinion in rural Canada, attempt to make sense of the patchwork of provincial approaches to religious education in Canada, and explore new ways to enhance inclusivity in rural communities.
More broadly, Clark is a proud rural Albertan who is active in his local community, has collaborated on two different documentary films that explored changes occurring in rural Alberta, The Auctioneer (2012) and  The Last Page (2020) and he refuses to retire from the Armena Royals of the Powerline Men's Baseball League in East Central Alberta.
Workshops and Webinars

A presentation recorded on March 14, 2018.

State-funded faith-based schools within liberal democracies raise a number of complex questions related to the principle of secularism, the requirements of citizenship, the equal treatment of minority groups, and the rights of parents to insist on the content of their children's education. A polarizing issue at the best of times, the last few years have witnessed significantly increased public debate with respect to the desirability of continuing to subsidize religious schools in Alberta. This talk will briefly consider "how we got here," before delving into some recent and ongoing political and legal developments that have the potential to fundamentally alter Alberta's approach to faith-based education.        
February 10, 2021
1:00 p.m ET

The Arts brings life to our communities. It sparks joy. It teaches. It connects. It asks us to see things differently. But so often when the arts are used in community engagement activities it feels like an add-on, a sidebar. So how can the arts be integrated as the main event? What barriers or myths do we need to break down? Do we truly understand the benefits of an arts-based approach in order to advocate for it?
Join the Tamarack Institute  and their presenters, Hiba Abdallah and Chris Pandolfi, who specialize in community-engaged art. Hiba and Chris will share inspiring examples from their practice.
March 9 - 10, 2021 
The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Alberta Division is hosting our virtual workplace mental health conference on March 9 & 10, 2021. Working Stronger is designed to help Alberta's employers create and maintain mentally healthy workplaces despite the obstacles we've experienced in 2020.
Learn More

Rural Opportunities and Activities

Are you an aspiring farmer looking to gain skills and knowledge that match the ecological and regenerative values you hold? Are you feeling the farming bug, but not quite ready to take the plunge and launch your own business?  Young Agrarians and our network of exceptional mentor farmers are offering advanced, hands-on farm apprenticeships in regenerative agriculture. Participants with a serious interest, curiosity and commitment to full-time farming are invited to apply.    

The Nordlys Film and Arts Festival in Camrose, Alberta presents an eclectic blend of films from Canada and around the world as well as the opportunity to engage with special guest filmmakers. Over the last decade, Nordlys has screened award-winning films from over 25 countries. This year due to the global pandemic there will be an intermission for the festival. Folks are encouraged to sign up for their newsletter as there will be special film recommendations and a link to a free package of Alberta short films that have been specially curated for the Festival Weekend (February 12 - 14, 2021).  

This report summarizes ten years of rural engagement and the ACSRC.
For upcoming events, conferences and workshops visit the events calendar on the ACSRC website.  This calendar holds events offered by the ACSRC and other organizations with a common goal of sustainable rural communities. 
Alberta Centre for Sustainable Rural Communities