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RVN Press Release Survey Launch
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RVN PH2 Press Release

  1. 1. RURAL VOICES NETWORK (RVN) Innovative Trails to boost rural civic engagement www.ruralvoicesnetwork.ca info@ruralvoicesnetwork.ca NEWS RELEASE RURAL VOICES NETWORK MOVES TOWARD PHASE 2 OF PROJECT TO BETTER UNDERSTAND RURAL ONTARIO Guelph (ON) February 1, 2012 – The Rural Voices Network (RVN) has wrapped up the first part of their effort to better understand the rural citizens of the province. The project backed by The Federated Women’s Institutes of Ontario (FWIO) and Ontario Trillium Foundation has completed a series of 7, ‘Let Your Voice Be Heard’ public forums across the province. The findings from these gatherings will now form the basis for a public survey of rural Ontarians. Between November 2011 to January 2012 the RVN team met with residents of communities around Guelph, Dryden, Rosslyn, Fergus, Perth, Ridgetown and Innisfil. The 7 forums brought out some of the challenges facing rural Ontario including the time crunch on volunteers, as well as support and resources needed to assist volunteers. The Guelph gathering addressed the barriers related to transportation, and the costs for services that allow effective communications. Questions about how to engage rural citizens with a focus on asking, inviting and welcoming people into communities was front and centre. The Dryden meeting placed special emphasis on the importance of the environment, services and education. Also mentioned were barriers related to transportation and communicating in the North. The significance of healthy communities in a time of transformation was mentioned at the Rosslyn session; along with the need to have a better understanding of government structure and legislation. The Fergus gathering brought up barriers such as transportation and accessibility along with the role of government in policy development. Emphasis was also placed on the opportunities and challenges brought about by technology in communication and community engagement. Questions about how to engage rural citizens in community development programming were examined at the Perth forum as well as barriers relating to transportation and accessibility. The attendees also focussed in on the importance of a healthy community with a culture of working together. The Ridgetown gathering brought out some of the challenges facing rural Ontario including the need for experience in community development, as well as the significance of networking and communicating in a rural context. Increasing demands from all levels of government on volunteers was a focal point at the Innisfil forum. Other barriers discussed at the session included the importance on motivation for community success, healthy communities and the changes in the rural demographic. The findings from the 7 centres have been merged into a survey to both confirm the results from the in person sessions and to expand on the challenges to engaging rural Ontarians in the future of their communities. As well as examine what enables rural citizens to participate in the common life of their community, and to identify barriers to rural civic engagement. The survey is expected to be available th online at www.ruralvoicesnetwork.com on February 15 . Those rural citizens that would prefer to receive a paper copy of the survey can call, mail or email the RVN head office at 519-836-3078 or info@ruralvoicesnetwork.ca or 7382 Wellington Road 30, RR#5 Guelph, On, N1H 6J2 7382 Wellington Road 30 * RR 5, Guelph, ON, N1H 6J2 * Ph: (519) 836-3078 * Fax: (519) 836-9456 * www.fwio.on.ca Operated by Communicate * Collaborate * Community Sponsored by
  2. 2. RURAL VOICES NETWORK (RVN) Innovative Trails to boost rural civic engagement www.ruralvoicesnetwork.ca info@ruralvoicesnetwork.ca “Rural citizens can help governments, volunteer organizations and each other better understand what works in a rural context and what doesn’t. That knowledge is key to understanding rural civic engagement. We need to build a new bridge of communication between rural citizens, as well as organizational and municipal leaders,” says Manon Germain, RVN Project Manager The RVN project report and recommendations that emerge from these activities will enhance the work of rural volunteer organizations, and represent the voices of rural citizens. -30- ABOUT THE RURAL VOICES NETWORK (RVN): The Rural Voices Network is driven by the mandate to give rural citizens a space to have their voices heard, and to collaborate with non-profit organizations and leaders in all levels of governance. Operated by the Federated Women’s Institutes of Ontario / Sponsored by the Ontario Trillium Foundation MEDIA CONTACT: Manon Germain, Project Manager Rural Voices Network (RVN) P: 519-836-3078 E: manong@ruralvoicesnetwork.ca 7382 Wellington Road 30 * RR 5, Guelph, ON, N1H 6J2 * Ph: (519) 836-3078 * Fax: (519) 836-9456 * www.fwio.on.ca Operated by Communicate * Collaborate * Community Sponsored by

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