Calgary Calgary ersations by yaofenjin



This city
has a pulse.
Let’s take it...
... and build on what works instead
of focusing on what doesn’t.                                                                                 What is Calgary’s Vital Signs?
The Calgary Foundation understands that vital                                                                Calgary’s Vital Signs is an annual
communities recognize and celebrate their strengths.
That awareness informs The Calgary Foundation’s work:                                                        community check-up conducted by
> as a community leader                                                                                      The Calgary Foundation that
> as a knowledgeable grant maker
                                                                                                             measures the vitality of our community,
> as a facilitator of donors’ charitable needs
No one person, organization, or level of government
                                                                                                             identifies significant trends, and assigns
can address the challenges we face. 1,500 citizens and                                                       grades in 12 areas critical to quality of life.
community partners added their voice to the engagement
process of the 2011 Calgary’s Vital Signs Report.

How happy are we?                                                                                            Grading at a Glance

                                                                                  Calgarians rated their

Thanks to the growing field of happiness                                                                     Key Issue Area

research—the ‘Cheerful Science’— we are                                           overall quality of life:   Safety                                                                  B        B
learning more about the links between happiness                                                              Arts & Culture                                                          B        B
and quality of life. This year’s report includes                                                             Learning                                                                B        B
findings about Calgarians’ sense of well-being
and happiness in recognition that a vital city pays
                                                                                                             Work                                                                    B        B
as much attention to culture, compassion and                                                                 Environmental Sustainability                                            B-       C+
community as it does to the bottom line.                                                                     Food                                                                    B-       -
                                                                                                             Citizen Engagement                                                      B-       B-
                                                                                                             Health & Wellness                                                       B-       B-
87%     enjoy their quality of life in Calgary                                                               Financial Well-Being                                                    C+       B-
91%     describe themselves as happy                                                                         Sustainable City                                                        C+       -
78%     are happy with their job and satisfied with their work                                               Getting Around                                                          C        C
75%     participate actively in their community of interest                                                  Housing                                                                 C        C+
90%     report they are surrounded by loving family/companions/friends                                       Aging Population                                                        -        C+
83%     rated their physical well-being as high
                                                                                                             Neighbourhoods                                                          -        B-
86%     rated their mental well-being as high
77%     rated Calgary as a vibrant, lively, appealing place to live

                                                                                                             Behind the Grades
                                                                                                              Getting Around C
                                                               What                                           As in previous years, this area received the lowest grade in the Report due to

    Get Behind                                               concerns
                                                              you the
                                                                                                              citizen concern about public transit access and affordability, long commute
                                                                                                              times and traffic congestion. When asked about one thing that would most

                                                                                                              improve quality of life, transportation remained the top issue.
                                                               most?                   What
                                                                                     makes you                Housing C+              Financial Well-Being B-
 Your feedback is vitally important!                                                 feel most                These two categories received better grades than 2010 reflecting the stronger
  After reading the 2011 Calgary’s                                                    proud?                  economy and improved affordability of housing.

       Vital Signs Report visit                              What can                                  you do to                                        Environmental Sustainability C+
                                                                                                              Decreased due in part to Calgarians’ continued concern with urban sprawl.
          to have your say.                                 make Calgary
                                                               vital?                                         Neighbourhoods B- Aging Population C+
                                                                                                              New issue areas for 2011’s survey, the latter receiving one of the lowest grades
                                                                                                              due to the need to reduce isolation and increase housing options for seniors.

                    How does                             Go Behind                                            Citizen Engagement B-
                   a homeless
                                                                                                              Received a fairly high grade with many comments suggesting our new
                                                                                                              Mayor’s engagement in communities as a cause for celebration.
                    operate?                                                                                  Safety B
                                   Enter to WIn an exclusive “behind                                          The highest grade given with increased police presence, a reduction in gang
                                      the scenes tour” of a charitable                                        violence and better public transit safety listed as what’s working well in this
                     How many         organization of your choice by                                          key issue area.
                    people does it       taking the brief survey at
                    take to stage                                                A Excellent, stay the course
                        an opera?                                                                              B Good, but some improvements could be made
                                                                                    What goes                  C Average performance, suggest additional effort be made to address these issues
           One entry per person please. Winners will be randomly selected on
           October 20th. There is no cash value for the prize, no skill-testing
                                                                                   on in a cancer              D Below average performance, additional work is required
           question to answer. Tours will be arranged through The Calgary
           Foundation and be subject to approval by the organization requested.
                                                                                   research lab?               F Failure, immediate action is crucial







                                                                                                                                                                                                          D- D C C
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Grade      C+
       Improved rents and declining vacancy                                                                                                                        Calgary’s 10 year Plan                      Calgary house prices
           Rental Vacancies                            Rental Costs                                                                                                To End Homelessness                         more a ordable than
                                                                                                                                      Vancouver $1181
                                                                                                                                                                   on track                                    2011 national average
                                                                                                                                      Toronto $1124                                                            (for a standard two-storey house)
                                                                                                                                      Calgary 2010 $1082
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Vancouver 80.4%
                                                                                                                                      Ottawa $1056

