Over the past years, CRRF/FCRR has supported and been actively involved in a number of research initiatives of interest to rural audiences. This year we provided letters of support for 12 proposed initiatives. A selection of research initiatives we are currently involved in are illustrated below.

What is rural policy today? A pan-Canadian scan of policies for rural spaces

This initiative, funded through the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, shares a pan-Canadian content analysis of rural-related provincial and territorial strategies, plans and programmes. It explores the characteristics of rural policy across Canada today and regional differences in practice. The full report can be found here.
Leads: Tamara Krawchenko & Brooke Hayes (University of Victoria)
Project Collaborators: Karen Foster (Dalhousie University), Sean Markey (Simon Fraser University)

Building the Future: Rural Infrastructure and Regional Economic Development

This initiative, funded through the Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance, had three key questions: (i) to examine how rural Ontario communities vary in their capacity to respond to infrastructure pressures, (ii) to investigate how those varying capacities affect short- and long-term economic development; and (iii) to provide recommendations to government on how to development rural infrastructure policy, programming, and investments that will build rural community capacity and support economic development and growth. Further information on this initiative can be found at
Lead: Ryan Gibson (University of Guelph)

Creating Inclusive Economies: Building Bridges between Public-Private-Civil Society Sectors

This initiative, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, will support the 2021 annual CRRF/FCRR conference, in collaboration with the Community Economic Development and Employability Corporation (CEDEC), entitled Creating Inclusive Economies: Building Bridges between Public-Private-Civil Society Sectors. CRRF/FCRR is happy to have contributed $18,000 of in-kind support to this project. For more details visit: Inclusive Economies: Building Bridges between Public-Private-Civil Society Sectors.
Lead: Kyle Rich (Brock University)

Insular Knowledge – Building a Community of Islands Through Knowledge Mobilization

This research is funded through the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) & Canadian Commission for UNESCO Partnership. The objective of this initiative is to establish a network of island-centric researchers and groups that will allow the sharing of research insights on issues, policies, and practices that have broader societal application. It will build metaphorical bridges between islands and between islands and mainlands to: 1) share interdisciplinary, inter-institutional research insights, 2) collaborate to advance training and program development in higher education, and 3) identify trends related to knowledge mobilization policies, practices, and tools to meet the needs of a rapidly changing society. CRRF/FCRR has committed to contribute $8,000 per year in-kind support to this project.
Lead: James Randall (University of Prince Edward Island)

Making a Difference? Measuring Outcomes of Provincial Rural Policies and Programs

This multi-year research initiative is examining the diversity in rural policy approaches in Canada and facilitating discussions among government departments. A key activity through this initiative has been to organize a series of discussions with provincial, territorial, and federal government departments responsible for rural development. The discussion facilitates information sharing, building networks, and exploring different rural policy approaches. CRRF/FCRR is a partner on this Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance‒funded initiative.
Lead: Ryan Gibson (University of Guelph)

Rural Routes: Creating Audio Knowledge

Rural Routes is a radio show and a podcast that asks: “What is rural in the 21st century?” Now in its second season, the Rural Routes audio program provides a knowledge mobilization and development support communications vehicle for researchers and community champions, policy makers, rural residents, and social and economic development practitioners interested in a wide range of rural issues. The podcast is distributed free of charge through a variety of private and NGO partnerships in Canada and abroad. To subscribe go to www.ruralroutespodcasts.
Lead: Bojan Furst (Memorial University)

Rural Policy Learning Commons

The Rural Policy Learning Commons (RPLC) was a 7-year Partnership project established in 2014 to enhance Canadian prosperity by: (i) identifying and analyzing policy options relevant to rural and northern places, (ii) evaluating these options in the context of national and international policy innovations, and (iii) building leadership capacity among rural and northern researchers, policy-makers, and practitioners. Upon its completion, CRRF and the RPLC established an Alliance Committee dedicated to collaborative initiatives and establishing legacy projects. Further information on the Rural Policy Learning Commons can be found via

Sustainability of Rural Non-Profit Organizations

Rural non-profit organizations face a number of challenges and opportunities. This initiative examines the critical factors contributing to the successful governance of non-profit organizations and charities in rural communities. Through this examination, successful strategies and practices from across rural Canada were identified. Further information on this initiative can be found at
Leads: Katie Allen and Ryan Gibson (University of Guelph)

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