Keeping It Rural Conference

Keeping It Rural

June 10 - 12, 2025, Four Points by Sheraton, Kelowna Airport

Rural Projects and Success Stories 

Innovative Enterprises in Rural Communities

Hot Topics Impacting Rural Communities

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St. Eugene Golf Resort Casino

About the event

Across North America and Western Europe, rural communities share many of the same issues and challenges.  It can be both helpful and inspiring to hear how small rural communities, First Nations, and rural development organizations from outside and throughout BC have successfully strengthened their rural communities.

As a result, the BC Rural Centre will strive to organize and host a major rural development conference that profiles successful and innovative rural development initiatives.


Keynote Speaker & Workshop

Doug Griffiths

President & CEO, 13 Ways Inc.
Bestselling Author, 13 Ways to Kill Your Community | Community Enthusiast, Building and Consulting

Doug Griffiths is a wildly popular community strategist and author of two best-selling editions of “13 Ways to Kill Your Community”. He has supported, guided, and inspired hundreds of communities to create effective change. Whether through speaking and presentations or through advising and consulting, he is dedicated to helping communities across North America find their own pathway to success.

He grew up on a ranch outside a small town where he learned the value of hard work, critical thinking skills, and the value of community. That background led him into politics, but he insists he has since been through rehab and is fully recovered. His experience in politics gave him a deep understanding of how to move people and get things done. He deliberately retired from politics in January 2015, after serving for 13 years, to return to his passion for community building.

Griffiths has an Executive MBA and Honors B. A Philosophy Degree, as well as his Bachelor of Education, all from the University of Alberta where he has taught community and municipal leadership courses for elected officials and administration.

2024 Speakers & Panelists

We are super excited to have these humans share their wealth of knowledge, passions, and time with us at this year's conference.

2024 Speakers
Economic Trusts 2024
Rural Innovation Panel 2024
Rural Agriculture Panel 2024
Rural Workforce & Housing Panel 2024
rural health panelists
City of Merritt Flooding 2022
Walking with dogs on the Leiner River Estuary Trail boardwalk, Tahsis.

The schedule

The three-day event is packed full of inspiration and ample networking opportunities. The schedule will be released here and will also be sent out to our mailing list and those who have registered for the conference.

We can confirm that the conference will start on Tuesday, June 10th at 12noon and wrap up on Thursday, June 12th at 12noon.

The venue

How we select a location:
We choose a location that will allow people to easily access it from around the province and outside our province as well. This location may not always be rural, as we know capacity challenges in rural communities are real and we do not want to burden a small community with our presence. We select a central location with amenities to create a lasting impression and an excellent conference. If your community would like to host our conference please reach out and let us know.

Reserve Your Room


Start Date: Tuesday, June 10th, 2025
End Date: Thursday, June 12th, 2025
Room Block Discount Booking Deadline: coming soon

KIR website


What people say about it

The Keeping It Rural Conference was inspiring and informative. It is a refreshing group of rural, remote, and First Nation people from around the globe sharing and collaborating on rural matters.

Northern BC

If you live in a rural community and care about sustaining the quality of life you have come to know and cherish - then you can't miss this event! The connections made and topics covered are of huge value to any rural decision-maker and resident.

West Kootenay

Being at the BC Rural Centre "Keeping it Rural" event in 2019 was an honour. The event was empowering, bringing together so many diverse people who were all sharing on rural development topics that are important and challenging. I will be back...

North Island

The BC Rural Centre hosted an incredible event. The value of attending is still being used today, as we navigate through an ever-changing world. I look forward to being able to see the innovative ideas brought forth at the next event.

South Okanagan



Consider signing on as a Sponsor of the Keeping it Rural Conference. The BC Rural Centre's commitment lies in fostering sustainable development, empowering local businesses, and preserving the unique lifestyle that thrives in rural areas. Your supporting this conference, will amplify voices from these communities, ensuring they have a platform to address challenges, share successes, and inspire innovative solutions. Through collaboration, knowledge-sharing, and actionable initiatives, we strive to cultivate a brighter future where rural communities flourish and thrive. Together, we embrace the spirit of rural resilience and champion the importance of Keeping it Rural.

Thank you to our 2024 Sponsors!

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Rural Coordination Centre of BC (RccBC)
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Don't miss out on our next conference

You don't want to miss this! It's been a few years since we've been able to gather and we are excited to see you all.
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Our Past Partnerships and Sponsors

BC Community Forest Assoc
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Nisga'a Lisims Government
Northern Dev Trust
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