Conferences and Workshops

On an annual basis, the UNBC Community Development Institute hosts a conference or workshops to deal with issues of importance to the communities of northern British Columbia. This section of the website connects to those conferences and workshops so that those activities can continue to inform the people and decision-makers across northern BC.

Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation Annual Conference

September 25-27, 2014

The Community Development Institute at UNBC hosted the Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation’s (CRRF) annual conference from September 25-27, 2014 in Prince George.

The conference theme, New Realities, New Relationships explored the changing relationships across industry, local and senior levels of government, and community organizations as new development opportunities and challenges emerge.

More than 170 rural and industry leaders, community and economic development practitioners, government policy-makers, researchers, and students gathered to discuss issues at the heart of rural and resource sector development in BC and Canada.

The conference included two days of plenary sessions and workshops featuring national experts in rural and resource sector development, along with local and regional presenters. Special guest speakers included Keith Storey, Bill Reimer, Ken Shields, Jason Fisher and Greg Halseth. Prince George-McKenzie MLA, Mike Morris, and Dr. Ranjana Bird from UNBC, also spoke at the conference. Participants had the opportunity to embark on local and regional tours exploring the innovative ways that rural BC is adapting to a changing reality.


2014 International Symposium in Aging Resource Communities: Population Dynamics, Community Development and the Voluntary Sector

Tumbler Ridge, August 23-28, 2014

The Community Development Institute (CDI), in partnership with the Trent Centre for Aging and Society at Trent University, the District of Tumbler Ridge, and a wide variety of community groups, hosted the 2014 International Symposium in Aging Resource Communities: Population Dynamics, Community Development and the Voluntary Sector.

The Symposium brought 17 international experts from Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway, the UK and USA together with community members from northern BC to exchange ideas and foster links to understand the ways in which voluntarism shapes and is shaped by the interactions among older people and their aging communities, and how resource-dependent communities are responding to the challenges and opportunities of population aging.

The Symposium program focused on the links between population aging, community development, and voluntarism. UNBC participants included Greg Halseth, Neil Hanlon, and Laura Ryser.

Funding for the Symposium was provided by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada.

View the Symposium program


Understanding Indigenous Economic Development in Northern, Rural, and Remote Settings

November 24-25, 2010

In the fall of 2010, the Community Development Institute and the Aboriginal Business and Community Development Centre hosted a workshop that invited 31 individuals, institutions, academics, and practitioners from around BC, Canada, and Norway to talk about issues related to Aboriginal tourism and economic development in northern, rural, and remote places.  The discussions generated from the workshop provided some valuable lessons about the key barriers and opportunities related to successful indigenous economic development both on-reserve and in urban Aboriginal communities.

Understanding Indigenous Economic Development workshop materials


Bridges: A Festival of Arts and Culture in Our City

June 11-13, 2009

In 2009, the Community Development Institute worked in partnership with Rob Budde from UNBC’s English program to host the Bridges festival. The festival developed from an initiative at Thompson Rivers University under a Community-University Research Alliance program grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. The purpose of the festival was to bring together representatives from arts and cultural organizations, local cultural facilities, local education institutions, independent artists, as well as interested members of the public to celebrate the ‘culture of our city and culture in our city’.

Bridges festival materials


Space to Place: The Next Rural Economies Workshop

May 15-16, 2008

In the spring of 2008, the Community Development Institute hosted a workshop that invited 20 international rural and small town scholars to talk about issues associated with community and economic development. The focus of their conversation was on the importance of place based assets and aspirations in creating a more manageable approach to future development initiatives. The workshop was also attended by more than 50 representatives from communities, local and senior governments, and researchers.

Space to Place workshop materials


Northern Economic Forum

October 26-28, 2005
September 13-15, 2006

In response to the findings of the Northern BC Economic Development Vision and Strategy Project, and with funding assistance from Western Economic Diversification and several northern Community Futures Development Corporation offices, the CDI hosted two northern economic forums. The purpose of the forums was to bring together economic development officers and decision-makers to talk about issues of mutual interest and to share updates from various community economic development strategies and initiatives.

Northern Economic Forum materials