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Toronto charity cuts ties with agency that misused tickets

Kids Up Front, a charity that distributes donated tickets, has terminated its agreement with a government-funded agency in Toronto, Canada that misused tickets meant for children.

The organisation, La Passerelle, has lost its access to free Toronto Raptors and Blue Jays tickets, concerts and other events after it was discovered that staff were handing out tickets in what an insider called a “free for all.”

Kids Up Front, which distributes donated tickets, gives tickets to more than 350 agencies as a way of connecting ticket donors with “deserving individuals.”

Over the course of the past two years, the charity has given La Passerelle 782 tickets with a face value of $54,000 (£41,000/€48,000).

Executive director of the charity Lindsay Oughtred told the Toronto Star newspaper that the tickets, donated by Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE), corporations and private individuals, are only to be used to make a “dream come true” for children and youth under 18 whose families are experiencing economic difficulties.

The Star’s investigation found La Passerelle has been handing out tickets to agency managers, staff, family of managers and staff, and visitors from France for events such as Justin Timberlake and Taylor Swift concerts.

Léonie Tchatat, executive director of La Passerelle said that La Passerelle has told the charity “we regret our misunderstanding in this matter. We wish Kids Up Front the very best for the future.”

In earlier correspondence through their lawyer, Tchatat said staff at La Passerelle and their family only used the tickets when they “would otherwise have gone unused.”

Kids Up Front rules state that if tickets are not of interest to any “deserving individuals” they are to be returned 24 hours before the event so that another agency can find a home for the ticket.

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