While many view the legal world as “all business,” local law firm Stewart McKelvey’s longstanding support for the arts in the province goes above and beyond, encompassing groups such as Lady Cove Women’s Choir, Newman Sound Men’s Choir, the Tuckamore Festival, and Kiwanis Music Festival, among others.
“As Thomas Merton once said, ‘Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves all at the same time,’” explains Bruce C. Grant, a partner at the firm. “We believe art is in all of us, whether appreciating a cool breeze blowing off the water on a walk to work, or enjoying the sounds of the symphony at the end of a long day. It is this balance between work and recreation that makes us whole.”
While Stewart McKelvey appreciates the work of artists of various stripes, and their contributions to our communities, the firm recognizes that supporting the arts benefits businesses as well.
“Our association with the arts allows us to access other communities within our community,” Grant says. “Indeed, this includes business and governmental leaders who equally enjoy and support the arts. As well, it provides access to social groups not usually associated with legal services, but where deep personal relationships can develop.”
Occasionally, it can also provide access to famous Canadian musicians. During a trip to South Africa, Grant (who is also chair of the Newman Sound Men’s Choir) met rocker Sam Roberts, who agreed to become the choir’s honorary patron.
“The choir won the World Choir Games in Cincinnati, Ohio a couple years ago over such choirs as the Beijing University Men’s Choir,” Grant says, “and recently came second in a national choral competition. They are world class.”
He says he’d like to get Roberts to the province at some point.
“It would be great if we could arrange some collaboration between Sam and the group.”
The firm’s support of the arts is also a powerful recruiting tool, says Grant. New lawyers look for a workplace that is vibrant and supportive, and helping the arts is one way Stewart McKelvey provides that.
Partnering with clients who show support for particular arts communities also benefits the firm by giving them another way to foster those relationships, while helping the arts community at the same time.
“Accordingly, arts sponsorships are a win/win proposition,” Grant says.
Stewart McKelvey aims to support the groups that need it most. “That said, we happen to have a number of musicians at the office,” Grant adds, “so you’ll note much of our local support has been in that area.”
For many of the firm’s employees, their support for the arts extends beyond their jobs.
“Many of our professionals provide their time voluntarily to boards running arts events and our support is our internal recognition of their contribution to the community.”