(HALIFAX, NS – October 29, 2019) Kids Up Front Atlantic is celebrating two years in the region furthering its mission to provide access to arts, culture, sport and recreation for children who don’t otherwise have the opportunity to experience them.
“As a strong supporter of arts and culture, a former board member of the Halifax Games, as a teacher and parent, I cannot overstate the importance of extending our youth’s accessibility to attend these events,” said the Honourable Myra Freeman, former NS Lieutenant Governor, and Honourary Chair of Kids Up Front Atlantic., “All children deserve to experience first hand the magic of theatre or the excitement of a hockey game.”
Kids Up Front Atlantic, the eastern chapter of a Canada-wide network of charities including Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto and Ottawa, is poised for growth with the recent awarding of charitable status and the appointment of Executive Director, Scott Burke.
“Twenty years ago, the founder of Kids Up Front John Dalziel, a Calgary businessman sat in the Saddledome surrounded by empty seats, and vowed that he would see those seats filled with deserving youth going forward,” said Burke, “Fast forward to today and Kids Up Front is successfully carrying out that mission across the country.”
Scotiabank Centre is continuing its sponsorship of the program as Premier Venue Partner, providing over 1,000 tickets annually to sporting and entertainment events.
“We’re incredibly proud to help Kids Up Front further their mission to enrich the lives of local children and their families,” said Suzanne Fougere, Executive Vice-President, Strategy & Business Development at Scotiabank Centre. “We want to help all Nova Scotians experience the magic of events and create memories that will last a lifetime.”
As part of the current expansion, Kids Up Front Atlantic has secured leading Halifax arts and culture institutions to provide extraordinary experiences to deserving kids and their families: Symphony Nova Scotia, Neptune Theatre, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, FIN Kids, and Alderney Landing Theatre.
“For many families it is a goal to attend events in the community together; to bond and to experience all that the city has to offer,” said Tamsyn Brennan, Director of Clinical Services at Chisholm Services for Children. “For children in our care, there are extra barriers to attending such events. One of the most important things we can do is help them remain connected to the community. Kids Up Front makes this possible,”
Research shows children and youth who can be part of entertaining and recreational experiences have more confidence, do better in school, and are generally happier.
“The YMCA Centre for Immigrant Programs is very fortunate to participate as a partner organization with Kids Up Front Atlantic. Since 2017, over 100 newcomer children have cheered for the home team at Halifax Mooseheads, Hurricanes, and Wanderers games,” said Matthew Ritchie, Community Integrationist, YMCA of Greater Halifax/Dartmouth. “Kids Up Front has made it possible for newcomer children and families to learn about their new city and connect with community; experiences that are truly priceless.”
Kids Up Front receives generous financial support from TD Atlantic Region, TD Noteworthy Program and CIBC Theatre For All. Since 2017, Kids Up Front Atlantic has distributed over 2,000 tickets at a value of over $56,000.
Kids Up Front Atlantic engages with over a dozen Community Agency Partners including Adsum for Women and Children, Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Halifax, Dress for Success Halifax, Family SOS, Laing House, Phoenix Youth Programs, Ronald McDonald Charities, Club Inclusion, Veith House, and YWCA, to name a few.