Contact North is a distance education network created to improve access for secondary and post-secondary students in northern Ontario, Canada. Initiated by the Government of Ontario, Contact North is managed collaboratively by four post-secondary institutions. The project represents a major collaborative success, largely because of the unusual partnership between government and traditional post-secondary institutions it models and the commitment of these partners to its success. Various evaluations to date conclude that collaboration-both the capacity for it, and its practice-has been a significant, if not the most significant, variable contributing to this success.