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Council Highlights

Next Meeting: Thursday, March 5

Back row (left to right): Jeffrey Laberge, Barry Cline, Gord Erskine, David C. Rich, J. William Birdsell, Elaine Mintz, Jeremiah Gammond, Sarah Murray, Natasha H. Krickhan, Donald L. Ardiel, and Milda Miskinyte
Front row (left to right): Settimo Vilardi, Amir Azadeh, Paul Hastings, Kathleen Kurtin, Susan Speigel, Agata Z. Mancini, and Andy Thomson
Absent: Donald Chen

The OAA Council held its most recent meeting on Thursday, January 23 at the Association's headquarters in Toronto. In addition to discussing numerous agenda items, the event saw the election of Officers for 2020, updates from various committees and groups, and the annual presentation to the Council from the President and Executive Director of the Ontario Association for Applied Architectural Sciences (OAAAS). 

Election of Officers 2020

The annual Election of Officers took place during the Council meeting, with the Registrar certifying the results.

Kathleen Kurtin was acclaimed as President for a second one-year term. Councillor Susan Speigel was elected by ballot as the new Senior Vice President and Treasurer. Five other Vice Presidents were also elected, with their portfolios determined shortly after the meeting. They are:

  • Amir Azadeh (Communications);
  • Paul Hastings (Regulatory);
  • Agata Mancini (Education);
  • Andrew Thomson (Strategic); and
  • Settimo Vilardi (Practice).

Of specific note is Council’s decision to add a fifth VP portfolio for Education. The creation of this new portfolio supports Council’s additional focus on matters related to the entire spectrum of education for both the public and architectural practitioners, from primary and secondary education to higher education. The VP will also Chair the new Comprehensive Education Committee.

Each officer’s term began on January 24, and ends on the day of election of their respective successors. A term of office may not exceed 18 months. 

OAAAS: Annual Meeting of the Founder

The Council voted on the usual order of OAAAS business ahead of its Annual Meeting of the Founder, scheduled for February 6.

After discussions with OAAAS President Rick Mateljan and Executive Director Garry Neil (who attended remotely), OAA Council considered the motions that would be presented at the Annual Meeting of the Founder, and directed the President to vote in favour of those motions. 

Canadian Architectural Licensing Authorities (CALA)

OAA Council reviewed CALA’s revised Canadian Standard of Competency for Architects as well as the Canadian Education Standard (CES) for Architects, and approved both documents.

The first item, the Canadian Standard for Competency, represents the minimum competencies required for licensure as an architect in Canada, and reflects the aspects of knowledge and practice that must be addressed through the education, examination, and experience (EEE) requirements established by the architectural regulators. This document was first established in 2012 in the context of the then-newly established Broadly Experienced Foreign Architect (BEFA) program. Council approved the revised standard and will continue to provide input into the document as it evolves. 

The other CALA document, the CES, sets out the standards for accreditation of the Canadian University Schools of Architecture, and the certification of degrees and diplomas from institutions not accredited by CALA. It sets out the Student Performance Criteria and Program Performance Criteria as well as the hours-based Curriculum Standards for certification. The CES is subject to approval by CALA’s 11 architectural regulators and is administered on behalf of the regulators through the Canadian Architectural Certification Board (CACB). The OAA’s Comprehensive Education Committee will continue to review the document and monitor it moving forward. 


Council heard about changes to the criteria for the OAA scholarships provided annually to the Ontario Schools of Architecture such that they will no longer be awarded based on academic standing, but rather in recognition of exceptional leadership through design excellence combined with innovative approaches to sustainability in an assignment or project.

Beginning with the 2020 academic year, the scholarships are to be awarded to the students who have best demonstrated design excellence involving exemplary responses to the climate crisis in a project or assignment. This specific criterion will be reviewed on an annual basis by the Education Committee prior to the start of the academic year. 

Other Business

Appointments to Complaints and Practice Resource Committees were approved, and Council also received updates from the President, Executive Director, and Vice Presidents. Updates were shared on behalf of various OAA groups, including the Building Committee, Practice Advisory Services, and the Sustainable Built Environments Committee (SBEC). 

Next Meeting

The next regular meeting of Council is Thursday, March 5 at the OAA Headquarters. As always, members are welcome to attend the open meeting, and should RSVP to Tina Carfa.

Prior to that, there will be the annual Council Priority Setting Session, which is scheduled for February 6 and 7 at the same location.