In March 2020, the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) provided a grant of $24,418 to the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) under Stream 1 (Age-friendly Assessments, Action Plans & Planning) of the UBCM 2020 Age-friendly Communities Program. The purpose of this funding is for the RMOW to undertake an assessment of Whistler’s current age‐friendliness and then develop a plan to support local seniors to age‐in‐place and to further make Whistler an age‐friendly community.
The Whistler Age-friendly Assessment and Action Plan Project will assess the current situation in Whistler and then develop a plan identifying priorities and actions to advance identified needs and opportunities. This will be achieved through the project’s two main deliverables, the Whistler Age‐friendly Assessment Report and the Whistler Age‐friendly Action Plan. These documents will make recommendations for the Whistler community within each of B.C.’s following eight age‐friendly community components:
- Outdoor spaces and buildings;
- Transportation (including traffic safety);
- Respect, social inclusion, or cultural safety;
- Social well‐being and participation;
- Communications and information;
- Community engagement and employment; and
- Community support and health and wellness services.
The project’s specific objectives are to:
- Create a multi‐stakeholder working group to become a catalyst for action, ensure a coordinated and efficient approach to improving age‐friendliness in Whistler, and establish a common understanding of roles and responsibilities in age‐friendly initiatives;
- Consult with the community in an inclusive manner to inform the assessment of age‐friendliness in Whistler, identifying any gaps/needs and potential solutions;
- Provide an Age‐friendly Assessment Report that summarizes the results and main priorities, and which can be used to form the Age‐friendly Action Plan; and
- Provide an Age‐friendly Action Plan which addresses all of B.C.’s eight age‐friendly components, identifies and refines strategic priorities and best potential actions for making Whistler more age‐friendly, and allows for ongoing monitoring and evaluation.
Cardea Health Consulting Inc. has been engaged as a consultant to undertake the project under the direction of RMOW staff.
Community engagement and consultation
With the assistance of the RMOW, the consultant will create and lead a multi‐stakeholder working group to bring information and experiences to the process. The working group will inform the assessment of the current situation in Whistler, and will identify the best priorities and potential actions for making Whistler more age‐friendly. It will also be the catalyst for action and ensure a coordinated and efficient approach, including a consideration of roles and responsibilities for the multiple stakeholders to advance the various potential actions.
Beyond the working group, seniors and other interested community members will be engaged in the assessment and action planning process. With a focus on seniors, this community engagement will occur through a number of methods, including a survey and focused conversations. The engagement activities will be appropriate to the COVID‐19 situation and designed to adhere to public health requirements.
The UBCM 2020 Age‐friendly Communities Program helps B.C. communities support aging populations by: developing and implementing policies and plans; undertaking projects that enable seniors and Elders to age in place; and facilitating the creation of age‐friendly communities. Local governments may apply for funding under two streams: Stream 1: Age‐friendly Assessments, Action Plans & Planning; and Stream 2: Age‐friendly Projects.
On January 21, 2020, Council passed a resolution endorsing the submission of a grant application to the UBCM 2020 Age-friendly Communities Program. At this meeting, Council also passed a resolution that if the grant is successfully obtained, staff would oversee the management of the grant and the undertaking of activities required by the Age-friendly Communities Program to develop an age-friendly assessment and action plan. These resolutions and further information are provided in Administrative Report No. 20-006.
The RMOW was successful in obtaining the grant. On April 6, 2021, Council received Information Report No. 21-029, which informed Council of the UBCM grant funding and provided an outline of the Whistler Age-friendly Assessment and Action Plan Project and its work plan. The RMOW and Cardea Health Consulting Inc. subsequently embarked on the project.
For questions or comments on this project: