Socially conscious, community-minded
Osler is dedicated to improving the quality of life for the communities where we live and work. Fostering a firm-wide culture of “giving back” and equal opportunity, we sponsor and participate in numerous initiatives and programs to empower the diverse members of our communities. Our commitment is reflected in our substantial contributions each and every year across our offices in Canada and New York.
Our lawyers and staff also volunteer their time and talents to support a variety of communities in need. And we pair our lawyers and staff with community agencies looking for volunteers or board members through our intranet Community Volunteer Involvement page.
As part of our Programs of Excellence, Osler makes annual contributions to law schools across the country, funding Visiting Professors and Chairs, student bursaries and scholarships, seminars and conferences, and innovative research.
- U of T student financial awards and a research chair in honour of the late Geoff Taber: Established at the University of Toronto in memory of our friend and former colleague Geoff Taber, The Geoff Taber Memorial Award at the Faculty of Law, the Geoff Taber Memorial Scholarship at the Rotman School of Management and the Geoff Taber Chair in Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Rotman honour Geoff’s many contributions to the business and legal communities and his passion for technology, innovation and entrepreneurship.
United Way – Osler’s Canadian offices have raised over $14 million to support the United Way/Centraide and its network of agencies in delivering vital social services over the past 10 years. In 2018, we marked our 19th year as United Way Toronto’s top fundraising campaign within the legal sector.
Give a Day to World AIDS – Since 2006, under the leadership of Technology Partner, Michael Fekete, Osler lawyers and staff have donated one day’s income to either of two Canadian humanitarian organizations: the Stephen Lewis Foundation or Dignitas International. In 2015, our firm raised over $140,000 to support grassroots programs that help save lives and re-build communities that are affected by HIV in sub-Saharan Africa. Give a Day to World AIDS was founded by family physician Dr. Jane Philpott in 2004, when she challenged her colleagues at Markham Stouffville Hospital to donate a day’s pay to fight HIV. Since then, Give a Day has grown in the medical, legal and business communities and has raised over $4,000,000. More than $1,000,000 of this has been donated through the generosity of Osler partners, associates and legal staff.
Red Cross Alberta Fires Emergency Appeal – Through individual donations and our firm matching program, Osler lawyers and staff raised more than $150,000 in support of the Canadian Red Cross’s Relief Fund to help those affected by the Fort McMurray wildfires.
Terry Fox Run – For the past 33 consecutive years, Osler’s offices across Canada and in New York have participated in the Terry Fox Run to raise almost half a million dollars for cancer research. In 2018 alone, Osler raised nearly $36,000 across our Canadian offices and over $8,000 in our New York office.
Holiday Donations – In December 2018, Osler donated to Toronto’s Yonge Street Mission, Banques Alimentaires in Montréal, The Alex in Calgary, the Greater Vancouver Food Bank, The Royal Foundation for Mental Health in Ottawa and New York’s St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to help make the holidays brighter for everybody.
Canadian Museum for Human Rights – In 2014, Osler supported the construction of the new museum in Winnipeg. The first of its kind since 1967, the national museum opened its doors on September 27, 2014, bringing to the forefront human rights issues in Canada and the world.
Canadian Blood Services partnership -- Osler is a proud partner and supporter of Canadian Blood Services (CBS). Each year, we actively encourage lawyers and staff to participate in blood drive initiatives by becoming a blood donor or donating funds. In 2016, Osler won the Summer Law Challenge, and we partnered with CBS on its GIVE LIFE campaign in July 2017 to raise awareness and help contribute to Canada’s blood supply. In addition, we raised money for CBS through one of our ongoing Denim Days.
- Daily Bread Food Bank – Our Toronto office participated in the 2015 law firm challenge raising money and donating food for families in need.
Denim Days – Throughout the year, Toronto staff and legal professionals donate to a selection of charities on Denim Days (in return for the benefit of being able to dress casually on designated workdays). Last year, we raised over $20,000 for such charities as the Daily Bread Food Bank, Kurl for Kids, Project Work, Big Brothers and Sisters, The Ted Nolan Foundation, The Nate Black Foundation, Ride to Conquer Cancer, Concerned Kids Charity of Toronto, Canadian Blood Services, Bikes for Tykes, The Gatehouse, CIBC Run for the Cure, The Unison Benevolent Fund, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Wounded Warriors, the Black Law Students’ Association of Canada, The 519 and PRIDE.
WoodGreen Homeward Bound – Since 2009, Osler has been involved with the four-year program helping single mothers in poverty through affordable housing, on-site daycare, education and training. Osler sponsors a career day to support and hire program participants pursuing law clerk careers.
TRIEC Mentoring Partnership – In 2018, Osler joined TRIEC Mentoring Partnership, a program that connects recent immigrants with mentors in their professional field. Newcomers bring talent, innovation and international expertise to the Greater Toronto Area, but they need information and networks to succeed. Mentors help bridge that gap. By volunteering as mentors, participating Osler staff and legal professionals are connecting with our communities, sharing knowledge and insight about the Canadian job market, and helping others succeed.
- Dress for Success (the Bay Street Suit Challenge) – Our Toronto office participates in an annual clothing drive as part of Dress for Success’ Bay Street Suit Challenge. Staff and legal professionals donate new/nearly new professional clothing. Donations help dress men & women in need in the community and support their entry or re-entry to the workforce.
