Artful Expression

Artful Expression

Grace Coulter Sherlock of Lemay:

“Architecture is like Conducting an Orchestra”

Today we are pleased to highlight Grace Coulter Sherlock from Lemay. Lemay is an innovative architectural firm that shares our 4C values of Creativity, Community, Collaboration, and Change. They also share our desire to focus on What Matters Now, which is why we were so delighted when they came on board as sponsors of the ongoing 20/20 Wavelength Project.

As Associate, Regional Director West, and Architect for Lemay, Grace Coulter Sherlock has a lot on the go. When she isn’t swimming in a continual stream of meetings, she is striving to create meaningful and beautiful work in her role as an architect. She is always learning and improving her craft. Naturally curious and interested in people, she loves the challenge of reimagining how to consciously create space for all people. We spoke to Grace about her roles and vision for the future.

Grace with lead artist, Andy Moro. Photo credit: Katy Whitt

Q. What’s it like being an architect?

A. An architect is like the conductor of an orchestra. We lead a group of many people who each have their own unique skills that contribute to designing and building spaces, places and communities of all scales. An architect makes sure the harmony is pitch perfect!

Q.  What gets you up in the morning?

A. Every day at Lemay is different and usually, filled with the unexpected and inspiring. I enjoy that I’m able to pivot from one thing to another throughout the day – whether it’s a virtual team huddle, a design review, or a client meeting. I also live for the moments when I meet with the team and we hunker down and hammer out a design concept that feels just right – right for us, for the client, and for the end user. Those are the most rewarding days.


At Lemay, we’re community-focussed
through and through.

Our purpose is to create spaces of growth for all. Working together to develop creative solutions that can empathetically adapt to new realities is at the core of what we do. Our design and research is driven by a relentless passion to be part of important conversations. We take seriously the responsibility we have to design environments that have meaningful impact and foster community and collaboration for decades to come. We put people at the centre of all that we do. In Calgary, we celebrate creativity, constantly championing our practitioners who represent the local creative energy and we use our platform to share that talent and expertise nationally and internationally.

Q. What excites you about the 20/ Wavelength Project?

A. We are so proud to be supporting the local community of artists. I am from Calgary (I grew up in Priddis), and I see this period in our history as so important that it must be documented in a way that goes beyond what is reported in newspapers, the evening news and social media. Art captures the essence of contemporary life in a way that memorializes a moment in time and ensures that history in the making is remembered.

Grace Coulter Sherlock

The 20/20 Wavelength Project gives us a moment of pause. It allows us to see and listen to the messages, expressions and feelings of the community and take it back to our work in a way that allows us to reflect and consider people’s needs and desires. It’s exciting to be part of the conversation, listen and learn how my own community is feeling and apply that to my own actions.

What matters to me now more than ever is giving space. Creating and making room that affords all people with their own space to communicate, to express themselves and do it with dignity.

Q. What’s your message to the world, looking forward to 2021?

A. Continue to engage in artful expression. Now, through collaboration and creativity, there is a great opportunity to break through barriers that have been in place for some time. This will only become richer as we spend more time understanding each other’s perspectives. Together we can amplify our appreciation for community and meaningful connection.

Thank-you, Grace! We also hope that the lessons of this significant time in history will last into the future. And that the priorities we have re established in our lives will give us the strength to move forward together as a community.