Kids Up Front is so grateful for the sponsorship of the Harry and Martha Cohen Foundation in support of our annual children’s Christmas party held at the Martha Cohen Theatre on December 4, 2015. With the Foundation’s gracious donation, we were able to host over 400 guests at Legend Has It, a family friendly production by our long-time partners and supporters at Alberta Theatre Projects. Thank you to Di Goodman and Jonathon Brower for all your talent and consultation to make Christmas at the Martha Cohen Theatre an overwhelming success!
We really appreciate the support of William C. Young of Willco Transportation Ltd. For his generous contribution of three buses to transport 180 children and their families down to the Martha Cohen Theatre. This is really helpful to families coming from across the city, with parking challenges in the core, and bringing small children out for the night! This was so appreciated by everyone and made the guests’ evening stress-free! Transportation can be a huge barrier for many families, and this donation was a significant contributor to the success of the evening! And families that knew each other could all travel together, making for a fun night out!
In keeping with last year’s party, the Papa John’s pizza was a great success, so we once again served a variety of pizzas before the show, complemented by delicious brownies for dessert, and juice, pop and hot chocolate to drink! With very full tummies, some of the younger children were able to color, write letters to Santa and do a craft themed to the Legend Has It production.
The fun did not stop there, as part of the show involved a member of the audience as a significant performer in the show! The young lad that took on the part of the hero to champion the Mumplings’ cause was an incredibly talented youngster, suited to the stage! He made many clever choices and delivered his lines with conviction. Alberta Theatre Projects need not look far for new talent in future productions!
The lavagators, evil Haldor and the delightful Mumplings made the show a hit with our kids and families. One parent remarked that she was thankful that everyone in the theatre was there as families with children of all ages; she said it made the night more comfortable to know that their laughter and chatter was not bothering anyone else in the theatre, that others would understand a need to get up and go to the washroom, and that boisterous clapping was welcome! Thank you, Alberta Theater Projects, for creating such a family and kid-friendly event. It was truly meaningful.
The evening did not end as the curtain fell. All children leaving the theatre were given Mumpling noses (big foam noses worn by the characters), and candy canes! Those that came by bus were transported safely home, and another amazing holiday event was celebrated by staff, volunteers and supporters.
We also wish to thank our corporate sponsors that allow Kids Up Front to deliver such fabulous events to the children and families of our 200 partner agencies; thank you Cenovus and CIBS Theatre For All. With your support, and given the economic challenges facing our city and province at this time, we are serving more and more families with increasing needs. Christmas at the Martha Cohen Theatre was a great opportunity to include many children and families who would otherwise not get to experience such a full and complete night at the theatre, and in such a welcoming and child-friendly manner.
We could not run these events without the support of many volunteers; we thank you for those that took photos, helped with crafts and coloring, assisted with food service, the coat check, and general comfort of the guests. Thank you to our new volunteers for joining us, and thank you to many who are returning! With such a small staff (3.5 of us) we need lots of wonderful volunteers to help us keep our programs running top notch! We appreciate your support. We look forward to hosting another holiday event at the Martha Cohen Theatre next year; the show is a Calgary Cinderella production…maybe there’s a glass cowboy boot? We do not know…but stay tuned!

Thank you, Harry and Martha Cohen Foundation, for an amazing event, that touched the lives of over 400 deserving children and parents.

Please help Kids Up Front continue to provide these amazing experiences made possible! If this incredible story resonated with you, please consider supporting us by simply texting the word TICKET to the number 41010! It will prompt you to make a $10 or $20 pledge and it will be placed on your next phone bill.

Looking for other ways to support us? Check out our 4th Annual ‘All In For Kids’ charity poker tournament happening on February 8th, 2016! It is our major annual fundraiser that allows us to continue our programming, which is this year is more important than ever due to our shared struggling provincial economy.