CALGARY – Stephen Avenue was abuzz earlier today with more than 2,000 Calgarians showing their love to #DoLocalGood in support of the #unignorable social issues in our city. Launching the city’s largest annual fundraising campaign, United Way of Calgary and Area led a march down Stephen Avenue followed by a celebration in Olympic Plaza that included musical entertainment by Juno Award-winning artist DJ Shub and a BBQ lunch hosted by Rotary Clubs of Calgary.

This year’s campaign kickoff, sponsored by Pembina Pipeline Corporation, drew attention to #unignorable social issues that United Way tackles by working with community. “Issues like hunger, affordable housing, mental health and addictions, domestic violence, and early foundational supports critical to kids success are often thought of as someone else’s problem – but they’re not,” says Karen Young, United Way’s President and CEO. “These are very real issues that thousands of individuals are struggling to overcome every day that impact us as a city. These are community issues that require community solutions.”

Karen Young, president and CEO, United Way of Calgary and Area


As a social impact organization, United Way invests in agencies and programs to work toward common outcomes; leads and supports key initiatives that promote sector collaboration and system-level change; and advocates governments on policy to remove barriers and challenges to those they serve. Their work is made possible through fundraising efforts.

“We’re much more than a funder,” says Jason Hatcher, United Way Board of Directors Chair. “While this continues to be a critical part of our work, what we really do is bring people, organizations, and skills together to solve tough social problems. We dig down to the root causes for greatest impact because we know that prevention and early intervention provides lasting solutions.”

2018 Campaign Co-Chairs, Noralee Bradley, partner at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP and David Smith, President and CEO of Keyera Corp. spoke about corporate social responsibility and how no one person or organization alone can address all the issues in our city. Attendees threw 1,000 red beach balls into the fountain at Olympic Plaza to illustrate the collective impact United Way has in bringing people together to not just help problems, but solve them. “As Calgarians, we all play a role in creating a resilient and caring community where everyone thrives,” says Young. “We are incredibly grateful to our partners, donors, and volunteers who work with us to create positive, lasting social change. We are all in this together.”


United Way of Calgary and Area brings together donors, corporations, agencies, and government to solve complex issues and improve the lives of more than 150,000 people every year. Since 1940, United Way has supported agencies that assist vulnerable Calgarians. Today, United Way invests in programs and collaborations with common outcomes, brings people together to coordinate systems change, and designs solutions that address root causes to create lasting social change. Collectively, this work deepens community impact.

For more information, please contact:

Sheila Rougeau
Director of Communications
United Way of Calgary and Area

Lisa Rushka