Burns Memorial Fund

we serve these populations

  • children and youth
  • Disabilities
non profit

About Burns Memorial Fund

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.

Burns Memorial Fund is located on Treaty 7 territory, the ancestral and traditional territory of the Blackfoot Confederacy: Kainai, Piikani and Siksika as well as the Tsuut’ina, the Îyâxe Nakoda Nations, and Métis Nation, Region 3. More precisely, our work is situated in Moh’kinsstis – a place known as Calgary to Senator Patrick Burns when he gifted his legacy. In the spirit of reconciliation, respect and truth, we honour and acknowledge Moh’kinsstis, and the traditional Treaty 7 territory and oral practices of the Blackfoot Confederacy.

Our Impact

Burns Memorial Fund administers the Children’s Fund (a private charitable foundation that 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).

2022 Highlights: 

In 2022, we were able to support over 2,000 individuals through our programs and partnerships. Our charitable foundation, the Burns Memorial Fund for Children, helped low-income children and youth receive the essential supports and services they require to lead healthier, successful, and fulfilling lives.

  • 11 charities, working with over 1,600 children and youth, received Community Grants.
  • 8 community agencies partnered with us to meet the health, education and recreation needs of 184 children and youth from low income families through our Families Moving Forward program.
  • 91 students, at risk of dropping out of grade 12 for financial reasons, received monthly living allowances so they could stay in school. 9 students in financial need were awarded post-secondary scholarships. 10 bursaries helped youth transition into further education, training and employment.
  • 33 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.

  • 111 scholarships and 3 special needs grants were awarded to the children of firefighters.
  • 200 scholarships and 12 special needs grants were provided to the children of police officers.

Burns Memorial Fund is proud of the strong partnerships and collaborations that allow us to support so many young Calgarians. Despite the ongoing difficulties that confronted schools in 2022, high school counsellors and success coaches continued to identify grade 12 students at risk and refer them to our High School Bursaries program. Our Families Moving Forward partners, all community agencies coping with their own stressors and issues, kept sending families to our program. Burns Memorial Fund remained responsive and flexible throughout this unpredictable year. We augmented our usual grants with funds for technology to assist with online learning, as well as crafts, books, toys, games and sporting equipment to engage children in fun and meaningful activities at home. We continued to work with dental offices and other health professionals to connect low-income families with affordable oral health treatment.

And our larger community collaborations adapted as well. The Collaborative Funders’ Table sustained, and in fact strengthened, its commitment to addressing youth employment issues in Calgary. Our Natural Supports work gained momentum, as the pandemic made us all realize the importance of family and community supports in times of crisis. It is a privilege to work alongside so many dedicated community partners who remained focused on the needs of children during an extraordinarily challenging year.

Our Programs – How We Do It

Burns Memorial Fund manages the Children’s Fund (a private charitable foundation that 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:

  • The Children’s Fund – High School Students, Community Organization Grants, Families Moving Forward, Oral Health Program, Watson Family Foundation Fund, Young Adult Education/Employment Bursary
  • The Fire Fund – Post Secondary Grants, Special Needs Grants
  • The Police Fund – Post Secondary Grants, Special Needs Grants

How You Can Help

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 trust.

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, dental treatment, special health needs and recreation fees. By contributing to Burns Memorial Fund for Children, 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

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Burns Memorial Fund

Burns Memorial Fund



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Charity Number: #129252847RR0001

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