                                                                                                                                      Calgary 2011 $1040
                                                                                                                                                                   shelter beds to be closed in 2011
                           Down                           Down
                           1.9%                           3.8%                                                                                                                                                            Toronto 55.6%
                                                                                                                               Calgary has 4th highest
                                                                                                                               monthly cost for a 2 bedroom                                                      National Average 46.2%
                                                                                                                               apartment in Canada.                                                                   Ottawa 40.9%
                                                                                                                                                                   people received a ordable
                                                                                                                                                                   housing and necessary supports
      Minimum housing wage                               The minimum wage needed to rent an average 1 bedroom apartment in                                         as part of Calgary’s 10 Year Plan to                  Calgary 36.8%
                                                         2010 without spending more than 30% of gross income.                                                      End Homelessness from April 2010
                                                                                                                                                                   to March 2011.

                                                                                                          @$17.21/hr x 8hrs                                                                                  The Housing A ordability Measure
                                                                                                                                                                                                             shows the proportion of median pre-tax
                                                                                                                                                                                                             household income required to service
                                                                                                                               or                                                                            the cost of mortgage payments

                                          1 bedroom apartment                                             @$9.40/hr x 14hrs
                                                                                                          (Alberta minimum wage)
                                                                                                                                                                                                             (principal and interest), property taxes
                                                                                                                                                                                                             and utilities. The higher the measure, the
                                                                                                                                                                                                             more di cult it is to a ord a house.

                                                                                                                                        Citizen Priorities:                        3 Things You Can Do:
                                               Inn from the Cold Society received funding for their                                     • Address density to limit sprawl          • Calgary’s 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness belongs to
                        Donations              Aboriginal Housing Initiative, which will help families                                  • Affordability of home ownership            everyone. Learn, donate, volunteer.
                         at Work:              secure stable housing and increase self-sufficiency to
                                                                                                                                        • Affordability of rental units
                                                                                                                                                                                   • Join your community association’s planning committee.
                                               break the cycle of homelessness and poverty.
                                                                                                                                                                                   • Learn more about Calgary Homeshare….helping seniors
                                                                                                                                                                                     and young people with housing needs.







        Work                                                                                                                                        Safety







                                                                      B- B B B
                                                                                                                       Grade    B                                                                           C C - B- B
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Grade       B
          Youth unemployment remains high                                                                  Median hourly                            Fire incidents decline
          while overall rate eases                                                                         earnings on the rise                     The Fire Department aims to contain
                                                                                                                                                    65% of res to the room or object of
                                                                                                           National Rate

                                                                                                                                                    origin. In 2010, they achieved this

      Youth:                                     12.3%                                                                                              target and limited re in 67% of
                                                                                                                                                    building and structure re incidents.

            General Public:                                6.4%                                            Provincial Rate

                                                                                                           $17.93                                               2009

                                                                                                           Calgary 2008                                       2010

                                       National 2011
                                                                                                           $18.00                                                                                                             %
                                                                          rate for youth (15-24 years)

                                                                          Average unemployment

                                                                                                           Calgary 2010
                                       Calgary 2009
                                       14.0%                                                               $18.81
                                                                                                           (2002 dollars)
                                       Calgary 2011
                                       Provincial 2011                                                    Happiest city                             Number of domestic-related                            Criminal code o ences
                                       10.8%                                                              for small business                        calls for service increase                            compared to ve year average
                                                                                                          owners in Canada
                                                                          unemployment rate
                                                                          Seasonally adjusted

                                       National 2011
                                       7.9%                                                                                                           Domestic-related calls in 2011
                                       Calgary 2009                                                                                                        Domestic calls up 10% over 2009
                                                                                                                                                           21% were criminal incidents, up 4%
                                       Calgary 2011                                                                                                        over 2009
                                       6.4%                                                               Calculated by looking
                                                                                                          among 12 North American                                                                           Youth crime o ences
                                       Provincial 2011
                                                                                                          cities for the one with the
                                       6.2%                                                               most small business
                                                                                                                                                                                                            compared to ve year average
                                                                                                          owners who ranked in the                    Tra c collisions and
                                                                                                          top quartile of TD’s 2011                   fatalities declining
                                                                                                          Small Business Happiness
        Highest salaries per employee in Canada                                                                                                        3,605 2009                                                        24.6%
                                                                                                                                                       3,200 2010
                            $60,519                                2010
        Highest income per capita among major Canadian cities
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Reporting of suspected
                            $54,442                                2010
                                                                                     $54,364                                                           Injuries
                                                                                                                                                       3,530 2006
                                                                                                                                                                                                          impaired drivers on the rise
                                                                                                                                                                                                          In the rst year of the Report Impaired

                                                                                                                                                       2,461 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Drivers campaign, there was an 80%
      Average hours worked per week declining                                                                                                                                                             increase in 9-1-1 calls reporting
                                                                                                                                                                                                          suspected impaired drivers. As a result of
                                                                                                                                                                                                          these calls, the number of people
                                                                                                                                                                                                          charged increased by 30%.
    40-hour work week

                                                                                                                                                       46 2006
                                                                                                                                                       24 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                            more calls
                                                                                                                                                                                                             to 911
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                =            30%
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            more charges

                        Calgary 2000             Calgary 2010           National Rate                              Provincial Rate
                                                                                                                                                                                                          The campaign is a partnership between Calgary Police
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Services, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, The City of
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Calgary Roads and Public Safety Communications as
                        hours                    hours                  hours                                      hours                                                                                  well as Alberta Health Services.

