The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2020 - 13

making impactful social change at a
community level can feel overwhelming,"
she says. "But as a group that's united, we
are able to make change."
Two new RAIC chapters that launched
earlier this year in British Columbia and
Alberta are grass-roots organizations led
by RAIC volunteers. The chapters and
their local networks (Calgary, Edmonton,
Vancouver, Victoria and Vancouver Island)
aim to strengthen advocacy at the provincial
and regional levels and boost visibility for
the profession across Canada.
The Victoria network discovered their
collective power in April of last year.
Members decided that social leadership was
important and that climate change would be
their focus for the coming year. Days later,
they learned that the municipal council of
Oak Bay (on the southern tip of Vancouver
Island and part of Greater Victoria) was
going to receive a report on climate change.
The council was being asked by the regional
government to declare a climate emergency
and move towards carbon neutrality by
2030. However, staff had brought the item
forward for information only, not for action.
"We felt a responsibility as architects
because buildings are major contributors
to climate change and greenhouse gas
emissions," says Smart. She and several
other network members decided to attend
the meeting and ask the council to do
more. The other presenters, including Franc
D'Ambrosio, FRAIC, and Terence Williams,
PP/FRAIC, asked the councillors to move
from a draft strategy to measurable goals
and outcomes.
That day the council members
voted unanimously to declare a climate
emergency. Since then the municipality has
established a climate task force and are
working on recommendations.
"Council members needed our support to
do that," says Smart. "It's our job to step up
and say 'we've got your backs'."
Smart sees a lot of room for the network
to continue its advocacy work, break
down barriers and raise awareness of how
architects can help to address community
issues. In Victoria, these include the lack

of affordable housing, densification and
how the two are interrelated. In a city
surrounded on all sides by the ocean,
residents are facing unprecedented speed
of densification and infill, and it has become
a polarizing issue. Architects can share
their creativity, experience and expertise
in designing environments that are
sustainable and promote
strong communities.
Cynthia Dovell, AAA OAA MRAIC, is
the Chair of the Alberta Chapter of the
RAIC and Principal, AVID Architecture.
She defines herself as an emerging
practitioner. The growing network has held
three talks by Fellows of the RAIC, and
its core group has attracted many interns,
students and younger practitioners. The
chapter has brought together all ages, and
she has seen the potential for handing
down knowledge and experience, as well
as handing it up from students and
young practitioners.
"This can help established architects
learn what interns are going through," she

says. In addition, new graduates and interns
are very familiar with new and emerging
technologies and can share those ideas.
She sees the RAIC chapter playing a key
role in helping the public understand the
architect's role so that they can appreciate
its value.
Mentorship has been another important
benefit. For example, there are numerous
foreign trained architects in Alberta looking
for guidance on how to get professional
credentials in Canada. Members have also
been sharing knowledge about how to
organize for the upcoming RAIC Conference
on Architecture, which will be held in
Edmonton from June 3 to 7, 2020.
Meanwhile, the RAIC held forums in the
Atlantic provinces in June and is identifying
volunteers to set up new chapters there.
The first Atlantic chapter will be launched
in Nova Scotia in early 2020. If the British
Columbia and Alberta experiences are
any indication, architects will soon have a
stronger collective voice in communities
from coast to coast.

Please visit the RAIC's continuing education webpage to find out more. raic.org/continuingeducation.


http://www.raic.org/continuingeducation

The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2020

Water
Index to Advertisers
Locations
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2020 - Intro
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2020 - cover1
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2020 - cover2
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2020 - 3
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2020 - Water
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2020 - 5
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2020 - 6
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2020 - 7
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2020 - 8
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2020 - 9
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2020 - 10
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2020 - Index to Advertisers
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2020 - 12
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2020 - 13
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2020 - Locations
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2020 - cover3
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2020 - cover4
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