We are pleased to share our 2011 Red Deer’s Vital Signs report with you—members of our community! Our fifth report since 2007, we have seen a lot of changes that have occurred in our community, our province and our country.
Over time, and by working closely with individuals and organizations, we have developed a deep understanding of the many issues that affect all of us. Vital Signs is a long term initiative which afford us the opportunity to convene the community, to engage them in issues that affect their daily lives. It invites respectful conversation about long term community directions that may be difficult to discuss or plan.
Vital Signs enhances the role that we have filled in this community for the past 22 years. How does it help us achieve that? By collecting and compiling good quality, relevant statistics and data about opportunities and issues currently facing Red Deer, not only can the Community Foundation Board of Directors make better, more strategic decisions; the organization can develop and offer programs that are designed to better meet the needs and desires of the whole community.
Vital Signs has, and will continue to, strengthen our role as a grantmaker. It serves us in our fund development efforts. It helps us understand the realities of the organizations we fund, which ensures our donor's funds are used effectively. Simply put, Vital Signs informs all of our work as we serve our whole community.
As we consider the state of our economy and reflect on the sustainability of the region and the province in the future, our community's leaders believe diversification of the economy and innovation are of critical importance. The economic downturn continues to be a concern for most of our community members and as demonstrated by our report indicators. Despite all of this, our community remains strong and vibrant as portrayed by the great work that has been accomplished across all issue areas. This report is more than responses to indicators- what breathes life into this report is the passion, gleaned from rich and thoughtful anecdotal comments and remarks. We also encourage you to check out the Expanded Report, which contains all of the research data and their sources.
The Board and Staff of our community foundation thank our community graders for taking the time to complete this extra task- by publishing a distillation of their comments we honour the range of emotion and experience that they have brought to this year's Vital Signs work.
We look forward to hearing about the conversations sparked by this year's Vital Signs report - please let us know how you plan to use it! Give us feedback now and throughout the coming year - remember, indicators of community wellness become evident and change all of the time! Let us know what you would like included in future Vital Signs surveys.
We look forward to working with YOU to make Red Deer an even better place to live, work and play!