Awards of Excellence 2021 Submission Guidelines

To submit a project to the 2021 Awards of Excellence, you must:

a) Read the guidelines, below

b) Complete and send in your Submission Form located under "How to Apply", and

c) Submit your payment under the "Payment" section at the bottom of the page.


All submissions must be received at the Department of Landscape Architecture in the University of Manitoba by 4:30 pm CT on Friday, January 29th, 2021. 


The CSLA’s Awards of Excellence Program is administered by the CSLA’s Awards of Excellence Committee in association with its component associations:

  • The Atlantic Provinces Association of Landscape Architects; 
  • L'Association des architectes paysagistes du Québec; 
  • The Ontario Association of Landscape Architects;
  • The Manitoba Association of Landscape Architects;
  • The Saskatchewan Association of Landscape Architects;
  • The Alberta Association of Landscape Architects;
  • The British Columbia Society of Landscape Architects;
  • The Northwest Territories Association of Landscape Architects; and 
  • The Nunavut Association of Landscape Architects. 

The management of the Awards of Excellence Program is undertaken cooperatively by the CSLA’s Awards of Excellence Committee and a team at the University of Manitoba’s Department of Landscape Architecture. 


The Program is intended to: 

  • recognize and promote excellence in all aspects of the profession
  • communicate a strong awareness of the profession of landscape architecture to related professions, potential clients, and the general public.


  • Landscape architects practicing within or outside of Canada are eligible to enter, provided that at least one member of the design / planning / research team is a member in good standing of the CSLA and played a leading role in the project.
  • For the Research category ONLY, the following are eligible to enter: 
    •  Professors or researchers employed by a LAAC-accredited university, or 
    • landscape architects practicing within or outside of Canada who are CSLA members in good standing 
  • For submissions initiated by the client, the lead designing firm and/or landscape architect must agree with the information as submitted in the submission form.
  • For projects in Canada located outside the jurisdiction of the applicant's component association(s), the applicant must demonstrate that they held membership in the host jurisdiction for the duration of the project. This can be accomplished by obtaining a letter of membership confirmation from the host component association. (Add a checkmark in the guidelines).

For projects located outside of Canada, the applicant must provide proof of licensure in the host jurisdiction, if applicable. (Add a checkmark in the guidelines).

  • You are ineligible to submit if you or a member of your firm is appointed or intends to volunteer as a juror for the Awards of Excellence Program in that year.
  • International projects may be submitted. For projects outside of Canada and the US: an external assessment is required. (In the submission form, add a section asking for at least three names of potential external assessors we could contact if required and develop an external assessment form for the evaluator. Give context in the form on who contacts the assessor and what would be asked of them – the specific local knowledge that jurors may not have.)
  • Unsuccessful submissions may be re-submitted in the same category provided they have not previously received a CSLA Award of Excellence, and declared as such in the submission form;
  • Projects which have received a CSLA Award of Excellence may be re-submitted in a different category.

Types of Awards

Submissions will be judged and awarded at two levels: 

  • National Awards, and
  • Jury’s Award of Excellence (one per year).

National Awards will be made for work that demonstrates excellence against all judging criteria. These awards will become nominees for the Jury’s Award of Excellence, which, at the pleasure of the jury, will be given to a project which best demonstrates the CSLA’s vision, which is, advancing the art, science and practice of landscape architecture.

Award Categories

The selection of submission categories is the responsibility of the entrant. Entrants may submit the project in more than one category. The jury reserves the right to change the category in which the entry is considered.

The categories of awards are:


Includes initiatives which have achieved success in communicating information relating to landscape architecture within or outside of the profession, such as:

  • presentation materials and supporting documents
  • promotional plans and campaigns including marketing materials, such as a leaflet, or press releases with cuttings/ broadcast coverage generated 
  • websites or blogs, company or project-specific publications
  • information for the general public introducing them to the profession
  • public or community consultation/engagement materials from exhibitions and workshops etc 
  • explanatory or promotional documents, films, publications 
  • materials used in schools such as lesson plans and handouts, design workshops
Landscape Management:

Includes plans and techniques for the restoration, conservation, enhancement or maintenance of a natural or human-made landscape that have been applied on site for at least one full year, such as:

  • management plans and ecological strategies for designated landscapes and habitats
  • river catchment and coastal plans and strategies
  • habitat restoration, management and monitoring plans
  • parks and open space management plans
  • management plans for historic parks and landscape 
  • surveys, plans and strategies for public realm associated with business parks, educational facilities and housing and other development
  • management of historical or cultural landscapes
Large-Scale Landscapes (over 5 ha):

Includes newly constructed or renovated works, such as:

  • public and civic landscapes (parks, streets, plazas, gardens)
  • commercial and institutional landscapes (schools, hospitals, businesses, corporate headquarters). 

Projects must have been constructed before the submission date.

