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Posts Tagged ‘community’


What’s In A Name…

Posted by: in North West, Uncategorized

Every community throughout rural Alberta has something to brag or boast about. This week I am highlighting such a community; let me introduce you to the Town of Beaverlodge….

Beaverlodge is a little town with a lot to offer. In the summer you can find people swimming at the Beaverlodge pool or Redwillow River, playing baseball, golfing, camping, quadding at the base (Saskatoon Mountain) and other local trails, fishing at Spring Lake, paintballing, dirt biking at the motocross track, and skateboarding. In the winter month’s people enjoy skiing and ice fishing at spring lake resort, skating at the indoor and outdoor arena, curling, sledding on local trails and into the mountains, and hunting (

Large landmarks are starting to appear all over Canada, nowhere truer than in Alberta. Beaverlodge celebrated its 75th Anniversary of incorporation on July 21, 2004, and part of our celebration included the unveiling of a Giant Beaver Sculpture on our highway corridor. Our Beaver is a remarkable roadside attraction surrounded by interpretive signage (history,
habitat, behavior of the animal, along with Town information.) The sculpture is 15 feet high, 28 feet long and weighs 3000 pounds. A must to see in Northwestern Alberta on your way up the Alaska Highway. Also featured in:

The library offers a bookclub, storytime for children 2-5 years of age, an after school program for ages 9-12, a summer reading program, Partners in Reading, and a meeting room for rent. Whether you are relaxing or researching you can browse through books or surf the net on one of the 3 internet stations, or bring your own laptop to take advantage of the library’s wireless connection. Also you can learn a second language through the library or attend NAIT & GPRC through Distance Learning. For more information call Shelly at 780-354-2569. To Learn more about the library, visit us at

There is so much more to learn about Beaverlodge that I can not highlight everything; so check out the list of attractions, events and activities with a click of a mouse or if you are in the neighborhood

Does your community have a roadside attraction, or a historical significance in the north-west region? Let me know; and you and your community will be highlighted in one of our weekly blogs.

Yvonne Rempel | 780.827-1464 |

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Check out the People Who Make it all Possible

Posted by: in Global News, Uncategorized

Watch the KnowledgeConnector Project Manager and Volunteer Alberta’s Communication Director go over the finer points of KnowledgeConnector and how it is transforming Alberta’s nonprofit/voluntary sector. Stay tuned for other videos of your local Regional Capacity Coordinators coming soon.

Knowledge Connector – Launch from Volunteer Alberta on Vimeo.

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Creating Awareness for Your Organization

Posted by: in Central East

What a beautiful hot and sunny week! I was lucky to be on the road in Central East Alberta again in such beautiful weather. I did not have the opportunity to visit as many communities as I sometimes do but I did connect with a lot more nonprofit/voluntary sector organizations. This was thanks to the organizers of an event called “2011 Fall Parade of Programs” in Wetaskiwin.

This wonderful event was organized by the Wetaskiwin Community Learning Council and this year had over 50 groups as exhibitors and hundreds of people walk through the doors.  I was lucky to be invited to showcase KnowledgeConnector and had a great booth located right by the front entrance.  The Fall Parade of Programs is put on every year and free space is offered by the Drill Hall on their local Recreation Grounds. It is a beautiful community effort that costs the organizers next to nothing thanks to the free space and the exhibitors doing their own setup and take down.

Besides for creating awareness for all of the great things that community groups are doing, this event also is great for networking amongst the community groups. If you ask me this was an interagency meeting and trade show rolled into one.  It was a fantastic opportunity for me as I was able to connect and promote the upcoming launch and A.S.K. Leadership Assessment for phase two of at the Wetaskiwin Public Library on September 21 from 11-1! I know it was great networking for everyone else as well.

If you would like to create greater awareness for you organization through an event like the Fall Parade of Programs or would like to know more about this one call 780-361-6241 or email

If you would like to attend the launch and/or workshop coming up in Wetaskiwin or a launch event near you give me a shout and I will send all
of the details!

