The Thriving Regions Partnership Process is a new program designed to build sustainable relationships between researchers and regional partners.
The Harris Centre has dedicated funding for three community-based research projects ($15,000 each) supporting the regional priorities developed at each workshop. The workshops will identify the priorities for the Southwest Coast which will create a shared vision for the region and help shape Memorial University's regional research agenda.
SOUTHWEST COAST THRIVING REGIONS PROJECT
On Dec. 5, three Memorial University researchers travelled to Port auz Basques to share their proposals for projects in the southwest coast area: The themes explored through the proposals focused on agriculture, film/theatre/ television, entrepreneurship food security and sustainability:
Agrotourism and social enterprise: Developing a Southwest Coast Food Loop
Dr. Bonnie White from the Department of Historical Studies, School of Arts and Social Science at Grenfell Campus, presented on this multi-partner project that aims to create economic opportunity through an agro-tourism social enterprise on the Southwest Coast. The focus is on creating a new tourism destination that promotes local agriculture, fisheries and rural food heritage.
Storytelling through Shadow Puppetry on the Southwest Coast
Dr. Jamie Skidmore from the Department of English, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, discussed this collaborative project that aims to further develop tourism in the region. He wants to work with academic, professional and community partners to identify local stories and turn them into scripts; develop puppets, scenery and props; and coordinate plays in various communities throughout the region.
Dr. Paul De Decker from the Department of Linguistics, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, shared information on this interdisciplinary project that will introduce an agri-preneur farming model to the region. This will build knowledge, skills and abilities necessary for working in the agriculture industry and helping address local food security, while also documenting and sharing the process being developed.
Representatives from the southwest coast indicated in which projects they are interested in participating. Next steps will see the researchers and local residents work together to make the projects a reality.