Medium-Scale Landscapes (1 to 5 ha):

Includes newly constructed or renovated works, such as:

  • public and civic landscapes (parks, streets, plazas, gardens)
  • commercial and institutional landscapes (schools, hospitals, businesses, corporate headquarters). 

Projects must have been constructed before the submission date.

Small-Scale Landscapes (up to 1 ha):

Includes newly constructed or renovated works, such as:

  • public and civic landscapes (parks, streets, plazas, gardens)
  • commercial and institutional landscapes (schools, hospitals, businesses, corporate headquarters). 

Projects must have been constructed before the submission date.

Planning and Analysis:

Includes large-scale projects such as:

  • regional planning and assessment
  • land reserves, national parks, watershed and protected area planning
  • natural resource management, environmental assessment, restoration, conservation or enhancement plans
  • remediation plans
  • community development plans
  • historical management plans. 

Includes policy and research initiatives, such as:

  • original studies, theses or reports
  • published books, consultations and documents 
  • policy work, such as regulations, guidelines, and by-laws, environmental assessments, suitability studies, natural and visual resource inventories, community plans and post-construction evaluations
  • research to develop technological innovation
  • historical research on landscape architecture, the development of design theory and the contribution of practitioners.
Residential Landscapes:

Includes single or multifamily residential projects including:

  • renovation or restoration projects
  • rooftop gardens
  • activity areas for cooking, entertaining, recreation, or relaxation.

Projects must have been constructed before the submission date.


The jury is comprised of 5 prominent professionals with diverse expertise nominated by each component association according to jury criteria published by the CSLA. The final jury members are selected by the Awards of Excellence Committee, based on the juror recommendations from the component associations. In addition, an external juror (external to the profession) is invited to join the jury. 

The number of jurors and their provincial representation may vary from year to year based on the number of submissions received. The President of the CSLA may also be present and participate in an ex-officio role. The list of jurors is posted on the CSLA web site after the jury meeting. The jury meeting is held in Winnipeg in February each year. 

Eligibility of Jurors

If you or your firm make an award submission for this year’s competition, you are ineligible to be appointed a juror for the Awards of Excellence Program in that year. 


All entries will be assessed according to the following criteria (as applicable):

National Awards

a)    Demonstration of a deep understanding of the craft of landscape architecture and attention to composition and detail:

  • functionality: how the project achieves its stated goals
  • details: which make the project unique, functional, and exemplary
  • aesthetics: the overall aesthetic attributes of the project

b)    Demonstration of excellence in leadership, project management, breadth of work, new directions or new technology:

  • role of the landscape architect in the project: what was the role of the landscape architect, how did it enhance the project
  • excellence of the project: what about the project makes it excellent or different from other projects? What is it that makes it unique or stand out?
  • leadership: how the project demonstrates leadership within the profession of landscape architecture
  • innovation: how the project demonstrates innovation in processes, working relationships, management and design
  • use of technology: how new or old technologies contribute to the design function and usability
  • usability: how the public (or owners/clients) utilize the various areas of the project and its long-term viability as a useful space

c)    Innovation in concept, process, materials or implementation;

  • materials: the use of materials in new and different applications and/or new materials
  • construction: innovation in construction methods or schedules, including equipment, timing, use of volunteers
  • thought process: the creativity shown by demonstrated thought process to create the end design
  • engagement: the process for user and stakeholder engagement during the project

d)    Promotion of the discipline amongst related professions, clients and the general public;

  • involvement: how the project reaches out to or involves the general public or the client
  • cross-disciplinary scope: how the project reaches across more than one discipline

e)    Demonstration of exemplary environmental and / or social awareness:

  • environmental impact: how the project considers environmental processes and functions and the impact of the project on climate adaptation and mitigation
  • social impact: how the project considers social awareness and acceptance and/or engagement, impact of the project on Reconciliation with Indigenous communities
Jury’s Award of Excellence

The Jury’s Award of Excellence may be given to a project that best exemplifies the above criteria in meeting the CSLA's vision, which is to advance the science the practice and the art of landscape architecture.

The jury’s decisions are final.

How to Apply

Required submission items include both printed material and electronic material. In some cases, material must be submitted in both formats. Electronic files should be submitted via Dropbox folder to (see below).

Click here to download the application form.


All project descriptions and lists of images will be translated as required for the jury.

All submissions must include the following:

Items to be submitted as hardcopy (1 printed 8.5 x 11 in copy - DO NOT PRINT 2-SIDED) to be sent at the applicant’s expense

  1. Completed entry form: submitted as printed form (and electronic form, see item 4 below). It helps to link the other materials that are submitted with the project and also serves as a placeholder if for some reason the files are not uploaded correctly.  
  2. Entry fee for each submission: If you do not reside in Canada your entry fee should be based on your component association. The fee for the CSLA Professional Awards Program is $400 plus applicable GST (see chart on last page for a list of the amount to submit by province). Payment can be made by cheque, payable to the CSLA, and must be included with the entry, or by credit card at If payment is made by credit card please enclose a printed copy of your receipt with your submission.
  3. Hard copies of relevant portfolios, books, binders or bound reports WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED THIS YEAR. You may include a link to these materials in your submission.

