As I start my term as the 73rd president of the RAIC, Architecture still matters and Architecture Canada | RAIC as the voice of Architecture in Canada continues to bring forward that message to government, to private enterprise, and to the public. And as outgoing David Craddock, FRAIC, stated in last year’s message that not only does Architecture Matter but Architects Matter.
The Board has an ambitious strategic plan for 2013 and as always top most on our list is the promotion of Architecture. The Board is committed to having more public involvement in the advocacy of architecture, involvement through our Festival of Architecture, involvement with companion organizations such as the Interior Designers of Canada (IDC), involvement through our awards programs, involvement with our chapters, and involvement with the provincial and territorial regulators.
In September Architecture Canada |RAIC teamed up with IDC to jointly present IIDEX Canada in Toronto. IIDEX Canada is the pre-eminent design showcase in Canada. By getting directly involved with the show – in the selection of keynotes, organization of continuing education sessions – we intend to build the architectural dimension of the show, and raise awareness of the key role architects play in the design and development of liveable cities and communities.
We view IIDEX Canada as a complement to our annual Festival, which continues to be presented across the country in partnership with provincial and territorial regulatory bodies. We are looking forward to this year’s Value of Beauty – Integrity in Architecture Festival that will take place June 5 – 8 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, organized in partnership with the Nova Scotia Association of Architects. And we already have the planning underway to present the 2014 edition in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
At the IIDEX Canada show, our colleagues, the provincial and territorial regulators along with The Honourable Diane Finley, Federal Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada announced the launch of the Broadly Experienced Foreign Architects (BEFA) program. The program will enable BEFA candidates to use a sophisticated on-line self-assessment tool to evaluate their competencies vis-à-vis Canadian Standards of Practice before even coming to Canada. By administering the funding provided by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, Architecture Canada |RAIC has been pleased to support this progressive and forward-looking project – which will help ensure renewal of the profession in the years ahead while upholding Canadian professional standards. The confidence the Government has shown in RAIC’s ability as a national voice for Canadian architects is great appreciated.
2013 will be an exciting year in the Syllabus Renewal process and Architecture Canada | RAIC’s partnership with Athabasca University to develop the RAIC Centre for Architecture.
In 2012 the Memorandum of Understanding with Athabasca University was signed, and the RAIC Board appointed new members to the RAIC Syllabus National Advisory Council to oversee the program. In October, Athabasca University appointed Dr. Douglas MacLeod, MRAIC, to be the inaugural Chair of the RAIC Centre for Architecture. As of January 2013, the majority of technical courses have been submitted to Athabasca University to be reviewed and mounted for on-line delivery, and all of the history and theory courses have been delivered. RAIC and Athabasca University's mutual objective is to have all courses open for registration and on-line delivery by the end of December 2013.
While contributing input to the periodic updating of the on-line academic courses delivered by Athabasca University, RAIC will continue to own and operate the RAIC Syllabus Diploma program, and will be directly involved in the delivery of studio courses and in oversight of the work experience component of the program that is central to the Syllabus's identity as an alternative experience-based path to the profession of architecture.
Architecture Canada | RAIC always has the goal of bringing value to membership.
Since 1980 when membership became independent of membership in provincial associations, the RAIC has needed to convince member and potential members of the value of membership. Over the last few years the value of membership has been increased through practice support, association support, professional development, awards programs, and Chapter support.
It is through the strength of this membership and the commitment of those in the profession that we are able to tell Canadians, and indeed the world that in Canada - Architecture Matters.