Newcomers Vancouver Fair

The Newcomers Vancouver Fair offers a wealth of information crucial to successfully living, working, studying and settling in British Columbia. The fair provides information on settlement and arrival services including banking, housing, social insurance, education, health cards and much more. The fair is also an opportunity to learn about having international credentials assessed and recognized in Canada in order to gain meaningful employment. It takes place May 24-25, 2014 at the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre Hotel (1088 Burrard Street, Vancouver). It’s free to attend for individuals who register online prior to midnight on May 23, 2014. On-site registration is also available at the door at a cost of $10. For more information, click here.

Save The Date: 2014 AIBC Annual Meeting

Date:               Saturday, May 3, 2014

Time:               1:00 – 5:00 p.m. (registration at 12:00 noon)

Location:         Segal Building, Simon Fraser University (500 Granville Street, Vancouver, BC)

Additional information regarding the annual meeting, including meeting agenda and supporting materials, will be provided prior to the event.  Online Registration is now open; click here to register.

Space for Life Architecture Competition

Three Major Projects for Montréal’s 375th Anniversary in 2017

The Montréal Space for Life, in keeping with their desire to meld art, science and emotion, announced the launch of an architecture competition of international scope, on February 10, 2014. The competition, inspired by the Space for Life mission, calls for designs for three major projects: the Insectarium Metamorphosis, the Biodôme Renewal and a new Glass Pavilion at the Botanical Garden.

The Space for Life is seeking the creative and innovative input of the world’s top designers. An international jury will select the winners. The Ministère des Affaires municipales, Régions et Occupation du territoire du Québec has allocated a $45 million budget for the three projects, which will stand as legacies of Montréal’s 375th anniversary and are part of the Space for Life development plan.

“We want Montrealers to feel even more attached to the Space for Life. That’s why we’re launchingthis architecture competition and calling on top talent from near and far. These three major projects will underscore Montréal’s 375th anniversary and contribute to positioning Montréal as a UNESCO City of Design on the international stage,” says Manon Gauthier, Montréal Executive Committee member responsible for culture, heritage, design, Space for Life and the status of women.

Competition process: The two-stage competition, covering all three projects, is intended for multidisciplinary teams of architects, Living Building Challenge and LEED certification experts, scenic designers, landscape architects and engineers. It is designed to encourage the teams to reflect in depth on a host of issues as they seek creative architectural solutions. Click here to view the competition documents site.

Louise Amiot, an architect with Amiot Bergeron,Architecture et Design urbain, is the professional advisor for the competition. Each participant may bid on one, two or all three projects, by submitting a proposal. After examining the proposals, the jury will choose four finalists for each project. In stage 2, these finalists will be invited to expand on their concepts and present them to the jury in July 2014. The public will also be invited to this exceptional meeting. A winning team will then be selected for each project.  Click here to view the press release.

For more information on registration and documentation for the Space for Life architectural competition:

Photos, videos and fact sheets:

Role Call: Post-Disaster Safety Assessment Program Working Committee

Post-Disaster Response Safety Assessment Program Committee is seeking new members.

Architects and interns have expressed an interest in playing a key role in supporting government responses following any major disaster.  AIBC has been invited to join other professional associations who are involved in  municipal and provincial Disaster preparedness programs. The Post-Disaster Response Safety Assessment Program Committee will be working with municipalities and BC’s emergency management agencies to establish communication and deployment strategies, and to develop BC-specific content for a post-disaster damage and safety assessment course.  The course will lead to a contact list of trained volunteers who could be called upon by authorities having jurisdiction in the aftermath of a disaster.  Members who completed the 1-day Safety Assessment Course in the USA, or at the recent 2013 AIBC Sea Change Conference, or who may have attended BC Housing’s Rapid Assessment Course are encouraged to apply.

If you are interested in becoming a member of this committee or to learn more information, please contact Yana Vassilenko, Administrative Assistant at; 604.683.8588 ext. 314.