- NFL Player Laurent Duvernay-Tardif : Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, the “most interesting man in the NFL”, presented to a full house in our Montréal office on November 7. Laurent plays on the starting offensive line of the Kansas City Chiefs, and is also on track to finish Med School (at McGill) in 2018. He has shared with us impressive anecdotes as well as key messages on competitiveness, team work and passion. The firm has given $5 550 which will all go to the Laurent Duvernay-Tardif Foundation, which encourages young people to get physically active and adopt healthy habits. Cheers to Sophie Amyot for actively participating on the Foundation board!
- Osler’s Community Day – Our Montréal lawyers and staff volunteer their time and talents to many diverse social and environmental organizations throughout the year. On May 30, 2018, for the sixth consecutive year, Osler organized a day where more than 75 lawyers and staff members helped out at three Montreal institutions: Peter Hall School, La Maison Marguerite and Chic Resto Pop. Osler is proud to continue a tradition of commitment to causes that are close to our heart.
- Pedal for Kids – Since 2002, the Montréal office has been participating in the Mighty Bike Ride, a week-long fundraising event for the Montréal Children’s Hospital Foundation. In 2018, Osler was one of the largest donors, having raised nearly $27,000.
- Flood Relief: In May 2017, heavy rainfall caused flooding in many Québec regions, forcing thousands of individuals to flee their homes and their communities. Osler as well as its staff and legal professionals made donations benefitting the Canadian Red Cross in order to help support flood victims in Québec.
- Panorama Project – Osler has signed a participation agreement with The Panorama Project, an action plan developed by the Barreau du Québec that promotes greater diversity and inclusion in the legal profession. The project launched on June 9, 2016. Shahir Guindi, Managing Partner of Osler’s Montréal office, provided the opening remarks.
- RESOLVE / Horizon Housing Society – Osler is a proud partner of Horizon Housing via The RESOLVE Campaign which is working to end Calgary’s homelessness and affordable housing crisis. Rather than host our annual Calgary Stampede event in 2015, Osler made a four-year commitment to this initiative, contributing $325,000 to Horizon Housing Society, a not-for-profit organization that provides affordable homes to more than 700 Calgarians in need.
- Wings of Hope Breast Cancer Foundation – For ten years, Osler Calgary has been a sponsor of Wings of Hope. Wings of Hope has been creating high impact fundraising since 1995 with a focus on supporting thousands of people living with breast cancer every day in Calgary.
- Lead Out Project – Osler has sponsored the Lead Out Project for two years. This initiative helps aspiring junior riders in Southern Alberta to cycle competitively - starting with support from their local community. With Osler’s help, the organization is able to support more athletes and to provide them with professional training and coaching.
- CUPS Stampeders Kick-Off Breakfast – For more than six years, Osler Calgary’s Energy Group has sponsored the breakfast for CUPS Health & Education Centres, in support of individuals and families overcoming poverty.
- Canadian Women’s Foundation Breakfast – For two years, Osler has supported the annual breakfast to help stop violence, end poverty and empower girls.
- Flood Relief – In June 2013, Southern Alberta was hit with an unprecedented flood. In lieu of Osler’s annual Stampede Eve Client Event, Osler donated $100,000, split between the Calgary Zoo and the Canadian Red Cross. Osler staff and lawyers gave more than 450 volunteer hours to help affected friends and neighbours. Members of the firm also donated more than $7,000 to the Red Cross Alberta Flood Relief Campaign.
- Osler’s Calgary office also sponsors a number of local initiatives supporting such organizations as the Children’s Hospital Aid Society Annual Charity Golf Classic, UNICEF’s Annual Water for Life Gala, Cerebral Palsy Association’s Gala, Classroom Champions and the WinSport Legacy Gala. We have volunteered at organizations that include Horizon Housing Society, Ronald McDonald House, The Calgary Homeless Shelter, The Mustard Seed, The Drop-In Centre and Hull Services.
- Toy Mountain – Ottawa legal professionals and staff participate in this annual holiday drive organized through the Salvation Army and local media to collect toys for the children of families in need within the community.
- Ten Oaks Project – As part of Osler’s commitment to diversity, the Ottawa office raises money during Pride Week through Jeans Day, pizza lunch and bingo to support this special organization. Ten Oaks Project engages and connects children and youth from LGBTQ communities through programs and activities rooted in play.
- Refugee Sponsorship Support Program (Refugee SSP) – Osler legal professionals in Ottawa are providing pro bono legal support to assist groups seeking to privately sponsor refugees.
- World Vision – A dedicated group of bakers in the Ottawa office supply baked goods for sale each Friday to raise funds to support a child in Peru.
- Youth Service Bureau of Ottawa – A team from the Ottawa office participates in an annual Law Day Fun Run & Walk organized by the County of Carleton Law Association, with all proceeds raised going to the Youth Service Bureau of Ottawa.
- Cure Foundation – The Ottawa office participates annually in the Run for the Cure to raise money to support the fight against breast cancer.
New York Initiatives
Terry Fox Run – For the past five years, Osler New York has been participating in the Terry Fox Run for Cancer Research. Last year, we raised over $15,000 for the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
Rock & Run on the River – Our New York office supports Rock & Run on the River's annual event for cancer survivors.