Teaching Award

The CSLA Teaching Award recognizes an individual who has made a substantial and significant contribution to landscape architecture education.


2024 - Nicole Valois

nicoleNicole Valois is a landscape architect with degrees from the Université de Montréal and the École nationale supérieure d'architecture de Paris La Villette. A full professor at UdeM's École d'urbanisme et de paysage, she teaches design studio and landscape heritage, and coordinates the master's program in landscape architecture. Her expertise lies in landscape heritage and project design, which she puts to good use in her teaching. 

Her work includes the Étude patrimoniale du campus de l'Université de Montréal; Le Patrimoine paysager moderne au Canada and l'Analyse paysagère et historique de l'arrondissement du Mont-Royal . Her work has been published in the Journal of Landscape Architecture, Cahier de géographie du Québec, Projets de paysage, Landscapes/Paysages, Presses de l'Université de Montréal and Presses universitaires de Perpignan. 

Through her research, she also explores the question of landscape design as a mode of knowledge and creation, in order to open up new perspectives on what it reveals about the world and the environment. These activities have earned her numerous publications, including Dessiner la vitalité / Drawing liveliness (2020); Passing Through-Sara Tutt (2021); Winter drawings on the University of Montreal campus (2023); Dessin-design-projet : une triade qui ouvre vers la recherche (2023). 

Over the course of her career, her research has been funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Landscape Architecture Canada Foundation, and several Quebec ministries, including that of Culture and Communications. She has received grants from the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec and the Canada Council for the Arts.

As an expert, she sits on numerous juries and committees within organizations and associations, including the CSLA, the AAPQ and the Conseil du patrimoine de Montréal (2015 to 2021, including three years as vice-president). She has been a member of the Land: Terre Design Research Network since 2018.

2022 - Robert Wright

Robert Wright has a BSc from the University of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada in Open Space Planning, with a minor in Ecology and an MLA from the University of Guelph, Ontario Canada. Professor Wright’s work is design centered and extremely eclectic in nature. His notion of design does not privilege the traditional professional disciplines of Architecture, Landscape Architecture or Urban design. He places his work within a more contemporary and trans-disciplinary framework.

As both an educator and as a design practitioner, he holds a strong belief that “Design is built theory” meaning that the translation from thought and concept to built works is primary and essential to design discourse. Having had training in both Ecology and Landscape Architecture, he places design as a practice that must at its essence deal with context. He is a self confessed “Modernist” with Minimalist and Situationist tendencies. The art of design is not merely “object” making but the interplay of Nature, Person, Community, City and Place.

Rob is the Principle of iz-design an open and exploratory design practice. His practice looks to develop creative design experimentation not only in Architecture, Landscape Architecture but across all the arts. He collaborates with all manner of designers, artists, and professional practitioners across the full range of design and planning practice. His Academic focus is on bringing the University’s expertise together with Community, Industry, and government. He is a full member of the OALA and a Fellow of the CSLA. Mr. Wright has also been in the past, the Interim Dean of Daniels. Dean of Forestry, Director of the Centre of Landscape Research Director, of the Landscape Program (8 yrs.), Associate Dean of Research, Associate Dean (4 yrs.) and Director of the Knowledge Media institute (4 yrs.)

2019 - Professor Maurice Nelischer

After 39 years in academia, Maurice still relishes the privilege of guiding future landscape architects through the learning process. Graduates from the University of Guelph have gone on to be leaders in the profession – despite having had Maurice as an instructor in design, construction, and communications courses. Maurice was Director of the School of Landscape Architecture and then the School of Environmental Design at the University of Guelph. He also served as the University’s first Director of Sustainability. Maurice was recently awarded the medal of merit for his contributions as an educator and his many built designs and sustainability initiatives on campus. In addition to his years at the University of Guelph, Maurice has been a visiting scholar at MIT and the University of Miami and taught at the Universities of Lisbon, Calgary, and at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (California). He has served national and international professional organizations including CSLA, OALA, ASLA, and CELA and has been recognized with a number of teaching awards. The focus of Maurice’s practice has been community and detailed site design. Widely travelled, he believes strongly in the value of experiencing – not just seeing – built projects. To this end, he has led students on many national and international field trips.