                                                  The Oxford House Foundation of Canada, which                                                                                 Providing essential service for individuals affected by
                                                  provides safe and affordable housing for individuals                                                                         domestic violence and/or sexual assault, the Calgary
                        Donations                 in recovery from addictions, received a grant to assist                                            Donations                 Communities Against Sexual Abuse Society received
                         at Work:                 residents in their job search by purchasing new                                                     at Work:                 funding for their communications strategy aimed at
                                                  computers for each house.                                                                                                    increasing awareness of their services.

                 Citizen Priorities:                         3 Things You Can Do:                                                                   Citizen Priorities:                    3 Things You Can Do:
                 • Economic diversification                  • Become a mentor at one of Calgary’s                                                  • Increase police presence             • Adhere to Calgary’s new Distracted Driving law -
                                                               immigrant agencies.                                                                  • Reduce gang violence                   don’t text and drive.
                 • Support for small business
                                                             • Hire a student or welcome a co-op student.                                           • Better public transit security       • Make friends with your neighbours.
                 • Skills training opportunities
                                                             • Check out Calgary Dollars – an alternative                                                                                  • Practice bike safety – follow speed limits on
                                                               currency that supports the local economy.                                                                                     paths and wear a helmet.

* Text indicators and sources available at
Environmental                                                                                                            Health and















Sustainability                                              C C - B B-
                                                                                         Grade    C   +
                                                                                                                         Wellness                                                          C - C C + B-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Grade     B-
                                                                                                                         Obesity rate
Ecological footprint shrinks                             Energy footprint grows                                          Calgarians over 18 with self-reported
                                                                                                                         Body Mass Index 30 or higher,                                        2010
                                                                                                                         indicating obesity.                                                  Calgary
 The ecological footprint outlines the
 e ect of our activities on the environ-
                                                         Energy use makes up 71% of Calgary’s
                                                         ecological footprint (also called the
                                                                                                                                            2010             2010                                                2010            2010
 ment by measuring the resources we                      carbon footprint) which has grown due                                              Victoria         Toronto         2009                                National        Provincial
 consume and the waste we create and                     to an increase in the number of vehicles                                           12.9%            14.8%           Calgary                             18.1%           18.6%
 then comparing this to nature’s ability to              and fuel consumed, as well as increased                                                                             15.4%
 provide resources and absorb waste.                     consumption of goods and services.

                                                                                           Calgary 2010
Calgary 2008                                                                                        71%
9.4 gh/c                                                                                                                                                                       More Calgarians lack a
                                                                                                                         Smoking rate rises in 2010
Calgary 2010
                                                                                           Calgary 2008
                                                                                                                         % of Calgarians aged 12 and                           regular medical doctor
8.59 gh/c                                                                                                                older identi ed as current smokers                    % of Calgarians who reported not having
                                                                                                                                                                               a regular medical doctor.


                                                                                                                                    2010                                              2010
5.76 gh/c                                                                                                                    19.7%                                                                                                       Provincial 2010
                                                                                                                                    2009                                                                                                 21.2%
                                                                                                                                   18.5%                                              2009
0 gh/c                                                                                                0%
Density of new suburbs on the rise
1995                                     2009
13.5 units per hectare                   21.2 units per hectare
                                                                                                                         Smoking costs the Alberta economy $1.8 billion
                                                                           This is in alignment with                     annually, mostly in medical bills and sick days.
                                                                                                                         Every year, more than 3,000 Albertans die from
                                                                           The City of Calgary’s                         tobacco-related illnesses.
                                                                           minimum target of 60
                                                                           people and jobs per gross
                                                                           developable hectare in
                                                                           support of the goal of more
                                                                           compact communities and
                                                                                                                          Calgarians’ happiness and sense of well-being high
                                                                           e cient use of land.
                                                                                                                          surrounded by loving family,                                                                     happy in their job
                                                                                                                          companions and/or friends                                                              and satis ed with their work

Health of Bow River                               Water e ciency improving
banks compromised                                 average amount of water used in the city                                                                                               91%
According to a 2009 study by the
Alberta Riparian Habitat Manage-
                                                  (residential, business and municipal
                                                  per capita per day )                                                                                                                   happy
ment Society, the overall riparian
health of the Bow River in Calgary
                                                                             1999 527 litres
was classi ed as unhealthy.
Riparian areas, the space between                                            2008 422 litres
aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems,
are important to sh and wildlife,                                            2010 406 litres
water quality and the overall
health of watersheds.                                                        The City of Calgary’s target
                                                                             for sustainable use of water
                                                                             by 2033 350 litres

