Do you have a story you would like to share about Arthur Erickson or his legacy? If so, submit your story in an email with photo(s), video, or any combination thereof, and (subject to editorial review) we will publish it here. Send your story to with "Chronicle" in the subject line.

Watch this space too for Erickson-related news, book notices, meeting reports, and more.

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  • 12 Jun 2024 7:02 AM | William McLean (Administrator)

    AEF Board members and tour leaders Brian Broster and Liz Watts (front row) pose with members of the North Vancouver Senior Social Group after their specially-arranged visit to the Erickson Garden conducted May 25, 2024. Brian recounts that the group was wonderfully attentive and interested; he particularly enjoyed hearing about some of the group's connections with Arthur as associates and caregivers. (Click to enlarge photo.)

    Senior West Point Grey Academy students (and their Drafting 12 teacher), after a June 4, 2024 tour of the Erickson Garden conducted by AEF Board member Brian Broster. Brian helped the students identify and understand important architectural features of the garden. Brian's account of the morning: "I had the students explore the garden first, simply to observe. We then gathered on the Moonviewing Platform, and I asked them a series of questions - which they seemed intrigued with and answered very thoughtfully ..." (Click to enlarge photo.)

  • 5 Jun 2024 4:09 PM | William McLean (Administrator)

    Listen in as Hilary Letwin and Clinton Cuddington, co-curators of West Vancouver Art Museum's exhibit "A Refuge: Arthur Erickson", converse with Michael Prokopow. A presentation of West Vancouver Memorial Library. Recorded June 5, 2024. 

  • 2 Jun 2024 9:04 AM | William McLean (Administrator)

    Board member and founding director of the AEF, Liz Watts, had  just finished an interview with a journalist about Erickson and his house and garden. In striving to do it justice she was reminded of Phyllis Lambert's poetic and pivotal letter to Mayor Gordon Campbell in March of 1992, sent in the heat of battle when her ad hoc committee was striving to fend of the foreclosure and inevitable demolition of the property. Here is the letter, transcribed in its glory from the crumbling fax paper of 1992 technology (click thumbnails to see original pages). 

    Canadian Centre for Architecture
    Office of the Director
    March 5, 1992

    Dear Mayor Campbell,

    I am writing to ask you to designate the house and garden of Arthur Erickson at 4195 West 14th Avenue in Vancouver as an Historical and Architectural Monument.

    Arthur Erickson is internationally recognized as Canada's premier architect. On a worldwide scale, his architecture, landscape and planning have an innovative and widely influential. Through bold architectural forms, exploring contemporary materials coupled with highly sensitive landscape design, he has created dramatic institutional public and private buildings.

    Erickson revolutionized campus design with Simon Fraser University (1963–1967) and again at the University of Lethbridge (1969–1974). His Museum of Anthropology, University of British Columbia (1970–1974) is a major contribution to museum building typology, and he has revolutionized the Court House as an urban building type with his Provincial Government Offices, and Law Courts, Robson Square (1974–1979). His houses in British Columbia have been extraordinary and embracing the landscape. Significant examples of his homes of wood construction are the Graham House, West Vancouver (1962); the Smith House, West Vancouver (1964) and the Craig House, Kelowna, B.C. (1967). His first concrete house is the Eppich house, West Vancouver (1974). His own house and garden (1957 to date) have been as widely published as has all Erickson’s work.

    In addition to the formal excellence of each building and its landscape, and their superb detailing and use of material, each one is deeply respectful of site and of the people who use them. Each is wonderfully beautiful.

    The house and garden at 4195 West 14th Avenue, Vancouver, have been the principal work–space and residence of Erickson since 1957. As the locus of work, thought, and experimentation of an outstanding Canadian, and the country's most renowned architect, it deserves the highest respect and must be preserved. In this converted garage and its attendant land, Erickson experimented with ideas of building and landscape that have been highly influential in architecture and garden architecture. The dry garden is of extreme interest in its own right. They are a demonstration of how to make the most of a standard city lot and to create a private meditative world within it.

    Canada and Erickson have together reached a cultural maturity that now challenges the world. It is essential for the country, the province and the town that have nurtured such outstanding artistic expression, to assure the continuity of this house and garden as exemplar. Historic plaques on the houses of great architects, artists, and men and women of science and politics are found throughout Europe. Furthermore, the houses of great architects have become highly frequented museums –Sir John Soane's House, and Museum, London, Lord Burlington's Chiswick house and Gardens. In Montreal, the house of Ernest Cormier has been declared an historic monument both inside and out. In the United States, the Schindler House in Los Angeles, is an excellent example of an architect's house and garden preserved for the public. The three houses and studio of the greatest American architect, Frank Lloyd Wright are preserved and are meccas to visitors as are many of the houses by Wright. Can we expect less for our greatest Canadian architect (who alive has not yet reached the status of saint-hood)?

    This is urgent. Please see to the protection of the house and garden of Arthur Erickson and their designation as historic site and monument.

    Yours sincerely,
    Phyllis Lambert, OC, FRAIC

  • 25 May 2024 9:23 AM | William McLean (Administrator)

    Arthur Erickson's 100th birthday, June 14, 2024, will be officially celebrated as "Arthur Erickson Day" in the City of Vancouver. The City's proclamation, signed by Vancouver Mayor Ken Sim, reads:

    WHEREAS Arthur Erickson, born in Vancouver on June 14, 1924, was Canada’s most celebrated architect,
    WHEREAS Arthur Erickson, shaped by Vancouver’s seas, forests, and mountains, connected every building to site and climate, from the tapering towers of Arthur Erickson Place to the cascading pools and gardens of Robson Square,
    WHEREAS Arthur Erickson, convinced that areas of knowledge should not be separated, gave us Simon Fraser University, startling in its simplicity, reflecting the values and aspirations of a young university,
    WHEREAS Arthur Erickson, inspired by the coastal villages of the indigenous peoples of the Pacific northwest, built the Museum of Anthropology, a sequence of experiences that celebrate the knowledge and ideas embedded in the artefacts,
    WHEREAS Arthur Erickson, believing that justice should be visible and accessible, gave Vancouver a civic conscience in the sunlit terraces of the Law Courts at Robson Square,
    WHEREAS Arthur Erickson, whose buildings have transformed cities and landscapes across Canada, the USA and around the world, leaves his legacy in the work of generations of architects, interns, and students who were inspired by him and continue to be guided by his principles and ideas,
    WE PROCLAIM June 14, 2024,  Arthur Erickson Day in the City of Vancouver.

  • 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 a 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.

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Photo credit: Erickson Estate Collection