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  • 1 May 2024 9:00 PM | William McLean (Administrator)

    It is with deep sadness that we announce that Phil Boname, immediate past-President of the Arthur Erickson Foundation, died on April 6, 2024, a few weeks shy of his 90th birthday.

    Born in France on May 6, 1934, the second of four children of Robert and Mary Boname, Phil was an accomplished, generous, and modest man whose life story reads like the screenplay of an epic biography. His family’s escape from Nazi-occupied France to the USA, his early years in Rye, NY, and his service in the US Navy, his relocation to Canada in the early 60s and finally, his move to Vancouver in 1971 are all elegantly documented in this beautiful tribute written by his children.

    In Vancouver, Phil quickly established his credentials in urban economics and real estate development and his enthusiasm for what would become a lifelong commitment to community service. In 1976, he founded Urbanics Consultants, and for more than five decades provided his expertise and counsel on a long list of diverse projects in Vancouver, North America and around the world. These projects led to meaningful collaborations with many celebrated architects, including Arthur Erickson, with whom he established an enduring friendship.

    Not surprisingly, Phil’s relationship with Erickson and his determination to preserve his friend’s architectural legacy eventually led to an invitation to join the Board of the Arthur Erickson Foundation as its President. He assumed the role with a combination of energy, knowledge, and grace that the members of numerous Vancouver-based boards and community groups will remember. He led the AEF for ten years, stepping down only one year ago, and remained active and engaged until just a few weeks before his death.

    AEF Chair Phyllis Lambert is delighted to have seen the Board grow under Phil’s guidance and become increasingly active in matters of education, stewardship, and advancement of the moral and physical values of Canada’s premier architect. His wisdom and commitment to our mission have shaped the Arthur Erickson Foundation and will continue to guide us.

    Phil’s courage and determination to maintain ‘business-as-usual’ in the face of unimaginable difficulties over the last months of his life were inspiring. All of us who had the honour of knowing and working with him will remember him with respect and great affection.

    Phil is survived by his daughters Jessica (husband Kevin, sons Robbie and wife Olivia, and Stuart), and Mary, and his sons Charles (wife Vanessa, daughters Elise and Amélia), and John, as well as his second wife, Marilyn Palmer and her son Judd (wife Mercedes and son Max). To all, we extend our condolences.

  • 30 Apr 2024 5:00 PM | William McLean (Administrator)

    The Museum of Anthropology at UBC will reopen its doors to the public on June 13, 2024 at 5pm, following an 18-month closure that saw the successful completion of cutting-edge seismic upgrades to its Great Hall, coupled with the revitalization and reinterpretation of displays of Northwest Coast Indigenous carvings, poles, weavings and other works from the past and present. MOA’s reopening this summer coincides with the 75th anniversary of the Museum’s opening to the public and the 100th anniversary of architect Arthur Erickson’s birth. Nick Milkovich Architects Inc. was selected as the architectural firm for the Great Hall’s renewal. As principal architect, Milkovich offered the project unique experience, having made the Museum’s original building models as an apprentice to Arthur Erickson in the 1970s. Milkovich’s intimate knowledge of the design ensured the iconic structure was rebuilt in Erickson’s original vision.


  • 15 Feb 2024 10:59 AM | William McLean (Administrator)

    These five videos, each about 20 minutes in length, together record a single extended conversation between Erickson and his longtime friend and colleague Abraham Rogatnick. Responding to probing questions from Rogatnick, Erickson discusses the guiding principles, inspiration and aesthetics behind his work, and reflects on specific projects such as Simon Fraser University, the Russell House in Washington State and the Science Museum in Riyadh. Filmed at Erickson's Vancouver residence in July 1986, the videos provide incidental glimpses of both house and garden. The videos are published by the Seattle Public Library and form part of its Donald Schmechel Oral History Collection.
    Access videos here >>

  • 10 Nov 2023 2:53 PM | William McLean (Administrator)

    Fifteen paintings of Erickson’s Building in the Landscape, inspired by Arthur Erickson's University of Lethbridge project designed in 1968 with Geoffrey Masseyare on exhibit in the Concourse Gallery at CASA in Lethbridge, Alberta until January 13, 2024. Artist Julie Duschenes says this of her work: "My interest in Erickson’s university building… is combined with my love of the coulee landscape. Over the years, this combination has become more about the building as part of the landscape, rather than seeing the landscape through the building. The landscape is the context affected by the building rather than the reverse. From a distance, the university building sits comfortably in the coulees, stratified like the layers of geology and resting on the bottom of what was the Inland Sea…"
    More information here >>

  • 2 Oct 2023 9:43 PM | William McLean (Administrator)

    Arthur Erickson's Dyde House, the new one-hour documentary by Sticks and Stones Productions that AEF Board members Barry Johns and Trevor Boddy were very much involved with, has been named Best Documentary Production Over 30 Minutes for 2023 by the Rosie Awards jury at the Alberta Media Production Industries Association. Reflecting on the award, Trevor commented: "This is a real honour to the film-makers at Sticks and Stones Productions (especially guiding light Max Amerongen), the house owners and administration of the University of Alberta who were so generous with access and information to Barry and I while we compiled research and visited the house multiple times, plus the Erickson family and CAA at University of Calgary and others who helped us with images, drawings and documentary files ...  Bringing the work of Arthur Erickson into the public eye is our shared goal, and with this independent recognition we are one step closer to having an Erickson house regularly open to the public, at the high profile and superbly-managed location of the University of Alberta Botanic Garden."