Victoria Poschadel | p: 780.945.6134 |

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Why I Choose to Live in Rural Alberta

Posted by: in North West

When we started with KnowlegdeConnector we were asked to describe our region.

Northern Alberta is famous for the bright dancing lights of the ‘Aurora borealis’ and its five major industries: forestry, agriculture, oil & gas and tourism. The North West Region specifically can boast to be one of Alberta’s best recreational playgrounds. We have a wide range of activities and events all year that are unique and special to each of their host communities; from skiing and hiking in the Rockies, to farmers markets throughout the peace region, various rodeos, bluegrass jamborees, summer music festivals, quadding and snowmobiling, fabulous fishing and hunting, and the Northface Great Canadian Death Race.

You can step out your backdoor and experience Alberta at its best. Life in a rural community has many benefits:

  • Open Spaces
  • Peaceful Surroundings
  • Safety Concerns – living in rural Alberta does have less reported crime.
  • Clean Air
  • Taking in the view of the sun as it sets
  • Feeling of community and belonging, knowing your neighbour.
    Recreational Opportunities, enjoying the great outdoors right in your own backyard
  • Healthier Lifestyle

Home base for me is Grande Cache Alberta, “jewel of the north” in the Rocky Mountains. I never get tired of the view. I am proud to call this rural Alberta community home for the last 15 years. Check us out at

Come for a visit. Also check out Travel Alberta, for things to do

If you have an interesting story about where you live in NW rural Alberta or want to brag about a special event, please share by emailing me at and I will post it for you.

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Making Work for You

Posted by: in Central East

With the exciting new launch of the second phase of coming on the week of September 19th we want to make sure you get the most out of what we have to offer.

Last week I had the opportunity to visit the Town of Provost. After getting to know some of the nonprofit/voluntary sector leaders in the community, I discovered that although everyone seems to have some type of access to internet these days not all users necessarily have the opportunity to reap all benefits.

For example, in some areas, there are people who simply do not have access to high speed internet. If you have dial up it you can access the internet but it will take you a lot longer to find out whatever it was you were looking for.

Well do not let that hold you back!

Most local libraries provide speed internet free access to residents who have a membership. If you do not have a membership to your local library get one today! The Provost Adult Learning Centre also provides free computer and internet access as do many other Adult Learning Centres. There are also new internet providers who offer high speed internet to the most rural communities who have never had access before. One particular provider is Platinum Communications. You can check out their services at

If you do have high speed internet you are likely to agree that there is such an overwhelming abundance of information that it can sometimes be a bit intimidating. This is, in large part, why has been developed. In order to help create some of the strongest nonprofit/voluntary sector leaders in Alberta, we realized that we needed to make it easier for leaders to be able to access timely, relevant professional development opportunities that meet your learning needs. So, whether you are working at home or utilizing some your community’s internet resources, we hope you can help us make help you become the leader you were always meant to be.

How? It’s simple. If you are a learning provider register on and post your awesome learning opportunities as they become available. Secondly, ensure you complete the online A.S.K. Leadership Assessment either through a workshop or online after September 19, 2011. And lastly, visit often! The ‘Global News’ and ‘Your Region’ sections are continuously being updated so check them often!

If you need more information on how to register as a learning provider or how to use more effectively give me a call.

Victoria Poschadel | 780.945.6134 |

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Grow A Community Garden…

Posted by: in North West

This is the season when things grow and flourish. So how do you make a community garden grow? You start with good soil, then till the rows, plant a variety of seeds, water and watch it grow. A good gardener will nurture the garden along by maintaining a schedule of watering, fertilizing and weeding, hoping for the right combination of rain and sunshine for the seeds to take root and grow.

Where am I going with this you ask….follow along.

Not only is it a season of growth but the opportunity for many communities to host outdoor festivals, jamborees, rodeos, farmers markets, baseball tournaments and concerts. Yup. And most of them are run by a group of community volunteers (successfully I might add). I also realized that it isn’t just my community (Grande Cache) where the same ten people (STP’s I like to call them) volunteer for everything, it’s throughout the north-west. For the past two months I have visited a variety of rural communities throughout North West Alberta and there is one reoccurring theme: how do we recruit and retain volunteers?

