2019 Election to Council


The NWTAA’s 2019 Election to Council is now open.  Members are encouraged to vote between now and March 29.


Nominations were accepted between January 23 and February 15.  On February 17, the following candidates were confirmed:

  1. For President, serving a one-year term –
    • MacKAY, Celeste (acclaimed)
  2. For Councillor, two seats, each serving a two-year term –
    • DENLEY, Rebecca
    • McNAUGHTON, Catherine
    • NADJI, Kayhan
    • OLAND, Christopher


Campaigning for or against candidates by any individual is not permitted.  However, all candidates were provided with an opportunity to provide a brief biography.  These are the four candidates running for Council, in their own words:

Denley, Rebecca

Becca was raised in Ontario and Nunavut.  After graduating from Inuksuk High School in Iqaluit, she started her undergrad at the University of New Brunswick-Saint John before graduating with Honours at York University with a major in Fine Arts and a minor in Cultural Studies.  Working at Diamond and Schmitt Architects introduced the possibilities of architecture into Becca’s life, and she returned to academics in order to achieve her Master of Architecture from the University of Toronto.  Becca then moved to Yellowknife, where she started her career at Taylor Architecture Group in 2007.

Architecture in the North has come with many challenges that Becca has taken in stride, as it has also provided an ever-growing appreciation for the harsh environments that help the strong to adapt and seek innovation.

Becca founded and continues to run YK Beach Volleyball – a sports league that offers Yellowknifers both snow and sand options. Passionate about her family, Becca is always eager to go on adventures with them both in their own backyard and abroad. Perpetually searching for those ancient ruins, another special rock, an inspiring museum or art gallery, and then soaking in the spontaneous happenstances of a sundog on a cold winter’s day, or a 3-piece band that bares their soul as you wander down an old cobblestone street. 

McNaughton, Catherine

Currently working as an Architect with Stantec in Yellowknife, Cathy has lived and worked in the Northwest Territories for 5 years and, during that time, has developed an appreciation for the challenges and rewards that come from designing, working and living in the wonderous North. 

With over 16 years of experience working as an Architect both in Canada and Northern Ireland, Cathy has a comprehensive background in a variety of projects and believes that communication is key, not only in the practice of architecture, but also in the art of design.  She appreciates the work involved in becoming an Architect in any country and strives to support those within, and working to become a member of, the architectural community.

Cathy believes in the importance of supporting our professional association.  By doing so, we are developing our practice, learning from one another and promoting our profession throughout the wider community.  The more informed the general public are on the importance of good design, the stronger our role will be in development of a dynamic and sustainable future. The beauty of Architecture comes from diversity and by creating a platform where the collective can increase innovation and creativity in our built environment.

Nadji, Kayhan

Kayhan Nadji holds a Master of Architectural and Urban Planning and has many years of experience in architectural design, urban planning, and project management.  He believes in the importance of a holistic approach to architecture and its implementation within a cultural and environmental context.

Kayhan has taught architecture at Yellowknife's Aurora College for most of the last decade and, with NWTAA Council’s support, is currently lobbying to establish an accredited school of architecture in Yellowknife.  He has also presented research papers on Northern Architecture and Construction Techniques at local, national and international conferences, including in Denmark, Greenland and Switzerland.

His design of Yellowknife’s TIPI House won a national merit award in 2000, organized by Design Exchange magazine, and his design of Sombak' e Civic Plaza in Yellowknife won the Regional Merit Award in 2013.
Kayhan is a Past President and the current Secretary of NWTAA, is a member of AAA, OAQ, and RAIC, and is NWT's professional representative for the Society for the Study of Architecture in Canada (SSAC).

Outside of architecture, Kayhan has received several awards in Canada for his designs, including the NWTAA seal and the cover of “Good Building Practice for Northern Facilities”. Kayhan's oil and watercolour art has been displayed in art galleries in the NWT and Quebec.

Oland, Christopher

Chris has been living and working in the North for 5 years, having moved from Vancouver to Yellowknife to join Taylor Architecture Group (TAG) after finishing his MArch degree. As a newly licensed architect (2017), he’s excited by the opportunity to contribute to the NWTAA Council.

While at TAG, Chris’s work has focused on envelope design. This focus aligns with his professional concern of increasing the energy efficiency of buildings in response to climate change. His largest projects to date have been two new office buildings in Nunavut and two school renovations in the Northwest Territories.

Chris grew up in the Maritimes, studied abroad in Japan while at UBC, and worked at architecture firms in New York City and Vancouver prior to moving to Yellowknife. Outside the office, he enjoys skiing in the winter and canoeing in the summer.

Election Close & Results

This election closes on March 29.  Following the counting and scrutinizing of ballots, the election results will be announced at the Annual General Meeting on April 3.