The School for Social Entrepreneurs is thrilled to announce that we have launched a new partnership with the Canadian Centre for Rural Creativity (CCRC). Based in Blyth, Ontario, the CCRC is challenging the stereotype that small towns don’t know innovation.
Set in the rolling hills of North Huron Township, the CCRC is surrounded by a fertile farmland that has long nourished communities both physically and spiritually.
Huron County has the third oldest population in Canada and has seen its share of economic and social evolution. With the rise of global trade and Canada’s shift into a service economy, the manufacturing sector in rural Ontario has shrunk, and along with it, employment opportunities. Between an aging population and the exodus of youth to urban areas, it has been a challenge to keep rural Ontario communities as vibrant and healthy as they have been historically.
From the inception of the CCRC we have sought partners from the local, national, and international community in order to bring 21st Century thinking to 21st Century rural challenges. SSE is a partnership that clicked from the very first meeting and we look forward to where it will take us all.
–Pete Smith, Project Director, Canadian Centre for Rural Creativity
The CCRC was established to re-invigorate rural Ontario by convening innovative creators from near and far. A multi-disciplinary arts, education, and innovation hub, the CCRC offers a space where the local community can design innovative cultural projects and programming.
Building on the 40+ year history of the Blyth Festival, which produces professional theatre that has toured the world, the CCRC aims to make Blyth a year-round destination to attract, retain, and assist in reimagining what rural communities can be in the 21st century.
The CCRC is working to identify issues common to rural communities and to bring artists, entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, and students from across the County, province, and Canada to co-create innovative solutions to the many challenges being faced in rural.
The new partnership between the CCRC and SSE will accelerate the realization of this agenda through the three-month, intensive Pathways to Impact (P2I) program. P2I is designed for residents of rural Ontario who wish to create positive social change.
SSE Ontario has had the privilege of serving students in more remote and rural parts of the province. For instance, a number of Hook it Up participants hailed from rural Ontario, and Lynda Watson SEF ’15 founded HorseTouch, which offers Equine Experiential Learning sessions where humans experience horses as teachers and healers. We are thrilled to deepen the School’s relationship with innovators who reside in the non-urban areas of the province.
Photo above of woman and horse, courtesy of Lynda Watson SEF ’15, founder of HorseTouch