                                                                                                                          physical well-being high                                                                      mental well-being high

                                    A grant to the Alberta Ecotrust Foundation funded                                                                          The Kayak Foundation granted to Ghost River
 Donations                          the Waterlution Project, which connects local youth to                                 Donations                           Rediscovery’s Healing with Honour mentorship program,
                                    water issues and inspires them to learn about water                                                                        which helps heal Aboriginal seniors and empowers them
  at Work:                          management and conservation.                                                            at Work:                           to make substantial changes in their lives and the lives of
                                                                                                                                                               youth in their community.

Citizen Priorities:                                     3 Things You Can Do:                                               Citizen Priorities:                                      3 Things You Can Do:
• Limit urban sprawl                                    • Compost organic waste materials.                                 • Increase availability of family                        • Join a charity fun run or bike race .
• Reduce reliance on cars                               • Explore the scenic pathways of                                     physicians                                             • Visit to see pathways and
• Improve alternative energy options                     Calgary’s Greenway.                                               • Shorter wait times for surgery                          bikeways maps.
                                                        • Reduce your water use – take short                               • Less crowded emergency                                 • Learn positive ways to cope with stress –
                                                         showers and install a low-flow toilet.                              departments                                             hike, try yoga, meditate.

Getting Around

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Grade       C
 Most commute alone                                                                                                  Transit reduces greenhouse gas emissions
 City wide mode                                                                                                                                                                                                       C Train powered by
                                                                                                                      In 2010, 289,000 tonnes of
 of transportation to work                                                       Dri                                  greenhouse gas emissions
                                                                                                                                                                      Using transit eliminated                    renewable energy eliminated

                                                                                                                                                                    289,000 47,000
                                                                                        ve                            were avoided when Calgarians
                                                                                           a                          chose to use transit instead of

                                                                                                                      private vehicles.                              tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions            tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions
                                                                                              n  e6

          Motorcycle 0.43%                                                                                                                          41                1 three car
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  =       545

                                                                                                                                           =                              C Train
              Bicycle 0.87%
Carpool as passenger 1.62%
                                                                                                                     Gasoline price rising
                                                                                                                                                                                           2010 $0.96


             as driver

    Carpool                                                                                                          Average price for unleaded gas                                                                               *Albertans say they
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Price at which

                              %                                                                                      in Calgary in August.                                                                                         would reduce their

               m ho
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   driving to save money.
          k fro                                                                                                      (price per litre)
                                    0%                                                                                                                                                                                  $1.4
                         lk                            Tra
                       Wa                                 nsit









WORST                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           BEST

Transportation system earns a “C” in world survey                                       Calgary earned good grades for transit fares, congestion and freight activity and lower marks for ridership and track length.

                                                                                                                    Citizen Priorities:                                3 Things You Can Do:
                               The Parks Foundation Calgary Greenway Project                                        • Expand LRT service                               • Find your niche in Calgary’s cycling community. Visit
 Donations                     recently received funding from an anonymous donor                                    • Improve bus service                       to get started.
  at Work:                     to assist with development of the 113 km pathway that
                                                                                                                    • Coordinate
                                                                                                                                                                       • Take public transit.
                               will eventually encircle the entire city.                                                                                               • Participate in Calgary Car Share – a cheaper and
                                                                                                                      construction work
                                                                                                                                                                         greener alternative.

                                                                                                                                                * Text indicators and sources available at




    Financial Well-Being                                                                                                                                                       C C C+
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Grade   B-
     Poverty rate rises                                                                                       Median family income shrinks                     Cost of living comparatively moderate
                                                                                                                                              Calgary           Mercer’s 2011 Cost of Living Survey,
     Based on Low Income                                                                                                                                        which ranks 214 cities on ve continents
     Cut-O s (LICO) before tax
                                                                                  13.5%                                                       $91,570               2011
    LICOs represent an income
                                                           11.0%                                                                                                       1
    threshold where a family is
    likely to spend 20% more
                                         8.9%                                                                                                 Calgary                  4   Moscow               Russia
    of its income on food,                                                                                                                    2009                     5   Geneva               Switzerland
    shelter and clothing than                                                                                                                 $88,410                  6   Osaka                Japan
    the average family.                                                                                                                                                7   Zurich               Switzerland
                                        Calgary 2008      Calgary 2009         National Average
                                                                                                                                              Provincial               8   Singapore            Singapore
                                                                                                                                              2009                     9   Hong Kong            Hong Kong
     Child poverty rate                 Calgary 2008      Calgary 2009         National Average                                                                       12   Rio de Janeiro       Brazil
     rises                                 9.7%              10.2%                  14.0%                                                                             18   London               England
                                                                                                                                                                      20   Beijing              China
                                                                                                                                                                      22   Paris                France
     Property tax and utility charges relatively low but rising                                                                                                       32   New York City        United States
                                                                                                                                                                      34   Rome                 Italy
     Combined cost of total property tax (municipal and school taxes)
                                                                                                                                                                      39   Stockholm            Sweden
     and utility charges for an average single-family house
                                                                                                                                                                      59   Toronto              Canada
                                                                                                                                                                      65   Vancouver            Canada
                                                                                                                                                                      79   Montreal             Canada
                                                                                                                                              National                81   Dubai                UAE
                                                                                                                                              2009                    95   Mumbai               India
                                                                                                                                              $68,410               96 Calgary                  Canada
         Surrey, B.C. 2010         Calgary 2009         Calgary 2010          Edmonton 2010
             $3,286                   $3,571               $3,995                $4,454                                                                         The survey measures the comparative cost of more
          Lowest in Canada                                                      Highest in Canada                                                               than 200 items including housing, transportation,
                                                                                                                                                                food, clothing, household goods and entertainment.

