Lifetime Members

In 2013, the CRRF board of directors created a Lifetime Membership policy to recognize individuals who have demonstrated outstanding contributions to the betterment of rural Canada and CRRF/FCRR. The first lifetime members were announced at the 2013 CRRF conference in Thunder Bay, Ontario. 

The CRRF board of directors issues a call for nominations of lifetime members each year, with nominations due in early September. The nominations need to be submitted to the Secretary of the board. 

Robert C. Annis

Inducted as Lifetime Members at the 2017 Conference in Nelson, British Columbia

Over the past four decades, Bob Annis has profoundly impacted the landscape of rural development in Canada and abroad. He has championed multi-year research initiatives, facilitated local entrepreneurship and economic development initiatives, advanced rural public policy, and mentored a generation of new rural researchers, policy makers, and community practitioners.

In his role as the Director of the Rural Development Institute at Brandon University (1999-2009) Bob worked in partnership with rural and northern communities to advance our collective understanding of community-based development strategies, multi-community collaboration, government-community partnerships, local economic development, and rural quality of life. In partnership with CRRF, Bob hosted the Think Tank on Rural Immigration. This seminal event served as a catalyst for over a decade of research on immigration in small places across Canada.

Bob’s commitment to rural Canada is evident through his leadership roles with Community Futures program (past chair of Community Futures Westman, Community Futures Partners of Manitoba, Pan-West Community Futures Network, and current chair of Community Futures British Columbia), Metropolis, Canadian Community Economic Development Network, International Comparative Rural Policy Studies Consortium, and CRRF/FCRR (board member and past president). Bob’s outstanding contributions have enhanced the betterment of rural Canada and the Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation.

L. Peter Apedaile

Inducted as Lifetime Member at the 2013 Conference in Thunder Bay, Ontario

Peter is one of the original architects of CRRF/FCRR having participated in the founding meeting of the ARRG. Peter helped dream the dream for a national network of researchers and educators concerned with rural revitalization.

Peter stands out for his continued support of this objective – initiating a number of key innovations in our history such as collaboration with Japanese colleagues, 2 name changes (Canadian Rural Restructuring Foundation and our current name), a fund-raising project that brought us to the atten- tion of Canada’s senior bankers, collaboration with national organizations, and the experimentation with the Rural University model.

Peter has continued to champion our commitment to multi-disciplinary collaboration; engagement with local municipalities, business, and practi- tioners; cross-language engagement; scientific integrity; the embracing of diversity; and the value of “cool ideas”. Peter continues to contribute to CRRF with insightful, encouraging comments on any of our questions put to him – pressing us to find “tractable” solutions to complex challenges.

Ray Bollman

2261 by Valerie KeelerInducted as Lifetime Member at the 2013 Conference in Thunder Bay, Ontario

Ray was also at the founding meeting of ARRG/CRRF and has continued to support and guide our work over our 25 years. Ray has provided CRRF/FCRR with an extremely valuable conduit to data, information, and advice from within the civil service while challenging our tendencies to advocacy with practical and wise council regarding strategic options.His bridging of policy and research has always been notable. He has provided leadership across a variety of fronts in a long, active and very produc- tive career. He continues to inform and enrich rural development in Canada, in the OECD, and beyond. His pioneering work for the Rural and Small Towns Analysis Bulletin at Statistics Canada has provided an unequaled source of insight, data, information, and guidance on a great variety of topics germane to rural development.Ray has helped build CRRF, supported and partici- pated in numerous conferences, workshops, and colloquiums, instructed, advised many graduate and other students, provided public policy input on a great variety of issues, and been a challenging critic of both policy and research throughout a formidable and highly productive professional life.

Heather Clemenson

ClemensonInducted as Lifetime Member at the 2013 Conference in Thunder Bay, Ontario

Heather has been a long- term supporter of ARRG and CRRF/FCRR – both in her capacity as a citizen and civil servant. It was during her period of time in the federal Rural Secretariat that Heather was most visibly involved in the work of CRRF/FCRR. Heather played an important role in both the design and day-to-day operations of the federal Rural Secretariat – creating opportunities for rural people and places that had not existed before.Her dedication to research and education as important elements of policy and practice created a natural bridge to the work of CRRF/FCRR. Heather, during her time as a CRRF/FCRR board member, provided us with sage and informed advice on a wide variety of rural-related strate- gies and plans.Even in her retirement Heather has continued to support CRRF/FCRR – through direct participation on our Board and a generous commitment of her time and intelligence to the challenges we face.