This got me to thinking: what is it that KnowledgeConnector is trying to achieve?

To put things in simpler terms, I am comparing KnowlegeConnector to a community gardener.

We know that people (the soil) are the most important valuable resource to our community organizations (our garden).  Community sustainability and growth relies on knowledgable volunteers and building leadership skills, creating that passion for learning.

Every good gardener will use a fertilizer to enhance growth. This is where Knowledgeconnector fits in, our role is to help rural Alberta nonprofits/volunteer organizations grow and flourish by linking volunteers to learning opportunities (fertilizer). By empowering  volunteers with knowledge and skills (nurturing the garden) leads to a better organization and a stronger community. So what knowledge is the right knowledge? Where do you start?

Getting started is easy, as the NW Regional Capacity Coordinator is my role to work with rural nonprofits and volunteer organizations (FREE of charge might I add)  to determine your individual or organizational learning priorities and to link them to learning resources in your community or region.

Goes back to the question… so how do we recruit and retain volunteers? Plant the seed – provide your volunteers with accessible, affordable learning opportunities in line with their specific interests and needs and watch your community garden grow!!

If you are interested in participating in a workshop or need further information, contact me your NW Regional Capacity Coordinator



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A.C.E. Partnership

Posted by: in North West

I want to bring to your attention to an “engaging” organization and the innovative community engagment projects.   ACE Communities (Active Creative Engaged Communities: ) is about working to enhance the quality of life in rural Alberta by strengthening community leadership, collaboration, and innovation through recreation, parks, arts, culture and heritage.  The program initiatives are designed to get more people, more active, more often.   KnowledgeConnector is pleased to support ACE Communities as we both stive to enahnce the quality of life in rural Alberta through strengthening community leadership.

Just to highlight a few of ACE Communities projects and initiatives:

– Four Rural Alberta  ‘Diversity Friendly Communities’ have been chosen to participate in a two year Cultural Diversity Project; Carstairs, Jasper, Grande Cache and Rocky Mountain House. Alberta Government’s Human Rights Education and Multiculturalism (HREM) Fund are funding this project. I am thrilled to see that two of these communities chosen are from the North West Region (Jasper &  Grande Cache – which just happens to be my home town Yeh!). Stay tuned for more updates from us on as we work through this  initiative.

Virtual Learning Center.  Check out this link for a listing of upcoming webinar and learning opportunities.

– Webinares, training links, community highlihts, resource links plus more can be found on thier website:

We are pleased to support the efforts of ACE Communities and the work they are doing in enhancing community leadership skills and knowledge through their various project and learning opportunities. Stay tuned to my blog and the website for future updates and learning opportunity links:   These couple of points were meant to “tease” you and creat a passion  and direct your attention to ACE Communities website. So go ahead check it out for yourself  You may want to also consider signing up for thier newsletter.


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Celebrating vibrant and festive places in NW Rural Alberta

Posted by: in North West

Did you know that organizations in Alberta report volunteer compliment of 2.5 million people who collectively contribute about 449 million hours of volunteer  time which is equivalent of approximately 234,000 full-time jobs? Also, Alberta Nonprofit/volunteer organizations generate approximately $10 billion in revenues with arts and cultural organizations generating approximatly nine percent of that revenue (stats reported by One of the five pillars of community sustainability is Cultural Diversity. One aspect of Cultural diveristy is festivals and events which promote and ensure sustainability and strengthening communities along with building community capacity and at the same time drawing in other communities and individuals to foster community growth; even if it is for one day or one weekend.

The community groups or organizations planning these events and activities may not necessarily be thinking in these terms but rather in a broad sense of providing entertainment or simply stated as “something to do” which in turn becomes a fundraising activity. Research found that a majority of these community groups or organizations are volunteer driven.

The Demmitt Cultural Society “sustainable and cultural on the borderline” is just one example of a dedicated community volunteer organization in NW Rural Alberta.

