Membership in the RAIC: a good start to the new year
On behalf of the President, Board members and staff of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, we wish you a happy and prosperous 2004!
For many, January is a time of resolutions and new beginnings. Much awaits us as the calendar flips over: advocacy projects, new courses, awards and events. This edition of the RAIC Update reviews the some of the benefits of membership in the RAIC, and some of our plans for the coming year. At the RAIC, our resolution is to continue to make the year ahead as dynamic and fulfilling for our members as possible. And for those of you who are not yet members of the RAIC, may we suggest that one of your New Year’s resolutions be to join the RAIC, Canada’s only national organization dedicated to architecture.
One of the most important tasks a national association performs on behalf of its members is advocacy: acting as the unified voice for the profession, in our case, on a national level. While this activity is often unrecognized, the results have a very real impact on how the profession evolves.
Last year, the RAIC, in cooperation with the Association of Consulting Engineers of Canada, lobbied the federal government to improve the procurement process to ensure fairness and transparency, as well as fairer fees for architects. It’s an ongoing process, one that will continue into the year ahead, but we are slowly making inroads with the federal bureaucracy.
At the same time, we are working on numerous other initiatives. First on the agenda is a Model Architectural Policy. The drafting process is underway, and consultations are planned for the coming year. The Board also intends to discuss a broader advocacy strategy, one that will engage you, the members, as well. We hope that you will get involved in these important initiatives.
Equally important is professional development, and the RAIC has become the national provider of choice for relevant, high-quality courses that qualify for core continuing education credits with the majority of provincial associations.
Our 2004 program will extend the successful Sustainable Design for Canadian Buildings series with SDCB 302: Building Integrated Photovoltaics. Other courses we expect to develop include a seminar on Quality Assurance and one on Stone and Marble in Modern Architecture. We hope to see many of you at these courses.
Key to raising the profile of the profession is recognizing excellence among its practitioners. This year will again see the celebration of the profession’s highest award: the Governor General’s Medals in Architecture. At the same time, we are creating a new awards program in Urban Design, debuting in 2005. And for those who are not aware of this, the RAIC also administers the RAIC Foundation’s awards. These awards are, for the most part, scholarships and bursaries given to architecture students. Yet another reason to be an RAIC member, and help the young people of today who will become the architects of tomorrow.
Fun! Festivals and More…
Our Festivals have become great gatherings with ample time to celebrate, meet new colleagues, and renew friendships. This year, our first Festival to ever be held in historic Qubec City promises to be a delight, an excellent opportunity to combine professional development with a family vacation. If you have not been to Qubec City recently, plan to visit this World Heritage gem — its restoration projects and modern architectural infill are wonderful!
But our fun is not limited to our Festivals — in 2003, we sent Canadian Architects to Marmomacc in Verona, Italy. Reports are that it was a great learning and cultural opportunity. We intend to send more members next year, and are also exploring the possibility of conducting an architectural tour to Istanbul to coincide with the General Assembly of the Union internationale des architectes (UIA) in 2005.
Lastly, we are always on the lookout for partners that provide useful, money-saving benefits to our members — savings that exceed the cost of an RAIC membership. New for 2004: an agreement with ITI — Innovative Technology Inc. to allow us to distribute the National Master Specification and its editing software — and pass along a discounted price to RAIC members. We have also concluded a deal with Brainhunter.com to create a powerful, custom web site for job search and rsum posting services — the first national product of its kind for architects in Canada.
At the end of the day, we at the RAIC are committed to providing a high level of value for our members. But we need your support to make it happen. After all, the more members we have, the stronger our voice — and the more we can accomplish on behalf of the profession. If you have not already renewed your membership, take a few minutes and do so today! And if you have not joined, what are you waiting for? It’s a new year!
RAIC National Office