Emerging Professional Award

The Emerging Professional Award demonstrates the CSLA’s commitment towards landscape architects in the early stages of their careers.


Rachael Fitkowski (2024)

rachaelOriginally from Southern Ontario, Rachael relocated to Newfoundland after graduating with a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from the University of Guelph in 2013. As an outdoor enthusiast, she was drawn to the wild and captivating landscapes of Newfoundland and Labrador. Over a decade later, she is still awestruck by its natural beauty.
Rachael has been a part of the award-winning St. John’s-based firm, Mills & Wright Landscape Architecture, since 2017. Rachael is a passionate practitioner that strives to create functional, innovative, and inclusive design solutions. Projects in Newfoundland don’t often have the big budgets of those on the mainland, and she understands the importance of proposing practical solutions that will meet the needs of her clients in an achievable way.
Rachael finds the most joy in designing public-facing projects that positively impact the people that use them. Public projects should benefit everyone, and Rachael is a big believer in doing the right thing. She advocates for inclusive designs, even if they aren’t the easy solution.
A fierce advocate for the profession, Rachael brought several annual PARK(ing) Day events to downtown St. John’s to illustrate the positive impact that green and public spaces can have within an urban environment. The eventual development of the City’s Downtown Pedestrian Mall was an encouraging move that created seasonal pedestrian-only spaces within the urban core. 
Outside of the profession, Rachael dedicates much of her time to volunteering with local sports and arts organisations. Not only have these roles helped her connect with her passions, but they have also helped develop her leadership and communication skills. Rachael understands the value and importance of public engagement, and these skills have helped her better connect with her clients and the public in a successful way.

Yiwen Ruan (2023)

YiwenBorn and raised in China, Yiwen’s journey in Canada started in 2013 pursuing his Master of Landscape Architecture Degree at the University of British Columbia. Upon graduation, Yiwen joined PMG Landscape Architects, where he has worked on a multitude of diverse and award-winning projects.  With boundless energy and ambition, Yiwen has risen to every challenge and in only 5 years is now the youngest principal at the firm.  His passion for landscape architecture is matched only by his voracious appetite for knowledge, and his belief in the importance of promoting the profession.

Yiwen combines his interests –karate, meditation, and art into his design approach.  He believes great design can make our world more wonderful, and his disciplined method and calm demeanor help him to cross boundaries among different design professions to achieve wonderful things. His talents were used to full effect as the graphic designer for Dr. Patrick Mooney’s book titled Planting Design: Connecting People and Place. Yiwen also tests his design philosophy by participating in numerous design competitions. The most recent is a 3rd place finish in Coziness Valley International Architectural Competition by the City of Murmansk, Russia.

Yiwen actively advocates for the profession both by sitting on the BCSLA Public and Professional Relations Committee, and by creating and maintaining connections with UBC and the Chinese community. He is an active mentor, connecting UBC students with practicing professionals for many years, and is regularly invited to attend UBC workshops and events while also supporting PMG’s sponsorship of the PMG Landscape Architects Graduate Award at UBC. Driven by his background and interests, Yiwen's advocacy efforts have led him to create connections with the Chinese-Canadian Architectural and Engineering communities, giving landscape seminars and creating broader relationships that raise the profile of Landscape Architecture in Canada.

Grant Fahlgren (2021)

Grant Fahlgren is a member of Wabigoon Lake Ojibway Nation, a founding member and Chair of the CSLA Reconciliation Advisory Committee, and a Project Designer at PFS Studio where he works closely with Indigenous collaborators on planning and design projects.

He received a Bachelor of Environmental Design from the University of Manitoba and Masters of Landscape Architecture from the University of British Columbia where his thesis research focused on the potential of traditional knowledge to mitigate impacts of sea-level rise within the Fraser River Delta. In 2015 he was named National Olmsted Scholar by the Landscape Architecture Foundation, the premier award for landscape architecture students in North America. The award has supported the expansion of his research on Indigenous adaptations to climate change which informs his planning and design work with Indigenous communities Grant remains connected to the University of British Columbia as a member of the Indigenous Content Steering Committee, as an Adjunct Professor teaching Site Analysis and Planning for the Bachelor of Design program, and is a frequent guest critic at the University of British Columbia, University of Calgary and University of Toronto.

His work with the Reconciliation Advisory Committee is helping to build the collective capacity of landscape architects across the country to collaborate with indigenous communities. In support of these efforts, Grant was a key member of the planning committee of the 2019 CSLA Congress in Vancouver and guest editor of the Fall 2019 issue of Landscapes Paysages, both focusing on the role of landscape architecture in Reconciliation.

