Unique Awards

Calgary Foundation offers community awards with unique criteria for writers, youth formerly in care, and immigrant women.

Online application forms will be available before the end of January.

Student award applicants must be enrolled at a post-secondary institution recognized by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) as a “qualified donee.” To determine if your post-secondary institution is a qualified donee, please visit the CRA’s website.

This special scholarship is named in memory of Derek Wandzura, a charming little boy who, with his smile and engaging personality, could hold the attention of any room. On Christmas Eve in 1986, at the age of five, Derek was diagnosed with medullablastoma, an aggressive brain cancer. During his four-year cancer journey, Derek relapsed three times and endured countless medical procedures. Even the toughest treatments could not stop the cancer and, at the age of nine, Derek passed away beside his mother, while they were sleeping on the morning of April 26, 1991. As the namesake of the scholarship, Derek’s spirit lives on in the countless young people who live their dreams, thrive and do great things with the help of a scholarship in his name. 

Click here to learn more about Derek Wandzura.

The Kids Cancer Care Derek Wandzura Memorial Scholarship is a one-time award available to childhood cancer patients and survivors, for use in post-secondary studies. Scholarships are awarded based on quality of application and level of financial need.

Awards vary each year starting at $1,000, applied directly to tuition.

Applicants must:

  • Be a childhood cancer patient or survivor. Diagnosis must have occurred at age 18 or younger.
  • Be a resident of Southern Alberta*. Proof of current address/residency may be requested.
  • Have applied to or be enrolled in an accredited post-secondary education institute for the upcoming fall or winter terms.

*Southern Alberta includes Red Deer and the rural areas east, west and south of Red Deer. For information about bursaries for Northern Alberta residents, please visit the Kids with Cancer Society website.

For questions regarding the Kids Cancer Care Derek Wandzura Memorial Scholarship, please contact Rachel McInnes, Education Program Coordinator at Kids Cancer Care Foundation of Alberta.

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Brenda was a native Calgarian who began writing after turning forty. She was a mother of two and a loving wife. She died in her late forties prior to publishing any of her work. She would be delighted to know that with the support of this financial award she is helping writers accomplish their goals.

Applicants are notified of results by November.

AMOUNT: $5,000

CONDITIONS: Applicant must be a continuing resident of Calgary and area (at the date of application lived in Calgary for at least 12 months); at least forty years old; and working on the completion and publication of their first book of fiction.

  1. Submit only ONE piece of complete fiction or an excerpt of a longer piece.
  2. Submit no more, no less than 10-20 pages of your work typed, double spaced.
  3. ONLY one submission per applicant; number the pages, but do not identify yourself on your manuscript.
  4. Works that have been accepted by a publisher will not be considered.
  5. Applicant must be a continuing resident of Calgary and area (at date of application lived in Calgary for at least 12 months); at least forty years old; and an unpublished fiction writer.

Note: Judges will only consider submissions that meet the required criteria.

To learn more about the Brenda Strathern Writing Prize click here. To read about past recipients click here.

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This bursary was established in 2000 to provide funds for applicants that have been under permanent guardianship of Alberta Children’s Services, Calgary Region.

Award amount varies, applied directly to tuition.

The applicant must:

  • Have been under permanent guardianship with Calgary Children’s Services at the time they turned 18 years of age.
  • Be over 18 years and under the age of 31 at the time of application (Priority is given to individuals over the age of 21 for whom a Support and Financial Assistance Agreement (SFAA) is not an option).
  • Not be under a SFAA.
  • Meet the entry requirements of the post-secondary program for which the applicant is applying.
  • Provide a statement outlining achievements, aspirations or plans for the future, volunteer and work experience.
  • Provide a reference letter of support from a significant person in your life.

Selection is based upon: Financial need, future aspirations, demonstrated commitment to follow through.

Apply Now

As an outspoken voice for the advancement and equality of women, Dr. Maria Eriksen was a social advocate involved with various initiatives since the women’s movement began in the 1970s. Her most recent project was tackling a huge issue facing Alberta’s immigrants—obtaining the Canadian accreditation or training they require in order to become fully employed in their field.

Dr. Eriksen was the founding chair of the Immigrant Access Fund Society of Alberta (now Windmill Microlending), a nonprofit organization that offers micro loans to internationally trained and educated immigrants to help overcome the financial barriers they face in becoming able to work in their field in Alberta.

The Maria Eriksen Memorial Bursary supports professional development or technical training at an accredited institution to assist an individual’s successful transition to life in Canada.

Click here to learn more about the Maria Eriksen Bursary.

Five bursaries at $2,000 each, applied directly to tuition.

Applicants must be:

  • An immigrant woman (Canadian citizen or permanent resident) residing in Alberta.
  • Attending school in order to return to her pre-immigration field of work.
  • In financial need and enrolled in an accredited educational institution for the upcoming Fall.

Apply Now

The Clay Riddell Community Hero Scholarship was created in 2019 to honour youth who exemplify all of the traits that Mr. Riddell lived by – leadership, integrity and generosity. The award will be given annually to up to two deserving youth heroes that are connected with a participating Shaw Birdies for Kids presented by AltaLink charity. Recipients will be invited to attend and be publicly recognized at this year’s Shaw Charity Classic.

Up to two $7,500 post-secondary scholarships available, applied directly to tuition.

The applicant must:

  • Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
  • Be connected with a participating 2023 Shaw Birdies for Kids presented by AltaLink charity.
  • Demonstrate community involvement, exemplifying each of the traits of leadership, integrity and generosity.
  • Be currently enrolled in Grade 11 or graduating Grade 12 this year, and entering first year of full-time studies at a Canadian post-secondary institution within three years of receiving the scholarship.
  • Provide a reference letter from a representative of a participating 2023 Shaw Birdies for Kids presented by AltaLink charity.
  • Be in good academic standing for acceptance to technical school, college or university.

Apply Now

Download the brochure listing all Student Awards


Registered charities may apply for support for outdoor safety projects or animal welfare projects listed below

The David Elton Outdoor Fund (DEOF) was established in 2000 in memory of David Elton, who lost his life attempting to rescue a fellow hiker from the sea. The Fund is administered by Calgary Foundation with the advice of the DEOF committee.


  • Established by Errol (Mike) and Dorothy Sherling to provide an ongoing funding source for the care of animals.
  • This Fund accepts applications from Canadian registered charitable organizations operating in Alberta with a mandate of caring for animals and finding new loving homes for each adoptable animal. Supports special projects that directly benefit animals in our community, such as capital projects, animal or public education programs, or services for animals brought to a shelter.
  • Grants from the Fund typically range from $3,500 to $7,500 and approximately four to five grants are issued each year.


To start your application, visit our Online Grants Portal and “Create New Account” if needed.

Budget Form

Have a question about Unique Awards?

Contact our Student Awards team