As I begin my year as the President of the RAIC, I wish to set out the priorities of the Board and some of my personal observations concerning the state of the profession and the Institute.
During the past year, Past President, Chris Fillingham, PP/FRAIC and I were invited to a number of provincial association AGMs. This brought home the importance of our recent initiative with the Alberta Association of Architects with whom we signed a Memorandum of Understanding defining a new relationship between our organizations — one that sees an RAIC presence, possibly called Architecture — One Voice — fulfilling an advocacy role in that province as well as supporting more directly the intern architect’s preparation for the Architect Registration Examinations or AREs.
The reality of demographics, coupled with limited resources affects the ability of architectural associations in the less populated provinces to fulfill these roles. Certainly Qubec, Ontario and British Columbia all have healthy economies and a growing profession. The RAIC, on the heel of its MoU with the AAA, sees an opportunity to play a positive and more active role in both advocacy and professional development. It is evident that a clear national role for the RAIC needs to be affirmed, not unilaterally, but in cooperation with each of the provincial associations.
To that end, the RAIC intends to facilitate a meeting of the provincial associations with the Institute in the fall 2005 to address professional training and continuing education; specifically, the future role of the Syllabus program and its relationship with foreign trained architects, and the need to achieve mutual recognition of credits and to identify learning priorities for the profession.
Other issues that will need discussion in the future include international relations and practice support.
For the RAIC to play a more expansive national role through a tangible regional presence will however require adequate funding. Prior to 2002 the RAIC saw a slight reduction in its membership, and last year we took the first steps in redefining its membership categories to increase accessibility. The RAIC needs to become more representative of the registered architects in Canada. The AAA is formally encouraging all of its members (both architects and intern architects) to be RAIC members, the same has to occur in the other jurisdictions.
Architects can make a difference in society, but to be truly effective our RAIC voice has to be even stronger. We have to be present both regionally and nationally. We have to be present not only in private practice, but also in government at all levels, in the specialized consultant industry, in academia, and in the development industry at large. One of my goals is to increase our strength and our voice across all these sectors!
Finally, I wish to report that the National Urban Design Awards Program is well on its way to realization. Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa, Toronto, and soon Vancouver will have local Urban Design Awards in 2005. Most, if not all of the Schools of Architecture, will incorporate a special studio this fall. All this will culminate, in the National Awards being unveiled, at the RAIC Festival in Vancouver with a grand celebration of our cities.
I look forward to continuing the work of the Institute and to representing you, the members, as your President.
Yves Gosselin, FIRAC
Notes from the Board
The Board of Directors met the day before the RAIC Festival of Architecture in Edmonton and the following items have been approved for implementation during 2005-06.
* Plans were made to hold round table discussions regarding the Model Architecture Policy later this year.
* The Guidelines for professional interest areas were approved — the first area will be the Justice Architecture Group.
* A student justice architecture award has been established.
* Liaisons with APEC and the development of an APEC register will continue to be a priority.
* The RAIC will be sending a four-person delegation to the UIA Congress and General Assembly this July.
* An exhibition of the RAIC Awards of Excellence recipients will tour Canada.
Yves Gosselin, FIRAC — President
Christopher Fillingham, PP/FRAIC — Immediate Past-President
Vivian Manasc, FRAIC — First Vice-President and President-Elect
Kiyoshi Matsuzaki, FRAIC — Second Vice-President and Treasurer
Three regional director positions — Alberta/ NWT, Saskatchewan/Manitoba, Atlantic — will be open for election this summer. RAIC members are encouraged to nominate candidates.
It should also be noted that the College of Fellows has a new Chancellor, Paul-Andr Ttreault, AP/FIRAC.
Edmonton Festival draws a crowd
More than 400 people gathered in Edmonton for this year’s Festival and many noted that it was a great opportunity to re-energize following discussions, courses and a series of addresses.
Sustainability was the theme on the Saturday of the Festival and several speakers urged Architects to bring the profession to the forefront by highlighting the unique skills and experience Canadians can offer. Ed Mazria, founder and principal of the firm Mazria Odems Dzurec, known for his focus on sustainable design and focus on the importance of architecture to the health of the planet, in fact challenged the profession to change the world’s climate.
“The key to the global thermostat is architecture,” said Mazria, to some 400 attendees for a Saturday filled with key note speakers. He then suggested two mandates that would immediately begin to make an impact.
With an eye to future design, he called on all schools of Architecture to challenge students “to engage the environment in a way that dramatically reduces or eliminates the need for fossil fuels” in every project.
His second suggestion is aimed at governments at all levels and as he points out “doesn’t cost anything.”
“All they have to do is write into RFPs that they want a 50 per cent energy reduction — we want you to use half the energy of that particular building type,” he says. “Let the Architects figure out how to do it. That’s what we’re trained to do.”
His PowerPoint presentation and four video taped sessions from the Festival are available on the RAIC web site.
With an eye to future design, Mazria called on all schools of Architecture to challenge students “to engage the environment in a way that dramatically reduces or eliminates the need for fossil fuels” in every project.
GREEN-to-GREEN: Opportunities for more Energy Efficient Building Retrofits
This full day course received rave reviews at the Festival and will be offered across the country this fall. Intended primarily for Architects who are interested in incorporating energy efficiency goals into building retrofits, this course provides participants with the knowledge to make the best decisions for implementing strategies in retrofit projects.
More information and registration will be available on the RAIC web site soon. For now check out our locations and mark your calendars.
Dates and Locations
Vancouver, BCNovember 4
Winnipeg, MBNovember 15
Calgary, ABNovember 16
(in conjunction with Construct Alberta)
Ottawa, ONNovember 22
Montral, QCNovember 23
Halifax, NSNovember 25
Toronto, ONDecember 1
(in conjunction with Construct Canada)