This community organization was established on the principles of dancing, live music and having a lot of fun. Still holding these principles dear, they have embarked on merging community roots with their concern for sustainability. To mark this transition they focused on replacing an aging 1980 community hall with one that combined sustainability, architectural beauty and a very good dance floor. Their volunteer 13 person Board of Directors meets once a month, includes people from all walks of life.

This is directly taken from their website ( “On the surface, Demmitt is like any other rural Alberta community: a super mailbox, cattle and an old community hall. Take a closer look and you will also discover a kernel of the future has germinated. If you drive south off Highway 43 on Rural Route 132 you will come across a perfectly crafted forty-foot timber frame covered bridge. This bridge promises to lead to a sustainable future for the rural Peace region communities like Demmitt; it promises to lead to a brand new 6200 square foot sustainable community centre”.

Wouldn’t it be interesting to see how many volunteer hours are recorded leading up to and including the day of this event? Please go online and check out their “Borderline Cultural Activities”.

KnowledgeConnector continues to highlight rural community organizations dedicated to promoting and enhancing community sustainability and believes that growth relies on building leadership, and knowledgeable volunteers creating a passion for learning throughout Rural Alberta.

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Enhancing Volunteerism by Creating Awarenss of Local Learning Opportunities

Posted by: in Central East, Global News

Only four months into the job, Natasha Albanese, Volunteer Development Coordinator for the City of Leduc, already has a good handle on the volunteer culture in Leduc. She has had the opportunity to get a great feel for the sense of volunteerism and community connectedness. She also realizes though, that the community is complex, fluid and dynamic. As a result she knows that although she has done a great deal of learning there will always be more learning to come!

Providing support for the variety of volunteer organizations within any community can be quite the challenge.  Take Leduc for example, they have 68 charitable organizations alone! So how can a one person department support all of these organizations?

One of the largest difficulties is communicating all of the great programs that exist to all leaders. We have all heard of the marketing statistic that an individual needs to view an ad 7 times before they become familiar with it.

Unfortunately, many volunteer departments don’t have a marketing department.

Fortunately, Volunteer Alberta developed a one-stop shop where learners and learning providers can be matched!

This is your chance to benefit Volunteer Departments in Central East Alberta by sharing learning opportunities in your area on This is a chance to connect you and all other leaders in Alberta with quality learning opportunities to create a strong sustainable province.

For more information about volunteer programming in Leduc, contact Natasha Albanese, Volunteer Development Coordinator at 780.980.7177. For more information on how you can utilize KnowledgeConnector contact me, your Regional Capacity Coordinator at 780.945.6134.

I look forward to chatting with you!

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The Face of Leadership in Rural Alberta

Posted by: in Global News, North West

Did you know there are over 19,000 nonprofit organizations in Alberta… and that 54% of those 19,000 have no paid staff? Organizations in Alberta report a volunteer complement of 2.5 million people, who collectively contribute about 449 million hours of volunteer time, the equivalent of approximately 234,000 full-time jobs.

That’s a lot of full-time jobs!

Here is the key for these organizations: Volunteer Alberta is launching an exciting new initiative called the KnowledgeConnector which is an online hub that will connect leaders in the nonprofit and voluntary sector with learning and training opportunities throughout Rural Alberta. It is all about creating a passion for learning!

Leaders come in various forms. Leadership is about attitude, skills and knowledge. Our community sustainability and growth relies on building strong those leaders.

The KnowledgeConnector will be used as an effective tool for enhancing the capacity of nonprofit/voluntary organizations, and in turn, promoting the growth, prosperity and quality of life in rural Alberta through learning opportunities.

Follow me along on the Journey as each week the NW Regional Blog will highlight a community volunteer/nonprofit organization. Also this blog will be providing followers with updates or links to various learning opportunities.

Now this is where I need your help. If you have pictures or stories relating to “the face of leadership in Rural Alberta” and you would like to share please submit them to

Keeping Rural Alberta Connected….

Yvonne Rempel, NW Regional Capacity Coordinator

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Rural Alberta Development Fund Volunteer Alberta
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