COVID-19: Updates, Information, and Advocacy

The health, safety, and well-being of all RAIC stakeholders—including the board of directors, staff, volunteers, and participants—is foremost on our minds, and so the RAIC is proactively taking steps to do our part to minimize the spread of COVID-19. The RAIC is closely monitoring the current situation via the Public Health Agency of Canada and the World Health Organization—and will make decisions based on the information provided. As such, the following information reflects the changes to ongoing events, operations, and services provided by the RAIC and how they are impacted by COVID-19.

Additionally, information related to COVID-19 will be posted—and updated—on this page.


COVID-19 and RAIC In-Person Events
*Last Updated: July 2,2 2020
 
Since COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic in March 2020, the RAIC has prioritized the health, safety, and wellbeing of staff, volunteers and membership community. The RAIC continues to closely monitor the current situation via the Public Health Agency of Canada and the World Health Organization.
 
Since March 16, 2020, all staff at the RAIC began working remotely and directives were provided to transition all in-person activities to a virtual platform. This includes meetings, continuing education sessions, Syllabus program activities and special events—such as the 2020 Conference on Architecture.  
 
The RAIC will take an abundance of caution over the next several months and request that all in-person activities continue in a virtual platform until further notice. Another update will be provided no later than September 18, 2020, for activities for the remainder of the year.  We thank you in advance for your understanding during this ongoing uncertain time.  

RAIC Remote Office Announcement
*Last Updated: July22, 2020

On Friday, March 13, 2020, RAIC CEO Mike Brennan announced that the head office facility would be closed temporarily and launched a remote working capacity for all staff. Since then, the decision has been made by Board and Staff that—as of June 30, 2020—the RAIC will no longer physically operate out of our office on 55 Murray Street in Ottawa, ON.
 
The commitment to our members is our top priority.  All staff are equipped with the technology and resources to continue to provide service excellence to our members and stakeholders. Due to the digital connectivity of our operations, working remotely is a viable option for RAIC staff who are equipped with the necessary tools and resources. The RAIC staff will continue to work and operate remotely until further notice.

Continuing Education
*Last Updated: July 22, 2020

Since the increasingly evolving situation around COVID-19, the RAIC’s Programs Office has worked diligently to transition all  Continuing Education events and offerings from now until June 30, 2020  to digital platforms.  

The RAIC is committed to working through these challenging times and supporting the community as best possible. We will continue to advocate for architects and the profession as rebuilding and restructuring begin. We are also working to enable solutions in response to the themes expressed by you. 

The Financial Management during COVID-19 webinar recording with Basima Roshan, CPA, MBA is now available. This highly attended session was packed with information and received very positive reviews from participants.  

This session is free to all participants and RAIC Members are eligible to receive a Continuing Education Certificate. 

You can find out more—and receive a copy of—Financial Management during COVID-19 here

Watch your inbox for more free webinars. Read below for additional information on:

Coping with COVID-19 

Are you struggling to cope with COVID-19? With the rapidly changing environment and the strains caused by the pandemic, join Anxiety Canada’s Registered Clinical Counsellor Mark Antczak to talk about why anxiety is so prevalent in everyone’s life, learn strategies and tools from evidence-based research to reduce our anxiety, and how to use the Mindshift app—developed by Anxiety Canada—to help you and your loved ones in managing our overwhelmed brains. 
 

Everyday Mindfulness for Architects

In this session, you will find out what mindfulness is, and how it can help you to manage some of the stresses in your life. You will also be introduced to some of the research supporting mindfulness. The instructor will guide you through some short mindfulness practices that you can use in daily life, including guided meditations, an eating meditation, and mindfulness tools to help manage challenging emotions and thoughts. Presented by Tom Heah, a registered occupational therapist.

Town Hall Recording

Hosted by President John Brown FRAIC, this forum provided an overview of RAIC activities since social distancing began as well as create a space for members to ask questions, join together for a discussion, and share information on topics related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Information gathered about experiences, challenges, and solutions continue to inform RAIC activities going forward.

Financial Management during COVID-19 

The full impact of COVID-19 on the architecture profession is unknown, and no one can say what the future holds. But by planning, responding promptly, making the right immediate decisions, and thinking long-term, you and your firm will be better prepared for whatever comes next. This is the time to protect your financial position and make financial management a priority. Presented by Basima Roshan, CPA, MBA. 

COVID-19: FAQ Practice Questions

In response to member practice-related queries during the COVID-19 pandemic, the RAIC has brought together a panel to answer frequently asked questions. Moderated by Past-President, Michael J. Cox, this webinar features panellists Louis-Pierre Grégoire (Partner, Gowling WLG), Craig J. Stehr (Partner, Gowling WLG) and Don Ardiel, MRAIC, Director of Practice Support, RAIC).

 

Additionally, for a limited time, the RAIC is offering a Pay Later option for all continuing education offerings. The Pay Later option allows participants to defer payment until September 30, 2020, at which time a credit card will be automatically charged. If you would like to select the Pay Later option, please contact Pamela Burke, Education Administrator at (613) 241-3600 x 205.