Ken Donnelly

IMG-20131115-00272Inducted as Lifetime Member at the 2013 Conference in Thunder Bay, Ontario
Ken has served as a long term ‘éminence gris’ to ARRG and CRRF/FCRR. From our earliest days he has provided advice, encouragement, and funding strategies to ARRG and CRRF/FCRR from his position within various government departments. It was Ken who would point us in the right direction when opportunities emerged within various government and private organizations and he was always on call when we needed suggestions for organizing our activities.In the early days of the New Rural Economy project, Ken was the person who suggested funding opportunities that allowed us to initiate projects and move the project from a dream to a reality. In our constant search for dedicated and informed partners, he was one of our most valuable point of contact for those in both the public and private sectors. Our legacy of collaboration with governments – both federal and provincial – is largely dependent on Ken’s contributions.

David Douglas

David - Picture 1 - October 2013Inducted as Lifetime Member at the 2014 Conference in Prince George, British Columbia

David has been a long-term supporter of the Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation and avid rural researcher. David has served as an architect to many of the Foundation’s key initiatives and strategies, generated substantial knowledge on rural policy and planning issues as a preeminent scholar, facilitated connections among rural actors across Canada and internationally, and served as a mentor to many of this country’s emerging scholars.

David has been a faculty member of the University of Guelph, serving as the Director of the former School of Rural Planning and Development from 1985-92. David is actively involved in a number of research projects and community outreach, and instructs several courses within Rural Planning and Development. David has served as a Rural Development Expert Advisor in Ukraine, a co-investigator on a major project on “new regionalism” in Canada, editor and author of Rural Planning and Development in Canada (Nelson, 2010), and is a Member of the OECD LEED Forum on Partnerships and Local Governance.

Anthony (Tony) Fuller


Inducted as Lifetime Member at the 2014 Conference in Prince George, British Columbia

Tony Fuller was a sparkplug that initiated the Agriculture and Rural Restructuring Group (ARRG), the forerunner of the Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation (CRRF/FCRR). In the 1980s, Tony was responsible for obtaining a series of operating grants from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Along with other colleagues across Canada he organized a meeting of interested researchers from universities across Canada in Regina in 1987. This led to the first ARRG conference in Saskatoon in 1989.

Tony’s commitment to CRRF/FCRR has included serving on the ARRG board of directors and then CRRF/ FCRR for many years. He helped to establish the tradition of annual conferences in rural centres across Canada to inform the work of local leaders through discourse with national and international researchers, government policy analysts and rural development practitioners.Tony’s career in rural development teaching and research spanned 35 years at the University of Guelph. Tony provided visionary and intensive support of CRRF/FCRR in its formative years and continues to contribute to rural research.

Robert Greenwood

Inducted as Lifetime Member at the 2021 Conference 

During his presidency from 2003 to 2007, Rob was instrumental in establishing and maintaining partnerships with key groups such as the Rural Secretariat, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, and the North Atlantic Forum.  His experience in community development in Newfoundland and Labrador and Saskatchewan served him well when he became the founding Director of the Leslie Harris Centre of Regional Policy and Development in 2004. From this new position, Rob led CRRF into new partnerships and the complex world of regional policy development and strategic planning. We continue to enjoy his legacy by our frequent collaboration with the North Atlantic Forum conferences, his editorial role in publications such as “Remote Control”, his inspiration regarding public collaboration, and the continued success of the “Rural Roots” podcasts produced by Bojan Fürst.

Rob continues to serve as a champion for CRRF in his role as Associate Vice President at Memorial University. He continues to be a generous, inspirational, congenial, and courageous champion of risky ventures on behalf of rural people, communities, and CRRF. A Lifetime Award is an excellent way to acknowledge our appreciation for his lifetime of contributions and inspiration for CRRF.

Bruno Jean

Inducted as Lifetime Member at the 2015 Conference in Summerside, Prince Edward Island

Bruno’s many contributions speak well of his authority, scholarship, political savvy, and friendly accessibility. Of particular importance for all of us, and indeed rural Canada as a whole has been his ability to keep us connected to the many innovations and developments in policy, programmes, organizations and institutions in Quebec. Whether we see Quebec as something of a model, an interesting experiment or otherwise, this bridging has been critical to the development of CRRF itself as a credible Canada-wide organization, to our many students who have been with us over the last almost three decades, to our own individual research and education, and to rural development policy itself.

