Paul Brydges became the first practicing landscape architect to hold the position of president of Landscape Ontario (LO), officially beginning his two-year mandate at the horticultural association’s annual general meeting Jan. 13.
A graduate of the University of Guelph’s landscape architect program in 1994, Brydges serves as the principal and senior architect at Brydges Landscape Architecture in Guelph.
The theme of his tenure will be “drawn together,” which Brydges says illustrates the importance of collaboration amongst LO members for the betterment of the profession.
“The daily driving force and message in our design office are that of teamwork and relationships,” Brydges wrote in the January issue of LO magazine. “As landscape architects, our biggest role is and should be that of a coach. We listen to our clients’ needs, wants and wishes and blend the realistic with the fantastic. This is the same platform that LO is built upon in so many respects.”
“Our biggest hurdle in achieving and maintaining our modern landscape is to overcome the shortage of qualified team members and also the perception of our profession as mowers of lawns and shovellers of snow; those days are generations gone,” he said. “If we can look at ourselves in the proper light and realize through education and years of on-the-job training that we are professionals, we can change our market perception. That is how we are going to bring young professionals into the profession, as well as interest students to move into programs that will qualify them for the careers.” Brydges was elected by the LO provincial board of directors last fall after serving in a variety of roles on the board, including most recently as its second vice president after stints as the design sector representative and as a volunteer with the LO Canada Blooms garden design team.
LO executive director Tony DiGiovanni said in a news release: “President Paul has a powerful and profound message that provides clarity about how our sector enhances lives by what we do and who we are. He wants to remind all of us that we are much more than an industry; we are a profession. Together we contribute to making the world a better place. Landscape Ontario looks forward to helping Paul communicate this message internally and externally. Paul is also the first practicing landscape architect at the helm of our organization. It reminds us that all sectors in our wonderful profession are interrelated and interdependent. Our profession is better together.”
The Landscape Ontario 2016 provincial board includes: Paul Brydges, president; Warren Patterson, first vice president; David Wright, second vice president; Dave Braun, past president; Lindsay Nightingale, treasurer; Gerwin Bouman, growers; Mark Humphries, snow and ice; Steve Macartney, irrigation; Brian Marsh, grounds; Alan White, lawn care; Peter Guinane, contractors; Michael Van Dongen, garden centre; Stephen Schell, interior; James Solecki, lighting; Blake Tubby, member-at-large; Gregg Salivan, member-at-large; Michael Pascoe, London chapter; Brian Baun, Durham chapter; Thomas Blatter, Waterloo chapter; Donald Tellier, Windsor chapter; Chris Burns, Ottawa chapter; Margot Burns, Georgian Lakelands chapter; Terry Childs, Upper Canada chapter; and Tim Cruickshanks, Golden Horseshoe chapter.