Vital Signs provides a snapshot of strengths and challenges in the Valley.

Vital Signs: a snapshot of strengths, challenges

Foundation encourages community conversation

Affordable and safe housing is the top health issue in the community while expanding parks and trails is the recreational priority, according to the 2018 Vital Signs report by the Comox Valley Community Foundation.

Vital Signs provides a snapshot of strengths and challenges in the Valley. This is the foundation’s second such report, this one aligning with data based on the 2016 census.

“Our hope is that it ignites conversations around the strengths, challenges and opportunities the Comox Valley has to offer,” CVCF president Matt Beckett said in a presentation to Courtenay council March 4.

“It’s about taking local knowledge to measure the vitality of our community,” said Jody Macdonald, CVCF executive director. “The main purpose is to create some actionable items for individuals, organizations, businesses and government — collectively — to make an impact in our community.”

More than 1,000 Comox Valley residents who completed an online survey last spring helped form a balanced picture of the community. Now that the report has been published, the foundation has reached the next phase of entering a community conversation.

“What would be a vital conversation to have in our community?” Macdonald said. “What should we ask more in-depth questions about, and how can we collaborate with our partners in the community to further these much-needed conversations?”

Established in 1996, the CVCF is one of 191 community foundations in Canada.

“We exist to act as stewards in creating lasting legacies and gifts to the community through awarding grants to non-profits and community agencies, as well as scholarships to students each year and forever,” Beckett said.

In 2015, he said the foundation distributed $250,000. Last year, more than $475,000 was distributed to the community — bringing the total distribution to more than $2 million since inception.

The report is available online (, and at libraries, the airport, the Visitor Centre, the K’ómoks First Nation office, the Chamber of Commerce, NIC, the United Way office and the CVCF office.

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