Affordable Housing and Housing Affordability: Panel Bio's

Saturday, Apr 6, 2019

CREW Calgary is looking forward to an excellent event on June 19th to discuss the topic of Affordable Housing / Housing Affordability. Below lists our diverse panel of local experts who will be driving the discussion around this important facet of Calgary's real estate landscape.

This event is open to members and non-members alike, so we hope to see you and your coworkers at the event!


Gillian Lawrence - General Manager of Land Development, Remington Development Corporation

Gillian is the General Manager of Land Development at Remington Development Corporation, a privately-owned full-service development company headquartered in Calgary.  Gillian’s key responsibilities include due diligence, concept planning, government and industry relations and negotiations, and oversight of Remington’s land use, subdivision and engineering design.  Over the last 13 years with Remington, Gillian has had the privilege to work on Quarry Park development, a former gravel pit which is now a highly acclaimed 380-acre mixed-use community in Calgary.  She has also worked on numerous other industrial and commercial projects in Calgary, Edmonton and other Alberta jurisdictions. Prior to working at Remington, Gillian worked for a decade at the City of Calgary in a variety of planning and real estate positions which included responsibilities for addressing homelessness and developing social housing.  Gillian holds a BA (Hon) from the University of Calgary and an MSc in Planning from the University of Toronto. 

Gillian served on the CREW Network Global Board of Directors in 2017/18.  Prior to being on the CREW Network International Board, Gillian was an active leader with the CREW Calgary chapter and held the President’s role there in 2015. Gillian is a new member of International Women’s Forum and is an active member of BILD Calgary Region.  She is a former board member of the Norfolk Housing Association, Wordfest and the Famous 5 Foundation.


Grace Lui - Director of Strategic Initiatives and Relations, BILD Calgary Region

Grace joined BILD in 2017 and has over 20 years of experience in the building & development industry, in both private and public sectors. Prior to joining BILD, she was with Brookfield Residential for 9 years, working as a Senior Development Manager, and Senior Manager of Strategic Initiatives. Her background includes work in the public sector, doing industrial land development for the City of Calgary as well as transit-oriented development (TOD), and planning work for the City of Richmond.

Grace’s work at BILD focuses on strategic initiatives that relate to new directions for the building & development industry. These include items such as MGA changes - including City Charters, the regional growth framework, inclusionary housing – as well as climate and environment, growth strategies work as part of the City/Industry work plan, and alternative funding & financing mechanisms for delivering public infrastructure.

Grace holds two graduate degrees: an MBA from the Haskayne School of Business at the University of Calgary and a Master’s Degree in Urban and Rural Planning from Dalhousie University. In addition to her work at BILD, she also teaches an MBA course on the Fundamentals of Real Estate at the Haskayne School of Business, within the Westman School of Real Estate. 

Frances Martin-DiGiuseppe - Founder and Principal, Q4 Architects Inc

Frances is deeply committed to creating real homes for real people. Passionate about responsible architecture with a social mission, she has dedicated over 30 years to creating truly livable, ordered and harmonious spaces that positively impact the lives of their inhabitants.

Leading some of the most successful New Urbanism innovations in the Greater Toronto Area over the past two decades, the new typologies Q4 Architects has created are often adopted as standard.  Their work in Calgary involves a large number of residential projects for the market sector in which the firm strives to find innovative ways to make housing affordable.  The practice has great interest in all forms of affordable housing including both privately and publicly funded models.

Frances loves the challenges posed by residential design and is especially proud of projects which provide home-like safe spaces for marginalized people or families going through traumatic experiences – such as Marnie’s Lounge at SickKids hospital, or the Wellspring Birmingham Gilgan House for people living with cancer and their caregivers.

Frances is a licenced architect with the Alberta Association of Architects, Ontario Association of Architects, and a Member of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada.  She launched her firm in 2004 with the belief that thoughtful architecture has the power to enhance the human experience. As a leader and mentor, she works hard to instill this personal ethos into every project that the studio creates.

Sarah Woodgate - President of Calgary Housing Company and Director of Calgary Housing, The City of Calgary

Ms. Woodgate has held this dual role since 2015. Governed by a Board of Directors, Calgary Housing Company provides homes to 25,000 people every day including 10,000 children. As the Director of Calgary Housing, Ms. Woodgate is also responsible for overseeing the delivery of affordable housing related development, programs and services provided by The City of Calgary. 

Ms. Woodgate has over 20 years’ experience in community development, affordable housing, urban planning, real estate, governance and land development. Ms. Woodgate holds a Masters Certificate in Municipal Leadership from York Schulich University, is a Chartered Institute of Housing Chartered Member, a Professional Accredited Member of the Canadian Institute of Planners, and currently serves on the Boards of Housing Partnership Canada and the Housing Investment Corporation. 

Wenting Wu - Financial Analyst, Brookfield Properties

Ms. Wenting Wu is a former Economic Consultant with expertise in development feasibility, affordable housing, market analysis and portfolio analysis. She has had the pleasure of leading a multitude of consulting studies across Western Canada, with a strong focus on Calgary. Wenting is a proud member of CREW Calgary and recently joined the asset management team at Brookfield Properties.