Nanaimo Vital Signs Project Launched to Track Cityʼs Quality of Life

Nanaimo, BC – May 26, 2014 – The Nanaimo Foundation, the United Way Central and Northern Vancouver Island (UWCNVI), and the City of Nanaimo are partnering to produce Nanaimoʼs first ever Vital Signs report.

“This project—tested by community foundations across the country—is an important tool that allows us to engage with the community in order to increase our understanding of Nanaimoʼs issues and trends and what our key priorities should be going forward,” said Tim Mawdsley, Director of Vital Signs with the Nanaimo Foundation.

Sponsored by Island Savings and supported by Vancouver Island University, this community checkup
will identify Nanaimoʼs strengths and highlight areas in need of attention.

“This kind of annual check-up is an essential tool for starting conversations in Nanaimo about the most pressing issues—and greatest opportunities—facing residents today,” said Randy Bertsch, Chief Operations Officer with Island Savings. “As a result, it will no doubt guide Island Savingsʼ ongoing investment program in Central Island communities.”

Information in the report will be gathered from a variety of sources, including surveys, roundtables, and census data. The results will be compiled and presented in a reader-friendly, easy-to-use format to help increase understanding of how the community is doing and where it is heading.

“It can track economic and environmental trends, health, learning, safety, and a number of other factors that all contribute to social issues,” said John Horn, Social Planner, City of Nanaimo.

Signy Madden, Executive Director of UWCNVI, said “Partnering on Vital Signs is such a win/win for our donors and the community as a whole. United Way already tracks issues and invests in 33 effective programs in the Central Island this year, but we have wanted to combine our findings with others producing local data. Better data means more informed ways to tackle pressing social issues and to help galvanize community investment.”

The Vital Signs publication is part of a national initiative that was launched in 2006 by the Community Foundations of Canada. This is the first time the Vital Signs research will be conducted in Nanaimo, and the report plays a key role in the Nanaimo Foundationʼs strategic plan to increase its community development contributions.

Nanaimoʼs inaugural Vital Signs publication will be made available to the public on October 7th, 2014. For more information, contact the Nanaimo Foundation at 250-753-1124 or visit

Photo Names – Left to Right
Tom Harris (Director, Nanaimo Foundation), Randy Bertsch (Chief Operating Officer Island Savings), Signy Madden (Executive Director, United Way), Tim Mawdsley (Chair, Nanaimo Foundation), Don Bonner (Chair, United Way)