Thank you rural Alberta!! Your "big sky" thinking, your passion for economic development in our province's rural communities and your commitment to turning smart and sustainable ideas into projects that will have a lasting impact on rural Alberta have made RADF and more importantly, the projects it funded, a huge success!
RADF's mandate, set by the Government of Alberta in 2006, ended on March 31, 2014 and our offices are now closed. RADF was created from the Government of Alberta's Rural Development Strategy, A Place to Grow, to help rural communities, regional alliances and organizations kick-start projects that would contribute to positive changes in rural Alberta. And it did just that with 85 projects. The $100 million fund helped 146 communities and 396 organizations across Alberta. The rural development initiatives engaged over 4,000 Albertans, with approximately 64,000 Albertans indirectly impacted.
RADF Board Chair Marie Logan says the significant impact of the funded projects in rural Alberta will be felt for years to come. "We have worked closely with our project partners and stakeholders in developing a solid legacy of growth and prosperity which will continue to shape future rural development initiatives in Alberta," said Logan.
The significant amount of information and the lessons learned on what works well in supporting economic development in rural Alberta are being seamlessly transferred to Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development.
As announced by Minister Verlyn Olson on March 4, 2014, a Rural Economic Development Action Plan will be created by the Government of Alberta as a blueprint for future rural sustainability and success. An MLA Task Force has been struck to lead that process and will examine new ways to leverage programs and services, like RADF, for continued growth and a strong rural economy. The RADF Board of Directors is excited by this announcement and very optimistic about what it will mean for the future of rural Alberta.
For more information on rural economic development in Alberta, please visit Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development's web site.