The Building Community Resilience Conference invited explorations of how various ‘dark horses’ in the broad North Atlantic and Canadian context – including minorities, small towns, peripheries, aboriginal communities, those with little money, status, voice or political leverage – can rise to the occasion and chart liveable futures.

Building Community Resilience Conference served as a platform for the critical and inter-disciplinary discussion of experiences where those living ‘on the edge’, however defined, show unexpected ingenuity and mettle; and respond cleverly to dire economic straits or public policy negligence. Including:

Politically, by developing suitable governance practices; flexing jurisdictional powers; and engaging in multi-level political and (para)-diplomatic relations;

Economically, by facilitating small-scale entrepreneurship; promoting investment; creating skill-rich jobs; encouraging inward and circular migration; and developing new forms of human-scaled, place-based, no-growth economies, sensitive to environmental needs;

Culturally, by nourishing strong communities that celebrate traditions and encourage artistic expression; sustaining suitable environmental practices; and welcoming newcomers in their rooted yet routed ways of life.

The Building Community Resilience Conference brought together community leaders, voluntary organizations, governments, businesses, and researchers to highlight the “dark horses” – people, organizations, and communities who are doing innovative things based on good governance, economic development, environmental considerations, and culture. These activities are critical to creating and sustaining healthy and resilient communities.

The conference was held in Summerside, Prince Edward Island from September 16-19, 2015. 


  • Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation
  • Institute of Island Studies, University of Prince Edward Island
  • North Atlantic Forum
  • Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
  • Canadian Heritage
  • Government of Prince Edward Island
  • City of Summerside
  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada