The most recent meeting of the OAA Council was held on Wednesday, May 23, taking place as part of the 2018 OAA Annual Conference. The event was held at the Delta Toronto Hotel, and gave councillors an opportunity to deal with numerous priority and agenda items. Here is a brief rundown of some of the major highlights that occurred.
Recognition of Traditional Lands
At the outset of the meeting, President John Stephenson took the moment to recite an acknowledgement of the traditional lands on which the meeting was being held—in this case, what is now the South Core neighbourhood of downtown Toronto, near the shores of Lake Ontario. “We acknowledge that we walk upon the traditional territories of the Mississauga of the New Credit First Nation, Anishnawbe, Haudenosaunee, Wendat, and Huron Indigenous Peoples,” he said.
OAAAS: Annual Meeting of the Founder
OAA Council voted on the usual order of Ontario Association for Applied Architectural Sciences (OAAAS) business ahead of its annual meeting of the Founder later that week. Of particular note is a change in the governance cycle for the OAAAS to more closely align with that of the OAA’s annual election of officers in January. OAA Council also received and approved the 2017 Financial Report and Audit Statement for the OAAAS.
Letter to RAIC re. membership for Licensed Technologists OAA
OAA approved a letter to the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) from OAA President Stephenson requesting clarification regarding Licensed Technologists OAA eligibility for full members in the RAIC. Drawing on the Institute’s own bylaw language, the letter clearly supports the OAA’s efforts to ensure its Lic.Tech.OAA members are integrated into the profession.
Transparency Regarding Discipline Decisions
Council approved further direction regarding public transparency of discipline decisions rendered by the OAA. In addition to asking the Office of the Registrar to bring forward a report that would outline next possible steps in ensuring the OAA is transparent when it comes to discipline, Council will consider additional training for the Discipline Committee and contact the Ministry of the Attorney General’s office to show how the Association is trying to be a proactive leader in this realm.
OAA Website Redesign Project
Vice President Communications Vanessa Fong reported after a preferred proponent had been identified as a result of an RFP that had been issued for consulting services for the redesign of the OAA’s website. The consortium of Enginess and Sputnik has been chosen for its visual and technical skill, coding experience, and history of working with associations.
The plan is for the project to be completed over a two-year period. As part of Phase 1, the site will be built and a full audit undertaken. Once completed, the new OAA Website will not only be more responsive and better organized, but meet all accessibility requirements.
Headquarters Renew + Refresh Update
For the OAA Headquarter Renew+ Refresh project, construction is continuing as planned and on schedule. At the last meeting of the Building Committee, the group received an update on the status of the budget expenditures.
Concept drawings for the furniture layout have been finalized and a presentation of the final two supplier options will be presented to the Committee for consideration and final decision at the next meeting. For the art inventory plan, seven submissions were received in response to the RFP for the Building’s Artwork Plan, which was issued in late March. The Committee reviewed all submissions and established a short list of three proponents for interview. Interviews have been conducted and a preferred proponent identified. Staff are finalizing the details of engagement and hope to have a signed agreement with a consultant shortly.
At the last Committee meeting, staff presented the overarching principles of the proposed digital vision for the OAA, which includes a move to full wireless capabilities, audio/video conferencing in all meetings rooms, as well as a move to the elimination of hardwired phones. A final proposal for equipment to achieve this vision will be presented to the June meeting of the Building Committee with the intention of presenting a final concept and equipment along with budget for review and approval at the June Council meeting.
The Website pages for the building refresh have been updated and are live. Photographs and video of work to date is under review and should be posted in the coming week. The full building history story has been finalized and staff is working on the logistics to allow comment and/or add to the story as well as BLOAAG entries.
The geothermal drilling is well underway and communications staff are working on a story featuring this area of construction for the next Building News e-newsletter, which will include photos and video of the drilling process.
Report on “Starting a Practice” Course
An update was provided on recent developments with the “Starting a Practice” course. In 2015, the OAA Council approved funding for the development of a Continuing Education (ConEd) course to address the challenges of setting and running an architectural practice. The result was an 18-hour classroom course taught by experts in the fields of architecture, business, finance, and human resources. The three-day curriculum includes five learning modules: architectural practice in contemporary context, business models, mandatory requirements for registering a practice, practice management, and project management.
Currently, registration is open for the next session of the course, which is scheduled for November 14 to 16. Next year, it will be offered in the Kitchener-Waterloo and Markham-Vaughan areas. The OAA’s ConEd Committee is also considering the potential to provide this course in an online format in the near future to increase its accessibility throughout the province.
Pro-Demnity Insurance Company Annual Meeting of the Shareholder
In advance of the annual meeting of the shareholder, OAA Council considered a number of items that would be voted upon at the next Pro-Demnity Insurance Company Annual General Meeting (AGM). These included appointment of the Board of Directors, appointment of the actuary, receipt of the ProDem Business Plan and 2017 Financial Statements. Pro-Demnity chair of the board, Hari Panday, also spoke about the insurance provider’s present and future.
The next Council meeting will take place on Wednesday, June 20 at the OAA’s Temporary Headquarters in Toronto, located at 1 Duncan Mill Road. Members are welcome to attend the open meeting. Please RSVP to Tina Carfa
if you plan to be there.