Our Story

Created in 2009 as a partnership of Alberta’s 21 public post-secondary institutions, RDN began as the Alberta Rural Development Network (ARDN). We evolved and grew with the support of those institutions and the dedication of rural communities in Alberta, developing and delivering a wide range of projects, resources, and capacity building services.

The more we worked on supporting rural sustainability in Alberta from a variety of approaches, we saw that similar needs exist across rural Canada. For the past several years we have been engaging with rural communities and groups in other provinces as well, providing resources, offering services and capacity building, and connecting people through a national network and events. We have expanded the geographic area that we serve as well as the types of organizations we work with, and we see immense potential to continue driving change across rural Canada with the work we already do.

To better reflect our evolution and make our resources more accessible to all rural communities, we are excited to announce our refreshed name and visual identity. Alberta Rural Development Network is now known as the Rural Development Network.

Our focus will not be shifting away from our Albertan roots, but is rather expanding to allow changemakers across rural Canada to more easily interact with us and utilize our resources. We will continue to build upon and support the amazing work being done by other organizations across Canada, with the aim of filling in the gaps and not creating duplication.

Our rebranding has been a journey through which we’ve reflected on the values we embody and engaged with the people we work with to find the best path forward. To those that gave us their time to provide feedback during this process, we sincerely thank you; this rebrand couldn’t have happened without you.

As of now, we are operating as the Rural Development Network with this new logo. The full transition will take some time, and we plan to complete it by early 2021.

The Story Behind Our Logo

There is no cookie-cutter definition of “rural” that can adequately represent the diversity of rural Canadian communities from coast to coast to coast, and we wanted to capture that diversity in the logo for our rebranded organization. We also wanted to incorporate elements of our old visual identity and the colours in the logos for RDN, the Sustainable Housing Initiative, and the Agriculture and Food Council which merged with RDN in 2020.

What emerged from this was a blooming illustration that represents the endless potential for growth in rural communities, as well as the various initiatives we work on. Taking elements from a leaf’s natural structure, the concept started off with diamond shapes stemming from a single point. This concept was refined and complemented by colours within Canadian landscapes to represent the beauty and diversity of rural: bright canola fields, fresh greeneries, and blue skies.

We are extremely proud of Elnaz Aliasl, a previous member of our team, who led the development of our logo and translated our vision into an image that will define our organization for years to come.