First provincial chapter of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada looks back, then sets sights on future

Architects from across Alberta came together to mark the premier changing of the guard of the first-ever provincial chapter of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC). New executive joined the pioneering members of the inaugural committee to reflect on past successes and to look forward to future possibilities.

Two years ago the formation of the Alberta Chapter achieved an historic first for the nation-wide and century-old organization. Representing more than 3,500 architects, the RAIC provides the national framework for the development and recognition of architectural excellence. Developing provincial or local chapters will energize the organization’s grassroots. And while advocacy on behalf of architecture and its practice will continue to be a main focus of the Alberta Chapter, to be heard beyond its membership the new executive understands that it will need to do more than just preach to the choir.

“In fact,” says incoming Chapter President Robert Stirling, MRAIC, “we’re not going to ‘preach’ to anyone. Our goal is to build a local constituency outside of architecture that believes, as we do, that design matters in Alberta and that the design of the built environment in particular matters more now than perhaps at any time in our province’s history.”

The RAIC believes that architecture’s place in this larger but local context has economic, cultural and environmental dimensions that are of significant benefit to all Albertans. The Alberta Chapter, by framing, highlighting and affirming these dimensions for the widest possible audience, hopes to build relationships and form alliances with like-minded citizens, associations and institutions from across the province.

The following individuals have volunteered to advocate for architecture in Alberta as members of the Executive of the Alberta Chapter for the next two years:

Incoming Chapter President is Robert Stirling from Calgary, and representing Edmonton and Alberta North are Basel Abdulaal, Peter Osborne and Ben Gardner. From Alberta Central is Kevin Mullin, and from Calgary and Alberta South are Loraine D. Fowlow and Erin Hafichuk.

Established in 1907, the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada is a voluntary national association and is the voice for architecture and its practice in Canada. Alberta is currently home to over 400 RAIC members giving the provincial chapter the ability to effectively represent the national body locally while providing a strong voice for local initiatives at a national level.

For more information, please visit