Monthly News
March 2019

We recently published an article in The Journal of Park and Recreation Administration based on the results of a collaboration with Alberta Parks and Dr. Glen Hvenegaard.  

"In Canada, both national and provincial parks systems have faced budgetary and practical challenges to management, yet establishing linkages to support the strategic application of research and evidence has remained a long-standing priority. In Alberta, this priority is set by the provincial Plan for Parks, and a Science Strategy. However, while these documents do provide direction, they do not include a mechanism for identifying the practical and research priorities, themes, and questions to better link parks management with the scientific community, nor do they necessarily outline a way to establish complementarity between regional, provincial, and research communities.   As a practical means of addressing this gap, between 2012 and 2014, Alberta Parks initiated a collaborative project with the University of Alberta in order to create both regional and provincial lists of priority research and policy questions."

This article presents the "Top 20 Questions" process and results.
We recently published an article in The Journal of Rural and Community Development examining the use and implementation of sustainability plans.

"Many municipalities across Canada have prepared sustainability plans, but
there is limited knowledge about the extent to which actions in those plans
have been implemented. Based on 40 semi-structured interviews with rural
leaders across Canada, we examined sustainability priority areas, rates of
implementing actions, and the factors supporting and hindering

The full  article is available online. 

On March 4th, Dr. Lars Hallstrom, Director of the ACSRC presented at the Alberta Rural Education Symposium in Edmonton, Alberta.  His keynote presentation entitled Rural Education: Policy Design, Collaboration and Complex (rural) Systems can be found through the following  link.  As part of the conference  Positive Culture captured his presentation with a beautiful result.

"Orange Crush or Blue Wave? The 2019 Alberta Election"

On February 27th, ACSRC Director Dr. Lars Hallstrom was a panelist for "Orange Crush or Blue Wave? The 2019 Alberta Election." The Lunch and Learn session took place in the Mayer Family Community Hall, Lougheed Performing Arts Centre in Camrose, Alberta.  Alberta's 2019 election is getting closer and closer, t his panel of political scientists explored the policy implications for Alberta, with an emphasis on women and politics, social and cultural politics and rural Alberta.   In addition to Dr. Lars Hallstrom, panel participants included Dr. Clark Banack and Dr. Shauna Wilton, both from the University of Alberta,  Augustana Campus.

Orange Crush or Blue Wave? The 2019 Alberta Election (Lunch & Learn)
Orange Crush or Blue Wave? The 2019 Alberta Election (Lunch & Learn)


March 20 - 22, 2019

Think Indigenous is hosting "Creating Space for Indigenous Education: Thinking, Speaking & Living Indigenous" Conference at the River Cree Casino and Resort in Edmonton, AB in partnership with the Enoch Cree Nation and the University of Alberta.  The conference includes a screening of Powwow at Duck Lake (NFB, 1976) a short documentary depicting a discussion at Duck Lake, Saskatchewan, in which social issues are presented before a gathering of Indigenous and non-Indigenous community members.  Essentials such as schooling and the lack of opportunities for Indigenous youth are on the agenda.

June 3 to 5, 2019, Vancouver, BC and Corner Brook, NL (satellite)

This year's conference will be packed with exciting events and opportunities, including...
  •  Keynote Events at UBC (and webcast to Grenfell and online);
  • The Annual ESAC Wine and Cheese Receptions (held at both UBC and Grenfell);
  • Sessions and workshops geared to graduate students;
  • The announcement of the 2019 ECO-Award winner;
  • Research sharing and networking opportunities galore;
  • Annual ESAC Field Trips (in Vancouver and Corner Brook), and more!

Webinar: What's the Evidence on Evidence-Based Policy? Reflections on Knowledge Mobilization in Provincial Rural Policy

Governments across Canada continue to struggle to develop and implement robust, flexible, and effective rural policies and programs to meet the ever-changing contexts of rural communities. At the same time, both policy makers and knowledge brokers struggle to bridge local knowledge and research evidence into the public policy process in meaningful ways. This webinar will share insights from interviews with public policy makers from across Canada on the challenges and opportunities of knowledge mobilization for evidence-based rural policy.

Evolution of capacity strengthening in ecosystem approached to health: the long look

Part of: EcoHealth in Action Webalogue Series

A  long look back on an evolution of capacity strengthening across higher education institutions in the complex field of ecosystem approaches to health. Contributors argue that cross-university, grounded Communities of Practice are particularly appropriate for transdisciplinary educational initiatives tackling the daunting socio-ecological problems, and the associated health and sustainability challenges, currently facing humanity.


Did you know that the ACSRC project reports are available online?  Check our website for reports covering topics such as youth engagement, conservation, leadership, and aging in rural Alberta.  Search by theme, sub theme and keyword.  ACSRC research at your fingertips! 

A Step by Step Guide on Developing Affordable Housing

Due to a lack of resources and capacity, our rural communities are missing an integral part of the housing continuum. Rural Canada has a critical shortage of affordable housing options, but this issue has not received the same attention as it has in urban centres. Without affordable housing, many small communities cannot prevent homelessness or help people through the housing continuum.  The Sustainable Housing Initiative (SHI), in collaboration with industry experts, addresses these issues with a "Step-by-Step Guide on Developing Affordable Housing."   The guide will be released in the first week of April. 

Grant Opportunities

Applications open March 1 to 29, 2019

The FCC AgriSpirit Fund is about enhancing rural communities. If your organization is raising money for a capital project (construction of or upgrades to a hospital, medical centre, childcare facility, rink, sportsplex, etc., purchase of fire and rescue equipment) and your city or town has less than 150,000 people, your project may qualify for a donation between $5,000 and $25,000.  
Call for Papers

There is only one week left to submit a proposal to present at the  3rd International Placemaking Week , so be sure to submit your application before Wednesday, March 20th at 5pm EDT !  

Placemaking Week 2019 will bring together over 400 advocates and practitioners to address challenges, and to explore new ways in which public space and placemaking can offer crucial interventions in these discussions.  Submit a proposal to host a panel, give a short talk, run a workshop or organize another type of activity, in order to contribute to these conversations. Just like in past Placemaking Weeks,  your knowledge, your stories, your insights, and your tools  will be at the heart of this conference.


The Journal of Aboriginal Economic Development (JAED) is a peer-reviewed journal for practitioners and scholars working and researching in areas relevant to Aboriginal economic development.   Its intent is to explore ideas and build knowledge in the field of Aboriginal economic development theory and practice.  The journal prefers a broad interpretation of research and knowledge and encourages a wide variety of contributions in this area.

The deadline for receipt of submissions for Volume 11, Issue 2 is March 31 , 2019.
Calendar of Events
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