Kids Up Front Calgary is an organization that promotes access to enriching experiences like arts, culture, and sporting events for children and youth in the Calgary area. We spoke with Nicky Nash, Executive Director of Kids Up Front Calgary, to find out more about what they do.
Describe your charity/non-profit/volunteer work in a few sentences.
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 cause was sparked in Calgary in 1999 by John Dalziel, a local businessperson impacted visually by all the empty seats at a sporting event. 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 circumstances.
Since then, we have provided 650,000 experiences valued at over $21.5M to southern Alberta kids!
What problem does it aim to solve?
We take unused or extra tickets, classes and passes and turn them into enriching experiences, lasting memories and moments of joy for kids and families facing various barriers, including critical illness, disability, poverty, domestic violence, and more.
When did you start/join it?
I joined Kids Up Front Calgary in 2012 and just celebrated my tenth anniversary with the organization.
What made you want to get involved?
I was working in the corporate experiential marketing world with big brands and fortune 500 companies, and I lacked motivation because I was missing the “Why” in my work. I wanted to do something that impacted my community, so I started searching for jobs in the nonprofit sector. I found a job posting for Kids Up Front; the rest is history!
What was the situation like when you started?
At the time, Kids Up Front had been around for 12 years, so pretty well established in the community but with room to grow and an opportunity to grow our audience, specifically on social media.
How has it changed since?
We have grown our reach and diversity of experiences; we reach more kids in southern Alberta, we have a stronger presence on social media, we now have six chapters across Canada and much more! However, our mission remains the same, to provide enriching experiences to deserving kids.
What more needs to be done?
Kids Up Front needs support, and there are three ways to do that. Donate time (volunteer), donate tickets, and donate money. Those three things keep the lights on in the office, the photocopier going and, most importantly, keep the experiences happening for our kids and families.
How can our readers help?
Do you have any events coming up?
We have our 10th annual All In For Kids charity poker tournament on April 27, 2023! Keep an eye on our social media for announcements.
Where can we follow you?
PAY IT FORWARD: What is an awesome local charity that you love?