“Folk university is built upon the very same idea that is at the heart of RIEP: neighbourliness matters. Rural Islanders know and live this: we know we need each other to thrive as distinct communities and to survive as individuals within these places.
Rural Islands are unique in this time: places where neighbours rely upon each other, know how to create community with those they don’t always agree with, and work every day to create creative solutions to connect and support each other. RIEP creates the foundation of neighbourliness between islands so that islanders can support, inspire, and learn from each other. I’m inspired by and deeply believe in the power of my rural island neighbours that I am getting to know because of RIEP. I love RIEP!” —— Manda Aufochs Gillespie: founder, producer & chair-mover of Folk University & Folk U Radio
Cortes Island is found in the Discovery Islands archipelago two ferries from Campbell River on Vancouver Island or a boat trip from Powell River on the Sunshine Coast. Cortes Island is 25 km long and features wildlife little seen elsewhere, fresh water lakes, and population of about 1,000 permanent residents.
Folk University is a “peoples’s university” built upon the belief that our ideas, knowledge, and skills can be used for people to share what they know and build community in the process. Folk University promotes neighbourliness: building community through the healthy expression of our different abilities, skills, and ideas. The concept of Folk University comes from the folkuniversitetet created in Germany, Sweden, Norway and Denmark, where adults share their knowledge and skills with each other without the bureaucracy, expense, or barriers associated with more formalized educational institutions. The result: more capable citizens and healthier communities.
Folk University includes 101-style Talks, in-depth Workshops, & now Folk U Radio. Since Folk University appeared in the Salish Sea in 2018 it has provided hundreds of learning hours where neighbours have shared everything from Canadian history and political science courses, to classes on how to change a tire or tell a better joke, and everything in-between.
Folk U Radio brings all the best of Folk University to the airwaves through live radio, reporter round-tables, and podcast series such as Folk U 101 and, soon, the Rurality Check series: looking at the big issues of the day from a small community perspective.
What do you know? Share it! Start a Folk University series in your community or tune in to a Folk U Radio class. Learn more and listen in at https://folku.ca/