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About Vital Conversations

The Community Foundation uses Vital Signs to understand Peterborough, recognize our community’s strengths and identify where we need to make changes. The information in Vital Signs
paints a picture of where we are as a community, but it’s up to us to figure out where we should go from here. As we continue to build our understanding of Peterborough, we must engage in the more challenging – but exciting – task of deciding who we want to be, and what we need to do, together, to get there.

 

More than 700 people had Vital Conversations in October

During the month of October 2017, more than 100 Vital Conversations brought friends and neighbours together in the Peterborough region to share a meal and a conversation about Greater Peterborough’s Vital Signs.  Everyday people stepped up as leaders to invite the guests, plan the meal and host the conversation using the Vital Conversations Card Game, a tool designed to guide interesting discussions where you share perspectives, ask hard questions and make suggestions for building a stronger community.

 

Who participated

More than 700 people brought Vital Conversations to life in the Peterborough area, with participants from across the region, including Curve Lake First Nation, Apsley, Douro, Lakefield, Ennismore, Otonabee, Indian River, Buckhorn and the City of Peterborough.  People of all ages took part, from teenagers to octogenarians, representing the diversity of the community and including people of different abilities, those living on low-incomes, individuals identifying as LGBTTQ2+, newcomers, immigrants, and different faith groups.

 

Next steps

Every conversation identified actions we can take today to build a better future for Peterborough and generated thoughtful, creative ideas for strengthening our community.  The Community Foundation will be gathering all of those ideas and sharing them with community members and local leaders in the new year.  The feedback will also help inform the Foundation’s grants to local charities in 2018.

Thank you to all of the individuals who stepped up in October to build a stronger community through Vital Conversations.

We have so much to celebrate in our community, and yes, we have work to do. We’re not always going to agree on the best way forward. But if we can start with the one thing we have in common – our shared love for this community – then we can begin to find ways to work together, through our differences, for the good of community. We hope that Vital Conversations is the start of more meaningful and productive approaches to debates and decision making in Peterborough. We know that it starts with all of us, with our connection to this place and our relationships to one another; we are the ones who set the tone in our public realm, who raise the bar for our elected leaders, who lead the way when change is needed and who celebrate together when things are good.

Get Your Host Kit
Play the Vital Conversations Card Game
Submit your Vital Actions ideas online
Print the Vital Actions Form

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What’s the point?
    The Community Foundation brings community builders together to create meaningful and lasting change in the City and County of Peterborough. Since 2011, the Foundation has invested more than $1.2 million in grants to the local charities that build community vitality in Peterborough. The Foundation uses the Vital Signs report to understand Peterborough, recognize our community’s strengths and identify where we need to make changes. The information in Vital Signs paints a picture of where we are as a community, but it’s up to us to figure out where we should go from here. As we continue to build our understanding of Peterborough, we must engage in the more challenging – but exciting – task of deciding who we want to be, and what we need to do, together, to get there. The Community Foundation will be using knowledge from Vital Signs and feedback from Vital Conversations to help set priorities for grants to local charities in 2018.
  • Why should I participate?

    Learn more about your community. Some of the statistics in the Vital Signs®® report might fit nicely with what you know, intuitively, about our community. Others may come as a surprise. And there will likely be a few that will challenge your perception of Peterborough, leaving you asking questions and wanting to know more about this place we call home. Vital Conversations is a chance to get to know Peterborough in a deeper way, to see your community from a different angle and to think about what makes this place unique.

    Connect with your neighbours. Community means different things to each of us, and neighbours are simply the people who share your community. Your neighbours might be the people living next door to you, they might be the regulars at your favourite coffee shop, or maybe the folks you play hockey with. We could all benefit from spending some time getting to know our neighbours a little better – it improves our health, makes us happier and safer, and creates helpful networks that we can rely on when we need a hand.

    Help shape the future of your community. Our community is growing and changing in many ways and there is no doubt that Peterborough will look very different ten or twenty years from now. At this critical time, it’s important that we are able to talk about the issues that matter in a productive, meaningful way. Sometimes it’s hard to share our perspectives and ideas in public - because we’re too busy, we’re intimidated by what others might say or think, or maybe we just don’t think our voices matter. Vital Conversations can help us keep the art of conversation alive in Peterborough while supporting the actions we need to take today to create a vital future for our community.

  • How can I get involved?

    Host a Vital Conversation. Anyone can host a Vital Conversation. You invite the guests, and the Community Foundation will provide a kit with everything you need to get your conversation going. Sign up at cfgp.ca/vs/registration or call 705-740-2347.

    Join in on social media. Connect with the Community Foundation on Facebook and Twitter, and use the hashtags #VitalConversations and #VitalPtbo to share your thoughts on how we can build a vital future for Peterborough.

    Stay connected. Subscribe for updates on Vital Signs® statistics and community engagement opportunities in Peterborough and connect to a network of community builders at cfgp.ca/vitalsigns.

  • What is the Community Foundation?
    The Community Foundation of Greater Peterborough brings community builders together to create meaningful and lasting change in the City and County of Peterborough. We work with donors and charitable organizations to invest in the people, ideas and activities that build community vitality. Building sustainable community assets through philanthropy, we take a long-term view of our community, and have the staying power needed to address complex issues.
  • What is Vital Signs®?
    Vital Signs® is a snapshot of our community that measures the vitality of Greater Peterborough, identifies needs, strengths and trends, and supports action on issues that are critical to our quality of life.
  • What is Vital Conversations?
    For the month of October 2017, Vital Conversations will bring friends and neighbours together in the City and County of Peterborough to share a meal and a conversation about our community’s Vital Signs. A Vital Conversation is an easy, fun and meaningful way to learn more about your community, connect with your neighbours and help shape a better future for Peterborough. Anyone can be a Vital Conversations host. You invite the guests, and the Community Foundation will provide a kit with everything you need to get your conversation going. Every conversation will identify actions we can take today to build a better future for Peterborough. Feedback from your conversation will be used to direct the Community Foundation’s 2018 grants to local charities and will be shared with community members and local leaders in the City and County of Peterborough.

For more information

Contact Nicole Gagliardi at the Community Foundation of Greater Peterborough
nicole.gagliardi@cfgp.ca | 705-740-2347.

This initiative is a collaboration between the Community Foundation of Greater Peterborough and the Atkinson Foundation.