Statue of Mr. Alloway

Reconciliation, Belonging, Well-being and Divisions within our city are citizens’ top priorities

October 05, 2017 | The Winnipeg Foundation

Vital Signs cover photo - Participants in the Truth and Reconciliation Camp, Frontier College and Community Education Development Association.

For immediate release:

  • Long-time Winnipeggers are more likely to think our city is doing enough to support reconciliation
  • One of four Winnipeggers have felt uncomfortable because of discrimination
  • 64 percent of Winnipeggers feel stress about personal finances
  • 60 percent of Winnipeggers know their neighbours well enough to ask for help

These are just some of the findings in Winnipeg’s Vital Signs® 2017, a report released today by The Winnipeg Foundation. Vital Signs is a snapshot of life in Winnipeg. It measures the vitality of our community by combining research with the results of community surveys and Vital Conversations.

From this information, The Foundation identified significant needs and trends, and key findings that fall into the following areas: Reconciliation, Belonging, Well-being, and Lines that Divide our community.

“All aspects of community life are very closely intertwined,” says Foundation CEO Rick Frost. “You can’t have a strong sense of well-being without basic human rights and a sense of belonging; you can’t feel you belong when we have unreconciled relations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous citizens; you can’t reconcile relationships when there are huge divisions and misconceptions in our city.”

In an effort to help inform citizens more about reconciliation, the report includes a section called Vital Information: Indigenous People in Canada.

“The Winnipeg Foundation is committed to working with everybody in our community toward a shared goal of reconciliation. And like so many, we’re still discovering exactly what that means,” says Foundation Board Chair Justice Deborah McCawley. “We know truth and reconciliation is a journey that calls on each one of us – individually and collectively, corporately and institutionally – to respond. The process we engage to do this will, of course, vary. But whatever path we follow, we know education plays a significant role.”

As a part of the Vital Signs process, The Foundation also held a series of Vital Conversations, which brought the community together to discuss the issues of mental health and addictions, reconciliation, and community pride.

“We were inspired by the amazing response people had to the Vital Conversations, and will be further prioritizing community engagement and expanding our role as community convenor going forward. The results will also be influencing our grants,” says CEO Rick Frost.

“The Winnipeg Foundation’s vision is ‘a Winnipeg where community life flourishes for all’. This report is packed with information about what a flourishing community looks like to different people. From here, we can see the potential next steps our community can take,” Mr. Frost adds.

The information contained in Vital Signs is for everyone. All the data collected is available on the Vital Signs website, There you can also find full copies of the online and phone survey results, the data obtained through secondary research, special surveys completed during our Vital Conversations, and more.

Vital Signs is a national program led by community foundations and coordinated by Community Foundations of Canada that leverages local knowledge to measure the vitality of our communities and supports action towards improving our quality of life. Started by the Toronto Foundation in 2001, today close to 100 communities around the world use Vital Signs to mobilize the power of community knowledge for local impact.

Learn more: You may also contact The Foundation to request a copy of the report.

The Winnipeg Foundation, Canada’s first community foundation, was established in 1921. Built by people from all walks of life, The Foundation pools and invests gifts entrusted to it to generate grants that benefit a variety of local charitable needs For Good. Forever.

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Media inquiries/questions:

Richard L. Frost, CEO
204.944.9474 ext. 223
Email Rick

LuAnn Lovlin, Director of Communications
204.9449.474 ext.232
204.781.9336 (cell)
Email LuAnn


Winnipeg’s Vital Signs® 2017

  • Winnipeg’s Vital Signs® 2017 is a snapshot of life in Winnipeg. It measures the vitality of our community by combining research with the results of community surveys and conversations.
  • The report is the culmination of more than a year’s work.
  • 2,171 people completed online and telephone surveys as a part of Vital Signs. These surveys were conducted on behalf of The Winnipeg Foundation by NRG Research Group, which has conducted similar Vital Signs surveys for both the Victoria Foundation and the Calgary Foundation.
  • Secondary research was cultivated from several sources: Institute of Urban Studies, International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) and the Social Planning Council. This information is reflected in more than 100 indicators used throughout the report.
  • A series of Vital Conversations were held on the topics of mental health and addictions, reconciliation, and community pride.
  • The information is organized into 10 categories that touch on all aspects of life in Winnipeg, as well as information about our quality of life and sense of belonging.
  • In an effort to educate citizens about reconciliation, the report includes a section called Vital Information: Indigenous People in Canada.
  • Results from Winnipeg’s Vital Signs 2017 are available at You may also contact The Foundation to request a printed copy.

The Foundation’s goals for Winnipeg’s Vital Signs 2017 are to:

  • Encourage new discussion, connections and community advancement on issues.
  • Enhance resources on issues/opportunities for our donors and the broader community.
  • Increase the effectiveness of The Foundation’s grant-making.
  • Inform our grants and our next Strategic Plan as we define the path toward our centennial in 2021.