April 14, 2020
Dear Members and Friends –
Like your own lives our operations have been impacted by the pandemic, but we wish to assure you that the AEF's governance is intact. The Board is continuing to meet, plan, and manage. We wanted to take this opportunity to report on the subjects which are currently occupying us, as we collectively wait for the "all-clear".
Annual General Meeting
Our annual practice of gathering our membership for a general meeting in June has been thwarted this year. Instead we are planning a September special event, which will not only celebrate a local Erickson landmark but also include the AGM. We will keep you informed as the event takes shape.
As usual, the AGM will include a review of our latest financial statements. In the mean time, we are pleased to tell you that our position is strong. In particular, we have made steady progress towards retiring the mortgage on our chief asset, the Erickson house and garden in Point Grey, currently assessed at $4M. Due to generous support from our members and supporters during 2019, debt on this property has been reduced to a current $471K. Reducing this debt to zero – our earnest goal – will allow us to move ahead with our long-planned restoration of the house and garden.
Chaired by Phyllis Lambert, AEF’s Stewardship Council – one of our several standing committees – was created in 2017 to provide advice and counsel to owners and others responsible for the maintenance and operation of Erickson buildings, wherever situated.
During the past year members of the Council have contributed meaningfully to Simon Fraser University’s Master Plan Design Review Panel, and provided guidance and expertise to ongoing re-design at Vancouver’s Robson Square and UBC's Museum of Anthropology.
The University of Alberta has recently accepted the Council’s offer to become involved in preservation of Erickson’s 1960 Dyde House, located adjacent to the Aga Khan Garden at UofA’s Edmonton campus. This was the third house Erickson designed, and the only private residence he built on the prairies.
Until the current health emergency, our public tours of the
Erickson Garden continued to be offered on a once or twice-monthly schedule,
and many privately arranged group showings have also been accommodated in the past months.
AEF’s House and Garden Committee has taken advantage of the
recent hiatus to carry out pond maintenance and other small repairs. We hope to have tours up and running again soon.
Each year AEF stages special events centered on an Erickson
work, not only to fund-raise, but to inspire, advocate, and educate the public
about Erickson’s accomplishments; and also for the fellowship and solidarity these
events foster among our members.
In 2019 we presented “Erickson's
Evergreening: A Celebration of an Arthur Erickson Design and Those Who Saved It” (March); “Exploring Robson Square Great Hall & Gardens/Telling the Robson
Square Story” (June); and “One Time Only: An Exclusive Glimpse Inside
Arthur Erickson’s Eppich II Residence” (December).
You will be among the first to know about AEF's 2020 events, once holding them becomes possible again.
Central to its mission, AEF aspires to support architectural
education and emerging practitioners by rewarding and assisting those whose
work or study exemplifies Arthur Erickson’s design philosophy. Over the last
months we have been collaborating with a donor to settle details of a major new
scholarship which will bear AEF’s name as a co-sponsor. Although the launch
date is still uncertain, we are confident that the planning process is nearing
We are greatly appreciative of your continuing support. Stay safe and
healthy during this crisis. Do not hesitate to contact us with your feedback.