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Council Highlights: March 8, 2019 Meeting

Next Meeting: May 22 at the OAA Annual Conference in Quebec City

On Thursday, March 7, OAA Council gathered for its second meeting of 2019. Items of discussion included the theme for the 2020 Annual Conference as well as Special Project Funding (SPF) considerations for Local Architectural Societies and sharing the results of the annual Priority Planning Session that took place the previous month. 
Priority Planning Report Received
On February 7 and 8, the annual Council Priorities and Planning Session was held, allowing OAA President Kathleen Kurtin to lead Councillors and the rest of the Executive Committee in a review of the previous year as well as to set projects and initiatives for 2019. For the March meeting, Council reviewed the results of this session, which explored ways to ensure a strong future for not only the Association, but also the profession of architecture on the whole in order that the public interest can continue to be served and protected.
Using the discussions encapsulated in the report, Council will now set the priorities for the remainder of the year, accounting for important goals such as engaging the diversity of the membership in decision making, enhancing collaboration with municipal and provincial bodies and improving and strengthening practice support and the path to licensure. 
2020 Conference Theme Approved
Each year at the March meeting, OAA Council is asked to consider the proposed theme for the following year’s OAA Annual Conference. The Communications Committee developed the title, “Shifting Paradigms” for next year’s event in Toronto, receiving Council’s approval. The broader theme is as follows: “As a profession and as an Association, we are at a pivotal moment: How we practise is rapidly changing in tandem with shifting priorities across society. From the way we deliver projects to the way we organize our offices, and from the tools we use to design to the skills we need to succeed, all aspects must evolve synergistically. In today’s society, where diversity, sustainability and transparency are paramount, the question is: Are we leading by example?” 
Special Project Funding
Following consultation by the Communications Committee, Council approved the recommendations for the allocation of the first round (i.e. January 28 deadline) of the 2019 SPF requests from the Local Architectural Societies, which were invited to submit proposals for consideration. (Another round of funding recommendations will be reviewed at the June meeting, following a submission deadline in late May.) 
The program is intended to help the Local Architectural Societies carry out projects or events that further the objective of the OAA and the profession as a whole, including engagement with the general public. The total funding allocation for the first round has been distributed, with the recipients being notified shortly. Information and complete details of the funding allocation and activities will also be posted to the Local Architectural Societies page of the OAA Website later this month. Confirmation will also be sent directly to the local society chairs who had submitted applications. 
Sponsorship for IMSC and Toronto’s 2030 District
Council was asked to consider sponsorship for the Imagining My Sustainable City (IMSC) program presented by No.9 Contemporary Art & the Environment. This initiative, which has been sponsored by the OAA for a number of years, is focused on education of elementary school children related to sustainability and green design. Council agreed to support IMSC at the Builder Level/Green Building Design Pillar status.
Council also agreed to sponsor the continued development of the Toronto 2030 District—a private sector-led initiative focused on driving reductions in building-related energy, water and transportation emissions in Toronto’s downtown core. 
Report from Audit Committee
The previous and current Senior Vice Presidents and Treasurers (respectively, Kathleen Kurtin and Walter Derhak) presented the 2018 report of the OAA’s auditors, which was then received and accepted by Council. These financial statements will be contained in the forthcoming OAA Annual Report, which will be posted to the Association’s website in April in advance of the Annual General Meeting (AGM) held as part of the 2019 OAA Annual Conference in Quebec City this May.  
2018 Fall Society Tour Summary Received
Council received the report, “Summary of Society Visits 2018” from Executive Director Kristi Doyle and Immediate Past President John Stephenson. They began last year’s tour on September 11 in Kingston with the members of the St. Lawrence Valley Society of Architects and continued throughout the fall into this winter, ending with a trip to OAA members in the Algoma Society area on January 17 in Sault Ste. Marie. 
During these visits, then-president Stephenson focused on issues of local concern and four key initiatives: regulation of the practice of interior design under the Architects Act, the new Shift 2019 Infrastructure/Architecture Challenge, the progress of an Architecture Policy for Canada and the results of discussions with Infrastructure Ontario (IO) and the impact on contract language (i.e. the ongoing strategy to deal with unreasonable RFP and contract language). 
Next meeting
The next Council meeting will take place on Wednesday, May 22, at the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac as part of the 2019 OAA Annual Conference. The event begins at 8:30 am, with members welcome to attend the open session. Those intending to participate should RSVP to Tina Carfa.