Burns Memorial Fund for Children

Honouring the legacy of Senator Patrick Burns, we work to ensure that each child in Calgary reaches their full potential. By investing resources in the areas of education, health and well-being, we build a strong community for our children and youth.

Senator Patrick Burns standing in front of a crowdOur Story Why We Exist

Burns Memorial Fund is the gift of Senator Patrick Burns–a successful rancher, businessman and philanthropist. Senator Burns was an active citizen of Calgary, contributing to the development of many of the city’s institutions and charities. He was one of the “Big Four”–the four ranchers who organized the Calgary Stampede. Senator Patrick Burns passed away in 1937, leaving this legacy for the children of Calgary. In 2008, Senator Burns was named Alberta’s Greatest Citizen, as part of an initiative marking The Calgary Herald’s 125th anniversary.

Children grouped together smiling and laughingOur Impact What We Do

The Burns Memorial Fund trustees form a joint board to govern a private charitable foundation (The Children’s Fund) and two non-profit trusts (the Police Fund and the Fire Fund). Burns Memorial Fund provides educational grants for the children of police officers and firefighters, offers financial assistance to meet the health, education and recreation needs of children living in low-income situations and supports registered charities focused on low-income children.

2015 Highlights: 

In 2015, over 4,700 children benefited from our assistance during a difficult time of increased need. Our charitable foundation, the Children’s Fund, helped low-income children and youth receive the essential supports and services they require to lead healthier, successful, and fulfilling lives. We also funded a variety of community organizations helping children and youth enhance important life skills. 

  • 16 grants were made to charitable organizations. At least 4,100 children and youth were helped through these programs. 
  • 11 community agencies partnered with us to meet the health, education and recreation needs of 201 children. 
  • 75 at-risk students received monthly living allowances so they could stay in school. 9 students in financial need received post-secondary scholarships. 
  • 37 children were assisted with orthodontic or oral health treatment costs.

Through the Police Fund and the Fire Fund, we continue to honour Senator Patrick Burns’ respect for police officers and firefighters by awarding post-secondary scholarships and special needs grants. At the Burns Memorial Fund, we are proud to uphold Senator Burns’ vision of a city where children and youth flourish.

  • 237 post-secondary scholarships and 12 special needs grants were awarded to the children of police officers.  
  • 117 post-secondary scholarships and 4 special needs grants were awarded to the children of firefighters.  

2015 was another year of staggering growth for the Burns Memorial Fund. Participation in our High School Bursary program increased 23%. Grants for emergency dental care rose over 50%. During this year, we were also proud to launch the Collaborative Funders’ Table, in partnership with other forward-thinking community funders. Together, we distributed over $200,000 for out-of-school programs for vulnerable youth.

Group of 3 youth sitting outside smiling and laughingOur Programs How We Do It

Burns Memorial Fund is responsible for the Children’s Fund (a private charitable foundation which supports low-income families and charitable organizations working with children) and the Police and Fire Funds (two non-profit trusts focused on the children of police officers and fire fighters).

These Funds are a gift from Senator Patrick Burns to Calgary’s citizens. For more information on the grants provided through each Fund, check out the following links:

  • Children’s Fund – High Schol Students, Community Organization Grants, Families Moving Forward, Oral Health Program, Watson Family Foundation Fund
  • The Fire Fund – Post Secondary Grants, Special Needs Grants
  • The Police Fund – Post Secondary Grants, Special Needs Grants

Burns Memorial Fund also distributes funds on behalf of other collaborations. Please visit the pages below for more information:

A child sitting at a table colouring on a pageOur Requests What You Can Do

Burns Memorial Fund provides direct and practical assistance to Calgary’s children. Although we are fortunate to receive revenue from Senator Patrick Burns’ estate, the needs we address in the community are many and the demands for our support have surpassed the resources available from the endowment.

All donations given to the Children’s Fund go directly to children in need to assist with such costs as school fees and supplies, tutoring, orthodontic and dental treatment, special health needs and recreation fees. By contributing to Burns Memorial Fund, you are ensuring that Senator Patrick Burns’ memory and spirit live on. Here’s how you can contribute:

By phone: 403-234-9396 

Online at CanadaHelps

By mail (please make cheques payable to Burns Memorial Fund): 

  • Burns Memorial Fund
  • Kahanoff Centre
  • 1120 - 105 12 Avenue SE
  • Calgary, AB  T2G 1A1