November 2023


In our November issue

In early 2023, the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) and Canadian Architect partnered to refresh and update the Canadian Architectural Practices Benchmark Report, with the goal of providing comprehensive, anonymized data on the current standards for compensation, billings, equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI), and other key indicators among Canadian architectural practices.

This survey and report were last completed in 2011, and prior to that, in 2009. For the 2023 report, we refreshed the 2011 survey, and added new sections related to Indigenous themes and reconciliation, climate action, and EDI. To complete this work, we partnered with Bramm Research Inc., a consultancy which has supported previous editions.

The full report is now available for purchase. Here at Canadian Architect, our November issue delves deep into select findings.

How has the profession been doing in the past decade? Editor Elsa Lam’s introductory piece compares findings from the 2011 and 2023 reports, and presents comments on what architects see as the greatest challenges to the profession in the coming five years.

Architect and practice management leader Rick Linley shares two top indicators of an architecture firm’s financial health, and AED business strategist Elaine Panel offers other KPIs to help build value in firms with a view towards succession planning.

Taking a North American perspective, KPMB managing partner Phyllis Crawford examines the intertwined economic forecasts for architecture in Canada and the United States, and strategies for firms to address the current economic climate.

Leadership and marketing consultant Russell Pollard contributes two pieces: one on the value of marketing in aligning a firm’s brand story with business development, and a second on managing the “new normal” of remote work and flexibility. For recruitment consultant Vered Klein, flexibility is also a component in a full compensation package that looks beyond salary to incentivize staff.

How are Canadian architects doing on equity and sustainability? Rhys Phillips look at how the profession is making progress towards gender equity, but how much work remains to be done. And Terri Peters and Ted Kesik discuss how a series of recent surveys point to the need to adapt education and practice to address urgent sustainability challenges.

The fall has been a difficult time for the Canadian architectural community, with a number of deaths that have affected many of us deeply. We have collected several tributes to George Baird (1939-2023). Trevor Boddy offers a piece on the importance of Raymond Moriyama (1929-2023)’s life and work. Lam’s editorial renders homage to landscape architect Claude Cormier (1960-2023).

Rounding out our most content-packed issue of the year are several more pieces. Jake Nicholson investigates what legacy means for architects through interviews with Daniel Cohlmeyer, Shallyn Murray, John Patkau and Silva Stojak. Cameron Cummings reviews Canadian ex-pat curator Carson Chan’s inaugural exhibition at NYC’s MoMA. Christian Maidankine reflects on experiencing aphantasia as an architecture student. And Chris Gower and Martin Segger reflect on the work of mid-century Victoria architect John Di Castri.

Finally, we look at several recent books: the new Building Arguments series with writings by Arthur Erickson and Cornelia Oberlander, the 5th edition of Exploring Vancouver, a volume on the rise of awards in architecture, a book about workers’ cottages in Toronto, and a place-based architectural memoir.

-Elsa Lam, editor


Full list of articles in Canadian Architect’s series on the Canadian Architectural Practices Benchmark Report (2023 Edition):

·        Benchmark Report 2023: The State of Canadian Architectural Practice

·        Benchmark Report 2023: How’s Your Firm’s Financial Health?

·        Benchmark Report 2023: Mixed Prospects

·        Benchmark Report 2023: Architecture and Capital “M” Marketing

·        Benchmark Report 2023: Firm Expectations—Managing Remote Work and Flexibility

·        Benchmark Report 2023: Women in Canadian Architecture—An Update

·        Benchmark Report 2023: Competitive Compensation

·        Benchmark Report 2023: Looking Ahead—Succession Planning and Firm Value

·        Benchmark 2023: Future Forward—Adaptive Change in Architecture Education and Practice