20th Anniversary Fundraising Gala


Equity, human rights and how we are failing Aboriginal children, or, “How to get the government to spy on you”

Gala Jeanine with Mum and Grandma

First Call’s 20th anniversary dinner was the most successful fundraiser we have ever had!

We want to thank Musqueam elder Harriet Cook for her words of welcome; Kathryn Gretsinger for being our MC during the evening; inspiring youth Janine Annett for all the work she has done for children and youth, and finally to Cindy Blackstock for her passionate and timely call to action to support Canada’s Aboriginal children and youth.


The Champion of Child and Youth Rights Award

Gala Cindy BlackstockThis year we presented the Champion of Child and Youth Rights Award, presented in recognition of exemplary leadership and commitment in standing up for children, youth and families in Canada to Cindy Blackstock.

Cindy Blackstock, PhD, is the Executive Director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada and Associate Professor at the University of Alberta. A member of the Gitksan Nation, she has worked in the field of child and family services for over 20 years. An author of over 50 publications, her key interests include exploring, and addressing, the causes of disadvantage for Aboriginal children and families by promoting equitable and culturally based interventions. www.fncaringsociety.com

Gala Jeanine with Mum and GrandmaWe also recognized an inspiring youth, Janine Annett. Last year, at age 15, Janine walked 500kms to raise money and awareness about children living in poverty locally and globally. Over the course of 30 days she walked the length of Vancouver Island, from Port Hardy to the legislature in Victoria, and in doing so raised almost $10,000 for Free the Children, an international aid organisation. Janine’s awareness and passion arose from witnessing the effects of poverty on her classmates in Campbell River, as well as during a family trip to East Africa. She received a lot of support from her family, friends and the communities she walked through along the way. First Call believes Janine’s passion and dedication are an inspiration and a model for others, young and old.


Thank you to our 20th anniversary gala sponsors:

Vancity, CAW Local 111, UFCW Local 1518, the BCGEU, the Centre for Child Honouring, Caroline + Gislason Lawyers LLP, BC Nurses’ Union and WestJet.


Check out our photo album from the event:


Check out the keynote speeches:


Thanks to Lesley Harrington and the BC Teachers’ Federation for filming the evening.