Keynotes & Plenaries

Keynotes & Plenaries

Keynotes & Plenaries



KS1: Welcome and Opening Keynote with John Ralston Saul

People and Place: The Complex Linkage of Our Lives, Our Mythologies, and Our Physical Reality



Thursday, October 12, 2017

5:00pm - 6:30pm

Westin - Confederation I & II, Level 4





KS2: COF Keynote & Installation, Keynote Speaker Charles Fairbank

Recognizing 19th Century Oil Technology in a Modern World


Friday, October 13, 2017

5:45pm - 7:15pm

Château Laurier: Adam Room




The task of rescuing 19th century oil technology from obscurity and lifted up to the world stage is a tall order. But this is the task Mr. Fairbank and his team have embraced in the Village of Oil Springs, Ontario where North America’s first oil rush sparked a global energy transformation, pivoting from coal to petroleum. He still uses the authentic 1863 technology devised by his great-grandfather. Four generations of the Fairbank family have been pumping oil for 156 years, yet the landscape created by man and horse endures in a blend of nature and industry. This is preserved along with more than 700 artifacts on the 600-acre site. Protecting this technology is key to unlocking the larger unrecognized stories of how the indigenous people used oil long before the Canadian Geological Survey arrived in the 1840s and how Canada’s first gushers here led to 500 local men taking their oil technology expertise to 86 far-flung countries starting in 1874. This talk reveals that legacy and also the decades of many steps for protecting this cultural landscape. Guidance by academics, heritage professionals, politicians and the public, has been and continue to be essential. All these steps, including establishing a Conservation District Plan, have led Mr. Fairbank to spearhead an application to Canada’s Tentative List, the first rung to a designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Partnerships at all levels are critical… and patience is too.


At the end of the speech, participants will be able to:


  • Gain insight into a unique piece of Canadian industrial heritage and the natural landscape of the 19th century preserved.
  • Discuss industrial archaeology as a window to many larger stories of history and how this speaks to the present.
  • Outline the many building blocks and tools needed to protect a Cultural Landscape.
  • Understand the crucial relationships, partnerships and engagement - with academics, heritage professionals, politicians at all levels, media, the arts, and the public – that comprise a solid foundation for moving ahead to the next level of recognition.



KS3: Historic Buildings and the Race to Net-Zero Carbon, Keynote Speakers Ed Mazria and Carl Elefante


Saturday, October 14, 2017

8:45am - 10:15am

Westin - Confederation I & II - Level 4




Opening Remarks: The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Government of Canada (Invited)



*Carl Elefante, FAIA, 2018 AIA President-Elect; Principal, Director of Sustainability, Quinn Evans Architects

*Edward Mazria, Founder & CEO, Architecture 2030

Moderator: Mark Thompson Brandt, Co-Chair, APT Technical Committee for Sustainable Preservation

The COP 21 Paris Agreement brings virtually all nations into common cause to combat climate change, with targets to achieve Zero Net Carbon in the building sector by 2050. 

For Carl Elefante, the internationally recognized preservation architect behind that famous and oft-quoted phrase, "the greenest building is one that's already built," these global carbon reduction targets will have a massive impact upon all aspects of the building and conservation sectors, and have heightened the relevance of preservation architecture to a level that can no longer be ignored.

Founder of Architecture 2030, Edward Mazria is an internationally recognized architect and thinker whose work on the sustainability and greenhouse gas emissions of the built environment has helped redefine the role of architecture in mitigating climate change. He brings the perspective of contemporary design and construction industries which have been geared primarily to new construction, but are now awakening to the importance of sustainably rehabilitating existing buildings.

Historic preservation professionals have the knowledge and skills to lead the sustainable rehabilitation of all existing buildings. Will historic buildings be exemplars or get left behind? Join us for a compelling conversation between these global thought-leaders, grappling with the elephant in the room, as we move to the new Low-Carbon Economy.


