I am happy to report that spring has finally arrived in Alberta! After being driven inside by the endless snowstorms we endured this year, I look forward to seeing CBA members out and about at the final Section meetings and events before we wrap up our programming year at the end of June.
As you receive your copy of Law Matters, communities around Alberta, including Calgary, Edmonton, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, St. Paul and Fort McMurray, will have just wrapped up their local Law Day events. Law Day is an important access to justice and public legal education event in our province, and on behalf of the CBA Alberta Executive Committee, I extend my sincere thanks to the organizers, volunteers, and sponsors of Law Day across Alberta. Law Day is one of the events that shows the best of our profession, and this year we had over 100 lawyers volunteer to make it possible (in addition to the countless clerks and court staff that also participate). I was privileged to attend the citizenship ceremonies at Law Day Calgary, where we welcomed 90 new Canadians in the ceremonial courtroom at the Calgary Courts Centre, and Law Day St. Paul, where 45 new Canadians were welcomed. Similar ceremonies were held at other Law Day events, and are a highlight of the day for many.
Our Law Day committees also organize the annual Dial-a-Lawyer event, which took place in conjunction with Law Day in Calgary and Edmonton. Dial-a-Lawyer provides free legal consultations to members of the public, and this year, our team of volunteers assisted over 100 callers. Dial-a-Lawyer is hosted with the cooperation of Legal Aid Alberta, which provides us with the space and phones, as well as Calgary Legal Guidance, the Edmonton Community Legal Centre, and Pro Bono Law Alberta. Please join me in thanking these organizations for their support of the event.
As the Section year comes to an end, the leaders of Alberta's Sections are beginning to look ahead to 2018-19. Many Sections are recruiting new members to sit on their Executive Committees and assist with meeting planning and speaker recruitment. Sections are the lifeblood of the CBA, and are the vehicle through which the majority of our professional development programming is delivered. I encourage any member who is interested in becoming more involved with the CBA to reach out to the Executive Committee of their Section of choice about leadership opportunities; it is an extremely rewarding way to volunteer your time and give back to the legal community. Members can also contact our indispensable Section Registrars for more information. Members in Calgary can contact Linda Chapman at email@example.com, and those in Edmonton can reach out to Heather Walsh at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This has been a dynamic year for CBA Alberta! We have continued with advocacy efforts related to vacancies on the bench, and worked hard to maintain strong relationships with all stakeholders participating in the legal profession, and the justice system. We have also enjoyed consulting with our members with respect to the governance and structure of this organization. We are doing our best to use this opportunity to strengthen your CBA, making it more effective at delivering everything our members value.
CBA members can expect to receive their membership renewal notices by mail or electronically in the coming weeks. When you renew your membership, do not forget to add a Portfolio or Portfolio Plus package to your membership! These packages are an excellent value for our members who participate in Sections, or regularly attend other CBA professional development activities. When you purchase a Portfolio or Portfolio Plus package, you receive up to three free materials-level memberships to Sections of your choice, education credits to use on your Section memberships, webinar registrations, or other approved CBA purchases, plus a rebate on all approved CBA purchases, which is applied to your national member fee the following year. As always, our staff in Calgary and Edmonton are available to assist should you have any questions about your membership. For more information, visit www.cba-alberta.org/Membership/Join-Renew.
Our regular readers may notice some differences in the content of Law Matters with this issue. I will leave it to our able Editor to explain what these changes are, but I would be remiss if I didn't recognize one of the magazines longest-standing contributors. Judge Fradsham has been writing the "View From The Bench" column since 1997, when Law Matters was simply referred to as the Canadian Bar Association and Law Society of Alberta Newsletter. Since then, he has gone on to write 92 columns (including this issue's submission). As the magazine moves in its new direction and the "View From The Bench" column is retired, I want to recognize and thank Judge Fradsham for the many hours he has spent on his writing that entertained and enlightened our readers.
Finally, on behalf of the CBA Executive Committee, membership and staff, please join me in congratulating Johanna Price, who was acclaimed incoming CBA Alberta Branch Secretary for the 2018-19 year. Johanna is a partner at Peacock, L-inder, Halt & Mack LLP in Calgary, where she is a litigator. Our members will know Johanna from her extensive Section involvement, serving on the Executive Committees of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Section both in Alberta and at the national level. Johanna has also been an active volunteer on many conference planning committees, including the Alberta Law Conference, the national CBA Legal Conference, and most recently, the CBA West Conference that was held in Las Vegas in the fall of 2017. Johanna's term as Branch Secretary will begin on September 1, 2018, and she will be joined by President Frank Friesacher, Vice President Ola Malik, Treasurer David Hiebert, myself as Past President, and our Executive Director Maureen Armitage.