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Programs & Services to Members

The RAIC is committed to excellence in itsto members, and to promoting excellence in the practice of or, by the profession of architecture. It represents architects in a variety of ways.

Advocacy - promoting architecture and architects to clients, the construction industry, governments and the general public. Offering input to the Federal Government regarding procurement and contracts.

Communications - the RAIC monthly Bulletin, Annual Report, a bi-monthly Update in Canadian Architect, RAIC website, media relations, e-notices about RAIC events, and Architecture, the RAIC members' magazine for institutional clients.

Honours and Awards Programs - recognizing architects and students of architecture every year.

Practice Support - offering standard contract documents and other materials such as the Supplements to the Canadian Handbook of Practice.

Professional Development - delivering quality courses and other support material across Canada.

Festivals of Architecture - an annual event where architects from across Canada and those interested in the profession get together to debate, discuss and celebrate.




One of the most important tasks the RAIC performs on behalf of its members is to act as the unified voice for the profession on a national level.

RAIC is active in lobbying the Federal Government on numerous issues such as a fair and transparent system for selecting and contracting architects; the protection of intellectual property rights for architects; and efforts to require that all those with training in architecture within the public service be licensed or registered.

The RAIC regularly advocates for a quality built-environment within cities and their intensification and the need for more and better infrastructure (such as learning institutions, health care and community facilities) through presentations, communiqués and written briefs to government and other leaders.

Part of this commitment is focussed on establishing a Model Architecture Policy through a consultative process with all stakeholders in the design and construction industry.

RAIC is also promoting the 2030 Challenge to achieve carbon neutral buildings by 2030.

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Through media relations and an outreach program, the RAIC promotes architecture to the public, clients and the construction industry. For example, the RAIC President and Regional Directors speak at (and often financially support) many local activities and events, such as lectures, provincial association Annual General Meetings and exhibitions, with a view to raising the profile of architecture in Canada.

RAIC members are also kept informed of developments in the profession through a monthly electronic bulletin, and regular updates in Canadian Architect.

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Both the RAIC and the RAIC Foundation (administered by the RAIC) have an extensive honours and awards system, which includes more than seven different programs.

Each program includes between one and seven awards, and the RAIC can bestow between 84 and 113 awards in any given year. Many of these are juried awards, where a group of peers (usually RAIC members) are selected to adjudicate the submissions and select award recipients.

Awards include:

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The RAIC also honours its members and others in a variety ways:

Fellowship – elevation to the College of Fellows for those members who have achieved pre-eminence or rendered distinctive service to the profession.

President’s Medal – for the president of an architectural association or other similarly eminent individual for guiding their organization in a mutually beneficial relationship with the RAIC.

Student Medal – for the student for highest academic excellence or outstanding final design thesis in a graduating class at each of the ten University Schools of Architecture.

Student Honour Roll – for the top students in a graduating class at each of the ten University Schools of Architecture.

Ron J. Thom Medal – for the Syllabus student with a worthy design and thesis project in the final year.

Certificates of Appreciation – for those volunteers who deserve special thanks.

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Practice Support

RAIC practice support and professional development activities help members strive for excellence and grow their practices. The RAIC:

  • Develops and distributes standard contract documents and practice support material such as Supplements to the Canadian Handbook of Practice.
  • Provides representatives to the Canadian Construction Documents Committee (CCDC) and shares CCDC information to members.
  • Funds research (such as Succeeding by Design).
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Professional Development

The RAIC has a reputation as a provider of high-quality, professional development materials and courses. The RAIC:

  • Develops new courses annually for delivery across Canada (notably the multi-part series on Sustainable Design for Canadian Buildings (SDCB);
  • Creates new distance learning materials (eg. The Field Review / General Review electronic manual);
  • Brings international experts to professional development sessions and to the Festival of Architecture;
  • Advocates for a standard system of continuing education credits from provincial associations;
  • Is a registered Continuing Education System (CES) provider with the AIA.
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Festivals of Architecture

Each year, the RAIC organizes an annual conference in a different region of Canada. The Festival of Architecture challenges, stimulates debate, provides professional development courses for provincial credits, celebrates and recognizes excellence and is fun! Notable international speakers, awards, President’s Gala, College of Fellow convocation and professional tours are among the many varied activities that take place each year.

>  Festival of Architecture

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External Relations

Relations with other associations in Canada and around the world allows RAIC to be an effective advocate on behalf of the profession.

  • Individual Provincial Association and the CCAC
    RAIC works with the provincial associations individually and as a group through the Committee of Canadian Architectural Councils (CCAC). These relationships result in practice documents, joint festivals and conferences, and overall co-ordinated efforts in representing the needs of the profession in each province.
  • Design and Construction Industry
    The RAIC co-ordinates its lobbying efforts, and directs Canadian Construction Documents Committee and other mutual initiatives with the Association of Consulting Engineers of Canada (ACEC), Canadian Construction Association (CCA) and Construction Specifications Canada (CSC).
  • Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) was incubated at, and continues to receive support from the RAIC.

From an international perspective the RAIC monitors organizations such as APEC and WTO for developments affecting trade in architectural services. RAIC also maintains working relationships with various international groups, such as:

  • American Institute of Architects (AIA)
  • Architects Council of Europe (ACE)
  • Federacion des colegios des arquitectos de la Republica Mexicana (FCARM)
  • Federacion panamericana des asociaciones des arquitectos (FPAA)
  • Australian Institute of Architects (AIA)
  • Union internationale des architects (UIA)
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RAIC Foundation

The RAIC Foundation was established in 1964 as a charitable organization to receive tax-exempt financial contributions from RAIC members and the public.

Foundation Objectives

  • Promote and increase the knowledge, skill and proficiency of the profession;
  • Provide grants for research by Canadians to undertake research in Canada in the field of architecture and in allied arts and sciences;
  • Provide scholarships, bursaries and fellowships to Canadian Architects and Canadian architectural students;
  • Provide equipment and teaching aids for architectural education.

The RAIC National Office administers the RAIC Foundation and its programs, including about 10 different grants, scholarships and bursaries.