It’s with great sadness that we say goodbye to another one of our co-founders for Dreams Come True; Calvin Kent Angus, on April 24th, 2021. Kent was among several Air Canada employees in Toronto who helped bring the Dreams Come True initiative to fruition in 1989. The first inaugural flight that saw 70 children flown on a DC-9 aircraft for a trip-of-a-lifetime to Walt Disney World, in Florida. He began his professional career with Air Canada at Toronto Pearson airport in the Commissary department; alongside many initial Dreams Come True volunteers/members. Then, he transitioned to Customer Service as a supervisor responsible for the Rapid Air operation & Maple Leaf Lounges. From there Kent would move on to become a Customer Service Manager where he assisted with the all travel plan preparations for the Canadian National and International Hockey teams. This was no small task; as Kent’s responsibilities included coordinating all the teams’ travel needs from trip itineraries, flight boarding, hotel accommodations and baggage accommodations for the players hockey equipment. He ensured all the teams’ needs were met; never leaving any task unfinished. He meticulously oversaw every detail to perfection and shone in every role he was placed in. He will be remembered for his tremendous work ethic, and exceptional level of customer care ability on the job by his airline friends and colleagues.
Kent’s involvement in the inception of Dreams Come True back will always remain meaningful to our organization. His responsibilities were many; including publicity & communications for the charity. With his list of associations within the travel industry; Kent was very knowledgeable as to whom he needed to reach out to for specially created meals on board for the flight, and sports prizes for our local fundraising events; such as bake sales, lunches, BBQs & raffle prizes. He possessed expert logistics coordinating skills for all things involved to make a successful flight happen. Truly a great asset to the Dreams Come True endeavours.
His Air Canada family were saddened to hear of Ken’s son (Matthew) passing away at an early age, from Diabetes. His extended airline family mourned with him and his relatives. Like Kent, his son was also a main active contributor with the Junior Diabetes Association. Kent himself was a pilot and came from a dedicated aviation family. His pre-deceased father (Hank) was a pilot with Air Canada. As well, his brother (Brian) who retired with the airline. Sister-in-law (Dorothy) worked as a flight attendant with mainline, and his nephew (Shawn) a pilow out west in British Columbia. Collectively there would be many years of aviation service among Kent’s family. His friends/colleagues with the airlinewere truly fortunate and grateful for all their professionalism, kindness and generosity in more ways than one.
After his airline career, Angus began working for Nike, Inc. hockey operations in June 1995. Nike was so lucky to have him as an employee & was definitely a huge loss for the airlines. At Nike he Kent was tasked with being in charge of the contract between the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) & Nike as an official supplier. Coordinating the supply of hockey jerseys and off-ice apparel for teams in the IIHF’s top divisions at the Ice Hockey World Championships and the Winter Olympic Games. His work included supplying 49 Ice Hockey World Championships events and 4 Winter Olympic Games. During his time he supplied the IIHF with more than 75,000 hockey jerseys. Working directly with IIHF member associations on the design of each national jersey, and was able to customize each jersey at the arena with the player’s name and number. The work Angus did meant that he was often the first person to arrive and the last to leave at championship events. This only proving that even after his career with the airlines, he maintained the same level of high employee standards his colleagues recognized him for; and were just a part of his attributes that spoke to who he was as a person.
He also produced special occasion jerseys for the IIHF centennial celebrations in 2008; including throwback-style jersey designs for the top-division teams which became popular collector’s items. The 2010 Winter Olympics was his busiest time when he produced 1,300 game-quality jerseys, that included complete sets of home and away jerseys for each men’s and women’s team. As well, produced additional jerseys for each NHL player to contribute to charities like our very own Dreams Take Flight. Also, disaster relief fundraising and the “Hockey for Haiti” program, and online auctions for Olympic memorabilia. Kent was also a regular participant at our Annual Golf Tournament events in support of the Toronto Dreams Take Flight charity. Canadian broadcaster Gord Miller would descibe him by saying, “His job was tremendously difficult. Keeping all the federations and teams happy was no easy feat, but he did it with professionalism and good humour”. Later in life he would be given the Paul Loicq Award in 2012, in recognition of his contributions to international ice hockey. He was also later credited by the Hockey Hall of Fame for donations made to its collection during the 2014-15, & 2016-17 seasons. Angus retired from Nike in February 2019.
Kent Angus will always hold a special place in our hearts for his contributions & pioneer work to bring what is now Dreams Take Flight; to reality. What started off as an endeavor among a few Air Canada employees, has now grown into a national children’s charity; with 8 chapters to date throughout the country. We would like to express our deepest condolences to the Angus family. Know that his legacy will leave on through all the tremendous works he has done not only with our children’s charity but also the footprints he left to the game of ice hockey. His presence will be missed by many but not forgotten.