Dr. Ann Dale's CRC celebrated

Jean Macgregor
Dr. Ann Dale, Patricia Ballamingie photo

The Royal Roads community celebrated the culmination of Dr. Ann Dale’s tenure as Canada Research Chair in Sustainable Community Development Feb. 27.

As Royal Roads’ first Canada Research Chair, Dr. Dale has received national and international recognition and contributed greatly to the university's research agenda.

Dr. matt heinz, dean of the Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences, offered these remarks at the celebration:

What makes a community survive an economic downturn whilst others collapse? What gives one individual the ability to transcend a personal crisis whilst another becomes trapped by addiction?

These are just two of the many sustainable community development questions Ann Dale has tackled in her recent work. In particular, she has identified ‘agency’ as a necessary pre-condition for mobilization of social capital and network formation.

In a 2013 article in the Community Development Journal, she defines capacity for creative action as a function of one’s ability to:

  • Obtain novel information from one’s social networks
  • Not be bound by pressure to conform
  • Take risks
  • Sustain trust in innovative behavior

If these traits sound familiar, then it should not be surprising that Ann Dale herself has emerged as a national leader and change catalyst in sustainable community development. Her intellectual work is marked by creativity, innovation, and rigour and published widely; she is highly sought after as a supervisor for graduate student work; she lives community engagement; and her ground-breaking work in virtual deliberative dialogue has caught the attention of practitioners and scholars across the nation.

So much so, in fact, that we have to share her with Carleton University where she is Executive in Residence at 1125@Carleton experimental, collaborative, virtual and physical space for problem solving.

In her book, At the Edge: Sustainable Development in the 21st Century, Ann wrote that she believes that ‘process and product are not separate from one another but, rather, that each is informed and influenced by the other.’ Her work, not just in its ideas but also in the very presentation of her ideas, illustrates the power of such an understanding and has allowed her to question, critique, analyze, and extend theories and applications of sustainable community development.

On a national level, her accomplishments have been recognized by a Trudeau Fellowship and the 2013 Canada Council of the Arts Molson Prize for the Social Sciences. Here at home, we appreciate not only her standing in the field and her contributions to the academy, but also her belief in our educational model, the kinds of research we engage in, and her participation in our university community.

We could not have asked for a more successful first Canada Research Chair.

Take a look at the work of CRC Research in the video below:  


Patricia Ballamingie photo