A quick snapshot from the Revelstoke Community Survey

Almost 800 Revelstoke and area residents and non-resident property owners completed the 2012 Community survey – 50% more than responded to the survey the last time it was done in 2007. Susan Knight was the winner of the prize draw.

The project team thanks Susan and others for making time to share their views with the community.

A sample of some of the survey responses follows. We will post the survey results and the almost 200 pages of comments on the project website (see link below) in the next week.

Proud, satisfied and optimistic

The majority of survey respondents are proud of Revelstoke (72%), satisfied with Revelstoke as a place to live (89% very or somewhat satisfied), and optimistic about the future of our community (91%). These results are very similar to the 2007 responses.

Electronically connected, active, healthy households

Almost 100% of survey respondents have access to a computer with high speed internet at home, and 94% own smartphones. An amazing 50% of respondents walk or bike to work in the summer, and a hardy 30% continue these healthy choices into the winter. The majority of respondents (72%) describe the general well-being of the people in their households as stable, with 22% improving – which has been consistent since 2001.

A friendly community of involved volunteers

‘Beautiful’, ‘friendly’ and ‘community’ were the most common words respondents used to explain to other people what is most important to them about living in Revelstoke.  There are many community organizations for residents to be involved in. Seventy-seven percent of survey respondents are members of these organizations, and 65% volunteer. This level of volunteerism has continued since the 2001 survey.

The environment is important

As in past surveys, 2012 survey respondents feel the condition of the natural environment around the community is important to our quality of life (85% very important; 14% somewhat important). Respondents ranked the five most important environmental conditions that need attention as:  recycling/composting, quality drinking water, energy conservation/renewable sources, sustainable forestry practices and local food security. With the exception of air quality, which ranked second, this is consistent with the 2007 priorities.

Mixed views on our economy

Views are split on the state of our economy – less than 10% see Revelstoke’s current economy as growing, with the remaining respondents equally split between the current economy being stable and declining. Respondents identified tourism/hospitality, education/training, value-added forestry and agriculture/local food production as the four highest priority economic sectors to focus on developing. This differs from the responses in 2007 when retail and services were higher priorities. The five most important economic conditions that need attention according to respondents are: the high cost of living in Revelstoke, the ability to pay for City services, maintaining a diverse economy, opportunities for youth and support for business. Come and join a discussion about services for small business on Monday, November 26 from 7-9 PM at the Community Centre.

Social strengths & challenges

Revelstoke is a safe community, with 91% of respondents feeling safe in the community and 97% feeling safe at home. However, theft, vandalism and physical assaults are recorded at higher rates than in 2007.  Families are coping with the economic slowdown, with 40% of respondents reporting their families are thriving and 52% are managing.

Some respondents report difficulties – 15% do not have someone or some place to turn to when they have personal or family problems and 15% indicate their family is not able to participate in recreational activities they are interested in, mainly due to affordability. The five important social issues that need attention as identified by respondents reflect these challenges: affordable housing, activities for youth, meeting basic needs/addressing child poverty, access to education and care for seniors.

Why we do this survey

This survey is one of the most comprehensive public input tools that measures community views about the quality of life in Revelstoke. It was initiated in the 1990’s as part of a Healthy Communities program. In 2001 it was expanded and included in the first Community Development Action Plan (CDAP), which addressed economic and social issues. 2007 was the next survey date, again, as one aspect of preparing the CDAP – this time integrating economic, social and environmental actions.

The 2012 survey is part of our Integrated Community Sustainability Plan (ICSP), which will update our CDAP, with a longer-term lens. The survey samples views after the first few years of incorporating a busy winter tourism season into our community, creating a rich, multi-year history of community perspectives on our quality of life.

Exploring further

The project team is digging into the survey results to better understand community views regarding such things as the ideal population for the community, the preferred number of visitors, sources of stress, and employment challenges.

We invite you to join us at the Sustainability Fair on Nov. 27th at the Community Centre to learn more of the community survey results and tell us how you think Revelstoke can become more resilient and sustainable.

  • 4:00 – 6:00                  Drop in to learn about sustainability in Revelstoke & provide input on the new framework
  • 4:30 – 6:00                  Join a discussion about Living Happily Without Excess
  • 6:00 – 9:00                  Learn about sustainability in Revelstoke and provide input at fun, interactive booths, then join discussions about what                 Revelstoke should do to become more sustainable.

To learn more about the Integrated Sustainable Community Plan please go their website at http://www.cityofrevelstoke.com/index.aspx?nid=322 or contact the project team at ICSP@revelstoke.ca . You can also contact  Alan Mason, director of Community Economic Development at 250 837-5345, amason@revelstoke.ca or John Guenther, director of Planning at 250 837-3637,  jguenther@revelstoke.ca.