Thank You for Celebrating 25 Years of BCLI
March 16, 2023
BY Taja De Silva
Late last year, the BCLI celebrated its 25th Anniversary. To mark the occasion, we hosted an appreciation event for the many people – our friends, supporters, volunteers, and collaborators – who are part of our community. We are grateful to all who were able to attend and are delighted to share with you a photo gallery of our evening.
The celebration began with a protocol welcome from respected Elder Carleen Thomas of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation. She shared with us a greeting of appreciation in Hunq’eme’nem and welcomed us “here, to the homelands and waters of the Musqueam, the Squamish, and the Tsleil-Waututh people.”
We extend a special thanks to our keynote speakers: Former BCLI Board Member and Former Attorney General, Geoff Plant, OBC, KC, and UBC Chancellor Steven Point, OBC. Geoff Plant talked about the work of our predecessor, the BC Law Reform Commission, explaining that the BCLI emerged to fulfill and continue the vital need performed by the Commission’s “project of law reform,” and has since become a “cog in the machinery of what makes British Columbia work.” Steven Point’s perspective on the future of BCLI described ongoing opportunities for law reform that work toward Indigenous self-determination, reconciliation, and that addresses “racial tensions that exist, [and] still exist” in BC.
Our 25th Anniversary was also where we bid farewell to Krista James. Krista departed the BCLI after 15 years, most of which were spent leading the Canadian Center for Elder Law (CCEL). BC Seniors Advocate, Isobel Mackenzie, travelled from Victoria to celebrate alongside us and to recognize Krista “on behalf of all British Columbia Seniors” for her significant contributions. Our Executive Director, Karen Campbell, shared further appreciation for Krista’s accomplishments which continue to inform our work, and have strengthened our presence overall. We also recognized the continued work of BCLI staff lawyers Greg Blue, KC, who has been involved with BCLI since its inception, and Kevin Zakreski, whose research and reports have “steadily and magically” supported BCLI projects for 19 years.
We thank BC Ombudsperson, Jay Chalke, KC, and BC Seniors Advocate, Isobel Mackenzie, for joining us from Victoria, as well as BC Provincial Court Judge, J.P. MacCarthy, who was in attendance. Judge MacCarthy is BCLI’s longest standing annual donor. We are so grateful for his steadfast support.
Lastly, we are grateful to Lawson Lundell for generously sponsoring the event and thank all our funders – the Law Foundation of BC, the Ministry of the Attorney General, the Real Estate Foundation of BC, and others – for their continued support.