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BCCLA 50th Anniversary

On June 1st and 2nd, 2012, the BC Civil Liberties Association celebrated its 50th anniversary with an exciting series of events.

At our 50 Years of Freedom Speakers Symposium on June 1st, our incredible speakers Dr. Michael Geist, Dr. Cindy Blackstock, Kim Pate, Maureen Webb and Alex Neve spoke to a standing room only crowd; delivering thought provoking and often moving calls to act now in defence of our most basic rights and freedoms.

The weekend continued with our legal conference, The Law Protecting Liberty, on June 2, and we wrapped up the weekend in style at our Golden Anniversary Gala, a fundraising event held at the Coast Coal Harbour Hotel.

We were thrilled that so many of our friends and supporters could join us. Almost 300 people packed the ballroom to celebrate our birthday, as well as honour the recipients of the annual Reg Robson Award- Robyn Gervais and Cameron Ward, and the inaugural Liberty Awards winners Jamie Haller, Susan Musgrave, Joseph Arvay and John Dixon. Acclaimed human rights lawyer Clayton Ruby and Toronto Star publisher John Cruickshank concluded the evening with their keynote speeches.

We couldn’t have asked for a better birthday and we can’t thank our members enough for making it so special. The support we received from the community over this weekend will enable us to grow as we move into our next 50 years of advocating for and defending civil liberties and freedoms in Canada.

Our 50th in photos

Thanks to our photographers Rachel Gamboa.

Our 50th in the media

Over the course of the weekend several organizations and media agencies reflected on our fifty year legacy, producing thoughtful pieces that consider what we’ve accomplished and what remains to be done. Twitter users in attendance and elsewhere followed along with our events, leading #bccla50th to trend in Vancouver! We’d like to thank all those who joined in for this important conversation about the past and future of civil liberties in Canada, and the work of the BC Civil Liberties Association. We are interested in preserving this conversation for our records, if we missed a story please contact Development Coordinator Stefanie Ratjen at [email protected].

  • At the Front End: The BCCLA at 50 – “We remember the bad old days, and so we never take anything for granted.” – Michael Vonn- BCCLA Policy Director. June 1, 2012, Positive Women’s Network


Watch Alex Neve, OC, Secretary General of Amnesty International, speak at the BCCLA’s Speakers Symposium. More video recordings of the talks from Speaker’s Symposium are available here.


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