Alain Fournier receives the 2022 Ernest-Cormier Prize
“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.”
EVOQ Architecture is proud to announce that Alain Fournier is the recipient of the 2022 Ernest-Cormier Prize. Alain is being recognized for his outstanding achievement in the field of architecture, defined by far more than just a built legacy. His work is distinguished by an exceptional commitment to Canada’s First Nations and Inuit, and his tireless efforts to shine light upon, and celebrate the cultures, traditions, viewpoints, and aspirations of communities that have been marginalized for far too long. Over and above his architectural practice, Alain has been a sought-after speaker, facilitator, and teacher, and has served as a board member at several organizations including 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.
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.
The defining feature of Alain’s work has been his willingness to break away from the rigid framework of an architect’s role. Driven by a deep sensitivity to culture and a unique and inspired activism, 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.
Alain has contributed to the engagement of future generations thanks to a dedicated team that he has cultivated and mentored over the years at EVOQ Architecture. He also shares his approach with architecture students at several universities. At the Université de Montréal, Alain teaches workshops where he leverages his extensive network to initiate encounters with Indigenous communities through fieldtrips and workshops with community representatives, putting students in direct contact with Inuit and First Nations’ cultural realities. Through this outreach, he seeks to raise awareness among emerging architects and change their perception of the role of an architect, opening them up to the potential of their profession being a vehicle for change. This will be Alain’s most important and most enduring legacy.
On behalf of the entire EVOQ team, we congratulate you, Alain, for this well-deserved recognition.
Alain Fournier Acceptance Speech (PDF, available in French only)
Alain Founier, Mathieu Lacombe (Minister of Culture and Communications)