BEAA + RAIC Perspectives from Atlantic Canada: Climate Action and Inclusivity in the Built Environment | Royal Architectural Institute of Canada

BEAA + RAIC Perspectives from Atlantic Canada: Climate Action and Inclusivity in the Built Environment

SKU: CE20221124

BEAA + RAIC Perspectives from Atlantic Canada: Climate Action and Inclusivity in the Built Environment

This event was held November 24, 2022

Topics: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion / Climate

Length: 2 hours |  ON DEMAND

This event is now available on demand

Atlantic Canada is often characterized by its unique and diverse coastal landscapes. The risks of warming waters and extreme weather events are challenging the sustainability of the built environment in the Atlantic region, demanding immediate adaptation strategies from Communities, Architects, Planners, Engineers, Landscape Architects, and practitioners in the built environment. At the forefront of climate change adaptation is inclusivity - recognizing the importance of engaging people and organizations at all levels of communities and governments to take ACTION. Drawing on a range of expertise, the RAIC + BEAA climate action and inclusivity panel discussion reflects on the importance of engaging diverse voices for the development of holistic and meaningful strategies for the future of Atlantic Canada so outcomes equally reflect the diversity of the people and places they influence. The discussion identifies issues of climate change specific to the Atlantic region, defines current goals for climate change adaptation and investigates means for inclusive design and implementation.
Learning outcomes:
  • Describe the unique challenges climate change poses to Atlantic Canada and how designers of the built environment can be better equipped to respond and adapt. 
  • Identify government initiatives such as the HalifACT and how they influence the built environment, and how design can act as a tool for responding to climate change planning acts.  
  • Describe the role of landscape architecture within broader scale climate change adaptation agendas for Atlantic Canada and the benefit of a landscape approach toward climate change adaptation and development. 
  • Identify the unique conditions of working in Northern Canada, and how the lessons from northern and remote contexts can inform practice in the Atlantic region, particularly when working in sensitive environmental and cultural contexts. 
Reanna Merasty
Reanna Merasty is Ininew from Barren Lands First Nation and is an Architectural Intern at Number Ten Architectural Group. She holds a Bachelor of Environmental Design and Master of Architecture from the University of Manitoba. During her time in the Faculty of Architecture, she Co-Founded the Indigenous Design and Planning Student Association, working for Indigenous representation and inclusion in design education and Co-edited the publications "Voices of the Land: Indigenous Design and Planning from the Prairies". Additionally, she is Chair of Welcoming Winnipeg Committee with the City of Winnipeg, member of the Climate Action Plan Steering Committee and Indigenous Task Force with the Royal Architecture Institute of Canada, and Board Member with the design advocacy organization. Reanna is also a participant in the program "Futurecasting: Indigenous Architecture/Design in the Arctic" with the Canadian Centre for Architecture.  
Subject Matter Experts:

Sera Thompson, BSc 

Climate Engagement Specialist 

Environment & Climate Change | Property, Fleet & Environment 



Sera Thompson (she/her) is a settler in Mi’kma’ki and works as the Climate Engagement Specialist with HalifACT: Acting on Climate Together, Halifax’s ambitious Climate Plan.  She facilitates collective impact around climate action, with the principle of a “Just Transition” at the center. With over 20 years of experience as a social innovator bringing people together to solve complex problems in the fields of climate change, education and early childhood, forestry, food systems, public health, racial justice and human rights, sustainability and urban planning, Sera is a lifelong learner in creating deep change in systems. 

