Monthly News
October 2020

As some of the first communities in North America under-go the shift from coal-fired to natural gas, how rural government responds to this challenge provides a key set of insights and case studies into the nature, resilience, and broader political economy of rural governance in Alberta (and perhaps Canada more broadly). This project explores these responses as a set of regionalized case studies in sociological neo-institutionalism (Koeble 1996; Ingram and Clay 2000) in which institutional actors (in this case local government officials) make decisions within institutional constraints and path dependencies.  ACSRC Research Assistant, Payton Grant, is focused on answering questions about how communities have responded to these fundamental shifts in their economic profiles with existing documentation and literature. Additionally, she will be interviewing representatives from each community involved in the study and compiling the information.  This project will highlight the unique challenges facing rural communities in a post-coal society. 
Data from the Research

As part of the Health in the Watershed Atlas (ECHO Network) a series of fact sheets have been developed.  The two fact sheets linked below outline childcare and income in Alberta.   

The impacts of COVID-19 on rural employment and workforce development have varied between urban and rural Canada and between regions in the country. Underlying, pre-
existing rural labour force development issues of attracting potential workers, skills development and improving employment quality are likely still predominate due to the rapid rebound in these areas as economies have re-opened. Hence, policymakers across the different levels of government and in partnership with private actors need to apply a regional rural lens regarding policy responses to labour market issues in rural and small-town (RST) areas. The report finds five key impacts of COVID-19 on rural employment. 
Workshops and Webinars
Nov 23, 27, 30 & Dec 4th 2020

Effective grant-writing is an increasingly important skill in the municipal, not-for-profit, and even corporate world. For small organizations and communities, however, grant writing can present a real challenge in terms of time, completion, budgeting and submission.  
Join Dr. Lars Hallström, the recipient of over 100 research, knowledge mobilization, infrastructure and collaborative grants, for this activity-based, online workshop for people with varied experiences in the grant-writing process.
November 16 - 28, 2020
R2R20 asks: 'How are you now? How do we better connect knowledge and wisdom? What does change look like to you? What actions are taking place that you can share/that we can learn from - in building a resilient and sustainable rural? 
R2R20 is being produced in partnership with the Goderich to Guelph Rail Trail (G2G) Association in Ontario and will include online panels, solo presentations, a return of Passport to Research, debates with different points of view on the state of things, a rural Covid survey across two different counties + shareable ideas/ideas already making a difference. Value add includes 'End of the Lane' videos - neighbours talking to neighbours, story circles, and a highschool project on how students see our future unfolding. And there's more...
Meet the Researchers
Stacey is a young professional and current PhD student at the University of Alberta. Born and raised on a cattle farm outside of Camrose AB, Stacey has a passion for rural development, small communities and newcomers. Stacey's studies and work history have given her a unique set of experiences in rural and global issues. During her undergraduate degree in Political Studies at the University of Alberta, Augustana Campus, and Master of Arts Degree at the Balsillie School of International Affairs at the University of Waterloo, Stacey focused on international relations and feminist theory. Moving to Ottawa in January 2017, Stacey worked as a Research Awardee at the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) on an independent research project focused on Syrian refugees who had been resettled into rural and smaller communities across Canada. While at IDRC, she visited rural communities across the country and spoke with refugees, community volunteers, service providers and policy experts on their experiences of resettlement and integration in rural places. Stacey is also involved in a local non-profit organization working to help provide services to refugees in her home community. In 2018, Stacey moved to northern Alberta to work with northern and rural communities through her position as a Research Officer with the Alberta Government. 
This diverse set of rural and international experiences influenced her decision to return to school in the fall of 2019 to do her PhD in rural refugee resettlement and integration in Canada and the United Kingdom. She moved back to the Camrose community with her family in the fall of 2019. She brings her research and community development expertise to her work as a Project Manager at the Alberta Centre for Sustainable Rural Communities.

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