Bev Sandalack.jpg2018 - Professor Beverly A. Sandalack 

Beverly A. Sandalack, MLA, PhD, FCSLA, RPP, MCIP is Professor and Associate Dean (Academic) in the Faculty of Environmental Design, University of Calgary, and the founding director of the Master of Landscape Architecture Program. Prior to joining the University of Calgary in 1999, Dr. Sandalack taught Environmental Planning at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, and Horticulture at Olds College, and practiced landscape architecture and planning with private sector firms in Calgary and Winnipeg, as well as with her own firm. Since 2000, she has co-directed the Urban Lab, an innovative research group concerned with urban design, urban morphology, cultural landscapes, and health and the built environment, and whose work has received ten CSLA awards, including four National Honour Awards, plus an EDRA Place Planning Award and a Calgary Heritage Lion Award. Her publications include two books on urban morphology and design: The Calgary Project: urban form/urban life (2006), and Urban Structure: Halifax (1998); two books on sense of place and cultural landscapes (2005); and numerous articles in academic journals and the local press. Bev has chaired the International Federation of Landscape Architects Student Design Competition Jury since 2004 and is a member of IFLA’s Education and Academic Affairs Committee. 

2017 - Professor Sean Kelly 

01 Kelly Square.jpgTeaching is a vocation that presented itself to Sean Kelly, CSLA, OALA, in 1996 by chance after a brief telephone conversation with Moura Quayle, then the Director of Landscape Architecture at UBC; she was seeking someone to instruct an Open Space Planning studio course. Sean is an Associate Professor and the Director of the School of Environmental Design & Rural Development (SEDRD), University of Guelph; he is responsible for 6 degree programs including Landscape Architecture’s BLA and MLA programs.  He also has a career-long affiliation for private practice and developed his skills in several notable firms in Toronto, Dallas and Whistler.  Much of Sean’s work relates to rurally- or remotely-situated destination, recreational, and amenity landscapes.  His work has taken him world-wide to over a dozen countries and hundreds of communities. Sean earned his BLA in 1989 and an MSc Planning in 1995; both from the University of Guelph.  Sean balanced professional practice and sessional teaching for a decade before joining Guelph in 2006 as a tenured-track faculty member.  It has been estimated that Sean has contributed to over 1000 graduates having taught at UBC’s, Mississippi State University’s and Guelph’s landscape architecture programs.  Beyond Guelph he continues to champion, mentor and advise many LA graduates towards attaining professional membership and achieving their career aspirations – an activity that he enjoys very much.

2016 - Professor Karen Landman 

Karen Landman has a background in horticulture, landscape architecture, planning, and geography. She has had a design practice for over 20 years, and is a professional planner. Since 2002, she has been a full-time faculty member at the University of Guelph. Karen has been a recipient of the OAC Distinguished Professor Award; the G.P. McRostie Faculty Award for Teaching; the Ontario Professional Planners Institute's Excellence in Planning Award for Communications and Public Education; and the YWCA Women of Distinction for Education and Training. With her wonderful students, Karen conducts research on green infrastructure, urban forest, urban agriculture, ecological sustainability, design for bee habitat, and landscape stewardship. She is currently working with the CSLA’s Landscape Architecture Accreditation Council to update accreditation standards, and is a member of the Nourishing Communities research team.

Robert Norman and Karen Landman (Photo: J. Landry)

2015 - Professor John Danahy 

John Danahy is a Full Professor of Landscape Architecture with a cross appointment in Computer Science at the University of Toronto. He has been a Full Member of the OALA and CSLA since 1985. He graduated from UofT with a BLA in 1977, a certificate in Urban Design from the Royal Danish Academy of Art in 1978 and a Master of Science in Urban and Regional Planning in 1983 from UofT. He is Co-director of the Centre for Landscape Research, and a member of the Cities Centre and the Knowledge Media Design Institute. He has taught in landscape architecture, urban design, planning, architecture, computer science and knowledge media design. His core teaching included design studios and thesis as well as specialized courses focused on social life and human factors design. Beginning in the early 1980’s he pioneered teaching 3D interactive CAD and GIS using the Polytrim software he and his colleagues in the CLR created to teach landscape architecture and use in practice.

Robert Norman, John Danahy & Carol Craig (Photo: J. Landry)

2012 - Professor Cecelia Paine 

Cecelia began her career in Chicago upon graduating with a B.L.A. from the University of Illinois in 1972. After a traveling fellowship in Europe, she moved to Ottawa to work with D.W. Graham and later, the National Capital Commission. She earned an M.L.A. degree from the University of Michigan in 1980 and soon opened her own firm, specializing in design of the public realm and heritage landscape conservation. Award-winning works include revitalization of Sparks Street Mall, restoration of Mackenzie King Estate and long-range plans for sectors of the National Capital Greenbelt.

