Community Foundation North Okanagan’s 2020 Vital Signs report is a community check-up that measures the vitality of our region, identifies concerns and supports action on issues that are critical to our quality of life.
As a country, province and regional community we are collectively living through the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic. We have all witnessed the heavy impact this has had on our most vulnerable community members. Homelessness, secure work and mental health are some of the challenging issues that have been magnified due to the pandemic.
The 2020 Vital Signs report is being released at an opportune time, to aid us in better understanding the communities that comprise the North Okanagan – Vernon, Coldstream, Lumby, Spallumcheen, Armstrong and Enderby. This report provides the opportunity to identify the areas of concern, as well as initiatives and organizations that can help to make a positive difference.
“We have a growing population, close to 90,000 citizens in the North Okanagan region. As we see more people calling this area home it becomes even more important for us to understand how the increased rental and housing costs or the changing economy and workforce affects individuals and families,” explains Leanne Hammond, the Executive Director, Community Foundation North Okanagan.
“The Community Foundation has been leading the Vital Signs program to compile and track local data over time and works towards convening community-led organizations to inspire action around our most critical issues.”
By providing a snapshot of the North Okanagan in 10 critical issue areas plus a new section on community participation and contribution, the 2020 Vital Signs report offers a unique and accessible way to learn more about this place we all call home.
It’s a starting point to engage us in a meaningful conversation that will inform the Community Foundation’s giving and granting decisions and serve as a guide towards making our communities better places to live, work and play.
Highlights and statistics from the 2020 Vital Signs report include:
- One-quarter of our regional citizens are under 24 years old. Supporting their educational experience will be key to securing a vibrant workforce and economy for our future.
- There are 22 arts and culture facilities in our region and 870 people are employed in a cultural occupation.
- North Okanagan is facing a skilled labour shortage, even though the unemployment rate is the lowest in over a decade at 6.1 per cent, the aging workforce is retiring.
- Balancing the gender gap in management positions has been slow moving but women in managerial positions has steadily risen from 34.5 per cent in 2006 to 39 per cent today.
We hope the 2020 Vital Signs report provides you with information that grows your awareness of the issues and significant trends in the North Okanagan. We invite funders, community leaders, and everyday philanthropists to embrace your power and the role we each play as we move forward on this journey together.
To read more about our resilient region and to view the full 2020 Vital Signs report go to www.cfno.org.