Advocacy
*Last Updated: July 22, 2020

On March 18, 2020, Prime Minister Trudeau announced what Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan would look like. Up to $82 billion to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on individuals and businesses in Canada. This amounts to $27 billion in direct support for businesses and individuals—and an additional $55 billion in tax deferrals for Canadian households and businesses. In response, the RAIC began a letter writing campaign—with notes on March 18, 24, 31, April 7 and 14, for the architectural sector to be supported during this time and have access to this fund.

As a reminder, the Government of Canada began accepting applications for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit and Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy starting April 6, 2020. Read more about other supports in Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan

As the Federal Government prepares to gradually reopen the economy, we are focusing our advocacy efforts on how the profession is poised to support this economic activity, and specifically, on infrastructure spending. Because of this, a second Pulse Survey was sent out on April 30 and the results will be available in the comings for members to access. This survey gathered data on the following areas:  

  • Access to the COVID-19 Economic Response plan benefits   
  • Revenues   
  • Operations   
  • Staffing and human resources   
  • Readiness for return to work service delivery 
     

Your feedback matters and we thank you for your participation

Thank you to everyone who provided input through the second survey regarding the impact of COVID-19 on their practice. A visual summary on the effects of COVID-19 can be read below.

We have heard from many of our members who have joined the advocacy effort by writing their member of parliament and federal ministers. Thank you for this support. Our collective voice is strong, and we encourage RAIC members and stakeholders to continue to lend their voice and share the message to amplify the voice of the architectural profession—a vital sector for the Canadian economy.  As you continue to send letters, feel free to cc  info@raic.org, so we may assist your efforts.
 
RAIC members are top of mind at this unprecedented time. Your health, safety and well-being continue to be our top priority. We will continue to monitor the quickly evolving situation and will keep you informed with regular and ongoing communications.

Membership Dues

*Last Updated: April 1, 2020

In this time of financial hardship, we understand that paying member dues may be difficult. Membership dues are mandated through by-laws (Section 2.9 and 2.10). The bylaws clearly state the rules regarding dues. The reminder email circulated to members on March 31, 2020, was sent to meet those obligations as the deadline is April 1.

We understand the situation and respect that individuals must make choices in this difficult and unprecedented time. As an avenue for members to advise on their individual circumstances, please send a formal request to the executive committee for review. This committee may grant extensions for membership dues, fee reductions or fee waivers. Emails should be sent to info@raic.org with “Membership Dues” in the subject line no later than April 10, 2020.


Conference 2020
*Last Updated: March 24, 2020

Unfortunately, the RAIC has made the difficult but necessary decision to cancel the 2020 Annual Conference on Architecture and all pre-Conference events, scheduled for June 2-7, 2020 in Edmonton, Alberta. This decision is due to the continued COVID-19 public health emergency.    

Creative problem solving is core to architectural practice and the RAIC is leveraging this strength in planning the next steps. We are exploring alternate virtual continuing education programs with Conference presenters and volunteer leadership as part of our ongoing commitment to enabling meaningful continuing education to support best practices in the profession. 

For more information, click here. 

Flexible Refund Policy

To ease financial considerations that this cancellation may cause our participants, the RAIC has instituted a flexible refund policy that gives registrants the option to apply their registration fee to the 2021 RAIC Conference on Architecture in Montreal, apply the registration fee to the virtual Conference on Architecture (+ refund of difference) or receive a full refund.

If you or your organization would like to defer your registration investment to be applied to the next RAIC Conference on Architecture—scheduled for June 6-9, 2021 in Montreal—or the virtual Conference on Architecture, you must complete the following survey by Monday, April 6, 2020. Otherwise, full refunds will be issued automatically within 30 days.

A full FAQ has been released for any questions around the cancelation of the 2020 Conference on Architecture.


Notice of Travel suspension
*Last Updated: March 17, 2020

Starting March 16, 2020, the RAIC has temporarily suspended all work-related travel for all board directors, staff, volunteers, and representatives until further notice. This will be re-evaluated daily.  Rest assured, our team is focusing on staying healthy, not travelling, maintaining a positive attitude, and doing our part during this public health emergency. We are confident we have taken considerable action so far to protect the RAIC and its stakeholders—and we are actively reviewing in-person activities taking place in April, May, and June.  We will provide regular updates through the bulletin, website, and social platforms.


Additional Resources and Information

Government Resources

Architectural Resources

OAA: COVID-19 FAQ

Business Resilience Service (BRS Free services for small to medium-sized business between May 25 and June 19:  

  • Guidance on COVID-19 financial support program options and eligibility  
  • Direction on accessing the most appropriate support organizations  
  • Help to make decisions to support recovery plans  
  • Real-time insights and feedback to policymakers  
  • To access the BRS call 1-866-989-1080 to connect with a business advisor from the accounting profession. The service is available 7 days/week from 8 am – 8 pm ET 

Pathways to Resilience: Strategies for a World in Upheaval Free webinar series  

 Additional Resources

Articles from Architectural and Media Publications

Canadian Architect: Legal, financial guidance for Canadian architecture firms during COVID-19

Archinect: Running a Virtual Architecture Practice With Jennifer Kretschmer

Metropolis: How Architects Are Making It Work from Home During COVID-19

How the Coronavirus will reshape Architecture


Archive of all RAIC COVID-19 Notices
 

Month Day

March

13, 17, 19, 20, 24, 25, 27

April 1, 8, 16, 23,30

  May                                7,14, 21, 28

 June                                12, 23

July                                  9