What is the future of rural Canada?

That is the question we are going to start discussing in this very first episode of Rural Routes, a show that asks what is rural in the 21st century.

Ryan Gibson and Sean Markey are researchers at St. Mary’s University in Halifax and Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, respectively. They are both members of Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation, a Rural Routes partner. They are also two of the dozens of authors who recently produced the State of Rural Canada report. The report is the first comprehensive look at rural Canada and it outlines the current issues for every province and territory as well as the country as a whole. It’s a base from which to start appreciating a rural Canada that is complex and dynamic, but neglected and misunderstood.

This show is about helping us understand the complexities and changes sweeping through our rural regions.


State of Rural Canada Report

Dr. Sean Markey, Simon Fraser University

Dr. Ryan Gibson, St. Mary’s University

Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation

The Leslie Harris Centre of Regional Policy and Development, Memorial University of Newfoundland

Rural Policy Learning Commons Partnership

Meet Dr. Ryan Gibson, a rural geographer at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Ryan is a friend and a colleague who helped with the initial concept behind this podcast. He is also one of the researchers we are going to hear from in much more debt. This episode is a test of some new recording equipment and a preview of a much longer interview. Enjoy.

Today, we are going to test my ability to ask you to support this show. And I am going to tell you right now, I am not a natural fundraiser. This is hard for me to do.

IMPORTANT NOTE: After chatting with a friend and a colleague, I was convinced to give another shot at accessing funding through academic channels. What that means for you as a listener is that if we are successful,  we’ll be able to run six months worth of programming without having to worry about the revenue models. So, just enjoy the show.

A writer once said that writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way. This is going to be a little bit like that. Except, we are on a country road, it’s night, and it’s foggy, and there is a blizzard with no snowplow in sight, and I still have all-season tires on.