Exploring connection to community

What is belonging? What influences it? Why is it important? 

Belonging is at the heart of building stronger communities and a more cohesive, inclusive country. Belonging intersects with all aspects of community life and connects to some of today’s most pressing conversations from inclusion of newcomers to reshaping the relationship between Indigenous Peoples and all Canadians to strengthening rural and remote communities.

In 2015, we began a multi-year and multifaceted exploration on the topic of belonging. This Vital Signs journey and focus on belonging will continue through the end of 2017 and includes a three-part report, as well as two special reports looking at the connection between sport and belonging (released in April 2016) and arts and belonging (released in April 2017).

2017 National Vital Signs Report: Community systems and belonging

The 2017 national Vital Signs report looks at the many ways that community-level systems affect people’s sense of inclusion. Drawing on a wealth of community knowledge, the publication unpacks the impact of rising housing costs, wage gaps, wealth inequality, and a lack of faith in public institutions on belonging, most notably for newcomers, visible minorities and Indigenous Peoples.


2016 Special Vital Signs Report: Arts & Belonging

Published in partnership with the Canadian Arts Presenting Association (CAPACOA), this national Vital Signs report shines the spotlight on compelling data and stories that demonstrate the power of the arts to build a greater sense of belonging to our communities, to our country, and to each other.

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2016 National Vital Signs Report: Social participation and belonging

In our 2015 report  we define the concept of belonging simply as being part of a collective we. In addition, we also posit that belonging is a two-way street: It’s about how much we believe we fit in a place or a group, and also about how much that place or group welcomes and includes us. As we continue our exploration, this year’s report focuses on one side of Belonging Street – using the lens of social participation to better understand how we as individuals feel that we belong.

2016 Special Vital Signs Report: Sport & Belonging

Produced in partnership with the TrueSport Foundation, this special Vital Signs report takes a focused look on how sport – when grounded in fairness, excellence, inclusion and fun – can strengthen belonging to each other and to our communities.

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2015 National Vital Signs Report: Understanding belonging

This foundational report looks back over the past 50 years at our sense of belonging and where we as communities and a country are going next leading up to Canada’s sesquicentennial in 2017 and beyond.