                                                                                                    Citizen Priorities:                     3 Things You Can Do:
                                 Administered by The Calgary Foundation, the Owen                   • Implement a living wage               • Donate gently used clothing/goods to Women In Need Society.
      Donations                  Hart Foundation’s Housing Program provides                         • More affordable child care            • Help a new immigrant family get established…assist with
       at Work:                  individuals living in low-income situations with                   • Improve access to healthy food          writing a resume or a job search.
                                 the opportunity to participate in financial literacy
                                                                                                                                            • Take advantage of The City of Calgary’s Secondary Suites
                                 courses and save for a down payment.
                                                                                                                                              Grant Program – apply for up to $25,000.




    Neighbourhoods                                                                                                  Learning




                                                                                      Grade       B-                                                                       B- B B B
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Grade   B

    Volunteer-led community clean-ups on the rise                                                                Undergrad tuition high                             Average student debt rising

     2009: 38 community clean ups                      2010: 57 community clean ups                                                                                 Average debt reported by Alberta graduates
                                                                                                                                                                    with a bachelor’s degree in 2009

                                                                                                                  Alberta 2009            National 2009

      600,000 kilograms                                                                                           $5,517                  $4,917
                                                                                                                  Alberta has the third highest tuition in Canada
     of unwanted materials and garbage were
     removed from these communities including
     a signi cant amount of e-waste and metals                                                                   More complete high school
     that were recycled.

    Calgarians keen to help out in their neighbourhood

                                  61                   67
                                                                         feel they have an opportunity             Calgary 1990            Calgary 2010             National 2010               Provincial 2010

                                                                         to make a di erence                       76.2%                   85.6%                    79.8%                       81.7%
        participate actively
                                                                         in their community
   in their neighbourhood          per cent             per cent
                                                                                                                   High life long learning
                                                                                                                   According to the 2010 Composite Learning Index (CLI),

                                  94                   73
                                                                                                                   Calgary’s score of 88 is the third highest among
                                                                         feel comfortable asking                   Vital Signs communities, higher than the national
          feel comfortable
                                                                         a neighbour for help                      average of 75.
   helping out a neighbour
                                   per cent             per cent
                                                                                                                   The CLI is an annual measure of Canada's progress in
                                                                                                                   lifelong learning based on indicators that re ect the
                                                                                                                   many ways Canadians learn — in school, home, at work,
    Community satisfaction high, sense of belonging drops
                                                                                                                   and in the community.

                                  Want to stay in their community for many years to come
                                                                                                                    New schools                             New students
                                  2010            2011                                                                                                      The province estimates the
                                  87.4%           88.8%                                                             Calgary 2010                            number of students in Alberta
                                                                                                                                                            could increase by 100,000 to
                                  Strong or somewhat strong sense of community belonging                                                                    700,000 within the next decade.
                                  2009            2010             National                                                                                          = 100,000 students
                                  63.1%           57.8%            65.4%
                                                                                                                                                             2011                               2021

    Most feel safe in their neighbourhoods
                                                                                                                    by 2013

                               %                               %                              %

           feel safe walking in their         agreed that children               would like to move
           neighbourhood at night             are safe playing outside           to a safer
                                              in their neighbourhood             neighbourhood                      Half of Calgary school buildings are
                                                                                                                    over 40 years old. Three schools are
                                                                                                                    undergoing modernizations.

                                    Sustainable Calgary Society received funding                                                               Created in honour of Hazel Gillespie, respected community
                                    for the Sunnyside Community Mapping Program,                                                               investment professional, the Community Investment
      Donations                     where residents discussed ways to turn underutilized                           Donations                   Leadership Award Fund recognizes the important and
       at Work:                     neighbourhood spaces along the LRT line into lively                             at Work:                   growing discipline of community investment, and supports
                                    community hubs.                                                                                            professional development in the field of philanthropy.

