I am honoured to have the opportunity to serve as your President in the 128th year of the Calgary Bar Association. As members of the Calgary Bar Association, we are most fortunate to practice law in a vibrant city as part of a thriving legal community. We have an exciting year ahead. Some of the highlights:
Judge’s Dinner – April 12, 2018
While there are no Q.C. designations this year, we have several new appointments to the Bench and we will honour them at a Judge’s Dinner on April 12th, 2018. We are especially excited to celebrate the Honourable Sheilah Martin and her recent appointment to the Supreme Court of Canada!
New Website and Electronic Registration
Last year, President Jim Lutz promised to bring the Calgary Bar Association into the modern era with a new website and an electronic system of online registration. Well, I am happy to report that we have made it into the 90s with a new look to our website and partial online registration. By the end of this year, we hope to be into the 00s and perhaps by 2019 we will be fully electronic. This may indeed be the last year you receive the paper mail out that some of you are reading from right now.
We head into 2018 with a renewed commitment to charitable works. Typically, the Calgary Bar Association seeks to benefit charitable organizations that touch on the legal community in some way. We will continue to support these organizations while at the same time looking for new ways to serve the wider community in Calgary. The Calgary Bar Association knows that as lawyers we are privileged to practice in this city and, as such, we want to give back to our community. We strive to ensure that Calgary remains an excellent place to live and work and so we will continue to do our part on behalf of the membership.
While good works are important, we look forward to bringing you a full slate of social activities. The Calgary Bar Association is committed to ensuring that as we move into the future, we continue to uphold the values of collegiality and respect for one another.
Members of the Executive
As your President, it gives me great pleasure to serve you in 2018 along with a dedicated Executive. They are:
Jerry Patterson, Vice President
April Grosse, Treasurer
Jay Headrick, Secretary
Gordon Sterchi, Senior Member
Jody Sutherland, Middle Member
Aaron Bickman, Junior Member
Serving along-side the Executive will be Past President, Jim Lutz. Jim’s guidance, experience, and good humour will be of great value to the Executive moving forward and we thank him for his 7 years of service to the Calgary Bar Association. The Executive is reflective of the Calgary Bar Association’s membership comprised as it is of lawyers from all sectors of our community.
Milvain Chair in Advocacy
The Calgary Bar Association is honoured to continue our sponsorship of the Visiting Milvain Chair in Advocacy. The Visiting Milvain Chair in Advocacy, named after retired Chief Justice J. V. H Milvain, began at the end of the 1970s. Each year, third year students at the University of Calgary law school learn advocacy from members of the bar, faculty members and instructors in a program that is unique in Canada. The program features lectures, in class exercises with interactive assessment, and critiques by senior practitioners. The program concludes, as it did this year, with a lecture from the Visiting Chair in Advocacy in early January.
In 2018, we were most fortunate to welcome Dennis Edney Q.C. as the Visiting Milvain Chair. Mr. Edney’s legal practice has focused on criminal and human rights and he is most well-known for his ten year long defence of Omar Khadr.
Along with the Criminal Defence Lawyer’s Association, the Calgary Bar Association hosted Mr. Edney on January 4, 2018 at the Petroleum Club. Mr. Edney provided remarks from a speech entitled “The Rule of Law in an Age of Fear;” a speech which he gave in full at the U of C on January 5th, 2018. His inspiring words remind us that our very democracy depends on adherence to our legal principles that are rooted in ideas of fairness, morality, and freedom.
Calgary Bar Association Scholarship
In 2014, as part of the Calgary Bar Association's mandate of giving back to the legal community, a scholarship was endowed to the University of Calgary, Faculty of Law. The recipient is one who embodies active involvement in the student legal community and who, through their actions, have enriched student life at the Faculty of Law. We look forward to celebrating 2018's deserving candidate.
The Calgary Bar Association has a long tradition of providing assistance to non-profit and charitable organizations in our community. We have supported many organizations in the city including:
Alberta Lawyers Assistance Society (Assist),
Calgary Legal Guidance,
Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre,
Calgary Drug Treatment Program, and
Calgary Food Bank.
We will continue our charitable focus on behalf of the membership in 2018.
We encourage all of you to mark your calendars for the following events:
Curling Bonspiel – Friday, March 23, 2018 at the Glencoe Club
Judge’s Dinner – Thursday, April 12, 2018 at the Westin Hotel
Battle of the Law Bands – May 31, 2018 at Flame’s Central
Stampede Whoop Up – Tuesday, July 10, 2018 at the Wild Horse Saloon
Golf Tournament – Friday, September 7, 2018 at the Banff Springs Hotel
Annual General Meeting – Early November, 2018 at the National on 10th
We encourage you to sign up for the Curling event early as it is popular. Members of all skill levels are welcome and costumes are encouraged. There will be a registration form for the golf tournament in the spring mail out, but mark your calendars now.
Annual memberships are $75.00 for lawyers and $25.00 for students. We are pleased to announce that there will no longer be a surcharge at the Whoop Up. A simple membership will suffice. You must be a member (or in some cases a guest of a member) to attend Calgary Bar Association events.
You will receive membership forms in this mail out but you may also register online. Please check our website for membership information.
On behalf of the Executive, I look very much forward to meeting you at our events. For your continued support, we thank you.
Calgary Bar Association