Group gathering community’s vital signs

The Community Foundation of the South Okanagan will be producing a Vital Signs Report for the community.

The Community Foundation of the South Okanagan will be producing a Vital Signs Report for the community.

Vital Signs is an official Community Foundations of Canada program published in 15 to 25 communities across Canada each year.  The Vital Signs report is a periodic check-up that measures the quality of life in Canadian communities, identifies trends and shares opportunities for action.

“We are very excited to be able to give this valuable resource back to our community,” said Kim Lyster, chair of the Vital Signs Committee for the Community Foundation.  “This report will be very accessible and will combine statistical analysis and in-depth community consultations.  The final report will highlight things we’re doing very well as well as areas that need our attention.  It will be a great resource for the entire community.”

As part of a national initiative, Penticton’s Vital Signs must cover at least five of 10 key issue areas: arts and culture; belonging and leadership; environment; gap between rich and poor; getting started in our community; health and wellness; housing; learning; safety; and work

The Vital Signs Committee will be comprised of three Community Foundation board members, the executive director of the Community Foundation and several members of the community with specific areas of knowledge and expertise.

“Our first step,” says Aaron McRann, executive director of the Community Foundation of the South Okanagan, “is to finalize the composition of our committee.  Once that is done we’ll dig in and get to work.  The great thing about this report is that we’ll be working closely with the Central and North Okanagan Foundations.  This will allow us to provide a valley-wide perspective in addition to the detailed analysis of Penticton’s situation.”

The Community Foundation of the South Okanagan has hired the Social Planning and Research Council of B.C. to gather and analyze the data used to measure the chosen issue areas. The report will also include a summary of community perceptions surrounding these issue areas.

“The final report provides a unique perspective on our community,” said Lyster, “by contrasting statistical data with perceptions of citizens.  The result is a comprehensive report that is interesting, understandable, engaging and actionable.”

The report will be published as part of a national launch event on Oct. 4.