Resources for Small, Rural and Remote Communities
Now Available: Resources tailored to the rural community context!
This resource portal is a response to the unique opportunities, challenges, and approaches to fostering health and well-being in small, rural and remote communities in BC. The portal offers resources related to PlanH action areas with a rural lens.
The Rural Context
There are over 110 cities, towns, municipalities and villages in BC and of those, over 75% are small, rural or remote communities of less than 30,000 people.i A healthy community approach takes resources and leadership. This can be challenging in small and remote communities where there are fewer organizations, resources and volunteers to do the work. There is often no organization to lead on new or emerging issues like food security or support for seniors at home, and yet the need is often there.
On the positive side, there are many tools and examples of rural success and innovation. Many of these examples are stories of collaborating across sectors, and all of them illustrate “can do” attitudes and creativity to improve well-being.
Resources are organized by the same Take Action Areas as the rest of the PlanH site (Healthy Society, Healthy People, Healthy Environment) for ease of searching.
If you find the portal useful, or if you are looking for something specific, we would love to hear from you as we continue to develop the resources. Contact us here.
The Salt Spring Ag Alliance was founded by five key food stakeholders on the Island. Together they have developed a community abbattoir, and a produce centre is on the way. Their story illustrates what is possible in small places through formal partnerships.
- Plan To Farm
In this video recorded at the 2015 UBCM Convention, Michelle Staples of the Duncan City Council reflects on the city's partnership with House of Friendship and Community Kitchens to create a communal cob oven in a downtown park. The project was collaboratively built and is a hub for community events as well as a connection to food security conversations.
In this video recorded at the 2015 UBCM Convention, Laurie Dolan of Fort Nelson reflects on an inspirational BCHC workshop she attended that sparked a process of asset mapping and building on successful projects.
In this video recorded at the 2015 UBCM Convention, Jessie Hemphill of Port Hardy celebrates the success of many different ministries, organizations, and community members collaborating with local government to discuss health issues within the community. Results have included transit in the north island, a holistic addictions service plan, and many more incredible community projects.
Mayor Josie Osborne of Tofino enthuses about the Coastal Family Resource Coalition: a "virtual and real network and hub of people who are involved in all aspects of community, healthy living and personal health, with a special focus on children, youth and families." This inspiring coalition draws on the expertise and experience of many different community members and is a powerful collaboration for community change. This interview was recorded at the 2015 UBCM Convention.
Anna Purcell of Nelson City Council shares stories of an inspiring multigenerational food security initiative, as well as new efforts to create a food security council in Nelson. This interview was recorded at the 2015 UBCM Convention.
Karen Skadsheim, a City Councillor in Powell River celebrates a collaboration with the Powell River Cycling Association that led to new bike paths and increased safety for cyclists in Powell River. This interview was recorded at the 2015 UBCM Convention.
Louise Richmond of Salmon Arm City Council explains an amazing new project to bring art to their local trail network. The art can be enjoyed by city residents using the trails and will ultimately become a photo book to be shared more widely. This video was filmed at the 2015 UBCM Convention.
Taylor Bachrach, Mayor of Smithers, speaks to the importance of measuring indicators of success that are meaningful to healthy communities, such as crime rates and air quality. The Town of Smithers have been working in collaboration with Northern Health to measure these community indicators. This interview was recorded at the 2015 UBCM Convention.
The Active Travel to School Comox Valley initiative is an example of collaborative local action with far-reaching benefits to health and well-being in the community.
In this interview recorded at the 2013 UBCM Convention, Emanuel Machado, chief administrative officer, speaks about how the Town of Gibsons aligned community and council objectives and planning documents to create a sustainability framework which includes community well-being as a goal.
This article shares the story of how teachers, businesses, government agencies, and a community association came together to address youth retention by creating a new high school program: Eco-Ventures.
- Sue Rickards
The City of Port Alberni is a key example of how municipalities can reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in their community. Their success is attributed to strong interdepartmental collaboration and prioritizing action.