  Citizen Priorities:                       3 Things You Can Do:                                                  Citizen Priorities:                      3 Things You Can Do:
  • Improve walkability                     • Join your community association’s “Meet Our                         • More resources for high quality        • Be a book. Be part of the Calgary Public Library’s
  • Opportunities to interact with            Neighbours Day.” If they don’t have one, start one.                   public schools                           Living Library.
    neighbours                              • Organize a progressive dinner party - it’s a great meal,            • Smaller class sizes                    • Join the parent council at your children’s school.
  • Reduce isolation of seniors and           a great walk and a great time with your neighbours.                 • Affordable post-secondary              • Be a lifelong learner…enrol in a continuing
    persons with disabilities               • Cultivate a community garden. The food bank will be                   education                                education class.
                                              happy to take your surplus!

* Text indicators and sources available at



Arts and Culture                                                                                                    Aging Population




                                                        C C B B
                                                                                     Grade   B                                                                                                    2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Grade    C+
Increased investment in festivals & events                                                                          Proportion of seniors to double over the next 30 years
                                                                                                                  This trend is driven by baby boomers, the rst of which turn 65 in 2011.

                                                                       In 2010, The City of Calgary’s               9.5% of Calgarians (about 100,000 people)
                                       invested                        new Festival & Event Policy
                                                                       invested $400,000 in eight
                                                                       local festivals and events,                  2036
                                                                       which included Afrikadey!                    20% of Calgarians
                                                                       Festival, Calgary Comic &
                                                                       Entertainment Expo, Choose

                                                                       Yer Own Festival, Giant
                                                                       Incandescent Resonating
                                                                                                                    Seniors (65+) poverty rate improving
                                                                       Animation Festival, High
                                                                       Performance Rodeo,
                                                                       International Festival of
                                                                       Animated Objects, Sled
                                                                       Island Music and Arts Festival
           local festivals and events                                  and Summer Opera Festival.
                                                                                                                                                Calgary 1980’s 27%

Fourth largest lm and                                            Attendance at

television location in Canada                                    cultural events in 2010
The most Oscar, Golden Globe and Emmy                             Calgarians, aged 15 and older
                                                                                                                                                National 2009 11.8%
                                                                                                                                                Calgary 2008 11.5%                                         %
nominations of any jurisdiction in Canada in 2010.                                                                                              Calgary 2009 10.7%

                                                                                         %                                                      Provincial 2009 7.2%                          of unattached
                                                                                                                                                                                              seniors lived in

                                                                                                                                                                                              poverty in 2009.

                                                                 attended at least one                            Based on 2009 LICO which represents an income threshold where a family is likely to
                                                                 theatrical performance                           spend 20% more of its income on food, shelter and clothing than the average family.

              million dollars in
                                                                                       %                          Fewer wage-earning workers per retiree
              business for the region
                                                                                                                  As the population ages, stresses on the health system and public pensions continue to grow.

                                                                 took in at least one                                              Number of workers                              Retired person aged 65+
                                                                 classical music concert
                                                                                       %                                                                            per
               lm, television and commercial
              projects facilitated by Calgary
              Economic Development.                              attended at least one
                                                                 cultural festival                                    2031 forecast
Public art ourishing
   Hey, we’ve got company...                    I heard that as of December 2010, a further
   Since the inception of                       29 installations, valued at $11.5 million, are                    Seniors less stressed than the rest
   The City of Calgary’s public art             planned for locations such as LRT stations,                      According to a 2009 survey on social issues,                           Concerned about stress
   policy in 2004, which mandated               parks and public spaces.                                         Calgary seniors were less likely to report being
   that 1% of the cost of all City                                                                               concerned about the majority of issues.                                       Seniors
   capital projects worth over $1                                                                                They were also half as likely to be                                           Young Adults
   million be invested in public art,                                                                            concerned about not having enough                                             Middle-aged
   28 public artworks valued at                                                                                  money for food and housing.
   $5 million have been installed
   throughout the city.

                               The Golda Elliott Memorial Fund for the School of                                                             Calgary Family Services received grants for the Get Up
 Donations                     Alberta Ballet supports the former Alberta Ballet Chair of                         Donations                  and Go Collaborative which works with seniors and their
                               the Board’s love for arts by funding the Company’s Guest                                                      families to address transportation options and helps older
  at Work:                     Teacher and Boys’ Scholarship Programs.                                             at Work:                  adults stay active in the community.

Citizen Priorities:                               3 Things You Can Do:                                            Citizen Priorities:                        3 Things You Can Do:
• More affordable activities                      • Check out a local arts event or street                        • More assisted living options             • Reach out to a senior in your neighbourhood
• Better promotion of events                        festival…take a friend.                                       • Reduce isolation                           - shovel their driveway, take them shopping
• Increase funding                                • Join a heritage walk or Jane’s Walk.                          • More housing options                       or invite them to dinner.
                                                  • Buy gifts from a local artist, artisan or                                                                • Talk to a senior - they could teach you a lot.
                                                    food producer.                                                                                           • Connect with Calgary’s multicultural
                                                                                                                                                               community of seniors through LINKages.