Bruno has been sought out by international organizations for his expertise in rural development. Bruno’s great accomplishments have been well noted by many institutions across Canada and internationally. This recognition of the contributions of Bruno Jean to rural research, rural policy and indeed the betterment of rural Canada is most deserved.

E. Dianne Looker

Inducted as a Lifetime Member at the 2020 Conference

E. Dianne Looker is an Emerita Professor of Sociology at Mount Saint Vincent and  Acadia Universities in Nova Scotia. Her research focuses on issues relating to rural-urban location, gender and other equity issues. Over her career much of her research has examined rural youth and their transitions to adulthood, taking a life course perspective on the paths they pursue. Her current research looks at alternate and atypical paths to adulthood, including those chosen by youth who opt to stay in, return to or move to rural areas. Much of this research deals with various forms of mobility – mobility in and out of the parental home, to and from one’s community of origin, and to and from rural areas. Most recently she has worked on looking at factors influencing youth and young adults to stay in a locale, challenging the notion that mobility is the only or the best path for all young people.

William (Bill) Reimer

Inducted as Lifetime Member at the 2015 Conference in Summerside, Prince Edward Island

Since the founding of the Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation, Bill Reimer has continuously invested his time and his talent to support and to further the objectives of the foundation. Besides serving on the CRRF executive in various capacities, Bill has been, and continues to be, the CRRF focal point for rural research. Bill was the lead for the New Rural Economy project which, at the time, was the largest-ever research project that was funding by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. He has a genius for grantsmanship, second only to the inspiration he has conveyed to his many grad students and fellow researchers. His students have not only shown great loyalty to him, but to the CRRF mission.

In guiding CRRF in the pursuit of CRRF objectives, Bill has championed the integration of rural citizens, policy analysts, practitioners and researchers. For stalwart energy in promoting CRRF and in promoting rural research, we are delighted to nominate Bill Reimer for the CRRF Lifetime Membership award.

Richard Rounds 

165612_113926995346528_4436918_nInducted as a Lifetime Member at the 2016 Conference in Guelph, Ontario 

Keeping the ARRG-CRRF adventure going has depended on the contributions of many people over its 28-year history. Richard Rounds was one of those – especially during its early and mid-periods. Richard Rounds joined the Geography Department of Brandon University in 1970 and became the Founding Director of the Rural Development Institute (RDI) at Brandon University in 1989, a position he held for 10 years. He then became a member of the newly established Department of Rural Development at Brandon University where he served as a Professor until his retirement in 2002.

He served on the CRRF Board and carefully nurtured our meagre funds for much of that time as our Treasurer. Richard attended every CRRF conference during his time with RDI because, as he repeatedly said that the CRRF events presented the only occasion to learn and discuss both rural research issues and rural policy issues with diaspora of rural colleagues across Canada. In his role as Director of RDI he established the CRRF-RDI connection on a founda- tion of collaboration and services that has lasted to today. Richard was prominent as initiator, editor, nancier and marketing agent for CRRF’s publication series. Along with Joan Rollheiser, he was also instrumental in the success of conferences in Gimli, Manitoba and Nelson, British Columbia. As long as you didn’t ask him for something during bear-hunting season, he was always willing to help – and to do so in a thoughtful, informed, critical and supportive manner.

Fran Shaver

Inducted as Lifetime Member at the 2019 Conference in St John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador 

From the first meeting that was the founding of ARRG, Fran Shaver has been scholar, mentor, champion, trail blazer, and an advocate for rural issues. Fran attended the very first meeting that led to the founding of ARRG, which later became CRRF. Fran committed her time and leadership to ARRG and CRRF as a board member from 1989-1997, during which time she was Treasurer (1993-1994) and Secretary-Treasurer (1994-1997). During this time ARRF/CRRF was a new organization with limited financial and organizational capacity. Fran’s contributions as Secretary and Treasurer were critical in maintaining essential services while the challenges of a young volunteer organization were being addressed.

Fran’s research contributions to rural development are vast, including several of the earliest studies of Canadian women in agriculture. Fran has advocated on rural issues to the House of Commons and Senate. Although her in research focus has recently drawn her away from CRRF topics to the health and safety conditions of sex workers, she has continued to champion CRRF activities to colleagues and students.

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