Bringing Change through Volunteerism

Crowe MacKay celebrates National Volunteer Week 2021

News Story
| 4/18/2021

Since 1969, the heart of our business has always been to invest in the communities we live and serve. We value giving back and showing how we care and share with others through volunteering, and this continues to be key in our success. 

The Value of One, The Power of Many is the theme for this year’s National Volunteer Week, and in living our core values, We Care, We Share, We Invest, We Grow - and our commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility- we are proud to celebrate the contributions of our teammates who are making an impact in their communities across northern and western Canada.

Here is how Crowe MacKay #VolunteersBringChange to their communities.

A Compelling Mandate Led to Joining the Board

Vickie Whitehead, Director of Indigenous Services, was personally invited to volunteer as Treasurer for the Vancouver Aboriginal Health Society (VAHS) Board. Although Vickie was already quiet engaged within the community, sitting on two other boards, VAHS’ mandate was so compelling she agreed to take on the role.

VAHS is on the front lines of supporting urban Indigenous people located in Vancouver's downtown eastside. With grants from the government and donations, the organization provides support programs in the form of medical and dental, childcare, early childhood education, access to cultural practices, and elder support. Most clients who visit the society would otherwise not have access to these kinds of supports and VAHS is able to offer them in a culturally appropriate way that is safe.

I’m making a difference by pitching in when needed to review a policy or program application and training the Board on the exciting topics of fiduciary duty and analyzing financial statements. – Vickie Whitehead

On top of joining an organization whose mandate Vickie is passionate about, she’s also been able to reconnect with a past colleague from 20 years prior who’s now VAHS’ Executive Director.

Supporting an Organization that’s Close to Home

For Hugh Livingstone, Partner in the Vancouver office, supporting the healthcare system is something very important to him. He has been serving as a member of the Vancouver General Hospital (VGH) and UBC Hospital Foundation’s Investment, Finance, and Audit Committee for the last two years, and recently expanded his efforts in working and supporting their Brain Breakthroughs campaign. Having seen the work of VGH’s doctors first-hand as they saved his son, Andrew’s, life, Hugh wanted to give back and support the campaign in reaching their goal of raising $35 million. 

It’s an honour to volunteer alongside other Vancouver leaders and support this group of dedicated medical professionals – Hugh Livingstone

Hugh Livingstone and son Andrew

Learn more about Andrew's story and donate to the Brain Breakthrough campaign
Crowe MacKay is proud to match the donations received - up to $10,000!

Helping Women’s Hockey & Offering Hot Lunches to Kids in Need

Lana Lisak, an Associate in the Vancouver office, volunteers as a Hockey Canada Safety Person (HCSP) with the Vancouver Female Hockey Association. As a volunteer of four years, Lana’s responsibilities have dramatically increased due to COVID-19 and the changing restrictions and mandatory screening.

This year, she also volunteered with KidSafe and their Spring Break delivery initiative. Lana delivered hot breakfast to local schools that were running programs for vulnerable children and youth during periods when schools are traditionally closed.

Recognizing Local Heroes

As a Programming Committee member with Net Impact, Alexis Troup, Marketing Specialist, assisted with the planning of the organization’s Annual General Meeting (AGM). Initially, the committee was to plan and host a Jeffersonian dinner where an intimate group of people would dine together, discussing a specific topic related to business and sustainability, but because of  COVID-19 the committee had to pivot and get creative in hosting the AGM virtually. The theme "local heroes" emerged in light of the impacts of the pandemic and the group brought in four local Edmonton heroes who were supporting people and businesses through these uncertain times. Alexis share’s that:

The local heroes AGM was a great event and brought to light Edmonton's beaming sense of community and local support.

Supporting the Profession since 2017

Since 2017, Brianne Formosa, a Manager in the Vancouver office, has been an active volunteer with CPABC as a CPA Ambassador. She represents CPABC at a variety events sharing her insights with prospective candidates interested in pursuing a career in accounting. Common events you may see Brianne at include career panels, information sessions at universities, and as a judge at local competitions, just to name a few. 

Brianne continues to volunteer with CPABC because she believes she can provide helpful advice and information to prospective students and candidates exploring a career in accounting. She also enjoys being able to give back to the profession and connect with other CPAs in the process.

