Other Projects

Some of the other projects, both past and present, of the Calgary Bar Association are outlined below.


Judicial Swearing-in Ceremonies

The CBA is honoured to bring greetings and congratulations on behalf of members of the Calgary bar at the swearing-in ceremonies of new judicial appointments.

Art Collection

The CBA owns approximately 25 pieces of art, consisting of portraits of members of the judiciary, paintings, and other art works, the majority (if not all) of which were donated to the CBA over the past 100+ years by members of the Calgary bench and bar. Historically, these pieces were on display in various parts of the old Court of Queen's Bench.

Administration of Court House Lockers

The CBA administers the assignment of Court House lockers on behalf of members of the Calgary bar. Lockers are rented out on a yearly basis, for a modest amount.  To get a court house locker, please contact our administrator, Gayle Brady, at (403) 457-0511.

"Talk To My Lawyer!"
Great Stories of the Southern Alberta Bar and Bench

 In 1982, the Calgary Bar Association, at the urging of the then Chief Justice W.A. (Bill) McGillivray, took steps to proceed with the assembling of an oral history of the Southern Alberta Bench and Bar. This project led to the commissioning of a book and the selection of noted historical writer James H. Gray as its author. In 1987, Talk to My Lawyer! - Great Stories of Southern Alberta & Bar and Bench (Hurtig Publishers) was published and copies provided to all members of the Calgary Bar Association. In his preface to Talk to My Lawyer!, James Gray describes the process leading up to his selection as follows:

The project began with a series of dinner meetings hosted by leaders of the bar at which efforts were concentrated on recalling some of the more hilarious misadventures of the professions eminent, and not-so-eminent, practitioners - tales, for example, of hunting trip misadventures and court-room collisions. As meeting followed meeting, the same stories kept resurfacing in varying guises. Like the one about the leading barrister who doubled as a pig farmer and occasionally brought a pig to market in the back seat of his car. Once, at an Eighth Avenue traffic light the pig escaped and the barrister’s appearance in court was both delayed and significantly disarranged by his long and frustrating chase after the absconding porker. And then there was the saga of the judge’s hunting dog that was left unattended in the judge’s office over a long weekend with outrageous consequences, both to the dog and the office furnishings...

The reminiscences of the profession’s senior citizenry gradually altered the focus of the oral history project, from lawyer interrelationships to the influence southern Alberta lawyers have exerted on the growth of Calgary and Alberta. It was a Calgary lawyer, for example, who almost single-handedly converted Eighth Avenue Calgary from a crude strip of frame shacks into a commercial rialto of brick and sandstone. It was a group of Calgary lawyers who launched the first successful oil company. Later on, Calgary lawyers and a Calgary judge devised the first comprehensive plan to regulate the production and distribution of crude oil and natural gas. It was in a Calgary police court where the first skirmish was fought in the national crusade for equal rights for women. And, it was in the Calgary court house where the conscription crisis of 1918 brought the military authority into near-violent confrontation with the civil authority.

James Gray’s description of the project is consistent with the character of the Calgary Bar Association. The undertaking started with “dinner meetings” at which stories were told. Those present at the “meetings” appeared to have great difficulty remembering and recording the tales recounted at these events, making it necessary to hire a professional to capture these vignettes before the memories of the attendees faded altogether.  The Calgary Bar Association prides itself on playing an important role in passing on both the oral and written traditions of the bar.