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Report looks at areas quality of life

Community asked to weigh in with information
Report looks at areas quality of life

A report being developed by Powell River Community Foundation entitled Vital Signs will measure the current and long-term vitality of the community by examining 12 key indicators of quality of life.

Through factual research and residents’ participation the foundation will investigate aspects of life and community such as arts and culture, learning, health, housing, employment and the environment to help better understand the dynamics of Powell River. Using expert researchers and following the advice of over 40 local non-profit and community groups, Vital Signs will look at the most pressing issues in the community and provide sought-after information and data.

“Our aim is to report on what is working in Powell River and what is not,” said Charlie Kregel, foundation director. “How are we doing at keeping our area safe from the effect of drugs and crime? Are we seeing business growth? Is participation in artistic and cultural events increasing or declining? Do we have enough affordable housing? Are we addressing youth unemployment? We hope to find answers to these questions and many more.”

The foundation is holding an open house at 4 pm on Wednesday, July 27 at Town Centre Hotel to make sure residents know about the survey and have the opportunity to complete it. The report covers the City of Powell River, Powell River Regional District north and south electoral areas, Tla’Amin (Sliammon) First Nation and Texada Island.

While facts and data are at the heart of the report, the community survey will provide a forum to rate how Powell River is doing in the 12 areas and to put forward ideas on what is most important to the community’s vitality.

“There have been other reports prepared about Powell River, but this one is different,” said Paul Schachter, foundation vice-president and Vital Signs project manager. “All the levels of local government and private individuals have stepped up to help contribute resources for this effort. It makes you proud of our community.”

Powell River’s Vital Signs report will be released on October 4, 2011 as part of a coordinated effort among the communities across Canada completing reports this year. Vital Signs reports started in 2001 and in the first years were limited to larger cities, such as Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, Victoria and Vancouver. Last year 15 communities produced the report. This year that number has expanded to 21 and includes Powell River.

Vital Signs reports are prepared under the auspices of Community Foundations of Canada (CFC). CFC is the national membership organization for Canada’s 178 community foundations, which help Canadians invest in building strong and resilient places to live, work, and play, according to a press release.

The online version of the survey can be completed until August 28. The foundation is currently contacting local businesses and community groups to distribute printed versions for those do not have access to a computer.