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The most recent meeting of OAA Council took place on Thursday, September 13, at the Association’s temporary Headquarters at 1 Duncan Mill Road in Toronto. Here is a brief rundown of some of the major highlights that occurred.
At the previous meeting in June, the OAA Council agreed to move forward with a plan to have the Association’s 19-year-old logo redesigned, ensuring it meets current and future needs, as well as accessibility, bilingual and design use requirements. After an invited RFP was sent to nine graphic design firms specializing in visual identity, five proposals were received.
Following a quality-based selection (QBS) process, those responses were circulated to the Logo Redesign Task Group and communications staff for review. Interviews took place on August 7, with Leo Burnett Toronto unanimously confirmed as the preferred proponent. Council ratified a decision to proceed with Leo Burnett Toronto at the September meeting and work has begun. The final design for the new logo is to be presented to Council for approval in December.
Transparency Related to Orders of the Discipline Committee
Following a report from Policy Advocacy Coordination Team (PACT), Council instructed the Registrar, in consultation with the Vice President Regulatory, to bring forward recommendations for increased discipline transparency, including identifying any regulatory amendments or policy changes that might be required. The OAA, like other regulators, must provide information about discipline orders to the public. Pursuant to the Architects Act, published orders of the Discipline Committee are currently available to anyone who requests that information and will be posted on the new site.
Council has directed the VP Regulatory to work with VP Communications and staff to confirm which model of reporting system would be best-suited to the OAA’s website in conjunction with the current web redesign project.
Future Annual Conferences
Council was provided with an update on the 2019 OAA Annual Conference in Quebec City (May 22 to 24), including some changes to the format. The event will feature a Happy Hour on the Wednesday night between 5:30 and 7:00 pm before the Annual General Meeting (AGM), as opposed to having a reception immediately after. The Happy Hour, which will be held in the Lounge, will also take place the following night. This change came about after the Conference reviewed feedback from members related to venue, location, atmosphere for networking and the later start time when the reception is hosted after the AGM.
Another change for next year involves the annual recognition of newly licensed architects, who will be celebrated at Friday’s Recognition lunch, rather than at the AGM. This will provide a sit-down lunch for the Newly Licensed Architects and guests, as well as a ceremony to recognize those individuals on stage.
In accordance with the usual schedule of locations, the 2022 OAA Conference will be held in Toronto. After research and discussion, the Conference Committee has recommended Beanfield Centre and Hotel X at Exhibition Place for the event, which takes place from May 10 to 13.
Practice Consultation Survey
Council was updated on the administration of the OAA Practice Consultation Survey (PCS), which completed its fifth cycle in July. During this 2017/18 period, 258 practices were surveyed, meeting the target established by Council.
The Practice Review Committee met on August 30 to review the results from the previous cycle, as well as to review and approve the new list of randomly selected practices for the next one. Overall, practices have described the survey as helpful and important. Several “new” practices found it useful to have the option to select N/A for questions not reflective of the calibre of their practice while still allowing them to make use of provided resources and answer questions accurately.
Update on the OAA headquarters
The OAA Headquarters’ ongoing Renew and Refresh project is on track and proceeding as scheduled. Over the summer, the Building Committee approved the furniture selections and finishes, as well as the plan for the digital vision and audiovisual requirements.
Art inventory consultants Williams Carlyle completed their review of the collection, which had been brought to the temporary headquarters at 1 Duncan Mill Road. As part of their research, the consultants took a tour of 111 Moatfield to better understand the renovations, as well as the space and light for art installations. Possible directions and ideas were formulated as a shortlist of suggestions to be presented at Council’s November meeting.
While the Renew and Refresh site will continue to build on member communication, a plan for more public communication leading up to the building re-opening in the spring is now being developed.
Update from OAA/ARIDO Joint Task Force
Further to Council’s approval in June and an Association of Registered Interior Designers of Ontario (ARIDO) membership vote prior to that, the OAA/ARIDO Joint Task Group is working on refining the details of direct regulation under the Architects Act. With the model for regulation decided, this will be the main focus over the coming months.
OAA President John Stephenson has sent a welcome letter to the new Attorney General, Caroline Mulroney, and advised of the work underway with ARIDO. Additionally, OAA Executive Director Kristi Doyle has reached out to the Ministry staff to reconfirm that work is continuing and a meeting with the Attorney General is anticipated in the near future.
Discussions continue with Pro-Demnity Insurance Company regarding professional liability for interior designers once regulated under the Architects Act.
SHIFT 2019 Infrastructure/Architecture Challenge
Together with the Awards Steering Committee, the SHIFT Task Group has been refining the details of this new OAA program since its “soft launch” at the 2018 OAA Annual Conference Plenary in May. This work is being done in preparation for the Call for Submissions, which will go out to members at the end of September.
Detailed program details were finalized in August, and were used to develop messaging and content in the coming weeks for communication efforts, including the new website www.shiftchallenge.ca, which launches at the end of the month.
Content focused on the infrastructure topic will be introduced throughout the coming months to ensure a greater awareness and understanding of the breadth and diversity of possible ideas/submissions. The OAA’s communications consultants, Proof, has also begun to update a plan for raising awareness amongst architects.
News from OAAAS
The change in the Ontario Association for Applied Architectural Sciences (OAAAS) governance cycle has become official. At its meeting in January 2019, OAA Council will receive recommendations for election to the OAAAS Board of Directors. The Board’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) and the Annual Founder’s Meeting will be held in late February or early March 2019. At that time, the new Board will take office and the Financial Statements and review engagement report from the external accountants will be tabled for approval.
OAAAS Executive Director Garry Neil reported membership recruitment efforts are succeeding. With the usually busy fall period still to come, the group has already enrolled more new members this year than it did in each of 2015, 2016 and 2017.
Jamie Kuhl, Licensed Technologist OAA, was appointed to fill the vacant position on the OAAAS Board of Directors.
The next Council meeting will take place on Thursday, November 1, 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.