Yesterday several members of Cassels Brock were proudly in attendance at “Carnival on Bay Street”, a cocktail reception in celebration of the National Bar Association’s visit to Toronto. The event was hosted by Black Partners on Bay Street, a network of Black partners at leading business law firms in Toronto who are dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusion on Bay Street and more broadly in the legal profession.
Photograph: Kojo Hayward and Tristan Davis (2nd and 3rd students from the right) posing with several other students on Bay St. at the event.
Kojo Hayward, one of our fellow summer students, beautifully summarized the event:
“It was phenomenal to see the joy, positivity, and excellence in the room. The crowd was brilliant and beautiful. The food was delicious and plentiful. The music was upbeat and cheerful. The vibe at the event was perfect.
It was powerful to witness so many black lawyers, at various stages of their career, from various jurisdictions in North America, both meeting new people and building on existing relationships. It was also powerful to share the moment with several lawyers of other races. While diversity is far from close to being truly realized, the Carnival on Bay Street event was a comforting reminder that there are a number of trailblazers leading the way and allies supporting the push.”
Last week the summer students and the student committee got together for some delicious and fun-filled challenges at the Edible Story Toronto. The engaging event consisted of two challenges similar to the hit-TV show “Chopped”. In each challenge, the hosts would reveal mystery ingredients and the two teams (mixed of committee members and students) would have 20 minutes to transform the ingredients into a meal. In both the appetizer and the dessert round, there were some impressive transformations.
Appetizer Round: fennel, king oyster mushrooms, brie, and chickpeas.
Top photo on left: A roasted chick pea stir fry with the fennel and mushrooms. The team then roasted the brie and topped it with some garnish and toasted bread to dip. (Chopped!)
Top photo on right: Handmade hummus spread over toast, melted brie on top, and a mushroom and fennel stir fry with roasted chickpeas to top it off. The dish was served with a side of pickled tomatoes.
Dessert Round: lady fingers, butterscotch chips, dulce de leche.
Top photo: deep-fried and pan-fried rhubarb with melted butterscotch chocolate chips, topped with a hand-made caramel sauce, whipped marshmellows, and dashes of cinnamon.
Middle photo: lady fingers topped with a hand-made vanilla and sugar cream, garnished with pomegranate; alternatively garnished with a caramel sauce and butterscotch. (Chopped!)
Overall, all the teams and the student committee judges had a blast participating in this summer event. We got to bond as a group and work as teams under the ticking clock. Plus, we got to eat all the food our team made alongside more delicious appetizers the host cooks at The Edible Story made for us on-site. Summerlicious!
Just because orientation week is over, doesn’t mean the student event fun has to end! Last week our summer class took part in the 17thAnnual Bay Street Beach Volleyball tournament, a charity volleyball tournament between the current summer students at Bay Street law firms. This year, the proceeds are going to Moorelands Community Services (you can check them out at: www.moorelands.ca).
Our team “Cassels Block and Spikewell” was excited to spend a day in the sun with our colleagues to have some fun spirited volleyball competition! After we arrived at Ashbridge’s bay, we suited up in our team shirts and excitedly found our way to our first match.
The weather was great, not too hot, but still with a shining sun overhead. Although we won our first coin toss, we lost our first game – but hey, we chucked it up as a “warm up” session. Over the course of the next games, we found our groove and our team work got us our first win. A couple of sand dives, spikes, and deadly serves later, we had a winning streak for the last three games. Sadly, we did not make it to the semi-finals, but we did get free pizza (!).
Afterwards, all the summer students went to Mill St. Brewery at the Distillery District to celebrate together. It was really great to get an opportunity to meet and mingle with the summer students at other neighbouring firms. So far, this has been my favourite student activity as we got to really bond as a team (both at volleyball and over delicious appetizers). Overall, it was a day full of sunshine, volleyball fun, and delicious food – and all for a good cause!