Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP receives national literacy award



    11th Annual 'Joycee' Award
    --------------------------

    TORONTO, June 7 /CNW/ - Canada's national award that recognizes
corporations' exceptional contributions in support of the issue of literacy
was presented last night to the national law firm Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP
(Blakes).
    In accepting the 11th annual Honourable Joyce Fairbairn, P.C. Literacy
Public Awareness Award, Blakes joins the ranks of previous award recipients
CBC-Radio Canada, Air Canada, Baton Broadcasting System (CTV), Canadian Cable
Television Association, Canadian Community Newspapers Association, CanWest
Global Communications Corporation, Coca-Cola Ltd., Honda Canada Inc.,
Maclean-Hunter Publishing (now Rogers Media), Royal Bank Financial Group, Taxi
Advertising, Canadian Yellow Pages(TM) Publishers, Mediacom Inc., Southam Inc.
and Telemedia Publishing, which have all shown exceptional generosity and
innovation in their support of literacy programs in Canada, and of ABC CANADA
Literacy Foundation.
    Affectionately known in the literacy field as "the Joycee," the award's
namesake is Senator Joyce Fairbairn, a long-standing champion of the literacy
cause in Canada, who presented the award to Jim Christie, the Chairman of
Blakes.

    Blakes support began at start of ABC CANADA

    ABC CANADA recognizes Blakes for providing pro bono legal services to the
organization and for its many years offering its offices for a number of ABC
CANADA business meetings. Blakes has also generously provided its reception
and dining facilities, including delivery of the food service at cost, in
support of ABC CANADA's two national awards dinners: the 'Joycee,' as well as
the Peter Gzowski Literacy Award of Merit dinner. "Blakes legal counsel has
been invaluable, and its opening its doors to us has both provided a
convenient and welcoming environment for our meetings, and greatly encouraged
the development of our awards programs," said Margaret Eaton, President, ABC
CANADA.
    For 16 years, Blakes has counselled ABC CANADA, one of its earliest
undertakings being the organization's registration as a charitable
organization in 1991. Peter Gilchrist, Partner Emeritus at Blakes, was in
those early years the lead lawyer at Blakes on the Southam Inc. file, and
Southam's President William Ardell was one of the key proponents for forming
ABC CANADA in order to address the concerning issue of low literacy among
Canadian adults. The two men both became founding members of the ABC CANADA
Board, and the now long-standing relationship between ABC CANADA and Blakes
was born.
    "Blakes understood the literacy cause and wanted to support it, and ABC
CANADA is the grateful recipient of its generosity," added Eaton. "We salute
the vision of those who started our charity, and we salute Blakes for its
unfailing support over a decade and a half."
    The firm's support of ABC CANADA is part of a fabric of pro bono
initiatives undertaken by the firm, which is dedicated to expanding its legal
services for individuals and organizations that cannot otherwise obtain legal
advice or representation. "Blakes is honoured to be the recipient of this
year's 'Joycee' award," said Blakes Chairman Jim Christie. "As a firm, we are
committed to providing pro bono services to organizations that are making a
difference, and ABC CANADA definitely falls into that category. The Foundation
is doing wonderful work in promoting literacy, which is so vital to a strong
and prosperous Canada."
    The firm's pro bono work includes contributions to the Vancouver
Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, as well
as Special Olympics Canada; Evergreen, a national not-for-profit environmental
organization; The Minerva Foundation for BC Women, which assists girls and
women in realizing their potential; The Portage Program for Drug Dependencies
Inc., one of North America's leading not-for-profit organizations in the
treatment of drug abuse; Child Advocacy Project (CAP), a collaborative effort
of Justice for Children and Youth, The Advocates' Society and Pro Bono Law
Ontario dedicated to protecting and enhancing the legal rights of children
across Ontario; and Dignitas International, a Toronto-based international
medical humanitarian organization pioneering a sustainable community-based
HIV/AIDS treatment delivery and prevention model that can be replicated
throughout the world.

    For a picture from the awards event, go to :
    http://www.abc-canada.org/media_room/news/joycee_2007_photo.shtml

    CUTLINE :
    Jim Christie, Chairman of Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP, holds the Joycee
    award, beside Senator Joyce Fairbairn, who received an honorary award,
    and with Margaret Eaton and Alan Middleton, President and Chair of ABC
    CANADA.

    About Blakes

    Serving a diverse client base in virtually every area of business law,
Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP has served many of Canada's and the world's
leading businesses and organizations for 150 years. With more than 500 lawyers
in offices in Montréal, Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver, New York,
Chicago, London, Beijing and an office in Shanghai through its China Alliance,
it is the only Canadian law firm to rank in all 14 categories in Chambers
Global: The World's Leading Lawyers for Business 2007. For the fourth
consecutive year, Blakes has been named one of Canada's Top 100 Employers by
Mediacorp Canada Inc., and is the only law firm on the list. www.blakes.com

    About ABC CANADA

    ABC CANADA Literacy Foundation is the national charity committed to
promoting family, adult and workplace literacy to the general public and to
the private sector. ABC CANADA's focus is on public-awareness programs,
providing promotional support to local literacy groups, and conducting
research to further the development of a fully literate Canadian population.
www.abc-canada.org.





For further information:

For further information: Media, please contact: Jim Pollock, Director of
Communications: (416) 218-0010, ext. 126, 1-800-303-1004, ext. 126,
jpollock@abc-canada.org

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ABC Life Literacy Canada

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