It is 2017 and the Calgary Bar Association will be moved in to this millennium by going online with memberships, a new website, and branching out into some exciting projects which I will outline below. As your President, it gives me great pleasure to serve you in 2017 along with a dedicated Executive who are:
• Susan Pepper, Vice President
• Jerry Patterson, Treasurer
• April Grosse, Secretary
• Jay Headrick, Senior Member
• Gord Sterchi, Middle Member
• Jody Sutherland, Junior Member
Along-side the Executive will be Past President, Sean Fairhurst. Sean’s guidance and experience will be of great value to the Executive moving forward. I am grateful to be able to work along side these colleagues who tirelessly work and volunteer their free time, and sometimes the odd billable hour, to continue the 127 year tradition of bringing our members together to engage in and enjoy, as our founding members so artfully expressed in the Association's by-laws, “cordial intercourse”. The Executive is reflective of the CBA's membership comprised as it is of lawyers from the criminal defence bar, the crown prosecution service, multi- national and national firms, in house counsel from the energy sector, family law, and Alberta born firms steeped in history. The CBA is truly unique, as it brings all of us together notwithstanding the diversity of engagement the membership possesses throughout the legal profession in this City of a million plus people.
Milvain Chair in Advocacy
The Milvain visiting Chair in Advocacy named after retired Chief Justice J. V. H Milvain began at the end of the 1970’s. Each year third year students return early to the University of Calgary to 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 on January 6, 2017. We were fortunate to hear from a luminary of the criminal bar, Marie Henein of Henein Hutchison.
Your association was able to partner with the Criminal Defence Lawyers Association and the University of Calgary in hosting a reception for Ms. Henein on January 5, 2017 at the Petroleum Club. The event was a sell-out and a huge success wherein Ms. Henein reminded all of us of the important role was as lawyers serve is in the legal system and upholding the rule of law. Ms. Henein touched on further topics including the need for changes in a profession that is seeing women lawyers depart at alarming rates. Her message, not unlike that of the Calgary Bar Association, emphasizes offering support and encouragement to one another in practice, and to lead by setting a solid example for the next generation of counsel. Our newest members are entering into a profession that is poised to changed more radically over the next two decades than it has over the last two centuries as Richard Susskind OBE will note in his keynote address to the 50th Annual Refresher to be held by the Legal Education Society of Alberta in Lake Louise later this year in May.
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 2017's deserving candidate.
Our long tradition of assisting organizations that touch and concern our members is a fundamental goal of our organization. We have contributed to many agencies in the city including: Assist (Alberta Lawyers Assistance Society), Calgary Legal Guidance, Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre, Calgary Drug Treatment Program, and Calgary Food Bank.
In a city that thrives on a diverse and sometimes an unpredictable economy tied closely to natural resources, these agencies who help so many often need the kind of help our members take pride in providing.
Our list of upcoming events offer the membership an opportunity to enjoy the social aspect of being a lawyer in this great city. We encourage all of you to mark your calendars for the following events:
• University of Calgary 40th Anniversary – Thursday, February 16, 2017 at the Court of Appeal
• Judges Dinner – Thursday, March 16, 2017 at the Westin Hotel 2017
• Curling Bonspiel – Friday, April 7, 2017 at the Glencoe Club
• Great Bar Band Battle – Thursday, June 1, 2017 at Flames Central
• Chief Justice Wittman Retirement Dinner – At a to be determined date in June at the Westin Hotel
• Stampede Whoop Up – Tuesday, July 11, 2017 at the Wild Horse Saloon
• Golf Tournament – Friday, September 8, 2017 at the Banff Springs Hotel
• Annual General Meeting – November 2, 2017 at the National on 10th
I encourage you to come out and join the CBA and celebrate being part of an organization that started in Calgary earliest days. Indeed, you are part of something that is older than our Province, and with respect, more senior in years than our Court of Appeal.
Annual memberships are still $65.00, the best value of any organization that are available online. As I mentioned, the new website will soon be ready to serve the membership needs for years to come. Though this may be the last printed version of the President’s message, I am encouraged that while the medium may change the message will remain as it was 127 years ago. On behalf of the Executive, we look forward to meeting and seeing all of you at our functions. 2017 will be a great year.
Calgary Bar Association
James M. Lutz