Celebrate International Women’s Day with West Coast LEAF’s Annual Equality Breakfast

Celebrate as friends, supporters, and allies, and help raise much-needed funds to support West Coast LEAF’s work for women’s equality. We’ll also be celebrating International Women’s Day, all in one fantastic morning!

Friday, March 9, 2018
7-9 AM (doors at 6:30 AM)
Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, 900 West Georgia St.

Keynote speaker: Roberta A. Kaplan

West Coast LEAF is thrilled to welcome Roberta A. Kaplan, history-making litigator and champion of the marriage equality fight at the US Supreme Court, as this year’s Equality Breakfast keynote speaker.

Roberta (Robbie) Kaplan, the founding partner at Kaplan & Company, LLP, one of the few women-led elite boutique litigation law firms, has been described as a “powerhouse corporate litigator” and “pressure junkie” who “thrives on looking at the big picture” whether “in the gay-marriage legal fight or high-profile corporate scandals.” She has been selected as one of “The 100 Most Influential Lawyers” in the United States, as a “Litigator of the Year” by The American Lawyer, and as a “Lawyer of the Year” by Above the Law.

In addition to representing large institutional and corporate clients like Fitch Ratings, Airbnb, Columbia University and T-Mobile, Robbie represented Edith Windsor in the landmark civil rights case of United States v. Windsor in which the United States Supreme Court held in 2013 that a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act or DOMA violated the US Constitution leading to the Supreme Court mandating marriage equality nationwide two years later. Robbie is also the author of “Then Comes Marriage: United States v. Windsor and the Defeat of DOMA” (W.W. Norton 2015), which was chosen by the L.A. Times and Ms. Magazine as one of the top 10 books of 2015. In commenting on the book, President Bill Clinton called Robbie an “American hero.”

Robbie has received numerous recognitions for her legal accomplishments and charitable activities, including the New York Law Journal Lifetime Achievement Award; Financial Times Legal Innovator of the Year; the National Law Journal’s 100 Most Influential Lawyers in the United States; the Columbia Law School Medal of Excellence; and the Stanford Law School National Public Service Award.

“Robbie, and Robbie alone, was able to see that Windsor was the perfect case to light a fire under the issue of gay marriage. Robbie understood that the key to victory was to convince courts to make right something unjust that had happened to a real person.”

— U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon


Read media coverage about Robbie’s recent involvement work here and here.

Watch Robbie’s eulogy for Edith Windsor below.


Emcee: Gloria Macarenko

We’re beyond thrilled that Gloria Macarenko will return as emcee!

Long-time CBC News host Gloria Macarenko takes the host chair on Metro Vancouver’s afternoon show On The Coast, where she explores the day’s news and local communities, and goes in-depth with hyper-local stories. Gloria is also host of CBC Television’s Our Vancouver, a current affairs television show, as well as The Story from Here, a national Radio One show that brings Canadians the most lively and intriguing interviews from across the country.

She has twice been nominated for the Gemini Awards in the category of “Best News Anchor” in Canada. Learn more about our fabulous emcee!


What to expect in 2018

Menu: Check back closer to the event date for details on our always delicious vegetarian breakfast menu.

Seating: All individual ticket holders are seated on a first-come basis on the morning of the event. Table purchasers are assigned reserved seating. Those who buy their table tickets earliest will be allocated seats closest to the stage.

Tax receipt: Individual ticket purchasers will receive a CRA tax receipt for the eligible portion of ticket(s) if a mailing address is provided. A $40 tax receipt is issued for $90 early-bird tickets before January 31; a $50 tax receipt is issued for $100 regular priced tickets.

Accessibility: We provide American Sign Language interpretation, and the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver is wheelchair-accessible. If you have other accessibility requirements, please contact us by Friday, March 2 at 604-684-8772. We would like to accommodate your needs.

Silent Auction: Get ready to bid! To give you enough time to scope out your favourite auction items, the doors will open at 6:30 am. If you are an artist, business owner, or professional who can offer a great product or service to our guests, we would be delighted to feature you in this year’s silent auction. Contact Sharon at donormgr@westcoastleaf.org to make a donation and support equality.

Interested in sponsoring the 2018 Equality Breakfast? Attended by nearly 800 members of the legal, labour, social justice, political, and academic communities and members of the public each year, our beloved signature event celebrates International Women’s Day and West Coast LEAF’s work to advance the full participation of women and girls in social, economic, and political life. Becoming an Equality Breakfast sponsor is an excellent way to demonstrate that you value women in leadership positions, are committed to corporate social responsibility, support access to justice for all, and want to see a more equal BC! To learn about the impact and benefits of sponsorship, contact Basya at 604-684-8772 ext. 114 or development@westcoastleaf.org.

More questions? Ask us! Call 604-684-8772 or email info@westcoastleaf.org.


“I have been attending WC LEAF’s Equality Breakfast for [more than] 14 years and I don’t believe I have ever enjoyed the event quite as much as I did this morning. Dr. Nutt was an absolutely brilliant and inspiring speaker. The event as a whole was beautifully executed.” –Lindsay Waddell, human rights lawyer


 Presenting Sponsor
Media Sponsor



 Gold Sponsors



Silver Sponsors

Lawson Lundell

Moore Edgar Lyster


Bronze Sponsors

Harper Grey LLP

Trial Lawyers Association of BC


Audio Visual Sponsor