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Every architecture firm has its area of expertise. For +VG Architects, it's "Ontario's unofficial municipal architect." For 50 years, +VG Architects has looked after an underserved mar- ket niche: public projects for smaller municipalities. We have become the trusted adviser to decision makers in these municipalities by not just de- signing projects, but also ensuring that they get built. We guide the client in developing a business plan, starting from the beginning. We collect all the informa- tion and help our clients organize the trajectory of their projects. We mentor local officials in pursuing funding for accessibility, sustainability and other initiatives from agencies such as the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. We have facilitated over $200 million worth of grants and stimulus packages for our clients. Because we're municipal architects, we are plugged into the politics and dynamics of these communities, which are all different, yet alike. For example, most people associate a town hall with where they go to get relieved of their money. So, our clients' first request is usually, "Don't build me a Taj Mahal, because I'll never get re-elected." Project Makers and Relationship Builders The most challenging work for an architecture firm is small municipal work. It offers the least money for the most effort. +VG Architects has decades of rela- tionships with movers and shakers in dozens of municipalities. Familiarity with communities is an important business tool. We're not just archi- tects, we're project makers and re- lationship builders. We've evolved a practice where it's all about personal contact and personal presence. Very few firms have reached this level of emotional intelligence. We have seen generational changes from one council to another. "My first exposure to +VG was the old town hall, which was a jail and a court- house. What impressed me was that they can incorporate the past, the present and the future," remarked Mil- ton's mayor, Gordon A. Krantz, Canada's longest-serving mayor. "Everyone's been quite satisfied with their work and professionalism. We've always been on the same page. It might sound tongue-in-cheek, but the question is: How do you improve on perfection?" +VG Architects, with studios in Brantford, Toronto and Ottawa, has helped municipali- ties build facilities of all types and sizes for 50 years. As pioneers in adaptive reuse, they have renewed the heritage fabric of Ontario while offering sustainable new design solutions. Creating public facilities for smaller municipalities Ontario's unofficial municipal architect for 50 years ADVERTORIAL Repurposing a surplus school to save money and conserve resources: King Township New Municipal Administration Centre by +VG Architects won the 2019 Canadian Wood Council's Institutional Wood Design Award and the Brick Industry Association's Brick In Architecture Award. Photo: Ben Rahn/A-Frame

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