THE ADVOCATE 863
VOL. 78 PART 6 NOVEMBER 2020
By Andrea Fraser*
As the proud publisher of the Advocate since 1943, the Vancouver Bar Association
(“VBA”) is thankful to have the opportunity to provide an update to
our members and the broader legal community on VBA news and events
over the past year.
2020 has been a year unlike any other. It has been described as “unprecedented”,
“uncertain” and “generational”. For better or worse, new words and
phrases have infiltrated our lexicon, from “social distancing” to “quarantini”.
This is of course a product of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has touched
all of our lives in unimaginable ways.
A key objective of the VBA is to foster civility and collegiality among
members of the profession. Traditionally, the way the VBA achieves this
objective is by bringing members of the bar and judiciary together via inperson
events such as the Devil’s Advocate Spring Social, the Judges’
Luncheon (honouring appointments to and retirements from our courts in
the past year) and the Craft Beer and Spirits Festival. Events like these allow
our members to get to know one another on a personal level, away from the
pressures of a file. But the vast majority of these events could not happen
this year in the manner we know and love.
On March 3, 2020, the VBA held the annual Charity Dodgeball Tournament.
The event was sold out, with $3,000 raised for the Justice Education
Society. Sadly, this was the last in-person event put on by the VBA in 2020.
When COVID-19 restrictions went into effect in March, the VBA transitioned
to solely online events. The Breakfast with the Bench series took
place virtually via Zoom. Participants gathered around their computer
screens to hear and learn from Justice Ross and Justice Skolrood of the B.C.
Supreme Court, Judge Bakan of the B.C. Provincial Court and Justice
* Andrea Fraser is the president of the Vancouver Bar Association and an associate at Guild Yule.