Kids Up Front Foundation (Calgary)

we serve these populations

  • children and youth
  • Disabilities
  • homelessness
  • immigrant newcomers
  • indigenous communities
  • women

we need help with:

  • arts
  • education
  • mental health
  • music
  • sports and recreation

Kids Up Front Calgary creates joy, promotes inclusion and strengthens communities by connecting children and families to enriching experiences.

From empty seats to unforgettable adventures…

The idea for our foundation was sparked in Calgary in 1999 by John Dalziel, a local businessperson impacted visually by all the empty seats at a hockey game. John envisioned these empty seats filled with deserving kids – kids who may never receive the opportunity to attend a hockey game or a concert due to financial or social barriers.

Since then, we have provided more than 650,000 experiences valued at over $21M to southern Alberta kids and families!

We now have chapters across the country, ensuring every child has a seat in the crowd. We have offices in Edmonton, Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa and Atlantic Canada. Visit to learn more about the other chapters.

More Than A Ticket!

Excerpts From Our Recent Impact and Evaluation Study 

  • Kids Up Front services a ‘social equalizer’- a set of opportunities that diversified access to community resources and social assets.
  • By providing a financially risk-free starting point for participation, Kids Up Front plays a role in making community events more accessible. It contributes to the audience’s diversity and participants enjoying these events.
  • Given the context of marginalization for many children, an important result of Kids Up Front services is the improvement in perceptions of a sense of belonging in society.
  • Children and families feel ‘normal’ due to attending events that the average Calgarian would have experienced.
  • Respondents listed the following critical factors that contributed to improvements in well-being: being removed from day-to-day stressors and being in an enjoyable environment.
  • For both children and adults, respondents described how it was essential to put their negative experiences away and do something positive and fun.
  • Focus group respondents described laughter, enjoyment and freedom from worries as healing processes for many clients.
  • Children who were often exposed to adult realities and problems could act their age during events and experience some recreation and play in their lives.
  • Children feel fewer negative emotions and experience less sense of being left out and isolated.
  • For some clients, the distance from typical environments meant that they were removed from the frustrating circumstances, triggers and negative associations that impacted their behaviour towards others.
  • In allowing the space for improved relationships, Kids Up Front interventions catalyzed changes that would strengthen support networks around children and contribute to their overall well-being.
  • One respondent described the children they worked with as ‘being on the outside and looking in’ and explained how something as simple as attending Stampede for the first time helped them feel more like a part of the society they lived in.
  • Children and their families felt valued when tickets were offered to them. They often saw it as a sign of being respected or recognized by the service provider or school.
  • Improvements in self-esteem were also linked to a change in perspective where children saw themselves, sometimes for the first time in their lives, as contributors – individuals who brought something of value to others.
  • For a young person, being the reason why their family or friends could attend an exciting event meant that they could counter negative perceptions and build their standing with others. This effect was seen in young people across different target populations, ranging from children with limited independence (due to illness or disability) to young people with behavioural issues.
  • Respondents also described further effects such as decreased stress for parents, increased happiness for individuals and families even after an event, and improvements in overall family wellness.
  • Longer-term impacts included boosts in the self-esteem and identity of children and young people. Respondents reported seeing improved self-confidence, increased sense of independence and improved self-efficacy in children and youth.
  • After receiving event tickets, children were more likely to view themselves as being valued by others and as having something to contribute to those around them.

Highlights of 2021:

  • Provided over $514,000 worth of enriching experiences to deserving kids and families!
  • Filled many suites at the Scotiabank Saddledome with cheering fans facing critical health issues, sensory challenges and more.
  • Partnered with 165+ local charities and agencies.
  • Facilitated over 13,000 enriching experiences for deserving kids.

