Comox Valley Record

Comox Valley boomer capital of Canada

The Comox Valley — known as the baby boomer capital of Canada, according to the latest Census — is highlighted in a new CBC documentary dubbed The Boomer Revolution.

The film examines the largest demographic in Canadian history — baby boomers aged 48 to 67 — that comprises 30 per cent of Canada's population. This age range has more wealth than any previous generation and controls two-thirds of all consumer spending, a news release states.

"If you look at the census data, it puts the Comox Valley on top in terms of boomers," said The Boomer Revolution co-producer Sara Darling, a Victoria resident.

The film considers the post-retirement 'longevity bonus' of boomers, and explores how their decisions over the next two or three decades will reshape the world.

In the film's trailer, one man says: "We ended a war. We started a sexual revolution."

A second man deadpans: "Imagine what we could have done if we weren't so high."

A man in another clip states that "60 is the new 60" — an entirely new stage of life.

"We have 30 years to go. What are we going to be doing?" a woman asks.

The filmmakers hope the project will be a "catalyst for a conversation about what the future holds for people in this age range," Darling said.

"There's a lot of questioning going on out there right now. What do they want their legacy to be? What do they want to contribute for that final third of their lives?"

The documentary includes interviews with Crown Isle management and Comox architect Tom Dishlevoy. Both share ideas about housing options and how to better accommodate boomers in terms of single-level, detached homes and condominiums.

The film includes stories of a diverse range of boomers, such as Toronto actor Barry Flatman, the star of Freedom 55 commercials. Now in his early 60s, Flatman continues to work and has no intention of retiring any time soon.

At the other end of the spectrum is single grandmother Shirley Gust, who struggles to stay afloat by juggling several part-time jobs.

"We talk a lot about retirement," Darling said, noting 88 per cent of boomers will work past their eligibility for retirement.

Within 10 years — according to Statistics Canada — one in four workers will be 55 or older.

So much for the Freedom 55 concept.

"It's fading as an idea for many people," Darling said.

The film premieres Feb. 28 at 9 p.m. Pacific Time on CBC’s Doc Zone. Watch the trailer at http://youtu.be/asqrZJ_ZQ-4.

reporter@comoxvalleyrecord.com

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