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President’s Message: A message from Jane Welsh, OALA President

Winter is here—and it has arrived as I sit at my desk on a bleak November afternoon. But even in the absence of colour and without the long hours of daylight of the other seasons, there is a subtle richness of colour and texture and dramatic light and space—for ideas and creativity to flow as we spend more time indoors.

A number of OALA volunteers from Council and the Practice Legislation Committee have continued our conversations with representatives of the new government with some success. On September 25, 2018, we were joined at Queen’s Park by CLARB President Christine Anderson, CLARB President-Elect Phil Meyer, CLARB CEO Joel Albizo, CLARB Senior Director of Strategy Veronica Meadows,  and CLARB Member Engagement Manager Missy Sutton, all of whom were happy to support us by meeting  Ontario MPPs and explaining the positive impact that licensure has had in the U.S., where it is in force in all 50 states. As our profession becomes more connected globally, it is interesting to follow similar discussions from around the world, especially as they relate to the need for more awareness about the scope and scale of our work—about what landscape architects do.

We are also finding a voice at the municipal level, with many volunteers using the opportunity to tell municipal candidates, during the October 2018 election, about what we do and why it is important to have a Practice Act to regulate our profession. At the national level, a working group of municipal landscape architects has been formed to share thoughts on how landscape architects can address climate change adaptation—something our profession is uniquely qualified to lead.

In commemoration of the OALA’s 50th anniversary, a reception was held on September 21, 2018, with all OALA past presidents to welcome me into my new role as OALA president. We heard some inspiring stories from past presidents and staff, and I feel I am well supported by those who have held this role before me. Thank you to Past President Doris Chee for coordinating this celebration!

Most importantly for the future of the profession, we continue to support and be inspired by our partnerships with the students and faculty of the University of Toronto and University of Guelph and for their support volunteering as part of Council and its various committees.

It’s not too early to save the date for the 2019 OALA AGM & Conference, taking place April 25-27 at Blue Mountain. The theme for this year’s event is “Big Thinking—Watershed- Scale Landscape Perspectives.”

Jane Welsh, OALA, FCSLA
OALA President
[email protected]