1. Bala Museum: CO-OWNERS OF BALA
2. Green Blankstein Russell: An Architectural Legacy - new book
3. Preservation and Protection of Historic Places in Canada
4. ACO Toronto wins Community Heritage Award, People's Choice
5. BOOK REVIEW: Indigenous Writes by Chelsea Vowel
Known for their designs for Winnipegs City Hall (1964) and the Winnipeg International Airport (1964), Green Blankstein Russell (GBR) and Associates, founded in 1932, were a key influencer of Winnipegs landscape and pioneered the inclusion of women and minority groups in architectural practice. Their work illustrated through the compilation of more than 300 images and archival documents will be honoured with the launch of Green Blankstein Russell and Associates: An Architectural Legacy, written by Jeffrey Thorsteinson and Brennan Smith.
Easton Lexier, a structural engineer, worked at GBR for more than fifty years. Lexier, who wrote the foreward to the book, will join alumni from all over Canada in Winnipeg to honour the books release.
GBR, in no small measure, encouraged and fostered the talent and diverse staff that created the architectural record that is explored in the following pages, writes Lexier.
The book, commissioned by the Winnipeg Architecture Foundation, aims to educate the public about the innovative minds at work at GBR, who helped shape the architecture and industry of design in Winnipeg. The firm was a kind of engine: an institution through which many of Canadas notable architects, designers, and engineers came through on their paths to prominence, says Thorsteinson. In this respect, too, the office was pioneering, deliberately functioning as one of the first offices to bring women and individuals belonging to minority groups into architectural practice.
About Green Blankstein Russell and Associates: An Architectural Legacy
Winnipeg-based architecture firm Green Blankstein Russell and Associates (GBR) opened in the slow years of the Great Depression. Founding partners were Cecil Blankstein and Lawrence Green, joined soon after by Leslie Russell and Ralph Hamm. From this inauspicious starting point the firm would grow to become, by the 1950s and 60s, a major player on the Canadian architectural scene: the largest architectural office between Ontario and British Columbia, with seven offices in four provinces.
GBR was a hub for partnership and training, and was a pioneering force in its inclusion of women and members of Canadas diverse cultural communities within the field of design. Covering a wide range of individual buildings and practitioners, this book explores the significant mark GBR made on its hometown and across the country, as well as the firms role as a leader in the growth of Modernist architecture in Canada.
The new book (160 pages;300 illustrations) is available from Winnipeg Architecture Foundation at a cost of $35 plus shipping. http://www.winnipegarchitecture.ca/shop/merchandise/publications/green-blankstein-russell-an-architectural-legacy/
The next few weeks are critical ones for the heritage sector. In late November, the Environment Committee is expected to report back to Parliament on Bill C-323 – An Act to Amend the Income Tax Act (Rehabilitation of Historic Property) and also wrap up its recommendations on the milestone study, The Preservation and Protection of Historic Places.
This is a time for every heritage leader and organization to be engaged and informed. We strongly believe that our individual and collective responses must be loud, strategic and coordinated.
Please join our weekly calls to develop and share strategy for action, craft media messaging etc. We are counting on you to engage your own networks and members. We are looking for provincial/territorial or regional “captains” who will help rally the troops and share news and action plans. Feel free to forward this invitation to them. Thanks!
Weekly Strategy Teleconference Thursdays at 11am ET
Toll Free 1-866-999-9779 Passcode: 469414
See our website for more information. Watch this newsletter for updates!
Editor’s Note: The Environment Committee hearings were wide ranging covering topics from conserving indigenous heritage, lack of a binding heritage law for Canada, the need for financial incentives, issues with the National Register of Historic Properties, the role of Park's Canada and others. In much correspondence with proponents of Bill 323 the governing Liberals have expressed no support for the Bill, yet do make suggestions they recognize the need for support for the sector. The findings of this committee will be very important and will arrive at a rather difficult time of the year to respond, but respond we must. Keeping in touch with the National Trust for guidance and updates is important. Also contacting your MP to let them know we are hoping for great things from this review.
|ACOToronto gets Community Heritage Award at Heritage Toronto Awards, October 25|
If you will forgive me tooting my own horn a bit, I am very proud that ACO Toronto Branch (I am President) was awarded the Heritage Toronto Community Heritage Award on Monday night. It was awarded to us by popular vote of Heritage Toronto members so means a lot to our small committee. We, like many other small heritage organizations, work hard to put together programming and make some progress against the army of demolition crews stomping through Toronto.
We were very grateful for the opportunity to promote our biggest project to date, TO Built, an open source database of Toronto buildings at http://www.acotoronto.ca. Our goal is to have every architect post their projects, and to have citizens across the city photograph their neighbourhood buildings, landscapes and landmarks, and post them, along with any information they may have about who built or designed them.
Chelsea Vowel is Metis, a lawyer who writes with an amusingly clear and sharp tongue. Part of my summer reading was her recent book, Indigenous Writes: A Guide to First Nations, Metis and Inuit Issues in Canada, which I highly recommend for anyone trying to gain an understanding of what it is to be indigenous in North America. On the cover is a quote from author Tracey Lindberg, “A rare, rare achievement…. A must read for engaging with the Idea of reconciliation.”
There are five sections in the book, The Terminology of Relationships, Culture and Identity, Myth Busting, State Violence and Land, Learning, Law and Treaties. Within each section there are several short chapters summarizing different issues with a very useful set of notes and references at the end of each for those wanting to explore certain topics in greater depth. It answers so many of the questions many settler Canadians have but don’t know how to ask. For example, the first chapter lists several terms in use; Indian, NDN, Aboriginal, Indigenous, Native, First Nations, Inuit, Mets, Native America, names of particular nations, name of that nation in that nation’s original language and goes on to explain the context for each term, what they mean and when to use them. She also includes a set of pejoratives that should never be used. The book is a fast read. The breadth of the material covered is very wide. The distillation and straightforward language is a real help. It is a great place to start to find the Truth.
I am a settler Canadian. (that's another term from the book) For the past five years I have been reading to try to understand indigenous history and how to respond to indigenous issues and concerns. Or how to even talk to indigenous peoples. I am embarrassed at my own ignorance. Having read this book, I feel better equipped to engage in a conversation and to find the information needed to bridge the colonial and deliberate information gulf that exists between settler and indigenous Canada. Put it on your must-read list.
For more reviews, and how to purchase in hard or e versions: http://apihtawikosisan.com/2016/08/indigenous-writes-ebook-launch/