Civic Engagement                                                                                                                                                                         B-
                                                                                                                                                                                                 Grade     B-
Voter turnout improves                                                                        Good community association support                              Emerging use of social media
                                                                                                 Calgarians who said                                         The City of Calgary’s Election App, the rst of its

Federal Election 2011                      Municipal Election 2010                                                          In 2009
                                                                                                 they belong to the more                                     kind in Canada, had almost 4,500 downloads
                                                                                                 than 170 Community                                          making it the seventh most popular social
                                                                                                 Associations:                                               networking App in Canada on the day of the
                                                                                                                            Calgarians volunteered for       2010 municipal election.
                                                                                                                            their community associa-
      Nationally 61.4%
                                                                                                                            tions, making them                  Followers on Twitter as of August 2011
   Calgary 2011 57.0%                                     2010 53%                                                          collectively the largest
   Calgary 2008 53.7%                                                                                   2009
                                                                                                                            volunteer organization in
                                                                                                        30%                                                                        Calgary Flames 54,123
                                                          2007 33%                                                          Calgary.
                                                                                                                                                                                   Mayor Nenshi 25,270
                                                                                                                                                                                   Vancouver’s Mayor 16,411
                                                                                                                                                                                   Toronto’s Mayor 12,189

 Most volunteers contributed                           Ages most likely to volunteer                                                    Volunteer Engagement
 an average of:                                         18-24 34%

   5.4 hours                                            25-44 42%
                                                                                                                                                                of adults reported
  per month                                             45-64 47%                                                                                               that they volunteered
                                                                                                                                                                in 2008
                                                          65+ 40%

                                                                                                         Citizen Priorities:                       3 Things You Can Do:
                              A grant to the Ethno Cultural Council of Calgary and                       • Build awareness of                      • Volunteer at least twice a month at a nonprofit.
 Donations                    Immigrant Sector Council supported a small resident-                         engagement opportunities                • Follow The City of Calgary on Twitter or visit
  at Work:                    led discussion session, Why Not Vote? which drew great                     • Increase voter turnout           to add your voice to our City’s discussions.
                              participation from diverse Calgary communities and led                     • Involvement of marginalized             • Contribute your ideas to
                              to numerous civic election engagement activities.                            groups

                                                                                                                                  * Text indicators and sources available at
                                                                                                                         Citizen Opinion Survey
                                                                                                                         This year, 1,059 citizens added their voice to Calgary’s Vital Signs by assigning
                                                                                                                         grades, choosing their top 3 priorities and adding their comments on things that
                                                                                                                         are working well in each of the 12 key issue areas. This year they also answered
                                                                                                                         questions about quality of life, happiness and connection to community. They also
                                                                                                                         took the time to provide almost 9,000 comments on the 12 key issue areas.

                                                                                                                         The online survey, conducted by The Praxis Group, is based on a ‘self-selected’
                     We connect, collaborate, inspire...                                                                 respondent population. Data is accurate + or – 3% 19 times out of 20. Most market
The Calgary Foundation, established in 1955, facilitates collaborative philanthropy                                      research involves much smaller samples of around 400 and a margin of error + or
 by making powerful connections between donors and community organizations                                               – 5% 19 times out of 20. Recently, a comparison of the responses from a random
           for the long term benefit of Calgary and surrounding area.                                                    sample telephone survey and the online survey revealed negligible differences
                                                                                                                         between the two groups. So, statistically speaking, yes, our sample does give an
                                                                                                                         accurate perceptual check.
                                               ... and listen.
   The Foundation is listening to Calgarians. We serve as a catalyst and convener,
  creating a meeting place to develop partnerships and bring people together to
                             take the pulse of Calgary.
                                                                                                                         nice numbers!
                                                                                                                         Local subject matter experts representing a wide range of Calgary organizations
                                                                                                                         were consulted to identify current trends and research to ensure that the indicators
               In 2010 – 2011 The Calgary Foundation                                                                     used for Calgary’s Vital Signs are relevant, accurate and comprehensive. Community
                                                                                                                         Foundations of Canada retained The Centre for the Study of Living Standards to
                       • Received $50 million in new gifts                                                               undertake national research and provide additional indicator data.
                   • Increased the asset base to $396 million
            • Granted $22.2 million to 651 charitable organizations                                                      Where did we get them?
                           • Established 55 new funds
                                                                                                                              There is some pretty heavy reading if you’re up for it.
                                                                                                                             The sources for all indicators can be found at
                                        The Calgary Foundation
                                      2011- 2012 Board of Directors                                                      Grader Profile
                                            Alison T. Love, Chair                                                                                                            Graders by city quadrant:
                                                                                                                          43% business
                                      Gerald M. Deyell, Q.C., Vice-Chair
                                                                                                                                                                               NW                            NE
                                            Catherine (Kay) Best                                                          22 % government

