PhD Thesis Defence: Danielle Robinson

Date and Time


Via Videoconference


Danielle Robinson, a Doctoral Student in Rural Studies in the School of Environmental Design and Rural Development, will defend her PhD thesis on "Cultural Sustainability and Rural Food Tourism in Two Canadian Wine Regions."

Thesis Abstract:
This interdisciplinary research analyses the relationships between cultural sustainability and food tourism by asking how rural tourism stakeholders understand these concepts, mobilize the interrelationships, and to what purpose. Researchers concerned with the complex, interrelated, and multi-scalar relationships between culture and rural tourism development have explored both positive and negative dimensions in diverse contexts; however, more systematic attention to the concept of cultural sustainability is needed to design supportive rural tourism policies and processes. Wine and food tourism is one of the fastest growing rural tourism niches and intersects with critical cultural sustainability issues such as local food systems, food sovereignty, and agricultural land use, therefore, it is particularly important to explore cultural sustainability in food and wine tourism environments. Comparative case studies in two Canadian wine regions, British Columbia's South Okanagan Valley and Nova Scotia's Annapolis Valley, are used to gain a better understanding of the relationships between local food cultures, rural tourism development, and sustainability in different provincial settings with a particular emphasis on the role of related public policy, planning and governanceAs this research aims to understand rural food tourism’s potential contribution to cultural sustainability, an appreciative approach was used. Secondary research, semi-structured interviews, and tourism strategic plans provide insights into how culturally sustainable food and wine tourism is conceptualized, recognized, developed, supported, and promoted in each case. Findings are discussed in relation to Soini and Dessein’s (2016) framework for culture infor, and as sustainability. Three central recommendations are proposed: explicitly engaging with the idea and implications of local, using the transformative potential of appreciative inquiry, and future research that takes comparative, appreciative and reflective approaches.

Examination Committee:                                        
Dr. Wayne Caldwell, SEDRD, Advisor
Dr.  Al Lauzon, SEDRD, Committee Member
Dr. Doug Ramsey, Brandon University, External Examiner
Dr. Ryan Gibson, SEDRD, Internal Examiner
Dr. Karen Landman, SEDRD, Examination Chair

Advisory Committee:
Dr. Wayne Caldwell, SEDRD, Advisor
Dr.  Al Lauzon, SEDRD, Committee Member
Dr. Sheri Longboat, SEDRD, Committee Member

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