In 1990, Cecelia was appointed to the faculty of the University of Guelph. Over the next 28 years she taught design and professional practice in Guelph’s B.L.A. and M.L.A. programs. She has been invited to teach and share her research with students and professionals in Venezuela, Costa Rica, Brazil, Argentina, and China. Cecelia served the university as Associate Dean of Graduate Studies from 2006 to 2014. Her academic accomplishments have been recognized by CELA, the University of Guelph Faculty Association and CSLA. 

A fellow of CSLA and ASLA, Cecelia has served the profession in numerous capacities, including as president of OALA, CSLA and LACF. She is most proud of her contributions to establishment of the Landscape Architecture Canada Foundation and Landscapes Paysages. Cecelia has volunteered as a member of Heritage Guelph and participated in numerous municipal design juries. She is currently serving on the boards of LACF and the NCC Advisory Committee on Planning, Design and Real Estate. 

L to R: Liane McKenna, Cecelia Paine, Claude Potvin (Photo: Jean Landry)

2010 - Ed Fife

Edward Fife (Ed) is a Landscape Architect and Professor Emeritus at the University of Toronto, who has educated hundreds of students in his 46+ years of teaching in the United States, Canada, China and other countries. He has taught in the areas of regional and urban landscape design, urban open space planning, conceptual thinking, urban ecology, plant design and history. He particularly valued teaching outside of the classroom, working in various urban, natural and foreign environments believing that immediate experience challenged the mind to generate more observed ways of thinking and the development creative designs. 

Educated at the Rhode Island School of Design and Harvard he initially came to Canada to work in the office of Sasaki, Strong and Associates on projects such as Expo 67. This was followed by teaching at Ohio State University and then the University of Toronto where he was a professor and periodically chairman.  Throughout his career he has been active in the OALA, CSLA, CELA becoming a Fellow of the CSLA in 1988. 

Research interests included studies of urban open space and streetscapes exploring issues of ecology, time development, protection and vegetative selection for reasons of stability, visual quality and health. Projects include the ‘Heritage Forest Re-vegetation Study’ for the replanting of vegetative communities for multiple disparate sites in the Toronto area, scenarios for the projection of Toronto’s horticulture parks into the future and plant selection programs.

Ed has been active on numerous committees and working groups for both the CSLA and the OALA and has received numerous awards and citations for his involvement and his teaching.

2009 - Douglas Paterson
2008 - Peter Jacobs

Peter Jacobs is Emeritus Professor of Landscape Architecture, Université de Montréal following a research and teaching career that has spanned 50 years. He has lectured throughout North America, Europe and Latin America and has served as Invited Professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, USA; the Technion, Israel; l’Universidad del Valle, Columbia; and Tsinghau University, China. He has published widely on the cultural aspects of garden design, landscape perception, and sustainable and equitable development.

He is a Fellow and Past president of the CSLA, Fellow of the ASLA, and Honorary Member of the Columbian Society of Landscape Architects. He served as Canada's delegate to IFLA for ten years, and chaired the College of Senior Fellows, Landscape and Garden Studies, Dumbarton Oaks, Washington D.C., where he was named the first Beatrix Farrand Distinguished Fellow.

Emeritus Chairman of the Environmental Planning Commission, IUCN, Peter served for 36 years as President of the Kativik Environmental Quality Commission and was a member of numerous Canadian Committees, Commissions and public hearings concerned with conservation and development. He chaired the Public Advisory Committee on Canada's State of Environment Report, 1980-1990.

Peter has consulted on the planning and design of urban open space systems at all scales including the “Parc des trois sommets” on Mount-Royal mountain, the rehabilitation of Parc Jean Drapeau, the design of Place Émilie Gamlin and the Story Teller’s Garden for young children. He is a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of the Arts and is Chair of the Montreal Heritage Council.

2007 - Dr. Robert Brown

Dr. Robert D. Brown graduated magnis cum honoribus from the University of Saskatchewan in 1979 with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Geography.  He received a Master of Landscape Architecture degree in 1982 and a Doctor of Philosophy in Micrometeorology in 1985 from the University of Guelph.  He is a member of the Saskatchewan Association of Landscape Architects and a Fellow of the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture (CELA).  