                                                                                                                                                                                    35% 8%
                                                Ali A. Bhojani                                                            18 % misc.
                                                                                                                          17 % voluntary sector employment
                                                 Ian Bourne
                                           Sunny Delaney-Clark                                                           Age:
                                          W.R. (Bill) Dickson, Ph.D
                                                                                                                                                                                    40% 17%
                                                                                                                         0 – 24:   9%
                                                   Dale Ens                                                              25 - 44: 39 %
                                             Beverley Foy, F.C.A.
                                            Robert (Bob) Gibson
                                                                                                                         45 – 64: 45 %
                                                                                                                         Over 65: 7 %
                                                                                                                                                             68%               SW                            SE

                                                Walter Hossli
                                              Ross Kobayashi                                                             83% born in Canada 80% lived in Calgary 10 years or more
                                                  Din Ladak
                                                  Ken Little                                                             How did we get our graders?
                                              Gregory Lohnes                                                             Over 100 community partners representing the corporate, government and
                                                  Patti Pon                                                              charitable sectors helped distribute the invitation to grade, including:
                                              Donald Thurston                                                            • Kids Help Phone posted on their website
                                                Anne Tingle                                                              • Mayor Nenshi tweeted to his 26,000 followers
                                                                                                                         • Bow Valley College sent to their alumni via e-news
                                          Eva Friesen, President & CEO                                                   • Inn from the Cold and Mustard Seed shared with their clients
                                                                                                                         • First Calgary Financial posted on Facebook
                                                                                                                         • imagineCALGARY sent out in their newsletter
                                     Community Research Partners                                                         • DeVry Institure of Technology who engaged their students
                                               Calgary Arts Development
                                            Calgary Economic Development
                                                     Calgary Herald
                                             Calgary Homeless Foundation
                                                 Calgary Police Services
                                         City of Calgary, Office of Sustainability
                                City of Calgary, Community & Neighbourhood Services
                                              Vibrant Communities Calgary                                                                            Calgary is a great city.
                                                                                                                                                     But as these grades and research show, it could be even
                                                 Research Sources                                                                                    better. Making things better means everyone has to
                                                 Alberta Health Services
                                               Alberta Motor Association                                                                             play a role. And playing that role simply means doing
                                              Calgary Board of Education                                                                             something new, or differently. Often, that first step sets
                                              Calgary Police Commission                                                                              you on a new course.
                                         Canadian Broadcasting Corporation                                                                           For each Key Indicator Area we’ve suggested 3 small
                                     Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
                                                                                                                                                     things anyone can do to become more involved, more

                                                     City of Calgary
                                                  Animal & Bylaw Services                                                                            caring or just to get more out of life. Go ahead, try them
                                                         Civic Census                                                                                and see where they lead you.
                                                       Calgary Transit
                                          Environmental & Safety Management
                                                      Fire Department
                                                Land Use Planning & Policy
                                                    Public Art Program
                                                                                                                                                   Look inside for 3 Things YouinCan Docity!become
                                                                                                                                                               more involved your

                                              Public Safety Communications
                                                 Transportation Planning
                                             Conference Board of Canada
                                          Mercer 2011 Cost of Living Survey

                                                                                                                         This report is designed to make you
                                                     RBC Economics
                                                    Statistics Canada
                                  The City of Edmonton Planning and Development
                                 Toronto Board of Trade 2011 Scorecard on Prosperity
                                           United Way of Calgary and Area                                                think about Calgary, and hopefully,
                                           Vital Signs Project Team
                                                                                                                         make you want to speak out.
                                              THE CALGARY FOUNDATION
                                                    Kerry Longpré
                                      Project Leader- Vice President, Communications
                                                                                                                         Vital Conversations
                                                       Janice Francey
                                                 Communications Specialist
                                                                                                                         is your opportunity to do so.
                                                         Taylor Barrie
                                                  Communications Assistant                                               Hosted by The Calgary Foundation, Vital
                                                     Monica Pohlmann
                                     Community Engagement & Research Consultant                                          Conversations are a series of dynamic
                                                    CREATIVE PARTNER
                                                                                                                         community forums, presented in partnership
                                                     juice creative inc.
                                                                                                                         with Calgary Public Library, that invite you
                                                     SURVEY PARTNER
                                                     The Praxis Group
                                                                                                                         to share your experiences and discuss the
                                                                                                                         issues presented in the 2011 Calgary’s Vital
                                                                                                                         Signs Report. Explore your role in shaping our
                                                                                                                         rapidly changing city by adding your voice at
                                                                      700-999 8th Street SW                              the next event...
                                                                      Calgary Alberta T2R 1J5

                                                                                                                         Join in the next conversation around

                                                                                                                         rsvp online at

Vital Signs is a community check-up conducted by community foundations across Canada that measures the
vitality of our communities, identifies significant trends, and assigns grades in a range of areas critical to quality
of life. Vital Signs is coordinated nationally by Community Foundations of Canada.

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