Calgary receives its first citizen's report card: The Calgary Foundation releases Calgary's Vital Signs



    CALGARY, Oct. 2 /CNW/ - The Calgary Foundation released its first annual
Vital Signs report card earlier today and the results speak to disparate
realities among Calgarians. The report highlights Calgary's accomplishments
while shedding light on issues of concern to our citizens.
    Calgary's Vital Signs provides a clear snapshot of the issues that face
our city today, transforming facts and figures and public perceptions into a
reader-friendly report.
    "Calgary's Vital Signs is a rigorously-researched initiative through
which The Calgary Foundation 'holds a mirror up to the city' in 12 key issue
areas," said Eva Friesen, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Calgary
Foundation. "Calgary is at a critical point in its history, with unparalleled
prosperity and opportunity. It is important to step back and take the pulse of
our community so we as citizens can better respond to both the opportunities
and the challenges."

    
    On one hand, there is reason to celebrate:

    -   We are a learning community as shown by our Composite Learning Index
        of 93, the highest in the country
    -   Calgary has one of the most extensive urban pathway and bikeway
        networks in North America
    -   Calgarians are one of the most physically active urban populations in
        Canada with over 56% participating in healthy physical activity

    As employment opportunities and housing prices soar there are real costs
to our unprecedented growth:

    -   Calgary's Ecological Footprint is one of the world's largest being
        unsustainable at 9.86 hectares per person - if people around the
        world had our Ecological Footprint, it would take five earth-sized
        planets to sustain us all
    -   Immigrants with comparable education and experience earn 55.8% of the
        average income of their non-immigrant counterparts
    -   The number of cultural workers in Calgary has decreased by 40% since
        2003 and among Canada's large cities, the City of Calgary spends the
        least amount per person on the arts and culture
    -   In 2006, 25% of Calgary preschoolers were overweight or at risk of
        being overweight

    Calgary's Vital Signs report tracks quality of life in 12 key areas
including:

    - Getting Started     - Safety              - Health and Wellness
    - Housing             - Arts and Culture    - Gap Between Rich and Poor
    - Environment         - Diversity           - Liveable/Walkable City
    - Learning            - Work                - Belonging and Leadership
    

    More than 600 Calgarians participated in an online survey that graded the
12 key issue areas based on a group of five to six indicators per issue area.
Each of the 65 indicators and each overall key issue area received a letter
grade.
    "Vital Signs is designed to be a catalyst for community awareness,
dialogue and action," said Ross B. McNichol, Chair of The Calgary Foundation
Board of Directors. "It will also act as a tool that will help The Calgary
Foundation strengthen our convening role in the community and our work as a
responsive grant maker."
    The national Vital Signs report is part of a nation-wide community
foundation initiative, coordinated by Community Foundations of Canada and
based on Toronto's Vital Signs, an extremely successful indicator report
developed by Toronto Community Foundation and first published in 2001.
    Earlier today, 10 other community foundations released their own local
Vital Signs report cards. Community Foundations of Canada also issued their
first annual national Vital Signs report tracking nation-wide trends, sharing
success stories and encouraging deeper discussion and debate.
    Calgary's Vital Signs report is now available on the recently launched
website www.calgaryvitalsigns.ca - an ongoing source of information about
Vital Signs and the indicators utilized in the annual report.

    About The Calgary Foundation
    -----------------------------
    Established in 1955, The Calgary Foundation assists donors in creating a
giving and caring community by applying its resources, expertise and
leadership, in partnership with others, to identify needs and address issues
in the Calgary and area community. With over 900 Endowment Funds established,
the Foundation strengthens the charitable sector in the areas of Arts &
Heritage, Human Services, Education, Environment, Health and Neighbourhoods
through knowledgeable 360 degree grant making.





For further information:

For further information: Jennifer Gray, Calgary's Vital Signs, The
Calgary Foundation: (403) 802-7700, Cell: (403) 891-6562,
vitalsigns@thecalgaryfoundation.org

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The Calgary Foundation

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