Six Years as a Board Member

Candace Surette Participating in a Virtual Art Class

For the last six years Candace Surette, Director of Quality, has been involved with the Kelowna Art Gallery as the Treasurer of their board; however, this year has been the most challenging year yet due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a Director for the Kelowna Art Gallery she’s been tasked with helping the gallery keep people safe, follow their mandate, and work to stay relevant, all while dealing with uncertainty. This is in addition to Candace’s duties as treasurer where she oversees in the gallery’s financial management, helping to ensure donations and public funds are utilized in the most effective way possible.

Volunteering for Candace has always been about giving back to the community she belongs to. Despite all of the challenges she’s faced in her role this past year, Candace is glad she’s been able to continue volunteering, as it’s kept her feeling connected during these unprecedented times.

An Aviation Advocate

Crowe MacKay Partner and aviation industry leader, Jack Lazareff, sits on the BC Aviation Council (BCAC) Board serving as the Treasurer for the past two years. Originally joining BCAC as a volunteer on the Silver Wings Awards Committee, Jack gave his time to organizing this annual event recognizing the achievements within BC’s aviation industry, and gifting over $60,000 in scholarships to students making aviation and aerospace career choices.

Jack takes pride in being active in BC’s aviation community and advising BCAC on their fiduciary responsibilities through his professional experience as an accountant. With a passion for aviation, Jack proudly serves as a very active Board member and an avid aviator with a private pilot’s license.

A Year of Support from a Distance

With the decrease in gatherings and increase in social distancing this past year, Crowe MacKay showed their support from a distance, ensuring organizations could still operate during the unprecedent times while keeping communities safe.

Since last National Volunteer Week, our firm has donated over $52,000 to local not-for-profits. See below for a list of some of the organizations we’ve supported in the last year.

Crowe MacKay Donations National Volunteer Week

Crowe MacKay Cares

Kelowna Art Galley's Appetite for Art

Sunshine Coast Youth Soccer Association Spring League

Pender Harbour Blues Festival

Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards

Olympic Trust Golf Tournament

Elevation Outdoors

Canuck Place Gift of Time Gala

Gibsons Community Building Society 2020 Gala

Rotary Club of Kelowna Scholarship

Okanagan Sun 2020 Community Online Auction

Whitehorse Winter Wonderland Walk

Sunshine Coast Secret Santa

FH&P Lawyer’s Gingerbread House Contest

BC Water for People

Sechelt Arts Festival

British Columbia and Alberta Guide Dogs | Autism Service Dogs | PTSD Service Dogs

Edmonton Meals on Wheels

St. Joseph's Catholic School

Surrey Christmas Bureau Adopt-A-Family

Okanagan Food Bank


Gibsons Public Art Gallery

HeadsUp! Summit

Vancouver YMCA

Rotary Club of Sunshine Coast-Sechelt

Sunshine Coast Festival of the Performing Arts

Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce

Launch Financial Education Society

Accelerate Okanagan

Kaleo Collective One Starry Night Gala

United Way Tools for Schools

United Way South Interior of BC


Vancouver General Hospital | UBC Hospital Foundation

Yukon Hospital Foundation

About Crowe MacKay LLP

Serving northern and western Canada for over 50 years, Crowe MacKay LLP is one of the leading accounting and advisory firms in the country. With a team of 400 across eight offices, we are a vibrant team of trusted advisors. We believe strong relationships are the cornerstone to success and strive to create innovative solutions for our clients in both private and public sectors. We have a passion for quality in the services we deliver to our community and clients from a wide range of industries. A firm focused on people first, Crowe MacKay’s corporate culture is built on maximizing potential for clients and staff. Our belief is that we are truly our best when we invest in our people and communities. Committed to showing we care about the people we serve through our work and actions, we strive to make a difference in the regions we serve.

About Crowe Global

Ranked the eighth largest accounting network in the world, Crowe Global has over 200 independent accounting and advisory firms in 130 countries. For over 100 years, Crowe has made smart decisions for multinational clients working across borders. Our leaders work with governments, regulatory bodies, and industry groups to shape the future of the profession worldwide. Their exceptional knowledge of business, local laws, and customs provide lasting value to clients undertaking international projects. At Crowe, the professionals all share one commitment, to deliver excellence.