Alexander Rattray was MALA President from 1976 to 1978 and recognized as MALA/CSLA Life Member in 2001. He served as a CSLA President from 1980 to 1981, was invested as a CSLA Fellow in 1976, and received the distinguished CSLA President’s Award of Excellence. Alex was also an advisor to the International Federation of Landscape Architects. Alex received his Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Manitoba and a Master of Landscape Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania. In 1969, he founded a program of landscape architecture at the University of Manitoba.
“Alex was committed to Winnipeg, the Prairies and his students, and spent his career at the University of Manitoba where he was a gifted professor with a passion for the natural world, good design and accessible public space. He was co-director of the Italian Studies Program, where for a decade he introduced students to the history, culture, art, architecture and landscape of the Brenta Valley region. On retirement, he was named a Senior Scholar and then a Professor Emeritus, in recognition of his distinguished service.
In addition to his family, friends and profession, Alex loved reading, politics, sports, sailing, long canoe trips, classical music, Scotch whiskey and Welsh corgis. And one of his favourite projects was one of his first, a small park designed with neighbourhood children in Providence, Rhode Island. After bringing their ideas to life, the children described their “enchanted” garden:
“The garden was created when a star fell and all the pieces became bits of the garden. It is the power within the star that made the garden magic … Whenever everyone enters the garden they become playful.”