A generous gift ensures more reading magic!

Blog A generous gift ensures more reading magic!

Our Children’s Reading Place is a colourful, welcoming heritage house in Calgary’s Inglewood community devoted to promoting the love of reading and early literacy. Within this special place, we harness the power of environment to inspire a love of reading.

Each family or group visit is a literacy-immersed experience where adults and children spend focused time exploring books and reading together. The house is bursting with beautiful artwork and story-inspired reading nooks, tents, cozy corners and enchanted spaces.

Now, an amazing financial gift to Calgary Reads means this house has no mortgage. Our programming here is secure to continue; our freed-up funds are now put to other work in the community to help even more children read with confidence and joy!

Jim and Patricia Burns, bought this beautiful house for Calgary Reads with their $1 Million dollar gift! Thank you!

The Calgary philanthropists are known for giving back to the community and helping people who need it most.

“This is very heartwarming and exciting for us,” says Patricia. “My husband worked hard and we are very fortunate to be able to do this for Calgary Reads. We are a family of readers. Books have always been a favourite gift to give at Christmas. And, of course, we read lots with our grandchildren.”

Steacy Collyer, Calgary Reads’ CEO, toured Jim and Pat through the Children’s Reading Place and they were captivated. “We are so impressed with everything Steacy and Calgary Reads has created here,” says Pat. “Jim and I feel it is important to help children who don’t always have opportunities. The house is really wonderful! A personal, inviting place to pick up a book and enjoy reading. We are thrilled, too, that Steacy is helping make other special reading places possible in the community.”

Steacy is also thrilled with Jim and Pat. “We are so thankful to have such generous and gracious donors who care for our special book house as much as we do. This amazing gift has given our Calgary Reads team not only a secure future but hope and a renewed commitment to spreading the joy of reading.”

Pat had initially learned about the Children’s Reading Place through her involvement in Rotary Club of Calgary at Stampede Park. She and Jim drove by the house to take a first look at what they had heard was a very special place reaching families who really would benefit from the literacy-building experiences.

“My mother was a grade two teacher,” says Pat. “She always said it was important to keep the children busy with books. Reading was a value she instilled in her students and family. We’ve supported the public library before and now helping the Children’s Reading Place feels like a perfect extension to how we can help.”

Pat and Jim are finding other ways to support Calgary Reads. “We are so excited about the satellite locations, too.” says Pat. “We’ve passed along some tiny chairs to help furnish the new spaces.”

This is just the beginning of the story for the Children’s Reading Place is now ready for its new name! Steacy explains “At Calgary Reads we like words, and the old name is a mouth full and not nearly magical enough for such a special place. We wanted to offer a donor the opportunity to name the house after themselves or perhaps a great uncle who inspired a love of reading. Jim and Pat have very kindly insisted that it does not have to be named in their honor so stay tuned for a soon to be announced new name for a special old place.


The Children’s Reading Place is currently closed due to the pandemic. It will re-open for pre-booked visits, as soon as it is safe to do so.