Dr. Brown is a Professor of Landscape Architecture at the University of Guelph where he has been teaching and conducting research for 29 years.  He has held several administrative positions including Coordinator of the BLA and the MLA programs and Director of the PhD program.  His teaching and research contributions have received many awards including an Award of Distinction for Creative Integration of Research and Teaching from CELA, the Ontario Agricultural College Distinguished Teaching Award, the CSLA Teaching Award, and the OALA Research and Innovation Award. His research program has focused on climate-responsive urban design and in particular on design for human thermal comfort.  

His books on microclimatic design are widely recognized as the foundation of the field and are used around the world by researchers and practitioners.  He has taught and conducted research on six continents, has published more than 60 refereed journal articles, has advised more than 100 MLA theses, and has had the pleasure and the privilege of teaching several hundred bright and talented BLA and MLA students.

2006 - Douglas Harper
2006 - Michael Hough

Trained as an architect and landscape architect, Michael has bridged several professional  disciplines to bring a new view to urban design and site planning. He has tirelessly mentored  staff for 40 years through the consulting practice, his involvement with students at the  University of Toronto and the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University where he  has taught, and through community efforts and volunteer leadership.  

Over the years, he led a movement of design thinking that has evolved into a foundation for  today's urban agenda for healthier built communities and natural systems. In addition to his  writings and award winning research, Michael has left a legacy of landmark design projects  which form anchors in the urban environment.  

Michael has focused his career on landscape ecology and the development of healthy  livable communities, long before the concepts came to the forefront of planning  reform. He continues to teach his ground breaking theories through his writings and  lecturing at York University.  

Michael has worked extensively for the Waterfront Regeneration Trust, served as  chair of the Environmental Work Group (studying the Toronto waterfront), has served  as advisor to the Metropolitan and Region Conservation Authority on valleyland  issues, and assisted the National Capital Commission on their 'Green Capital'  initiative.  

He was the recipient of the Toronto Arts Awards for Architecture and Design from the  Arts Foundation of Greater Toronto in 1991, the American Society of Landscape  Architects Bradford Williams Medal for journalistic excellence in 1989, the Alumnus  Amicus Award from the University of Toronto Architecture, Landscape and Design in  1988, as well as the Lieutenant Governor’s Conservation Award, 1993. He is trained  as an architect and a landscape architect.  

Michael is the past president of the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects, a  member of the Canadian Institute of Planners and a member of the Royal Canadian  Academy of the Arts. Michael has been actively involved in this profession for five  decades and is a deserving recipient of this prestigious award.  

2006 - Richard Strong

Mr. Richard Strong obtained a BLA degree from the Ohio State University in 1957 and a MLA degree from Harvard University in 1959. He is licensed to practice landscape architecture in the states of Arizona, Montana and Ohio and is a member of CLARB. Dick was one of the founding members of OALA in 1969 and the association operated out of his offices during its early years. He served on the CSLA Board of Governors, as Chair of CSLA’s Education Committee and as member of ASLA’s Committee on Education.

The firm Richard Strong Associates Ltd. operated first in Toronto from 1961-78 with up to 35 staff members and in Calgary from 1978-83.  In 1983 Dick became Director of Design and Development for the Expo ’86 Corporation in Vancouver and was responsible for the design and development of the 135 acre World Exposition site. From 1987-91 he worked in Sydney, Australia as Design Consultant for governments, corporations, engineers and architects. Returning to Canada, he operated a Design Consultant firm in Lethbridge, Alberta from 1991-97. Mr. Strong’s firm has been one of the most important practices in the country, with over 2000 projects to its credit. It has served as training ground for many, today important landscape architects.

Dick Strong was the first Chairman of the Landscape Architecture Department at the University of Toronto from 1967-77. He lead the Department through its formative years, emphasizing the widest breath of landscape architectural education. Instructors included aside from landscape architects: psychologists, artists, developers, urban foresters, marketing advisors and politicians. In the ensuing 35 years Dick has lectured and acted as visiting critic at numerous Canadian, American and Australian universities.

2006 - Victor Chanasyk

Victor Chanasyk grew up on a homestead at Musidora, Alberta, where he developed his life-long love of the land. He spoke of his youth as an uninhibited, unconstrained time, punctuated by hours spent riding the summer range, swimming his saddle horse across lake narrows, and riding through “sweet and fragrant clouds of silver berry.”

By 1949, Victor Chanasyk had earned an agriculture degree from the University of Alberta, and begun work as a horticulturist at the Beaverlodge Experimental Station, where he introduced such notable horticultural varieties as the Wapiti Juniper and the Chanasyk Early Tomato that bears his name.