  • 26 Nov 2022 5:44 PM | William McLean (Administrator)

    The Royal Canadian Academy of Arts presented its annual awards at an online gala on November 26, 2022, where it was revealed that Philippe Fournier is the latest winner of the Arthur Erickson Travel Study Scholarship.

    Fournier, of the Peter Guo-hua Fu School of Architecture of McGill University, plans a travel-study trip to the Netherlands to research affordable housing typologies.

    At the conclusion of his own studies at McGill's School of Architecture, Arthur Erickson was beneficiary of the McLennan Travel Scholarship, which allowed him to travel in the Middle East and Europe for 2½ years (1950-1953).

    The Travel scholarship won by Fournier is funded in part by the Arthur Erickson Foundation, in keeping with AEF's commitment to support emerging architecture practitioners.

  • 25 Oct 2022 11:56 AM | William McLean (Administrator)

    by Arthur Erickson & Geoffrey Massey Architects 1964
    Various renovations by Russell Hollingsworth 1982–1990
    Renovations by Measured Architecture 2021–2022
    Outdoor embellishments by Liana Sipelis Architect

    Watch introductory video (3:23) >>
    Filmmaker: Jesse Laver
    Presenter: West Vancouver Art Museum

  • 11 Oct 2022 8:02 AM | William McLean (Administrator)

    Ten of Erickson's original travel films have been donated to SFU Archives by the Erickson family, along with additional archival material. "The films provide a unique opportunity to see some of the world through Erickson's eyes and to gain insight into what interested and, perhaps, inspired him. Watching the footage captured through the lens of his film camera, one has the feeling of being there, next to Erickson, sharing his experiences as he travels by boat in India or makes his way through the streets of a city in Afghanistan ..."
    Read more, and access the films >>

  • 23 Sep 2021 8:00 PM | William McLean (Administrator)

    Designed by Arthur Erickson with Geoffrey Massey, the 27-storey MacMillan Bloedel headquarters opened at 1075 West Georgia St. in downtown Vancouver in December, 1968.

    Colloquially known as The MacBlo even after its namesake tenants had long departed, the iconic cast concrete tower has been renamed Arthur Erickson Place by its current owners, in a ceremony which took place on September 23, 2021. AEF's President was among those invited to address the gathering:

    Phil Boname: It is indeed a pleasure and an honour to be asked to speak this evening on behalf of the Arthur Erickson Foundation.

    Vancouver, at least by its size, is the youngest city in North America. Its immaturity is notable in its difficulty, unlike more mature cities, to recognize, honour, and celebrate individuals who by virtue of their “genius-ness”, have seen their homes, offices, and the like converted to museums, shrines, gardens, all of great public importance. Tonight, we are witnesses to a monumental exception—the honouring of not only Canada’s most renowned architect but also one of his most iconic works.

    We are indebted to the new owners of 1075 West Georgia, Crestpoint Real Estate Investments, KingSett Capital, and Reliance Properties, for recognizing the indisputable “genius-ness” of Arthur Erickson and one of his most valued accomplishments.

    Speaking of 1075 West Georgia, in the early 1980s, my offices were on the 14th floor of the building directly across Georgia Street—directly facing this extraordinary edifice. I was virtually in the “royal box” with my exterior views being dominated by this extraordinary concrete tower with constantly changing theatrical sets—a play of light and shadows—a truly “moveable feast”. The view of this outstanding tower with each of its square stages (precipitated by deeply recessed windows) resulted in a constantly changing “geometric symphony”. 

    When we are asked—will we see the likes of this again—we are reminded of the words of the medieval French poet, François Villon—
    Mais où sont les neiges d'antan?” Well, I am an optimist—and I believe that Vancouver will continue, thanks to Arthur’s important legacies, to yield artistic “snowflakes” of outstanding building design in an ever improving urban design context. Arthur’s aesthetic influences resonate to this day, and as a consequence, we are a richer society.

    It is quite natural that in thinking of Arthur Erickson, we are immersed in his extensive portfolio of over 700 commissions. We often do this at the expense of forgetting who Arthur was and what an outstanding individual he represented. For those of us who had the privilege of knowing and working with Arthur, it is also appropriate to remember him for who he was—a man of great intellect; possessed with an enormous range of talents; imbued with transformational influences; a great mentor but most importantly a man who was truly inspirational. His mentorship knew no boundaries and in doing so, he exhibited interminable patience. He had a marvelous sense of humour and lived life to its fullest and with a unique passion and grace. In his time, Arthur was by far, the most transcendentalist architect existent … He more than anyone else celebrated humanism and the influence of nature in his extensive canon of work. His inspirations continue to be exercised by many of his disciples many of whom are present with us this evening.

    On behalf of the Arthur Erickson Foundation, its Directors, Patrons, and members, and in particular, its Stewardship Council, led by its Chair, Phyllis Lambert, we commend the new owners of 1075 West Georgia in renaming this truly outstanding edifice as Arthur Erickson Place. We also thank them for their undertaking to initiate a comprehensive restoration of this complex, a truly valued contribution to this part of Vancouver’s downtown. Our thanks to the owners and the Erickson Family for organizing this very special celebration of a great building and its outstanding composer.

  • 7 May 2021 3:48 PM | William McLean (Administrator)

    In her May 7, 2021 article in Metropolis, journalist Hadani Ditmars writes that "Now, some 40 years later, Erickson’s original vision of pedestrianizing the Robson Street entrance of the VAG and joining it to the larger complex has been realized ..."

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Photo credit: Erickson Estate Collection