Tri-National Mutual Recognition Agreement for the International Practice of Architecture among Canada, the United States and Mexico Announced

On December 8, 2014 the Canadian Architectural Licensing Authorities (CALA) in conjunction with the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) in the USA and the Federacion de Colegios de Arquitectos de la Republica Mexicana (FCARM) in Mexico, released a joint statement announcing a major agreement to mutually recognize architect credentials in the three countries, making it possible for architects to work across all North American borders.

The agreement, the ‘Tri-National Mutual Recognition Agreement for the International Practice of Architecture among Canada, the United States and Mexico’, informally known as the ‘Tri-National Agreement’, represents over a decade of negotiations, bringing cross-border recognition of professional credentials from concept to reality in the spirit of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Qualified architects, from each country, who satisfy the requirements of the agreement, will be granted a credential that will lead to a licence to practice architecture in the host country.

For further information, please review the full statement or visit the website of the Ontario Association of Architects.

VIVA Vancouver’s Robson Redux Design-Build Competition Returns

VIVA Vancouver will open its 800 Robson Street space to the creative community once again with Robson Redux, a design-build competition that invites emerging and professional designers and artists to submit their design ideas related to the theme of “connection”. The winner will make their design a reality, building and installing it for the 2015 summer season as a public space for people to enjoy.

VIVA Vancouver’s Robson Redux design-build competition temporarily transforms the 800 block of Robson Street into a summertime pedestrian plaza. This block is located in the heart of downtown Vancouver, Canada. Installation will take place in early summer, open on Canada Day (July 1, 2015) and remain in place until the end of Labour Day long weekend (September 7, 2015).

The winning design will be selected by a jury composed of Marc Boutin (Principal, Marc Boutin Architectural Collaborative and Associate Professor, University of Calgary), Barbara Cole (Principal of Cole Projects, Executive Director of Other Sights for Artists’ Projects Association), Jane Durante (Founding Principal, Durante Kreuk Landscape Architects), Stanley King (Founder and Head of Co-Design Group), Matthew Soules (Director, Matthew Soules Architecture and Assistant Professor, School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, University of British Columbia). The winning team will be provided a small design honorarium and up to $40,000 to cover costs of materials, fabrication, construction, installation and de-installation for their projects.

Anyone may enter this competition, however, criteria and submission requirements lend themselves to expertise in architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, industrial design, contemporary art and other related fields. The competition encourages design teams with diverse skill sets to submit joint entries.

Teams can submit their designs ideas online at for a small fee. Deadline to register is January 30, 2015; submission deadline is February 13, 2015.

VIVA Vancouver is a public space program that specializes in turning road spaces into people places. Working with various community partners, the program re-purposes road space to create temporary or semi-permanent public spaces.

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And Now There Are 40

The Architectural Institute of British Columbia (AIBC), on behalf of the Canadian Architectural Licensing Authorities (CALA), is pleased to announce that there are now 40 US states signed onto the new Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) between CALA and the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB).

The MRA, for the reciprocal registration of architects between the USA and Canada, came into effect January 1, 2014. To be eligible, an architect must be a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States or Canada, and their principal place of practice must be in a jurisdiction that is a current signatory of the MRA to seek registration/licensure in the other country. Their registration/license must be in ‘good standing’ and they must have completed at least 2,000 hours (approximately one year of full-time employment) of post-registration/licensure experience practicing in their home country.

Architects that were originally licensed in Canada or the USA through a foreign reciprocal registration agreement, including the Broadly Experienced Foreign Architect (BEFA) Program, will not be eligible under this agreement. Those registered/licensed to practice architecture in one or more Canadian jurisdictions will require NCARB certification to avail themselves of the agreement. Further information can be found in section 3 of NCARB’s Certification Guidelines.

At this time, all 11 Canadian jurisdictions and 40 US states are signed onto the MRA. The remaining US jurisdictions are continuing to consider implementation and the list of signatories will be updated accordingly.

For more information and the current list of signatories, please visit the AIBC website.