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Rural Ontario Institute

E-Newsletter – May 2016


Welcome to the May issue of the ROI Newsletter.
Our goal in producing the newsletter is to keep our subscribers informed and involved.  Since we want the ROI Newsletter to be as relevant as possible to your interests, we look forward to hearing your comments on every issue. 

Leadership Development
Class 16 of the Advanced Agricultural Leadership Program (AALP) continues their leadership journey.  With 5 seminars complete, the group will be traveling to Quebec and Washington DC in early July on their North American Study Tour.  They will also be traveling to Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam for their International Study Tour in mid-February 2017.  Class 16 will graduate from the program in April 2017.
This group of twenty-six emerging leaders in Ontario’s agriculture and agri-food industry will leverage the experiences and knowledge gained from AALP to effectively lead their organizations, businesses and communities of tomorrow.

Moving Ahead on Rural and Community Transportation
On March 29, 2016 in Sutton Ontario over 100 participants from municipal governments and organizations, NGOs, private transportation companies, and the provincial government came together to share experiences from rural communities across Ontario and beyond.

Measuring Rural Community Vitality
Platinum Leadership Inc. (London, ON) was selected on April 29 as consultants for ROI’s Engaging Newcomers: Building Social Capital in Rural Ontario project. We will look at the ways in which community social capital might enhance or inhibit newcomer integration and how community social capital is built through newcomer engagement. We intend to inform the question about what social capital exists presently in the community and how it might be used to engage newcomers and how it might change with the introduction of newcomers?

On Thursday May 19 in partnership with the Northern Policy Institute ROI launches its eighth community collaboration for 2016. The “Let’s Talk” project is led by the Township of Baldwin: it is our intention to examine a number of variables to create an engagement benchmark for each participating municipality.

Ryan Deska will present highlights from ROI’s Youth Engagement Showcase project at the Youth Roots Summit on Saturday May 28 in Hanover. Emily Morrison from the Brock Youth Centre (one of four youth featured in the YES project) will also be presenting at the event.

Exploring Labour Market Mobility and Income Change
With MTCU financial support under their Labour Market Partnership grant program ROI is co-ordinating a partnership project along with the Four County Labour Market Planning Board, Grey County, Waterloo-Wellington-Dufferin Workforce Planning Board, Wellington County, Elgin-Middlesex-Oxford Workforce Planning and Development Board, South-Central Ontario Region Economic Development Corporation and Workforce Planning Board of Grand Erie.  Migration and labour force development are important issues for many rural regions of the province but relatively little information is available about who moves and why.  Through this project we are gathering feedback and exploring the potential value of new insights emerging from analysis performed by Paul Knafelc of Community Benchmarks as he provides stakeholders in the four participating counties with community reports based on 4 years of tax-filer data about income change among people who move in and out of those counties.   If the insights and analysis proves helpful there will be strong rationale for providing this kind of information to more organizations across the province.  

Hidden Homelessness in Rural and Northern Ontario
The Rural Ontario Institute has commenced a research study to explore hidden homelessness in rural and northern Ontario.  The study will identify promising local strategies that are responding to this issue and will include interviews with individuals with “lived experience” of homelessness in rural and northern settings. The project is being sponsored under the Province’s Municipal Research and Analysis Grant.
A research team has been formed which will review current homelessness strategies, talk to service managers (Consolidated Municipal Service Managers and District Social Services Administration Boards) and  service providers and interview individuals who have experienced homelessness in rural and northern settings.   Members of the research team include the Project Manager Fay Martin, Carol Kauppi of Laurentian University, Bill O’Grady of the University of Guelph, Rebecca Schiff of Lakehead University and Petra Wolfbeiss from the Ontario Municipal Social Services Association.  Read the full communique about the project here…

ROI Blog Update

Upcoming Events

May 13, Smith Falls
Ontario East Quarterly General Membership Meeting
If you have not already done so, don't forget to register. This event is a great time to network with economic developers across the region.
Gallipeau Centre Reception Hall, 361 Queen Street, Smiths Falls , Ontario

May 27-29, Hanover
Youth Roots Summit Hanover
A forum for youth to engage in meaningful conversations to make meaningful change…and Youth Roots and IMPACT! Teens are taking on this project to make it happen!!blank-1/pyczs

June 1, Orangeville
Release of our 2016 Community Well-Being Refresh Report and launch of Measuring Rural Community Vitality Project in partnership with the Rural Ontario Institute. Keynote speaker: Bryan Smale, Director, Canadian Index of Wellbeing and Professor at University of Waterloo. Lord Dufferin Centre from 1-4 pm

August 10-14, Toronto
World Congress of Rural Sociology 2016
Sustainable and Just Rural Transitions: Connections and Complexities
Ryerson University

September 26-30, Toronto
Community Change Institute
The inaugural Community Change Institute is designed to be a truly transformational learning experience, bringing you the latest in community change with top speakers, an amazing faculty and over 40 workshops.

September 28-30, Blyth
R2R: Rural Talks to Rural
Rural innovators will gather in Blyth 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. The Rural Ontario Institute’s Youth Engagement Showcase videos of rural youth success stories will be featured.

October 12-15, Guelph
The Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation Conference
Co-hosted by CRRF and the Rural Policy Learning Commons.

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

November 2-3, Meaford
Grey County AG 4.0: The Next Big Thing. Summit and Farm Tour
We shine a spotlight on creative technological innovation in agriculture: Digital Agriculture, Creative Collaboration, Rural Renaissance. Register:

December 1-2, Ottawa
Pathways to Prosperity Partnership will hold its Fourth Annual Conference at the Westin Hotel in Ottawa on Thursday and Friday December 1 – 2, 2016, with a full-day Preconference Workshop on Wednesday November 30.

Stay Connected!

You can participate by writing a guest blog article on pressing rural issues. 

What would you like to see from our newsletters?  Please  e-mail us with your thoughts and ideas at

ROI subscribers are welcome to send in any upcoming events/notices that could be of interest to the rest of the community. Please send information to and it may be added to the next e-newsletter.

You're Invited!

Rural Ontario Institute’s 6th AGM will be held on June 14.
Jeff Leal, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs is our guest speaker.
Please register by June 8. Email:
Marden Community Centre
7368 Wellington Rd 30, Guelph.
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