Rural Spark

Rural Spark

Latest Episodes

People are coming, but will they stay?
December 04, 2021

Rural communities are benefitting from a new wave of urban-to-rural migration during the pandemic. Especially in coastal communities of Atlantic Canada and B.C., new families are providing a much needed boost to school populations and local economies. But

The rural-urban divide in Canadian elections: cause for concern?
October 19, 2021

The recent federal election result builds on a trend in the rural-urban vote split in Canada. At what point is that cause for concern? Should our electoral system and political parties take any steps to address potential negative impacts of the divide? We

Rural medical students to urban counterparts: try rural practice
October 04, 2021

A group of medical students from Ontario medical schools are reaching out to those in urban schools to extoll the benefits of small town practice. Their efforts could be one part of the puzzle in solving Canada's rural doctor shortage. Current reside

The secrets of seaweed: New festival celebrates the art, food, science and economic potential of marine plants
September 02, 2021

Scotland is about to host its first seaweed festival -- an artistic, culinary and environmental event on Isle Martin. Festival curator and environmental photographer Julia Barton shares the story and rolls out the welcome mat. 

Piloting innovative ideas for rural communities
April 26, 2021

Test driving new, innovative ideas for rural communities makes sense. It's a low-risk, low-cost way of seeing what might work, what doesn't and what could be a success with a little adaption. That's the kind of work Mary Doyle does in her e

Youth Hackathon tackles pressing rural problems
April 14, 2021

Young people from countries bordering the North Atlantic recently spent a weekend working in teams to tackle some of the urgent challenges facing our rural communities. We talked with Paula Haapanen with the Canadian partner organization -- the Cooperatio

Recruiting rural doctors? Don't forget those studying abroad
January 16, 2021

While studying medicine in Ireland, Canadian Sarah Kaip is building a network of future doctors there, encouraging them to consider rural medicine back home in Canada. There's no shortage of Canadians studying medicine abroad, and they're someti

Gurdeep Pandher on joy-making during COVID-19
January 01, 2021

Who could have predicted that videos of Bhangra dancing from the wilds of the Yukon would help so many of us get through COVID-19? Gurdeep Pandher had to step back and try to make sense of it all himself, as he tells us in this episode. Hear his...

From dairy byproduct to vodka: the Dairy Distillery story
December 07, 2020

Got milk? In the small town of Almonte in Eastern Ontario, the Dairy Distillery is using a byproduct of the dairy industry to make vodka -- to rave reviews. It's a terrific example of rural business innovation that turns waste into valuable products.

Mental health on the family farm
November 22, 2020

The risk of mental illness among farmers is much higher than in the general population, with often devastating results for individuals, families and communities. DoMoreAg is a non-profit working to raise awareness, break down the stigma and build...