Preliminary conference information and session times are subject to change. Check back regularly for updates.
Print version of the agenda will be available closer to the conference date.

Day One – Exploring Our Differences Together
Day Two – Engaging in Participatory Leadership
Day Three – Taking Collective Wisdom into Action


TimeActivityVirtual AccessDescription
10:30 AMRegistrationOpen for registration, meet & greet, coffee & snacks at the Blyth Memorial Community Hall.
11:15 AM – 12:30 PMWelcome Lunch & Opening/GreetingsYesWelcome to R2R24! Join us in the Lower Hall for a Welcome Lunch including greetings from the CCRC, dignitaries and special guests.
12:30 – 12:45 PMBREAKDelegates will move to the main theatre stage after lunch.
12:30 – 12:45 PMThe Rural Assembly: Introduction to the ConferenceYesOn the main theatre stage, Peter Smith and Casandra Bryant introduce the people, the places, the events, and the premise of R2R24.
1:15 – 2:15 PMKeynote Address: What does it mean to meet this moment in time?YesDr. S Ashleigh Weeden provides a bird’s eye view of some of the leading issues, challenges, and opportunities in rural to help set the stage and offer lines of inquiry over the next three days together.
2:15 – 2:30 AMBREAKCoffee, tea and snacks available.
2:30 – 3:50 PMWorkshop: What time is it in our rural communities?Delegates engage in conversations that matter using participatory leadership techniques. Facilitators trained in the Art of Hosting (an approach to leadership that scales up from the personal to the systemic using personal practice, dialogue, facilitation, and the co-creation of innovation to address complex challenges) will lead delegates in this exercise. Engage in exercises that welcome and connect diverse voices and perspectives, uncover insights and share collective discoveries that matter most in our rural communities.
3:50 – 4:00 PMBREAKCoffee, tea, and snacks are available.
4:00 – 5:15 PMThe AssemblyYesA unique and innovative theatrical presentation produced by Porte Parole Theatre on the Blyth stage. Delegates and the public are invited to experience an original documentary play about our Canadian rural life. We will be inspired to discuss and think critically together about current rural socio-economic issues.
5:15 – 7:45 PMContinue the Discussion on the Rural Assembly & ‘Junk Food Pairing’We continue the discussion in the Lower Hall while treated to delicious ‘Junk Food Pairings’ offered by local, family-run businesses (wineries, cideries, and breweries). Delegates enjoy the county’s finest libation with a unique food pairing to fuel our inspiration and dialogue. Other light dinner fare is offered.

Delegates are encouraged to write down, and post ideas and strategies for exploring our differences together and have the opportunity to make informal group presentations. This experience will inform a letter-writing exercise linked to The Assembly.
End of Day One


TimeActivityVirtual AccessDescription
7:30 – 9:00 AMBREAKFASTBreakfast in the Lower Hall at Blyth Memorial Community Hall.
9:00 – 9:15 AMWelcomeYesWelcome to Day Two, Participatory Leadership Practices
9:15 – 10:15 AMKeynote Address: AI, Data & DignityYesDr. Wendy Wong, Professor of Political Science and Principal’s Research Chair at UBC Okanagan unravels the sticky issues of AI and data regarding human rights, global governance, international relations, and especially, data rights through a rural lens.
10:15 – 10:30 AMBREAKMorning Break. Top up your coffee and have a chat!
10:30 AM – 12:00 PMWorkshop: Locating Yourself in your Rural CommunityDelegates attend a workshop of their choice (workshop details will be provided closer to the conference) based on the leading questions posed for rural Canada. The workshops showcase tools and methods to help identify assumptions, worldviews, approaches, and overall patterns we tend to work from and what to do once those patterns are identified.
12:00 – 1:00 PMLUNCHA culinary experience – more to come!
Mini-yoga (sitting or standing) available in the Art Gallery!
1:00 – 2:00 PMPresentation: The Role of Art & Creativity in Fostering DialogueYesJoin us in the Blyth Art Gallery as rural-based artists and storytellers present their art and creativity to share stories, express ideas, and find ways to connect and come together.
2:00 – 3:45 PMWorkshop: Stepping into Participatory PracticesDelegates attend a workshop of their choice (workshop details will be provided closer to the conference) to continue the rural conversation through participatory leadership processes. These workshops showcase ways to listen, engage, reflect, and connect.
Time to hydrate and take a step outside!
3:45 – 4:00 PMBREAKTime to hydrate and take a step outside!
4:00 – 5:00 PMStory Circle: Direction of TravelEllie Joseph, of the Mohawk Nation Turtle Clan and co-founder of The Two Row on Grand, Ailsa Clark from Inspiralba in the Scottish Highlands, and Dr. Wendy Wong come together to share stories about our current direction of travel and how leading from curiosity helps to explore our differences together.
5:00 – 5:40 PMDay 2 Reflection and Wrap-upDelegates reflect on the story threads heard in the Story Circle. Workshop reflections can also be shared at this time.
6:00 – 7:30 PMSUPPERFor those staying for supper, we will break bread with local delicious fare along with beer and wine from the region‘s finest local makers.
End of Day Two


TimeActivityVirtual AccessDescription
9:00 AM – 2:00 PMR2R MarketR2R Market featuring local and conference artists and businesses from 9 AM – 12 PM.
7:30 – 9:00 AMBREAKFASTBreakfast in the Lower Hall at Blyth Memorial Community Hall.
9:00 – 9:30 AMWelcomeYesWelcome to Day Three, Taking Collective Wisdom into Action.
9:30 – 11:30 AMPathways to Practice: Collaboration in Action on Leading Rural Issues and OpportunitiesAn eagerly anticipated session that brings together best practices and research. Economic developers from rural Ontario (EDCO), University of Guelph rural graduate researchers (from the School of Environmental Design and Rural Development), and rural health and wellness practitioners/researchers linked to Gateway Centre of Excellence in Rural Health present their work together and invite a discussion on various topics in our rural communities. Delegates in small groups visit up to 12 stations throughout the Blyth Memorial Hall. Coffee/tea and snacks are available in the Lower Hall during this time.
11:30 AM – 12:00 PMReflections on Pathways to PracticeYesBack in the theatre, delegates share insights and reflections on the Pathways to Practice sessions leading to how we can take collective wisdom into action.
12:00 – 1:00 PMLUNCHA culinary experience – more to come!
Mini-yoga (sitting or standing) is available in the Art Gallery!
1:00 – 2:30 PMWorkshop: Collective Wisdom into ActionThis final working session is a culmination of our three days together. Through participatory leadership practices, delegates work together to identify action items for their organizations and collaborate with others.
2:30 – 2:45 PMBREAKGrab your afternoon refreshment.
2:45 – 3:15 PMHighlights & LearningYesConference hosts & facilitators, through story, music, and visual imagery share the key learnings and highlights of the conference.
3:15 – 3:45 PMClosing RemarksYesPeter Smith and team share their gratitude for your attendance and participation!
3:45 PMEnd of ConferenceThank you and safe journey home!

Early Bird pricing is available until June 30, 2024.

Group (10 or more from one organization) and student rates are available.

Virtual tickets are available for those who cannot attend in person. Virtual delegates have access to keynote addresses, presenters, conference highlights and closing remarks.

Use the QR code or click here to purchase your tickets.

Questions? Contact Peter Smith peter@ruralcreativity.org for more information.