Highlights of 2020:

Our small but mighty team has done an incredible job at pivoting and reinventing how we deliver programs. At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, we made a conscious effort to lean into our core organizational values and allow them to inspire and lead our work (collaboration, fun, integrity, inclusion, and agility)

  • 436 weekly visitors on the Kids At Home website
  • 691 activity packages with crayons provided to our kids to date
  • 152 wishlist items sourced and sent to our agency partners (puzzles, iPads, games, etc.)
  • 2,500 toys, games and other items being distributed
  • 7 Kids Up Front Instagram live shows(cooking classes, poetry, Flames alumni interview, and more)
  • 14 pals matched and eight more on the waitlist. Pen pals and Zoom Pals between our kids and seniors (a pilot project with the Kerby Centre)
  • 500 Pancake Project kits delivered to our kids in July that included pancake mix, syrup, a Stampede theme activity package and crayons
  • 19 virtual summer camp spots filled
  • 200 Zoo passes, 200 Heritage Park passes, and 39 movie vouchers distributed to date.
    • With museums, attractions and art galleries opening, we will continue to focus on this area of need.
  • We released our annual report, research project and updated our website.


More Than A Ticket

Distribution of tickets for the NHL, the CFL, musical shows and theatre productions, Stampede, concerts, and attractions, or any tickets to an event that you can think of that is kid-friendly, we can place. Donated tickets will create special life-changing opportunities for these children and their families, giving them a place to bond and have fun! Through the More Than A Ticket program, we have seen children build confidence and self-esteem, improve well-being, strengthen family relationships and reduce social isolation.

Kids Count

These are special events conceptualized, organized and hosted directly by Kids Up Front staff and volunteers. They are hands-on experiential and/or educational events that often include “extras” such as food, transportation, gifts, and more. Sometimes the ideas come from the passions and ideas of our incredible donors. Examples include ski Day, cooking classes, art classes and kits, STEM workshops, private concerts, golf lessons etc. This program also includes our suite program, whereby we host groups of children and families in suites at the Scotiabank Saddledome with the help of volunteer suite ambassadors. These experiences are made possible through partnerships with corporations and individual donors who wish to make a difference in kids’ lives. The Kids Count program encourages unique experiences driven by our supporters’ passions.

New Programs:

Kids At Home

A virtual platform for connecting kids with engaging online activities. We see the program’s true potential and how it can be a game-changer for our agency partners and the thousands of deserving children and families they support. What started as a simple way to provide our communities with family-friendly resources during lockdown has grown into a powerful new tool for enriching the lives of kids across southern Alberta.

Handled With Care

Connecting donated goods to deserving kids! With the donation of new goods becoming more frequent, Kids Up Front has started a new program called Handled With Care. Utilizing our vast charitable distribution network, our strong relationships in the sector and our expertise in collaboration to support our kids and families in a new and exciting way!


As a small team of three, Kids Up Front relies on our strong base of very dedicated volunteers to help us run our programs and fundraisers.

Our Suite Ambassador Program is our largest and most-loved volunteer opportunity for those wanting to make a difference for our organization and the kids we serve. Come on out and support us by being an ambassador at the Saddledome and get a chance to watch a great game or show with a great bunch of kids and their chaperones! We provide training, and all of our volunteers require security checks and screening. We would be happy to assist you and welcome you as a member of our KUF Krew. Please get in touch with our office for further details!

  • Do you have a talent or skill that could make our programs even better? Contact us or call to donate tickets. Phone: 403.444.4318
  • Do you have access to an event or experience that would be amazing for our kids? Contact us and see if we can make some dreams come true!


Your generosity is a crucial part of supporting our kids. There are several ways to contribute to our work!

Contribute directly to us through Canada Helps. You can make a one-time donation or sign on to be a monthly donor at any amount.

Legacy Giving

You can create a very meaningful and lasting legacy by leaving a bequest to Kids Up Front Foundation (Calgary) in your Will.

Planned giving is a wonderful way to ensure the Kids Up Front programs in Calgary will flourish for many years.

Important Information for your Legacy Gift:

Legal Name: Kids Up Front Foundation (Calgary)
Charitable Registration Number: 863522124RR0001

Donate your tickets to this program, and Kids Up Front will ensure that kids get out to the event and have a great time! When possible, we also ensure that donors receive thank you cards from the lucky recipients of their tickets.

We appreciate your support! 


Are you a Calgary Foundation Fundholder?

Contact Info

Nicky Nash

Executive Director

403-444-4318 Ext 2


More Info

Charity Number: #863522124RR0001

Visit our Website

Financial Statements / Annual Reports

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