Last week, after the Travel and Tourism Research Association Conference, I quickly jumped in a plane to travel to the Canadian Rural Revitalization Conference held in Brandon Manitoba from the 13-16th. Both national conferences that are of interest to me in the same week - not easy!
This was a great gathering of folks ranging from community economic development agents to policy makers to academics. All of them share the future and vitality of rural areas in common.
The sessions were great - and built on the theme of "On the Bright Side". We too often pitch rural areas with doom and gloom, ideas of crisis or conflict. I liked the theme and it allowed us to focus a bit more on solutions and things that are working for rural Canada. The keynotes encouraged us to question our assumptions and to think about new models and review the evidence for some of the methods we are currently using in rural areas.
I made two presentations at the conference - the first was titled "Gaining a rural lens through rural immersion experiences" (with colleague Dan McDonald). In this presentation, we advocated for more place-based pedagogy and for introducing rural realities to university students in all disciplines to prepare them for professional practice. Based on our experience conducting immersion tours since 2005 across rural BC and AB, we highlighted the benefits to students and also the lessons learned for those who want to apply it elsewhere. To view the presentation, CLICK HERE
The second presentation I gave was sharing the results of a recent project that I did with Kelly Whitney-Squire (Acadia) for the Canadian Rural and Cooperatives Secretariat. The title was "Amenity-based rural development: Moving forward with a typology and common language". In this presentation, I highlighted some of the core concepts to amenity based rural development and introduced the typology of Canada's rural amenities that was done in the study. To view this presentation and the typology, CLICK HERE
Conferences can be great venues to meet folks, share ideas and get your creative ideas flowing. I came back from these with all of them. At this morning's conference call on the upcoming rural tourism conference for BC - we came up with ideas to make the April conference even better - so keep tuned for more as we are just getting the call ready to go out.
A blue Brag Basket
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