Rural Alberta Development Fund was established in 2006 as a direct result of the Government of Alberta’s Rural Development Strategy. Our original Board of Directors were entrusted with the responsibility of developing an entirely new funding program to support initiatives that would actually transform rural Alberta through innovation.
As of March 31, 2012, we have committed our full allotment of $100 million to 85 projects, each with a focus on economic growth, community capacity, rural health delivery, or knowledge and skill development. These projects have impacted 146 communities and 396 organizations within the province, and have directly engaged 4,080 Albertans, with approximately 64,000 Albertans indirectly impacted.
These remarkable results are only possible because of the passionate and dedicated community leaders who have had the determination to turn their unique ideas into reality. The impressive diversity of their projects illustrates that strong rural programs ARE out there, and these initiatives will continue to build on the long-term sustainability of our communities. This truly makes Alberta a land of opportunity!
As we approach our wind-down in March, 2014, we continue to share our learnings with our project communities and with the many stakeholders who have rural development as a common interest and responsibility.
To learn more about our projects and activities, please see our 2012-2013 Annual Report.
Rural Alberta Development Fund (RADF) is an experiment that went right. In 2006, the Government of Alberta provided us with $100 million and a mandate to build capacity in rural Alberta. In November, 2011, we received our final applications, and in March, 2012, our Board of Directors allocated the last of our funds. These dollars will be disbursed until our program sunsets in March, 2014. Until then, we will continue to work with our proponents to maintain the remarkable successes achieved to date.
Support has been provided to rural communities in every corner of Alberta, with every conceivable industry engaged, including: tourism, bee research, rural medicine, First Nations oil and gas, theatre, and sports schools. In many cases, these initiatives have transformed their communities.
The challenge to rural Albertans has been to discover the unique and authentic qualities in their towns and regions. Through careful stewardship, RADF has nurtured projects and cheered on their champions. Our 85 funded projects have been carried out in 146 communities and have engaged 396 organizations. A review of project outcomes confirms that RADF is consistently exceeding performance targets in three critical metrics: improved quality of life, increased community capacity, and positive economic impact. As well, every dollar provided to these initiatives has leveraged 47 cents in additional funding.
As we here at RADF have gathered and strengthened our knowledge and experience, we have influenced the trends prevalent in rural Alberta. Together, we can continue to support and grow innovation in all regions of the province.
It is our pleasure to provide you with a copy of our 2011-2012 Annual Report.
Having four years of operation under its belt, the Rural Alberta Development Fund is now seeing the tangible impacts and outcomes its funding has on Alberta’s rural communities. With the evaluative framework of Howard Research and Management Consulting Inc., RADF continues to collect information and data and determine how to best meet the needs of rural Alberta.
A lot was accomplished in 2010-2011. The Rural Alberta Development Fund underwent a rebranding, creating a new image and personality to guide the way forward. Part of the rebranding strategy meant shifting the focus from RADF to showcase rural Alberta success stories. This included RADF’s inaugural Big Sky Summit and the launch of three case studies highlighting how rural community leaders turned their ideas into reality.
Along with the 3 projects funded this year, 21 projects came to completion. For more details on RADF’s accomplishments last year, read the 2010 – 2011 Annual Report.
After three full years of operation, the Rural Alberta Development Fund began analyzing its data to evaluate its success to date and inform its future funding decisions. In 2009, the Rural Alberta Development Fund approved the implementation of a unique evaluative framework developed by Howard Research and Management Consulting Inc.
Information and data from the projects were collected to determine conditions for success, factors important to project management, elements that create partners and networks, impacts of funding sustainability, and more.
The Rural Alberta Development Fund funded various projects through 2009 and 2010, and proudly saw data that supports evidence of success from 80 percent of the 199 expected outcomes across all projects.
For full details, read the 2009-2010 Annual Report.
The Rural Alberta Development Fund experienced a year of growth and transition in 2008-2009 with the addition of two new board members, the development funding of 22 new projects, the completion of four projects, and the development of a new strategic plan.
The new strategic plan was developed after in-depth consultations with stakeholder groups across Alberta, as well as government and elected officials. These consultations confirmed that there is a need for the Rural Alberta Development Fund to take a primary role in advancing leadership, community services and supports, and economic diversification in rural Alberta.
For more details on the Rural Alberta Development Fund's activities and accomplishments last year, read the 2008-2009 Annual Report.
During its first full year of operations, the Rural Alberta Development Fund was able to fund and support many innovative projects across Alberta. In total, 29 projects were approved for $26.3 million in funding. Some early success stories were the Integrated Community Clerkship program jointly run by the Universities of Alberta and Calgary, The Community Village program in Grande Prairie, and the Killam Regional Economic Development Initiative based in Killam and Flagstaff County.
More details on the Rural Alberta Development Fund's first full year can be found in the 2007-2008 Annual Report.
Much of the Rural Alberta Development Fund's truncated first year in existence was spent bringing the organization off the drawing board and into reality. The Rural Alberta Development Fund began in June 2006 with two co-chairs and quickly grew over the course of a few short months to include a full board and staff. By October 2006, the Rural Alberta Development Fund was open for business, and in late March 2007, its first funding proposal was approved.
For a more detailed look at the beginnings of the Rural Alberta Development Fund, please read the 2006-2007 Annual Report.