covid-19 resources

INITIATIVES

The Ottawa Regional Society of Architects (ORSA) undertakes numerous initiatives over the course of the year to raise awareness about architectural design and urban issues in the Capital Region. ORSA also functions as a facilitator, supporting and assisting individuals and groups to develop their own ideas and initiatives.

In the past, ideas generated by ORSA members have grown into much larger annual events that are organized and managed by the City and other groups, including Ottawa Architecture Week (OAW) and Doors Open Ottawa.

Members can stay informed about current architectural and urban issues through our partner programs Urban Forum, Azrieli School of Architecture and Urbanism Forum Lecture Series and the NCC Urbanism Labs, e-bulletins, and the Events page of our website.

ORSA also supports many different organizations, lecture series, galleries and events: Doors Open Ottawa, Ottawa Urban Design Awards, and The Ottawa Heritage Awards. In the past, ORSA held seminars and workshops for intern architects preparing for their NCARB examinations. Publications that have been supported in the past include Azrieli School of Architecture and Urbanism Building 22. In addition, ORSA funds annual scholarships for Azrieli School of Architecture and Urbanism students.

For more information about supporting one of our initiatives please contact us

OTTAWA
ARCHITECTURE
WEEK
PROGRAM

Ottawa Architecture Week is an annual week-long festival that welcomes everyone to explore architecture, urbanism, art and design in Ottawa. It is presented by the Ottawa Regional Society of Architects (ORSA) with the help of local volunteers and businesses.

Link to OAWfest

DOORS OPEN OTTAWA

Doors Open Ottawa is an annual event held in the City of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, that gives the public access to many of the city's unique and historically significant buildings. Among the buildings included are government offices, museums, radio stations, places of worship, embassies, and historical landmarks.

Link to Doors Open Ottawa

ADVOCACY

Advocacy is a key activity in furthering ORSA's mandate “to promote and advance the role of architecture and design in Ottawa's dynamic community for the enrichment of the city and its citizens.” We see our role as working to ensure that architecture and design are key considerations in public discussions and in processes that have an impact on our urban environment. ORSA has effectively lobbied civic governments, participated in civic improvement councils, assisted in the writing of building by-laws, and offered professional views on urban issues.

ORSA’s Advocacy Guidelines have been developed to articulate our role as advocates in support of the delivery of high quality architecture and urban design.

Comments or questions from members and the general public are welcome and can be sent to us through our Connect Page

PRINCIPLES

ORSA believes in:

  1. Design excellence
  2. Economic vitality, social equity, environmental health and sustainability.
  3. Architectural discourse, transparency, accountability and public engagement.
  4. Respect for significant built and natural heritage.

IMPLEMENTATION

ORSA endeavours to identify opportunities to raise awareness about design and planning issues within the profession and the broader public.
We strive to ensure that public policy, physical planning, economic strategies, legislation and by-laws support the timely and achievable delivery of projects that reflect our principles.
We seek to collaborate with government, agencies, groups and organizations to build a healthy, stable and vibrant city.
We seek partnerships with like-minded individuals and organizations to increase our impact and expand our reach.

ACTIONS

ORSA responds to immediate issues through actions that may include hosting forums to engage conversation, letter-writing, publicity, advocacy, and participation in public meetings.
We aim to anticipate and influence issues through conducting research, hosting forums and events that engage our membership and others, and by writing position papers and articles.
ORSA endeavours to address architecture and urban planning issues identified by its members where resources and time allow. Decisions on the issues to be addressed and the actions to be taken, rest with ORSA Executive.