The Alberta Rural Education Symposium was initiated by the Minister of Education in 2012. Alberta Education organized and planned the entire one-day symposium. Since 2013, the Alberta Rural Education Symposium Planning Committee has been an example of effective collaboration between education stakeholder groups. The committee is made up of representatives from the Alberta Teachers’ Association, the Alberta School Boards Association, the Alberta School Councils Association, the Alberta School Business Officials Association, the College of Alberta School Superintendents and Alberta Education.
The Minister of Education has always had a presence at the Alberta Rural Education Symposium. Many rural MLAs have joined the Education Minister in previous years. The audience for the symposium includes parents, teachers, school administrators, trustees, municipal leaders, health care professionals, county counsellors, business leaders and individuals from a rural context who take an interest in rural education and sustainability of rural communities. Portions of the symposium are webcast so participants who cannot attend in-person can still participate in the symposium. The symposium has attracted a provincial, national and international audience. Alberta Education has taken the opportunity to highlight ministry initiatives. The symposium is an excellent venue for the elected representatives and government officials to connect with rural leaders from across the province.