Youth Vital Signs Calgary 2010

Organization Name:
Child and Youth Friendly Calgary
City & State:
Organization Website:
Describe your creative piece – what is it and what has it been used for, and why is it innovative?
Inspired by The Calgary Foundation’s Vital Signs, Youth Vital Signs is a survey intended to give a voice to Calgarians, aged 12-24. The report gave Calgary’s youth the chance to speak out on key issues. The creative piece is a 4 page spread, published in the Calgary Herald newspaper on Apr. 28, 2010, releasing the grades of the Youth Vital Signs survey. 100,000 copies of the insert were published. The Youth Vital Signs insert was created with Adobe Photoshop CS4. The insert reached an estimated 300,000 Calgarians with a goal to bring youth issues to the forefront, give youth a strong voice and ultimately influence change. This piece is unique because it is the first of its kind in Alberta and was inspired by young people -- they identified the issue areas, expressed opinions, helped write and design the report, and ultimately graded our city. The creative piece was conceptualized and designed by a youth, aged 19, and input on the content and design was in part from youth.
What issue or problem were you working to address with this piece?
Youth – particularly those under 18 – can’t vote and may not have the same kinds of political, financial and personal power that many adults take for granted. Young people are frequently overlooked when seeking opinions on community issues. We know youth have valid opinions, good ideas and a concern for the future of their city and communities. Youth Vital Signs gave Calgary’s youth the opportunity to have their voice heard by grading their city in 12 key issue areas. These areas include the Art Scene, Going Green, Youth Voice, Youth Spaces, Health & Well Being, Youth Housing & Homelessness, Education & Learning, Safety, Employment & Training, Transportation, Culture: Identity & Belonging, and Recreation & Sports. The creative piece we developed gave youth a voice in Calgary. It demonstrates to the community that youth do care about what’s happening around them and are concerned citizens.
How has your submission successfully impacted your organization’s ability to solve this issue/problem?
Youth Central and The Calgary Foundation presented Youth Vital Signs to Calgary by holding a media release at Crescent Heights High School in April 2010. There was abundance of media coverage from media outlets such as The Calgary Herald, The Calgary Sun, City TV, Omni and Global. As a result of the media release, there was a positive response from the community - phone calls and emails have been received from the public and our goal to promote the value of youth opinions, although ongoing, has been a success thus far. Youth Vital Signs has identified areas of improvement for youth in Calgary and we are enthused that the community has been responsive. We look forward to working with other organizations to address the lower grades and the root causes behind these issues. The creative piece helped us raise awareness about youth issues, the importance of youth voice, and will hopefully create change in Calgary, the ultimate goal.
Creative Submission - Files