Winnipeg’s Vital Signs® 2017 is a snapshot of life in Winnipeg. It measures the vitality of our community, identifying significant needs and trends by combining research with the results of community surveys and conversations.


We are pleased to present Winnipeg’s Vital Signs 2017 – our first-ever snapshot into life in Winnipeg. It is the culmination of more than a year’s work. It is filled with the results from online and telephone surveys completed by 2,171 people, as well as secondary research cultivated from several sources. This 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.

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.

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

Throughout the Vital Signs process, we learned a lot about our city and the people who live here. According to results obtained through Vital Signs, Winnipeggers overwhelmingly rate their quality of life as good or very good, have a strong sense of belonging to Winnipeg, and are proud of our community. That being said, almost a quarter of our citizens reported feeling out of place, more than half live pay cheque to pay cheque, and only 24 percent say they are very familiar with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and its Calls to Action.

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. 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.

In an effort to help educate citizens about reconciliation, we’ve included a section called Vital Information: Indigenous People in Canada.

Of course, all aspects of community life are very closely intertwined. 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.

But give Winnipeggers an opportunity to gather and discuss topics that matter, and they’ll come out in droves. 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. Stay tuned for more information in the coming months.

The Winnipeg Foundation’s vision is ‘a Winnipeg where community life flourishes for all’. I hope you’ll agree 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.

The Winnipeg Foundation is looking forward to taking these next steps. We hope you’ll join us.

Please send your feedback to

Rick Frost, The Winnipeg Foundation
Rick Frost, CEO of The Winnipeg Foundation


The information contained in Vital Signs is for everyone. We hope you find both this report, and the data available as a result, useful.

The online and telephone surveys for Vital Signs 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.

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

  • Inspire 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 strategic plan as we define the path toward our centennial in 2021

This project builds on The Winnipeg Foundation’s experience with Winnipeg’s Youth Vital Signs report in 2014 when young Winnipeggers, aged 14-29, were invited to grade key areas of life, identify opportunities for change and categorize priorities for community investment.

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.