Six years later, his passion for landscape led him to Berkeley for a degree in Landscape Architecture (1957), and then, on scholarship, to Harvard (Masters, 1958). He first practiced his new profession in Seattle and San Francisco, but was invited to return to Canada in 1962 to the University of Guelph, and given a mission: to establish Canada’s first School of Landscape Architecture.

Working with faculty from the fields of agrology, architecture and planning, Professor Chanasyk developed a curriculum closely equivalent to some 17 programs in the United States. This major achievement, long advocated by the CSLA, marked an auspicious beginning for LA education in Canada. The ten LAs in the first graduating class of 1969 became noted practitioners and educators, and under Chanasyk’s leadership, the program matured and grew. Chanasyk is often called the Father of LA education in Canada. In 1991, he established the “Victor Chanasyk Medal for Professionalism”, awarded to a promising Guelph student who embodied his own professional ideals: Ethics, Altruism, Education and Stewardship. 

Chanasyk was also involved in developing the university’s Master of Science in Resource Management, and proposed the establishment of the 440-acre University of Guelph Arboretum. Over the years, he served in numerous professional societies, notably as president of both the Washington Society of Landscape Architects and the Ontario Association of Landscape Architects (OALA), and Chairman of the Urban Renewal Committee in Guelph.  He was awarded the Centennial Medal of Canada, and named both a Member Emeritus of the OALA, and a Life Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

He is remembered as a man of principle, an altruist who placed public good above personal interest. He never lost his dedication to land planning and residential garden design. His own rural property, rich in native plant communities, served as an outdoor classroom for generations of students, and his home garden attracted thousands of visitors, and enjoyed international television coverage.

In 1999, working with 20 landowners, Chanasyk launched the Wellington Society for the Countryside, encouraging grassroots action for the rural environment. The Society is still active today, working with landowners to “make a difference”. 

2006 - Alexander Rattray

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.”

2006 - John Neill

John Wesley Neill is often spoken of as the patriarch of landscape architecture in British Columbia, yet he was born to a clergyman in Salford, Ontario, and spent the first decades of his life in western Ontario. In 1938, he graduated from Guelph’s Ontario Agricultural College, specializing in ornamental horticulture. For two years, he worked in publications, editing and managing magazines such as “Canadian Florist” and “Canadian Horticulture and Home”. Then war intervened; he enlisted and by 1943, Major Neill was a tank commander. He earned a Military Cross for gallantry, and at war’s end, helped produce a film about his tank: “the only Allied tank which landed on the beaches of Normandy on D-day, and was still in fighting trim at the end of the war.” 

In 1949, Neill moved to the Horticulture Department at UBC, where he was campus supervisor and began his doctorate studies with Oregon State University (Ph.D., 1955). For the next 14 years, he told Linda LeGeyt in Changing the Face of Canada, “I had the campus, the botanical garden and the nursery to run… those were wonderful years.” And for students in his ornamental plant identification courses, his campus horticultural walkabouts were legendary. 

Neill set up a well-stocked nursery.  His knowledge of rhododendrons was extensive: he provided choice specimens to the Rhododendron Species Foundation in Federal Way, Washington, and he planted rhododendrons in groves on campus. (When the nursery was decommissioned years later, many large rhododendrons were moved to UBC’s Botanical Garden.)

A landmark achievement for UBC, achieved through the constant support and facilitation of John Neill, was the construction of the Nitobe Memorial Garden, the first post-war garden of reconciliation in Canada (1959-60), designed and directed on site by Japanese Professor Kannosuke Mori. (Ron Williams tells the story in Landscape Architecture in Canada.) 

As UBC prepared to launch its new program in landscape architecture (established in 1970), Neill was integral to shaping the program, and in 1980, became its director.  During those remarkable decades, he and Philip Tattersfield convinced the BC Legislature to pass the provincial Landscape Architect’s Act (1968), and helped found the BCSLA (1966). Neill became its first President, serving for five years.

Neill also worked assiduously with advocates from UBC and BCSLA to make landscaping of roadways mandatory in construction projects in B.C., organizing multiple conferences and conducting research to build an inter-disciplinary approach. 

During early retirement (1988), he edited Trees of Greater Victoria: A Heritage, linking the histories and locations of some 300 historic trees into a compendium and tree guide. To honour his service to the profession, BCSLA established the John Wesley Neill Medal, awarded to an outstanding graduate in Landscape Architecture each year. 

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