In 2017, the Salt Spring Island Foundation is planning a major project to coincide with Canada’s 150th anniversary: our first Vital Signs report. Vital Signs is a national initiative undertaken by community foundations across Canada with over 75 foundations participating in 2016. It gathers and publishes data on significant social and economic trends in areas critical to quality of life. While it is a national program, every report is local—a snapshot of each community.
Thanks to the many islanders who attended our Vital Signs Open House and to everyone who completed our survey. Your comments, as well as the survey results, will be extremely important in determining the issue areas to be included in Salt Spring’s Vital Signs report, which will be launched on October 3, 2017.
Vital Signs Salt Spring will explore issues and themes that matter to islanders. We will collect data from government and local sources in order to explore how our community rates in important areas, such as:
- Community Belonging
- Health and wellness
- Arts and Culture
- Environment and Water
- Food and Agriculture
Through a combination of data review and comparative analysis, Vital Signs examines community strengths and challenges and promotes civic engagement. Each Vital Signs report presents the data in context and in a readable form. The reports are launched nationwide in early October.
Vital Signs has proven an extremely helpful tool for community foundations, the organizations with whom they work and the wider communities they serve. The benefits include:
- Compiling and sharing local information and knowledge to help islanders understand what is happening in their community
- Presenting a broad range of local data in a form that is easy to read and understand
- Providing an opportunity to listen to the concerns of islanders—both individuals and organizations
- Strengthening relationships between organizations as we collaborate on collecting data for the report and respond to issues it raises
- Assisting local non-profit organizations with data that can be used to support strategic planning and grant applications
- Identification of the most pressing issues in our community, which will lead to strategic grant-making for the greatest impact in our community
- Providing up-to-date local information to all levels of government to assist in decision-making and funding
Thank you to all of our sponsors for your generous support towards our Vital Signs initiative!
Our Vital Signs partners will be recognized at our Vital Signs launch event, within our report and publicly thanked in advertising and media reports. We expect to print 3,000 Vital Signs reports, which will be widely distributed throughout the island, and reports will also be emailed to many islanders. The report will be featured prominently on our website and Facebook page and referred to in our public communications.