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Our Year in Review – 2020

We entered 2020 with reason for excitement. Following another record-setting year in Ottawa, Kids Up Front was set for growth, delivering even more experiences to deserving children across the city. While the year might not have gone how we expected, we still have reason to celebrate.

A global pandemic meant that live events, our main source of programming, have been cancelled since March. But we didn’t let that stop us. Recognizing the need to connect kids with enriching experiences we launched the Kids At Home program. This program has seen our mandate continue, connecting thousands of children with resources and activities they could complete at home.

Read on to see what we accomplished this year, and how you can make 2021 another incredible year.

January – March

Our year got off to an early start. Thanks to our friends at Fully Managed, we spent January 4th at the Canadian Tire Centre. We also invited 200 of our closest friends. Showing that it’s More Than a Ticket, Fully Managed provided transportation, tshirts and 200 tickets to watch the Ottawa Senators take on the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Overall, we sent 3,449 recipients from our Partner Agencies to 80 different events between January 1st and March 12th. These experiences represent a financial value of over $140,000. We were thrilled to send program participants to some of our favourite venues around Ottawa. The National Arts Centre, Great Canadian Theatre Company, Arena at Lansdowne, Centrepointe Theatre and many others welcomed eager ticket recipients.

April – June

April saw us launch our Kids at Home program. What started as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic has since evolved into so much more. The first pillar of this program curates free, age-appropriate online resources for children. With just a few clicks, children are coding, cooking, building and so much more.

The second pillar provides experiences that come at a financial cost. Recipients are provided access at no personal cost. These opportunities include virtual camps, cooking classes and online lessons.

Since its launch, this program has become a huge success, with over 32,000 total visitors. We’ve been able to expand our reach by providing experiences for children right in their homes. This continuation of our mandate has allowed us to continue providing enriching opportunities and relieving social isolation for kids in Ottawa.

July – September

The summer saw a return to some events, albeit with a very different look. We were delighted to share great experiences with our network including Kidsfest at the Drive In Experience and Pirate Life’s immersive theatre experience. This return to normalcy meant we could get back to what we love: providing great community experiences for deserving kids.

August also saw us launch our Summer Activity Passport. This guide offered dozens of activity suggestions for kids of all ages. Whether in person at reopened community venues or online, we provided free, positive experiences and programming for 500 visitors.

October – December

The end of 2020 saw us add a new element to our Kids at Home program by providing at-home resource kits to our Partner Agencies. In partnership with Let’s Talk Science, we’ve provided over 500 science activities for children to complete at home.

We also launched our Kids Up Front Virtual Art Gallery. Young artists are provided materials to create their own masterpiece, which is returned to Kids Up Front to be featured in our Virtual Gallery. Stay tuned in 2021 to see more entries in this collection! Want to support our program? Make a donation to commission an artist!

Final Thoughts

We’re so grateful to have been able to continue supporting children in Ottawa throughout this year. While it was not the year we anticipated, we continued expanding our programs. We’ve found new ways to connect with our partners and their program participants. We’ve continued to provide More Than a Ticket.

Of course, none of this would be possible without our supporters. Thank you to our many Ticket Teammates and Community Champions! Your contributions allow us to continue relieving social isolation in our city.

With your continued support, we’re looking forward to another incredible year in 2021!