Items to be submitted in one electronic folder, and named accordingly “project name_organization or individual”:
(Submissions should preferably be made via Dropbox to

  1. Completed entry form: saved as a pdf file named ‘EntryForm.pdf’.
  2. Poster for public display and judging. This is to be submitted as an UNLOCKED pdf file designed to be printed with overall dimensions of 915 mm x 915 mm including a 50 mm strip for a title block giving project name, organization or individual, project landscape architects, designers, technician (refer to Entrant details on the submission form). Any part of the 915 mm x 915 mm poster area that is not occupied by images or description of the project or by the title ^«are to be left blank (and in a background colour of the entrant's choosing).  DO NOT INCLUDE TRIM LINES ON YOUR POSTER. The file is to be named ‘Poster.pdf’.  Posters will be printed and mounted in Winnipeg for display to jurors and the public. 
  3. Letter from client / owner(s) of project OR entry form signed by client / owner(s) of project (1 copy): granting the right to submit the project to the CSLA Awards Jury and for publication (including on a web site) and exhibition of any intellectual materials, text, images or materials otherwise submitted as part of the entry. Electronic signatures will be accepted.
  4. Location map and/or site plan as appropriate to the project:  must be included in the digital images (see below) and this should include sufficient information to allow the site to be located in software such as Google Earth. 
  5. Digital images of the project for judging and publicity purposes: this is to comprise two (2) sets of between five (5) and twenty (20) single images of the project in .jpg format saved as Image 1.jpg, Image 2.jpg, etc. – one set at high resolution (for publicity purposes) and one set at low resolution (for judging purposes). The images must include a title slide giving the name of the project saved as Image 1.jpg. The title slide does not count towards the total of 20 project slides allowed. The images must include the location map and/or site plan (as appropriate) listed in item 7.  Collages of images are not permitted. The images should seek to provide a “walk-through” of the project. A single video clip of up to two (2) minutes in length may be submitted in lieu of five (5) images. The low-resolution images must be a maximum of 100 dpi and the high-resolution images must be at a resolution of no less than 300 dpi.
  6. Digital copies of relevant portfolios, books, binders or bound reports: if applicable (see item 3 above).

Additional Information

The jury will provide comments on successful entries. No comments will be provided for unsuccessful entries.

The CSLA will communicate with winners 2-3 weeks after the jury meeting. However, the information is put under moratorium until a date defined by the CSLA. The CSLA will issue the public announcement of winners by national press release and via other CSLA communications. 

The Awards of Excellence will be presented at the CSLA Congress and it is intended that sufficient notice can be given for winners to attend that event. Each winning team will be offered one complimentary ticket to attend the CSLA Awards Gala. 

Entrants whose submissions win an award will be expected to make available to the CSLA further information in the form of images, original drawings or models that may be suitable for promotion, exhibition, publication or other promotional purposes. All entrants should note that the CSLA assumes the right to use any submitted material for any promotional endeavor that the CSLA deems fit. 

Enquiries should be addressed to:

Leanne Muir (Chair, Awards of Excellence) 
Telephone: 204-962-3474/ E-mail:
Brandy O’Reilly (Administrator, Awards of Excellence)
Telephone: 204-474-7938 / Email:

All submissions must be sent to: 

CSLA Awards of Excellence Program 
c/o Brandy O'Reilly
23 Lidcliff Court
Winnipeg MB R3Y 0L2


All submissions must be received no later than Friday, January 29th, 2021 at 4:30 pm CT. Late or incomplete submissions will not be accepted.

Notification of Receipt of Submission

Applicants will be notified of the receipt of their submissions, by e-mail, within ten (10) days of the deadline by the CSLA Awards of Excellence Program.

Awards Schedule

The post submission schedule for the adjudication of the CSLA Awards of Excellence Program will be:

Dates Item
End of Jan Deadline for submissions
Feb-end of March Processing and adjudication of submissions
Mid-April Award winners announced
June Awards given during the CSLA gala at Congress


The entry fee is $400 plus HST or GST. The entry fees can be paid by cheque, made out to the CSLA, or by credit card, below:

Select province - sélectionner votre province :


GST/HST Rates HST/GST on $400 Amount to Submit with Entry
         Alberta          5% $420
BC 5% $420
Manitoba 5%  $420
New Brunswick  15%  $460
Newfoundland and Labrador  15% $460
Northwest Territories 5% $420
Nova Scotia 15%     $460
Nunavut 5%  $420
Ontario 13% $452
PEI 15%   $460
Quebec   5%   $420
Saskatchewan 5%   $420
Yukon 5%   $420

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