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Sylvia McAdam, a citizen of the nêhiyaw (Cree) Nation, is one of four founders of Idle No More, the grassroots movement for indigenous sovereignty, rights, and the respect for the treaties to protect the environmental and create economic and social equality. In late 2015, in an attempt to address the seemingly unsolvable housing crisis in First Nations’ communities, she was part of a group who launched a crowdsourcing campaign, “One House, Many Nations,” to raise funds to build homes for First Nations. The campaign’s impact has been both symbolic and real, and has brought much-needed attention and awareness to the epidemic of homelessness that affects Canadians and Indigenous peoples, and particularly women.
Sylvia holds a Juris Doctorate (LLB) from the University of Saskatchewan and a Bachelor of Human Justice from the University of Regina. She is the author of Nationhood Interrupted: Revitalizing nêhiyaw Legal Systems, a compilation of teachings, language, and customs that have traditionally been orally shared and passed down through generations. Along with Idle No More co-founders, Jessica Gordon, Sheelah McLean, and Nina Wilson, Idle No More was awarded the 2013 Carol Geller Human Rights Award. The four colleagues were also named as Foreign Policy’s 2013 Top 100 Global Thinkers.
Recognized as a national treasure in Canada, Cornelia Hahn Oberlander has been creating innovative landscapes for over 60 years, collaborating as landscape architect on a wide range of projects with internationally acclaimed architects. She devoted her early professional years to designing landscapes for low-cost housing projects and playgrounds throughout Canada. She has also designed the iconic landscapes of the UBC Museum of Anthropology, Robson Square in Vancouver, and Ottawa’s National Gallery.
Cornelia has been recognized globally for her exemplary work. She has received 12 honorary degrees and was appointed an officer of the Order of Canada in 2009, after being appointed member in 1990. She was awarded the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada Allied Medal in 1995, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects in 2006, the Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe Award, the International Federation of Landscape Architects’ premier award, in 2011, and the ASLA Medal, the most prestigious award by the American Society of Landscape Architects, in 2012.
Vikram Bhatt’s entire career has been focused upon improving the quality of living for those who may be seen as poor but who have human capital and great resourcefulness. In addition to his foundational work on housing in the developing world for over four decades, he has led the national initiative in urban agriculture in Canada, a project that has benefitted Canadians of all economic classes, particularly those in need of food.
He is considered a significant figure in Canadian architectural education, whose research, projects and publications have exerted great influence both inside the academy and in practice. Vikram has received numerous awards including an AD Architectural Design Research Award, an American Institute of Architects’ Sustainable Community Design Ideas Competition Prize, two Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute’s Faculty Research Fellowships and two Graham Foundation for the Fine Arts Grants. In 2008, his team won the National Urban Design Award of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, Canadian Institute of Planners, and Canadian Society of Landscape Architects.
Bing Thom is one of Canada’s most admired and accomplished architects. Following his immigration from Hong Kong to Vancouver with his family, Bing pursued a Bachelor of Architecture degree from UBC and his Master of Architecture degree from the University of California, Berkeley. Early in his career, he worked in the office of Fumihiko Maki in Tokyo before returning to Canada to join the office of Arthur Erickson. In this position, Bing oversaw notable projects such as the Robson Square courthouse complex in Vancouver and the Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto before establishing his own firm in the early 1980s.
Bing’s commitment to using architecture to improve the urban context and social condition has been recognized by a range of honours including the Order of Canada and the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal for outstanding contributions to architecture and the community. Dedicated to helping the next generation of architects, Bing is a popular lecturer in Canada and abroad and the privileged recipient of honorary degrees from SFU and UBC, and an honorary professorship from Tongji University in Shanghai. Bing received the 2011 RAIC Gold Medal, the highest honour awarded a Canadian architect.
For over 30 years, Eric Miller has researched the cutting edge of the interactions between humans, urban land use, transportation, and the environment. His work in the modelling of vehicle emissions, pollutant dispersion, and their exposure to human populations has helped to develop a more comprehensive understanding of these fundamental urban planning issues. Currently, his Integrated Land Use, Transportation, and Environment model, considered a world-leading contribution to the science of urban simulation, continues to contribute to the increased sustainability of living environments both internationally and here in Canada.