Katerine Beaudry (2018)Katerine Beaudry_DSC_0159_NB.jpg

After a brief career as a cultural and corporate event producer, Katerine Beaudry went on to become a landscape architect (Université de Montréal) and an interior designer (Collège Lasalle). In 2012, with a passion for design and driven by her inclusive vision of landscaping, she founded Ni conception, an agency specialized in landscape architecture and interior design. The firm’s holistic approach sets it apart as it focuses on the synergy among professional designers to create universes that complete and balance each other. The sharing of common goals and values ensures broad consistency between different projects, both in terms of landscape and architecture. It produces a dialogue, an alliance in favour of both site and project. The firm has clearly distinguished itself in 2013 with its winning proposal (Débâcle) in the Plage de l’Est (Montreal) competition, developed in close collaboration with the Ruccolo + Faubert architectes Inc. firm (architecture component of the project). Katerine is currently acting as project manager and designer on institutional projects. She devotes her free time to her 2-year-old son. 

Natalie Goulet-Sorenson (2017)

DSC_7587-copy.jpgNatalie Goulet-Sorenson, BLA, AALA, CSLA, is a landscape architect with over 8 years of professional experience. Her education started at the Northern Alberta Institute of technology in Edmonton, Alberta, where she completed a diploma in landscape architectural technology. She continued her studies at the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho where she obtained her degree in landscape architecture. Upon graduation, Natalie returned back to Edmonton, where she began working at Stantec Consulting. At Stantec, she’s had the opportunity to collaborate on a variety of diverse design and construction projects with the large multidisciplinary team in the office. Her project experience varies from high level master planning to the implementation of regional and neighbourhood parks, constructed wetlands, recreational trail networks, passive and creative play spaces, and open space rehabilitation- among other projects. Currently, Natalie is the President of the Alberta Association of Landscape Architects and sits on the steering committee for the 2017 Edmonton Urban Design Awards. She is an advocate for the profession and enjoys working with her colleagues to support landscape architecture. Outside of the office, Natalie enjoys spending time with her husband and two small children traveling, camping, canoeing and biking on the beautiful trails throughout the City of Edmonton.

Sarah Lacombe (2015)

A graduate in Landscape Architecture at the University of Montréal, Sarah Lacombe also holds a diploma in Ornamental Horticulture from the Montreal Botanical Garden. After a 4-year bachelor’s degree, she developed an interest and curiosity that led her to constantly search for landscape architecture projects to feature on her blog. Le pamphlet is a web platform that highlights Canadian and international projects, articles, events and other media related to landscape architecture, and is aimed at feeding the imagination of landscape architects, artists, urban planners, architects, horticulturists and other enthusiasts who are passionate about design and development. After three years, Le pamphlet has carved itself a place among the field’s major web media, as it is the only known French language landscape architecture site. Her passion for plants also led her to pursue a long-time project, a botanical magazine entitled Bosquet, on which she has been working with a graphic designer for almost two years. In addition to her personal projects, Sarah Lacombe pursues her career as a landscape architect with Groupe Rousseau Lefebvre, where she has been working for over two years.

Mike Teed (2014)

Michael Gordon Teed, BCSLA, is a Vancouver-based Landscape Architect with Space2place Design Inc. He has a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from University of Guelph (2003) and a Masters of Landscape Architecture from UBC (2006). As a health and fitness enthusiast and avid recreationalist, he is often found playing outside. Mike loves all aquatic adventures, including surfing, skim boarding, wind surfing, kiteboarding, kayaking, whitewater rafting, SCUBA diving, and is an experienced competitive open water swimmer. The desire for year-round terrestrial recreation draws him to the mountains for snowboarding, hiking and downhill mountain biking. Mike also plays on recreational soccer and volleyball leagues and occasionally mixes things up with gymnastics, yoga and circus arts. His understanding of the value of play and active living to our physical and cognitive development, health, and quality of life influences his design approach. Mike has presented lectures to BCSLA members and UBC students on the value of play spaces that incorporate nature-based play and he mentors a student at UBC. Mike’s current design work focuses on the development of park master plans and the design and contract administration for urban trails and greenway projects.  He served as a director for the BCSLA and is a member of the BCSLA’s Public and Professional Relations Committee, helping to set the parameters for multiple initiatives to which the society’s volunteers can contribute. He also volunteers on his strata's gardening committee, where he is facilitating the creation of a new landscape redevelopment plan. Mike considers himself a curious designer with a passion for creating places for people through collaborative research and design. He lives in Vancouver’s vibrant West End, digs his local community garden, and bikes just about everywhere he can.
Mike Teed and Carol Craig  (Photo: J. Landry)

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