BCSLA Awards

The BC Society of Landscape Architects will be celebrating their 50th Anniversary this year and are planning their Anniversary Gala which will be held on April 26, 2014 at the Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver.  The Gala is an opportunity for BCSLA Members and Associates to recognize the good work that is being done around the province and the globe.  This is an opportuity to nominate a client, an allied professional, a public sector representative, a community volunteer or leader for a BCSLA Award.  Awards will be issued in the following categories:  Community Service Award; Exceptional Contribution Award; Exceptional Contribution – Public Practice Award; President’s Award; Volunteer Public Service Award; Life Member Award; Honorary Member Award and the BCSLA – University of British Columbia Scholarships will be honoured at the Gala.  Completed nominations must be submitted by 12:00 p.m. (noon) on March 7, 2014 to Nastaran Moardinejad Nominations Committee Chair, at the BCSLA Office. Click here for more information.

YWCA Women of Distinction Awards

The Women of Distinction Awards is YWCA Metro Vancouver’s premier fundraising event.

The Awards recognize outstanding women and workplaces and, since 1984, has honoured 247 award recipients and more than 1,450 nominees. In addition to recognizing the nominees, this event highlights and raises funds for the programs and services that help improve the lives of more than 55,000 people each year across Metro Vancouver.

Recognized nationally as one of Canada’s most prestigious awards for women, the Women of Distinction Awards honours women whose outstanding achievements contribute to the well-being and future of our community. The Awards also honours businesses and organizations that support the wellness and diverse needs of their employees.

Nominations for the 31st Annual Women of Distinction Awards opened on January 7, 2014. The deadline for submission is March 7, 2014 at 12:00 pm.

Nominate a woman that you know who is driving positive change in the community, either directly or by example? Recognize a business or organization that has implemented a unique workplace culture or supports the diverse needs of its employees? Consider nominating a woman or workplace for a Women of Distinction Award!

Click here to learn more about the nominations process.

World’s largest concrete pour: LA awaits ‘ballet of construction trucks’

Nate Berg in Los Angeles, Friday, 14 February, 2014

There’s a very special hole in the ground in downtown Los Angeles. It’s the site of the future Wilshire Grand, a 73-storey building filled with offices, retail and hotel rooms that will, when it opens in 2017, be the tallest building in the city, and the eighth tallest in the country. The project – a $1.1bn (£660m) investment – will be the first major skyscraper built in the city in more than 20 years.

It’s a time span that’s seen the global footprint of cities expand dramatically. Hyperspeed development in places like China and the Middle East have turned practically empty land into instant city skylines boasting the tallest buildings in the world. Long an American pastime, building skyscrapers has become a global game – and LA has largely been out of it. More…

Renovation and Restoration: King Street Station

By ENR Staff
Engineering News-Record, February 12, 2014

This $55-million renovation and modernization project kept intact the 100-plus-year-old King Street Station’s historic elements, including the original windows and doors, while performing a complete structural upgrade. During construction, the station, which serves about 10,000 people a day, remained operational. Highlights of the project included the rehabilitation of the structure’s iconic 12-story clock tower, the repair and restoration of the main waiting room, and the installation of seismic upgrades, which met LEED Platinum standards. One judge called the project “really impressive,” and another said it “has it all,” including “innovative sustainability solutions” and “outstanding craftsmanship.” More…

New chief housing officer brings London perspective to Vancouver

By Bruce Constantineau,
Vancouver Sun, February 13, 2014

The City of Vancouver’s new chief housing officer, Mukhtar Latif, was hired four months ago to “identify, appraise and deliver more affordable housing in the city.”

It’s a gargantuan task, but one the former Londoner is keen to take on.

Latif most recently worked with U.K.-based international real estate services firm Savills and has an extensive background in dealing with non-profit organizations, developers and various levels of government to produce a wide range of housing types. More…