Quebec honours architect, activist, advocate’s life’s work

Quebec architect, Alain Fournier, founding partner of EVOQ Architecture is the recipient of the 2022 Ernest-Cormier Prize, recognized for his outstanding achievement in the field of architecture, defined by more than just a built legacy. Photo credit: EVOQ; Artwork by Tim Pitsiulak

Quebec architect, Alain Fournier, founding partner of EVOQ Architecture, has been awarded 2022 Ernest-Cormier Prize, recognizing his outstanding achievements going beyond the field of architecture into the scope of Indigenous advocacy and activism.

The defining feature of Alain’s work has been his willingness to break away from the rigid framework of an architect’s role. Alain has been a sought-after speaker, facilitator, and teacher, and has served as a board member at several organizations, and as president of the Association des Architectes en pratique privée du Québec. These, along with his volunteer commitments and his appearances as a guest witness in several parliamentary commissions, have come to define his thoughtful and committed activism.

A project designed by Alain Fournier: Canadian High Arctic Research Station (CHARS), Nunavut. Photo credit: Alex Fradkin

Driven by a deep sensitivity to culture, Alain developed a profoundly human approach to architecture, rather than a signature style. This approach gives a voice to Indigenous communities to translate their vision of the world into architecture, making it a vehicle for their emancipation as they assert themselves, reinvent themselves, and celebrate their cultures.

The Ernest Cormier Prize, awarded by the Government of Quebec, honours Quebec architects and designers for their lifetime achievements. This award is the highest distinction given to Quebec creators in the fields of architecture and design.

“To me, this award is one more step on the road toward the resurgence and recognition of Indigenous cultures. I humbly thank all the Indigenous communities of Quebec and Canada that welcomed me into their midst over the years with open arms. I also wish to thank the members of my team; without them none of this would have been possible,” says Alain Fournier.

Another project designed by Alain Fournier: Katittavik Cultural Centre, Kuujjuaq, Quebec. Photo credit: EVOQ; Artwork: Sammy Kudluk

The Ernest Cormier Prize, awarded by the Government of Quebec, honours Quebec architects and designers for their lifetime achievements. This award is the highest distinction given to Quebec creators in the fields of architecture and design. Ernest Cormier, born in Montréal in 1885, was one of the most renowned Canadian architects of the 20th century.

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