President’s Message: A message from Jane Welsh, OALA President
Welcome spring—a perfect time for OALA’s Annual General Meeting and Conference (April 25-27 in Blue Mountain) to share ideas on the theme of BIGthinking, take part in Association business, celebrate award winners, learn from engaging speakers as well as exhibitors, and reconnect with old friends and make new ones.
I wanted to share with you a few emerging initiatives of interest to members. In January, I attended an informal dinner with the president of the Ontario Association of Architects (OAA), John Stephenson, and the president of the Ontario Professional Planners Institute (OPPI), Jason Ferrigan, and their respective Executive Directors, Kristi Doyle and Mary Ann Rangam. This was an historic occasion—the first meeting of the heads of these three associations. We all agreed that our associations share many values, have concerns about similar issues, and would benefit from further opportunities to share information and leverage actions. OPPI is pursuing updated professional regulation legislation with the new government, as their previous attempt died on the order paper due to the June 2018 election. The OAA and the Association of Registered Interior Designers of Ontario (ARIDO) continue to work in partnership to implement direct regulation of the practice of interior design under the Architects Act.
OALA Council has approved the launch of an authenticated and legally reliable OALA digital seal. An increasing number of municipalities, governments, public services, and private businesses require digitally signed drawings and plans in order to reduce their archiving costs and increase efficiency. Look to the OALA website for more information.
I am Chair of the new CSLA Committee on Climate Adaptation Municipal Roundtable. The purpose is to provide a forum for landscape architects working for Canadian municipalities to share ideas and experiences on best practices to tackle climate change adaptation. We have 19 members, from B.C., Saskatchewan, Ontario, and Nova Scotia, and areas of interest range from designing and maintaining resilient landscapes to concern with forest fires, sea level rise, flooding, erosion, urban forest canopy, extreme weather, invasive species, urban heat island impact, greenhouse gas emissions, and the need for incentives and understanding of costs. To date there have been interesting discussions, led by Cynthia Graham, OALA, and Ted Ulrich, BCSLA, on escarpment and shoreline erosion. For members interested in learning more, there is a newly developed resources section on the CSLA website: www.csla-aapc.ca/climate-change/resources. Landscape architects are well equipped to be leaders in making municipalities climate resilient!
JANE WELSH, OALA, FCSLA