“The accumulated building stock is the elephant in the room: Ignoring it, we risk being trampled by it. We cannot build our way to sustainability; we must conserve our way to it.”             -CARL ELEFANTE





National Trust Plenary

Architecture as a Step Towards Reconciliation


Saturday, October 14, 2017

3:30pm - 5:00pm

Westin Ottawa




Architecture is an instrument that - given the right client and program - can contribute to social change.  And yet, while in the "Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action" there are actions directed at museums, educators, and the media, there is no mention of architecture.  Do Canada's architectural and heritage conservation communities have a role to play?  There is a current interest in providing architecture that is more sensitive to indigenous peoples, both within existing spaces, and with new spaces installed throughout institutional and urban landscapes.  Many would term this as "indigenizing spaces" - a term which can be seen as problematic.  Can Canada's existing buildings be adapted to be accommodating of, or culturally appropriate for, Indigenous peoples?  Can new spaces do the same?  This session will explore how four distinguished architects have approached the same questions. Some projects have involved existing building modifications; others are completely new spaces.  the session will strive to highlight the complexities in adapting cultural ideals to existing places and new spaces. 


Moderator: Daniel Millette (Director, Strategic Planning and Communications, First Nations Land Management Resource Centre & Adjunct Research Professor, Carleton University)



  • Janna Levitt (LGA Architectural Partners, Toronto)  - Community Based Design: Working with Indigenous Organizations through a continuous consultation process   


This presentation focuses on our firm’s experiences working with Indigenous communities through a process of continuous consultation through two renovations projects:  The Centre for Native Child & Family Wellbeing and the Toronto Birth Centre with Seventh Generation Midwives.   In each instance, the presentation will highlight the aspects of LGA’s design and consultation process that was unique in creating the community based design.  We hope that sharing our experiences, we can shed some light on the multitude of complexities involved in attempting to participate in culturally relevant place making.



  • Eladia Smoke (Smoke Architecture, Hudson, Ontario)


  • Calvin Brook (BrookMcIlroy, Toronto) – A Path to Restoring Indigenous Presence throughout Canadian Communities


Canada’s indigenous Peoples have a 15,000+ year relationship with the land and waters of Canada. Yet the physical presence of our founding cultures is all but invisible in our communities. What does belonging look like if nothing of your culture, language, world-views and art are visible in the places you live and work? How can you ever feel welcome there? Place-making institutions and practitioners can play a profound role in reconciliation through a process of restoring Indigenous presence to the fabric of Canadian communities. This process of restorative place-making is as important as the product and to have true impact should prioritize Indigenous leadership, provide opportunities for Indigenous youth, and create direct economic benefits to Indigenous communities.


  • Alfred Waugh (Formline Architecture, Vancouver)


Learning Objectives

  • To understand the diversity of architectural expression in Indigenous communities in Canada
  • To learn how designers are reflecting Indigenous cultural heritage through traditional forms and new construction
  • To learn how designers are working with existing buildings and landscapes to assert an Indigenous presence
  • To appreciate the importance of working with communities in successful projects.




College of Fellows Plenary Session

Information Management in Preservation


Saturday, October 14, 2017

3:30pm - 5:00pm

Westin - Confederation II - Level 4 




As the field of preservation has grown – reflected in the growth of APT – we are faced with the issue of keeping track of our hard-earned knowledge. We need to keep track not only of what we know, but how do we know it? How do we use that knowledge: how do we disseminate what we know? How do we learn and how do we not forget?


The standard answer to these questions is the establishment of archives, but we must recognize that not all archives are equally useful. If designs for projects are simply archived with no follow-up or critique, we will be saving bad ideas along with the good with no way to distinguish between them other than individual’s knowledge. The mere existence of an archive does not, therefore, eliminate the need for individual memory. If we are to answer the questions above – to save what is worth saving and make it useful to others – we need an archive with commentary. The form that would make such an archive useable and meaningful is worthy of exploration.


The online APT Building Technology Heritage Library ( provides one model of an archive; the online CROSS and SCOSS database of forensic engineering investigations ( provides another. The CROSS/SCOSS database was reviewed at the CoF Roundtable in San Antonio last year as a model for tracking the performance of preservation projects over time.


The Plenary will look to both fellows and the audience for examples of current practice, ideas for future practice, possibilities for use and communication between peers, and discussion of strengths and weakness of various proposals.



Learning Objectives:

  • The participants will learn about existing archival resources related to historic preservation, including location (on-line or physical), type of material present, and usefulness.
  • The participants will learn about archiving practices of their peers, rather than simply theoretical or large-scale possibilities.
  • The participants will, collectively, provide guidance for possible future archive projects of the APT. By doing so, they will be setting a future agenda based on the discussion in the session.
  • The participants will learn how to establish criteria for archiving projects. In order to make stored information useful, it needs indexing/metadata, and the selection of what metadata to require can determine whether an archive is useful.


Credit Designation: LU