Awards of Excellence Submission Guidelines (2024)

New Application Platform

The CSLA will be using a web-based application platform for all awards and honors going forward. Please follow the steps, below, to make a submission:

  1. Read the awards guidelines, below
  2. Create an account on this website, click on the "Apply" tab at the top of the page, then click on the application form for this award. 
  3. Pay for your submission, below

By creating an account with Good Grants, you will be able to save your application and return to it at another time. You will use this same account for all other submissions, including nominations to the College of Fellows.

Please contact if you have any trouble using the application platform. 


AB, BC, MB, NT, NU, QC, SK, YT - Awards Submission Fee / Frais de soumission: Prix d'excellence



NB, NL&LAB, NS, PEI - Awards Submission Fee / Frais de soumission: Prix d'excellence



Ontario - Awards Submission Fee / Frais de soumission: Prix d'excellence




Awards of Excellence Guidelines


Thursday, January 25th, 2024 at 4 pm ET


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 Program is intended to: 

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


Applicant eligibility

  • Landscape architects practicing within or outside of Canada are eligible to enter, provided that at least one member of the project team who played a leading role in the project is a member in good standing of the CSLA
  • 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 projects in Canada outside the jurisdiction of the applicant's component association(s), the applicant must demonstrate that they held membership in the host jurisdiction for the project’s duration illustrated by obtaining a letter of membership confirmation from the host component association, and
  • for projects located outside of Canada, the applicant must provide proof of licensure in the host jurisdiction, if applicable. 

Project Eligibility

  • International projects may be submitted: for projects outside of Canada and the US: an external assessment may required, and
  • previously submitted projects may be re-submitted provided they have not previously received a CSLA Award of Excellence and declared as such in the submission form.

Types of Awards

Submissions will be judged and awarded at two levels: 

  • National Awards, and
  • Jury’s Award of Excellence.

National Awards are granted for work that demonstrates excellence against all judging criteria. Up to fifteen National Awards may be awarded each year. These projects 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 to advance 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. It is the responsibility of the entrant to communicate how the work illustrates excellence within the chosen category. Categories include:

Communication: initiatives that 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, and
  • materials used in schools such as lesson plans and handouts, design workshops.

Landscape Management: plans and techniques for the restoration, conservation, enhancement or maintenance of a natural or human-made landscape 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 the public realm associated with business parks, educational facilities and housing and other development, and
  • management of historical or cultural landscapes.

Large-Scale Landscapes Designed by a Landscape Architect (over 5 ha): newly developed or renovated works constructed before the submission deadline, such as:

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

Medium-Scale Landscapes Designed by a Landscape Architect (1 to 5 ha): newly developed or renovated works constructed before the submission deadline, such as:

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

Small-Scale Landscapes Designed by a Landscape Architect (up to 1 ha): includes newly developed or renovated works constructed before the submission deadline, such as:

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

Planning and Analysis | Large-Scale Design: 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, and
  • historical management plans. 

Research:  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, and
  • historical research on landscape architecture, the development of design theory and the contribution of practitioners.

Residential Landscapes Designed by a Landscape Architect: newly developed or renovated single or multifamily residential projects constructed before the submission deadline such as:

  • renovation or restoration projects
  • rooftop gardens
  • activity areas for cooking, entertaining, recreation, or relaxation
  • sustainable landscape applications; new construction or renovation projects, and
  • affordable landscape concepts and innovation.


The jury is comprised of up to five (5) prominent professionals with diverse expertise nominated by each component association according to jury criteria published by the CSLA. In addition, a juror external to the profession is invited to join the jury and the recipient of the previous year’s LACF Frederick Gage Todd National Scholarship, if available to participate. The Awards of Excellence Committee selects the final jury members based on the juror recommendations from the component associations. 

The number of jurors and their provincial representation may vary annually based on the number of submissions received. The President of the CSLA may also be present and participate in an ex-officio role. After the jury meeting, the list of jurors is posted on the CSLA website. 

The jury meets virtually in February and March. The jury’s decisions are final.

Eligibility of Jurors

Firms or employees of firms who have submitted for this year’s competition are ineligible to be appointed a juror.


All entries are assessed according to the following criteria, with each criteria weighted equally:

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, and
  • 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: the landscape architect's role and how it enhanced the project
  • excellence of the project: what makes it excellent or different from other projects
  • 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, and
  • usability: how the public (or owners/clients) utilize the project and its long-term viability as a valuable space.

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

  • materials: the use of materials in new and different applications or the use of new materials
  • construction: innovation in construction methods or schedules, including equipment, timing, labour
  • thought process: the creativity shown by demonstrated thought process to create the end design, and
  • 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, and
  • cross-disciplinary scope: how the project reaches or engages across more than one discipline.

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

  • environmental impact: how the project considers ecological processes and functions, and
  • social impact: how the project engages issues of social awareness, engagement and acceptance

Projects should also demonstrate, when applicable, their ability to further the CSLA’s strategic mission areas, including:

  • the impact of the project on climate adaptation and mitigation
  • protection and enhancement of the urban canopy
  • the impact on the project on reconciliation with Indigenous Communities in relation to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action
  • principles of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion
  • the project’s impact on human health and well-being, and
  • the project’s link to cultural landscapes and legacy.

Additional Information


The jury will provide comments only on awarded projects. 


The CSLA will communicate with winners 3 to 4 weeks after the jury meeting. The information is put under a 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 are presented at the CSLA Congress. It is intended that sufficient notice can be given for winners to attend the event. Each winning team is offered one complimentary ticket to attend the CSLA Awards Gala. 


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


Enquiries should be addressed to:

Michelle Legault, Executive Director, CSLA


All submissions must be received no later than Thursday, January 25th, 2024 at 4 pm ET. 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. Please do not contact the CSLA to confirm the receipt of your submission in advance of this time.

Awards Schedule

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

Dates Item
Feb-mid-April Processing and adjudication of submissions
First week of May Award winners announced
End of May Awards given during the CSLA gala at Congress in Winnipeg

CSLA | AAPC 12 Forillon Crescent, Ottawa ON K2M 2W5