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September 2016

ROI at upcoming CRRF-RPLC Rural Conference

The CRRF-RPLC Building Vibrant Rural Futures Conference, scheduled for Oct. 12-15, 2016, includes nearly 50 concurrent presentations, 13 panel discussions, 6 capacity building sessions, and many poster presentations. ROI staff and partners are involved with a number of different presentations, panels as well as a poster presentation.

Director of Policy and Stakeholder Engagement, Norm Ragetlie, has organized a panel on Accessing Rural Data - Part 2 (Part 1 is being organized by Ray Bollman, longtime ROI collaborator, earlier in the day). Accessing Rural Data - Part 2 will include panelists: Paul Knafelc, Community Benchmarks; Nelson Rogers, Community Ingenuity; and Ray Bollman, Rural Development Institute, Brandon University

In addition, Rural Northwest Ottawa, one of the eight rural community projects selected for the Measuring Rural Community Vitality Project, will share its story of the confluence of the shifting provision of health services from institutions to communities in Ontario, along with rural challenges of aging in place that led to a community driven engagement process to define local health priorities and create rural-based solutions. Committed to using an equity lens, the Western Ottawa Community Resource Centre (WOCRC) led this community engagement project.

Other ROI partners at the conference include:

  • A Decade of Direct-Farm Marketing Data Presenter: Suzanne Ainley.
  • Capacity Building Session - Social Enterprise: A strategy for enhancing social networks and activating a labour force in ageing rural communities Organizers Michele Murray, Western Ottawa Community Resource Centre; Julie McKercher, Western Ottawa Community Resource Centre.
  • Panel - Accessing Rural Data Part I Organizer Ray Bollman, Rural Development Institute, Brandon University; Panelists Alessandro Alassia, Statistics Canada; Patrick Charbonneau, Statistics Canada; Brian Murphy, Statistics Canada.
  • Huron County Healthy Rural Policy Lens (HCHRPL) - Encouraging Implementation Presenter: Sheila Schuehlein, Gateway Centre of Excellence in Rural Health and Huron Business Development Corporation.

Hidden Homelessness project moves into next phase

ROI's Rural & Northern Hidden Homelessness study is gathering perspectives on hidden homelessness in a rural and northern context from Ontario service providers and service managers. Fay Martin, Project Manager, says, "It will be interesting to discover if there are variations in how people understand the issue among different kinds of rural and northern communities."

Also, a key part of the study is identifying what respondents think are promising practices. This aspect of the study may be informative for future program development. The 16-month research project is funded by the Province's Municipal Research and Analysis Grant and is being undertaken by a research team of leading academics in the field of rural homelessness, as well as the Ontario Municipal Social Services Association (OMSSA).

The project is just entering the data collection phase. Over 800 service providers in health, social services, court-related services and education/training/work preparation programs for those experiencing impediments to employment have been invited to participate in an online survey. More than 100 responses have been received since mid-August, and the survey will remain open until Nov 1, 2016. Please email Fay Martin if you are affiliated with a service provider and would like to participate.

Over September and October there will be focus groups held with service providers and interviews conducted with people with lived experience of homelessness. A similar survey effort is being coordinated by OMSSA with its service manager members at the county, regional and District Social Services Area Boards. OMSSA plans to conduct focus groups with their membership on a regional basis.

The findings from each of these streams will be consolidated into a comprehensive paper. ROI expects to be able to make the paper publically available in the spring of 2017.

Haliburton featured in study on arts in rural communities

Inga Petri, founder of Strategic Moves, has been investigating whether there are common criteria or success indicators for building a sustainable, rural arts community. In this initial phase of the study, Inga focuses on communities that were founded on one type of economy, usually based on natural resources, and that are seeking to build a new, diverse economy.

Three distinct rural communities in Canada are being explored: Haliburton County, Ontario; Temiskaming Shores, Ontario; and Wells, BC. One component is to obtain feedback from residents in the local community as part of this evaluation.

Haliburton County residents are invited to participate in an online community survey on the " Arts in Haliburton County." This survey will be open to the public until September 30, 2016.

Inga Petri will present findings from this new study for the first time at the SPARC Symposium taking place in Haliburton from October 27 to 30, 2016.

OMAFRA offers online learning modules

The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs' Regional Economic Development Branch has launched four online learning modules that focus on building organizational capacity. Each course is approximately 30 minutes in length.

The four modules include:

Board Governance: This module will cover valuable information that will help you establish an effective governing body for your organization.

Volunteer Management: This module will cover valuable information on how to recruit, organize and develop strong and effective volunteers.

Policies & Procedures: This module will cover information that will demonstrate the importance of policies and procedures, distinguish the difference between policies and procedures and discover how to develop them.

