RAIC: The 2016 Annual Report is now available
Serving as 77th president of the RAIC has been an education, a privilege, and honour. It has been an opportunity to meet with gifted architects from across the country, and to reflect on the role of our profession in society.
In 2016, Executive Director, Jody Ciufo, spent the year reorganizing RAIC resources to allow us to focus more on delivering programs and services to members.
One outcome was to create the capacity to support the new Indigenous Task Force, led by Indigenous practitioners. The task force successfully planned Canada’s first International Symposium on Indigenous Architecture and Design for the 2017 RAIC/OAA Festival of Architecture.
The task force is particularly rewarding for me as it is a culmination of an effort that began when I joined the board in 2011. The appalling living conditions in some Indigenous communities were in the news that year in the region I represented as a regional director.
The role of good community design and architecture in achieving reconciliation with Indigenous Canadians is not sufficiently recognized, in my view, and I am optimistic the task force will get this concept on the national agenda.
The RAIC continues to advocate for the value of responsible architecture in the public realm, and I had the opportunity to meet with the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister for Heritage, and the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister for Environment and Climate Change. These were the first such meetings between an RAIC President and sitting cabinet ministers in recent memory. As our government relations and policy development efforts continue to expand, we can look forward to more meetings in the future.
Being able to influence public policy on matters such as sustainable design is the kind of work the RAIC should be doing. We are committed to growing our ability to be an effective and trusted voice, and it is working: increasingly mainstream media outlets are reaching out to the RAIC when issues affecting the built environment arise.
Finally, I would like to thank the RAIC Board, staff, and members for the support I received in 2016. Because of it, my term as RAIC President was a memorable and rewarding year.