Marie-Claude Quessy graduated from the University of Montréal with a Bachelor in Landscape Architecture in 1988, and earned a graduate diploma in Environment in 1994. Her early work experience was in Montreal, England, and Ottawa, mostly in the private sector.
Since 2002, Marie-Claude has dedicated her career to heritage conservation, working with the federal government. Her extensive experience with significant historic sites across the country has given her a rare perspective and expertise in the principles and practices of cultural landscape management.
Marie-Claude played a pivotal role in the 2010 edition of the Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada, the pan-Canadian approach to heritage conservation. As the lead Landscape Architect on the team, she was responsible for the section on Cultural Landscapes, ensuring the inclusion of Traditional Knowledge and Practices.
Through the years, Marie-Claude has coordinated and led numerous conservation projects, always promoting a multi-disciplinary approach and showing how landscape architects can be leaders in finding solutions that balance the protection of heritage values with new site requirements.
Marie-Claude’s project experience ranges from the archaeologically-rich landscape of Port-aux-Choix in Newfoundland to the culturally-sensitive site of Beaumont Park in the Gulf Island National Park Reserve in British Columbia. She has worked on 18thC military sites such as Fort Beauséjour – Fort Cumberland in New Brunswick, to 20thC landscapes such as the monumental Cascades of Time Gardens in Banff National Park, Alberta. She has been involved in numerous major projects at Parliament Hill and Rideau Hall, Canada’s two ‘Classified’ Federal Heritage Landscapes. Abroad, she has worked to protect the commemorative landscape and battlefield of the Canadian National Vimy Memorial in France.
Marie-Claude has always been impressed by the splendour and diversity of the Canadian landscape, recognizing how each historic place has been shaped by distinct natural and cultural forces. Marie-Claude believes that the unique heritage values of sites should be seen as a gift to Landscape Architects, and a springboard to the creation of excellent and vibrant designs for the 21stC.