Conflict Management: This module will cover key information that will help identify conflict in an organization. It will show that conflict is common, identify causes of conflict in organizations and the use of strategies to resolve conflicts toward positive outcomes.

Sign up for the courses at: Building Organizational Capacity.

OCTN moving forward

It's been just over a month since the launch of the Ontario Community Transportation Network, and the network continues to grow with new members signing up every day.

The network facilitator has been busy responding to member's questions, and updating the OCTN website with announcements and blogs. Check them out if you haven't already. A newsletter was recently sent out to all members who requested network communications, and work is currently being done to set up a listserv.

The network connects individuals and organizations interested in exchanging information, experiences and best practices about community transportation services in Ontario, and is made all the more successful by participation of its members. Be sure to get in touch to share news, announcements, blog posts, etc., that you would like the Network to know about!

OMAFRA - U of G Research Program call launch

Call Launch: September 26th, 2016; Letters of Intent: by noon on November 1st, 2016

The OMAFRA - U of G Research Program call for Letters of Intent (LOIs) addresses priorities identified in the following seven research themes:

  • Agricultural and Rural Policy
  • Bioeconomy - Industrial Uses
  • Emergency Management
  • Environmental Sustainability
  • Food for Health
  • Products and Value Chains
  • Production Systems - Animals and Plants

For further information about the research theme priorities for this Call, please consult the 2016-2017 OMAFRA Research Themes: Consolidated Priorities document.

For Eligibility and Application information, please visit the OMAFRA - U of G Research Program page.

Further reading
Save the dates

September 26-30, 2016
The inaugural Community Change Institute is designed to be a truly transformational learning experience, with the latest information about community change from top speakers, an amazing faculty and over 40 workshops. Held at the Westin Prince Hotel, Toronto, Ontario.

September 28-30, 2016
R2R: Rural Talks to Rural. Rural innovators will gather to share success stories, examine the challenges of rural development in general and specific terms, and add tools to the toolbox that contribute to making rural communities stronger. Speakers and panelists will have demonstrated a rural commitment, will have tackled a rural issue, and will have successfully problem-solved in moving the rural story forward. The largest gathering space will be in a tent located at the Blyth & District Community Centre at 377 Gypsy Lane, Blyth, Ontario N0M 1H0. Breakout sessions will be in the arena, the Trinity Anglican Church Hall and the Royal Canadian Legion.

September 30-October 12, 2016
ROI/AALP Alumni & Friends Hungary and Romania Tour. AALP alumni and friends of ROI and AALP will explore Hungary and Romania, two of the most scenic, historic and agriculturally bountiful countries in Eastern Europe.

October 4, 2016
Working Sm@rt with Outlook. Learn how to use Outlook as a time and workload management tool and increase personal productivity by over an hour per day. Click here for more info and to register. 9:00-4:00 pm, Marden Community Centre.

October 12-15, 2016
Building Vibrant Rural Futures - Knowledge Mobilization and Informing Policy conference, co-hosted by the Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation (CRRF) and the Rural Policy Learning Commons. The conference invites presentations on how community organizations, policymakers, and researchers are mobilizing knowledge to inform policy and build vibrant rural futures. Held at the Holiday Inn and Conference Centre, Guelph, Ontario.

October 19-20, 2016
Nonprofit Driven, Ontario Nonprofit Network Conference. Connect, learn, and strategize with leaders from across the province on policy issues vital to building a strong and resilient nonprofit sector in Ontario. Held at Allstream Centre, Toronto, Ontario.

October 27-30, 2016
Symposium ’16 for Performing Arts in Rural Communities (SPARC). Attracting a broad spectrum of rural performing arts creators, producers and animateurs. Held at the Pinestone Resort & Conference Centre, Haliburton, Ontario.

November 2-3, 2016
Grey County AG 4.0: The Next Big Thing. Focus on the creative technological innovation in agriculture. Register on Eventbrite.

November 15, 2016
Teeny Tiny Southwest Summit. Big Stories from Small Places! A summit to inspire Community Volunteers, Municipal Staff and Council members. Attend a full day of learning and inspirational success stories! Keynote speakers Deb Thorn and Yvette Moore from Moose Jaw tell their story how volunteers used creativity, resourcefulness, persistence, and hard-driving passion to turn their dying prairie town into a vibrant tourist destination! Held at the Brooke-Alviston-Inwood Community Centre, Alviston, Ontario.

December 1-2, 2016
Pathways to Prosperity Partnership will hold its Fourth Annual Conference at the Westin Hotel in Ottawa. A full-day Preconference Workshop will be held on Wednesday, November 30, 2016.

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