Harriet Burdett-Moulton 

NWTAA, FRAIC, Ph. D. (hc)

Senior Architect (Dartmouth, NS) 


Métis architect Harriet Burdett-Moulton, Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC), was the first architect to practice in what is now known as Nunavut. One of the most iconic and important projects to Harriet as a Métis person is the Piqqusilrvvik Inuit Learning Facility in Clyde River, Nunavut. Piqqusilrvvik—which roughly translates as “a place to keep the things we’ve learned”—is a cultural learning facility specifically designed for the Inuit culture. Harriet is from Labrador, with Inuit, British and Montagnais roots. She spent her early life in a traditional nomadic lifestyle. In 1976 Harriet graduated from TUNS, now Dalhousie School of Architecture, and became the first Indigenous female Architect in Canada in 1979. She is a member of the RAIC Indigenous task force and is well-respected and honored architect. In May 2016, Harriet was made a fellow of the RAIC, in June 2017, she received an Honorary Doctorate of Design from Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD) University in Toronto, and in November 2017, she was awarded a Labradorian of Distinction metal. Harriet has been responsible for numerous design projects across northern Canada building her expertise in collaborating with culturally diverse groups designing an assortment of building types. She has been involved in the design of educational facilities, recreational facilities, health care facilities, places of worship and feasibility studies. Her work encompasses major additions, and renovations as well as new construction. In addition to her passion for well-designed culturally significant buildings, she is an award winning jeweler and has experience and education in community international development. 




Sandra A. Cooke  


Principal | Landscape Architect 



Sandra Cooke is a licensed landscape architect whose practice has spanned public and private sectors, in Ontario and the Atlantic Provinces. She has been involved in the design and implementation numerous public landscapes, including Downsview Park in Toronto and Fort Needham Park in Halifax. As co-founder of Brackish Design Studio in Atlantic Canada, Sandra’s practice focuses on projects that enhance local coastal ecologies, and quality of life for their users. Sandra has taught studios as a Sessional Lecturer at the University of Toronto Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design since 2010. 



Catherine Ann Somerville Venart  BFA, MArch.

Catherine Ann Somerville Venart, is an Associate Professor, Dalhousie University, Faculty of Architecture and Planning. She is educated as an artist, BFA; Engineer, Cert.Eng (Mt.A & UofT) and architect M.Arch (SCI.Arch), becoming registered as Architekten, in Germany (NRW 97). Her Practice (iip for architecture and urban design) reflect and connect both her interdisciplinary background, international contexts, and collaborative methodology, bringing together different voices, communities, scales, and approaches to architecture as a territorial project.

As a consortium, teaching, practice, and research Catherine sees the work as creating dialogue, and informing academic, creative and design research through on going exhibitions, publications, leading workshops (Ravines Quito, Ecuador, Manaus Amazon River, Brazil, San Pedro de Atacama, Chile, Cologne, Hamburg, Munich Germany, Kharkov Ukraine…), competitions, and design consultations, that challenge students and professionals alike. Catherine’s, work documents and analyses the specifics of ‘site’ in its various temporal-scalar dimensions, and points of view (actor groups) to create a greater understanding of processes, and connectivity to context that inform the design process. Endeavoring to bring forward and integrate interdisciplinary ideas and expertise to conceptualize strategies for real-world problems, using various techniques of representations(video, photographic, data sources, blogs or mappings) to translate, connect and re: negotiate ‘our’ histories both cultural and environmental within ever evolving processes and dynamics that in turn are re-presented and re-conceptualized as systems of ‘place making’ within change.


Her research and collaborations with institutions both locally and internationally such as continued collaborations with TU Delft, in the Delta Urbanism Group, a multi-disciplinary research group between DAL and SMU that is researching Coastal Areas in the Maritimes and her work with the EDI committee and HRM Design Review Board, are all ways that she connects local and international knowledge exchange. Catherine has been invited to participate in climate change discussions hosted by UN- SDSA, in NYC April 2019 that looked at the role of architecture and urban design in retrofitting cities and their relationship to the surrounding environment. Last years' Venice Biennale (2021), invited to be part of Exhibition and Symposium “Conceiving the Plan” which looked at Architectures Role in Reconciling our Colonial Past and as well as a lecture and panel discussions “Resilient Communities” where she was asked to speak and on the role that creativity plays in how we can address issues of climate change.


Continuing Education Webinar Disclaimer

LMS Instructions 

List price: $25.00
Member Price: