This might be a case of the sequel being better than the original.
Campbell River Community Foundation (CRCF) released the second installment of its Vital Signs report on Tuesday at the Maritime Heritage Centre, with guests from the City of Campbell River, sponsors and community organizations on hand.
“These reports are very valuable. I’m sure a lot of you here use them,” said Jim Harris, CRCF board chair. “A lot of the reports are being used by non-profits in the community…. We can see in the community where help is needed.”
The Campbell River launch was part of a national release of several Vital Signs reports in cities across Canada.
“We’re probably the last one because we’re the furthest west,” he said.
This first edition released in 2016 provided a baseline for the community in a number of indicators to show how Campbell River is doing.
“It gives also a chance to develop a benchmark,” he said.
This new version also provides a comparison of what has happened during the two years.
“It gives you a chance to see how we’ve progressed in certain areas,” he said.
As well, this report also has more thorough on which to rely. Both use a lot of information from Statistics Canada, among other sources, but the first version relied heavily on the current census data at the time, which came from the less expansive household survey.
With the full census itself being restored in 2016, the CRCF had more complete information on which to draw.
“The information in this one you’ll find is more up to date,” Harris said.
The report looks at life in Campbell River in a number of ways. The 13 areas examined include, among others: children and youth; environment; health and wellness; housing; income; seniors; and the economy.
The project took about eight months to complete. Working off the data available, projects leads Maggie Hodge Kwan and Laurel Sliskovic added qualitative components by going out to the community. This started with a series of focus groups. The next phases inolved developing a survey for residents in Campbell River and the surrounding area.
“It’s an excellent opportunity to look at the community over time,” Hodge Kwan said.
Much of this, they say, was to go beyond the data to get a sense of how residents feel about issues in the community, such as whether they welcome or socially connected or even if they feel safe walking home at night.
“The questions were designed to get more of the feel of the community,” Sliskovic said.
One function of the report is to provide a snapshot of the community, which can help act as an introduction to people thinking about moving or doing business here.
The biggest role though is to point out what areas the Community Foundation can target when it comes to funding local social organizations.
“The report is only as good as the circulation it’s going to get,” Harris said.
At the launch, Mayor Andy Adams spoke about of Vital Signs, saying, “This is critical information for the city…. It couldn’t happen without the sponsors.”
The City of Campbell River was only one of several sponsors, along with Broadstreet Properties, Chan Nowosad Boates, Coastal Community, NIC Foundation, NIEFS, Rotary and the United Way.