The Victoria Foundation is looking for voices from the Capital Region as it launches its annual survey about 12 key issues to help produce its Vital Signs report.
The report uses a mix of public perception and indicators from a range of sources like Statistics Canada, BC Stats and the CRD to paint a picture of what’s happening in Greater Victoria when it comes to things like employment, safety, transportation and housing.
Victoria Foundation spokesperson Rob Janus said the report is used by many people for various reasons.
For example, the foundation uses it to make granting decisions while other organizations and local governments rely on the publication to understand their community better in terms of what is working or what needs improvement.
“They’re using it for strategic activities, community engagement activities and for more involvement and giving back to the community,” Janus said.
This is 14th consecutive year this report will be published by the Victoria Foundation.
Individuals also use the report to understand their communities better and know where they may want to take a more active role in volunteering or giving back, Janus said.
“This report looks at the whole community and all areas that impact their well-being,” Janus said. “It really does present a juxtaposition of community input against the current statistics and it helps people get a whole picture.”
Janus noted that the report acts as a snapshot of a point in time, and since the world is so dynamic, it may not perfectly reflect what’s going on. However, he said it gets people talking about subjects and understanding what is happening in their community.
The foundation is looking to get as many people as possible to take part in the survey — especially residents in the West Shore and younger residents.
Janus said by taking the survey, participants are helping guide millions of dollars per year that get distributed by the foundation in the form of grants and scholarships.
Last year, the foundation handed out almost $2 million per month.
“Vital Signs is really our guiding document for how we do that work,” Janus said.
Vital Signs is a national program coordinated by Community Foundations of Canada that uses community knowledge to measure the vitality of communities and support action towards improving quality of life.
It was started by the Toronto Foundation in 2001 and now, more than 75 communities across Canada and around the world use Vital Signs to make a greater impact.
Victoria’s Vital Signs was launched in 2006 as an initiative of the Victoria Foundation’s 70th anniversary.
The 14th annual survey runs from May 6 to July 1 and residents can access it on the Victoria Foundation website at victoriafoundation.bc.ca.