Putting Down Roots

1987: Founding meeting in Regina of the Agricultural and Rural Restructuring Group (ARRG) involving 12 individuals concerned about the future for rural Canadians. Their concerns were; the dependency of rural Canadians on urban taxpayers, under funding of science applied to rural issues, and persistent dominance of political criteria for government sponsored research and programs in rural Canada.

1989: First annual conference of ARRG at Saskatoon in collaboration with Statistics Canada.


1991: Incorporation of the Canadian Rural Restructuring Foundation under the Societies Act of the Province of Alberta.

1992: CRRF is granted charitable status by Revenue Canada.

1993: CRRF receives a Strategic Networking Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council to build the research network.

1994: CRRF is invited to testify before the joint Senate and House Committee on Agriculture, Agri-food and Forestry.

1995: CRRF mounts an international conference on rural employment in collaboration with the community of Coaticook, Quebec, under the patronnage of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.

1996: CRRF is invited to testify before the Standing Committee on Natural Resources of the House of Commons. CRRF input is featured prominently in the Committee’s 1997 report, `Think Rural’.

1998: CRRF and the Institute for Rural Revitalization in the 21st Century in Japan conclude a four-year partnership Agreement for research and exchanges.

1999: CRRF holds its first `Rural University’ jointly with the Universite Rurale Quebecoise, held at Trois Pistoles, Quebec.

1999: CRRF changes its name to the Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation.

2002: CRRF and the Organization for Urban/Rural Interchange Revitalization in Japan extend their agreement into 2004

Long-term Research Program

1997: CRRF launches the five-year New Rural Economy (NRE) Program of comparative research. A national sampling frame with 32 sites and an archival data centre provide a solid database for the growing network of researchers. Results support the Workshop and Conference programs of continuing education.

1998: CRRF enters into informal agreements with 32 rural communities for research as part of the NRE Rural Observatory.

1999: CRRF successfully competes for a three-year $600,000 grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) to support the NRE research program, focusing on social cohesion.

2002: CRRF succeeds in competition for a $3,000,000 SSHRC grant to extend its research on the new rural economy for another 4 years. The research is headquartered at Concordia University in Montreal and involves ten universities.

Securing the Future

2003: CRRF transforms its Board and governance structure to position itself for an eventual Endowment Fund raising campaign.

2010: CRRF board of directors releases a five-year strategic plan for the organization.

2015: CRRF board of directors releases new strategic plan (2015-2020). CRRF also launches the State of Rural Canada report.

2018: CRRF celebrates it’s 30th anniversary in Saskatoon.


For the 20th CRRF anniversary, Bill Reimer prepared the following presentation highlighting the achievements, activities, and lessons learned of the organization. Click here to view 20 Years: What Have We Learned?