Community Foundation of Whistler releases Vital Focus report on Growth, Change and Belonging in Whistler
Our 2017 Vital Focus Report on Growth, Change and Belonging is now available.
Following the launch of our first Vital Signs® report in October 2016, the Community Foundation of Whistler hosted community conversations with nonprofits and community members. The outcome of these conversations was that people wanted to talk about growth. Our community is growing and changing tremendously.
We then held further conversations with the community in 2017 and gathered survey input to construct a report that reflects the concerns and experiences of community members. The Vital Focus report is part of our ongoing Vital Signs initiative.
The report is divided into four sections:
- Growth and Changing Patterns: Growth has been a constant for Whistler since it began but lately the pace seems to have accelerated.
- Capacity and Limits to Growth: Though growth and capacity have always been carefully planned in Whistler, community members should understand how planning takes place and how planning is changing.
- Nature versus Urbanization: Exploring Whistler’s values. Whistler is built on strong values for the natural environment. How can growth be balanced with our value for nature?
- More, Less and Belonging: Growth brings more of some things and less of others. How do we feel we belong to our community and what is it that binds us together?
Highlights from the report
- Whistler is experiencing one of the highest rates of population growth in BC. The population increased 20.7% from 2011 to 2016. The number of seniors has grown and the number of children under 15 has grown, though we still have 13.4% more working age people than the BC average.
- Visitors to Whistler have been growing and Whistler has become a year-round destination. This growth, combined with the staff shortages that result from the high cost of living and lack of affordable housing, makes workers busier than ever. That means less time for people to spend with families, to relax and connect with others.
- From 2008 to 2016, the number of new immigrants to Whistler increased by an average of 14% per year. Diversity in Whistler in increasing. Many newcomers are settling here for the jobs and a place to raise their families, rather than being enticed by the ski lifestyle.
- The Iiving income for an individual in Whistler rose 6.3% from 2015 to 2016 and 26% for a family of four. The number of people in Whistler living below living costs is increasing dramatically. However, the percentage of low income families, individuals and children in Whistler is still significantly below the national and BC averages.
- Building Blocks of Belonging are meaningful and stable work, connections and shared experiences and a sense of place through our neighbourhoods.
Community members are invited to drop into the foyer at the Whistler Public Library where the Whistler Vital Signs report will be on display all week, from October 4 through October 11th.
Whistler’s Vital Signs is produced as part of a national initiative led by the Community Foundations of Canada that leverages local knowledge to measure the vitality of our communities and support action towards improving our quality of life. The Community Foundation of Whistler is one of 35 community foundations across the country participating in Vital Signs this year.
More information about Vital Signs is available at http://communityfoundations.ca/vitalsigns/