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2013 OALA Awards

OALA President’s Award

The President’s Award is given in recognition of the contributions by an OALA Full Member who supports and advances initiatives and actions of the association and promotes the profession of landscape architecture in Ontario. It is given in recognition of dedicated volunteerism, generous service to the association, and for leadership in the field of landscape architecture.

Glenn O'Connor, OALA

Glenn O’Connor has brought strength, energy, and leadership to the OALA and, more recently, the CSLA on many initiatives that further the profession of landscape architecture in Ontario. Glenn has served on many professional committees since 2003 and, in particular, since 2007 on OALA committees, OALA Council, Council Executive Committee, and, most recently, the CSLA Board of Directors.

Glenn O’Connor has brought strength, energy, and leadership to the OALA and, more recently, the CSLA on many initiatives that further the profession of landscape architecture in Ontario. Glenn has served on many professional committees since 2003 and, in particular, since 2007 on OALA committees, OALA Council, Council Executive Committee, and, most recently, the CSLA Board of Directors.

OALA Pinnacle Award for Landscape Architectural Excellence

The OALA Pinnacle Award for Landscape Architectural Excellence acknowledges excellence in works by an OALA member and their exemplary overall body of professional work and accomplishments.

Singling out specific projects to draw attention to a body of work which demonstrates outstanding professional accomplishment, this award promotes awareness of the recipient’s landscape architectural works and achievements among landscape architects, allied professionals, potential clients and the public.

Steve Sunderland, OALA

Steve Sunderland has been a principal of CSW since 1979 and has brought strong administrative, organizational, and technical capabilities to a diversity of projects. His extensive portfolio of work includes residential, recreational, urban design, urban planning, and transportation planning projects. Of particular note is his special interest and proficiency in detail design and construction, which he has applied to projects across Canada.

Steve has worked on more than twenty major urban design projects, including street malls, parks, plazas, markets, and multi-use projects. Through his tireless enthusiasm, leadership, and passion for landscape architecture, Steve has made an invaluable contribution to the profession.

OALA Honorary Member Award

The Honorary category of membership is for non-landscape architects who have performed notable service in advancing the course of landscape architecture in the Province of Ontario for whom Council wishes to recognize for outstanding contributions in their own fields to improving the quality of natural and human environments.

Alex Munter

Alex Munter is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, home to some of Canada’s leading researchers in the area of childhood obesity. Alex encourages landscape architects to continue to build stronger communities and, in particular, to:

  • Recognize the needs of children/youth in land-use/transportation planning
  • Promote partnerships among policy makers, governments, researchers, communities, and specialists to develop child-/youth-friendly planning guidelines;
  • Involve young people in land-use planning and transportation decisions;
  • Encourage and facilitate active forms of transportation
  • Use mixed-use land planning to allow people easier access to essential goods and services. 

We are pleased to award Alex Munter an Honorary Membership in the OALA.

OALA Emeritus Member

Emeritus members are full members of OALA who have ceased full time practice and who are nominated by another full member in recognition of their years of service to the profession.

Alexander Topps, OALA

Alexander Topps’ early career focused on regional planning, preparing background environmental studies for numerous urban expansion areas. As a persistent environmental advocate, he persuaded clients to construct artificial wetlands and restore degraded watercourses well before these became common practices; devised a unique root-zone recharge system to sustain a provincially significant woodlot; designed a golf course maintained entirely by recycled urban runoff; and, as the environmental planner on the winning team in the 1994 Seaton design competition, illustrated the value of terrestrial tableland habitat linkages between sub-watersheds, a concept that is now a routine principle of sustainable urban planning.

In the 1980s, he became one of the first landscape architects to build a substantial practice as an expert witness at boards and tribunals. As his career evolved, he became progressively more design-focused, establishing an award-winning portfolio in public open space and urban design. Throughout his career, Alexander has been an active OALA volunteer, serving on the Examining Board as one of the group that successfully advocated for the LARE. He is also active with the CSLA, assisting with various task forces and as a member of the Landscape Architecture Accreditation Council.

OALA Research & Innovation Award

The OALA Research & Innovation Award recognizes the outstanding leadership, research and/or academic achievements of a member(s), or non-member(s), who, through scholarly activities and/or the development of innovative practices, inclusive of academic papers, research, publications, books, e-applications or public presentations, which contribute to the knowledge base that furthers the advancement of the art, science and practice of landscape architecture.

Robert D. Brown

Dr. Robert Brown, who teaches at the University of Guelph, has a distinguished record of academic scholarship. He is among the leading landscape architectural scholars in North America, ranking in the top ten percent for research productivity. In Canada his record is even more striking: he is the most-published scholar in the country (59 academic journal papers). The global reach of Dr. Brown’s research is notable. He has lectured and presented his research in seven countries, yet most of his work is based in Ontario, especially in his role as advisor to undergraduate and graduate students.

OALA Public Practice Award

The OALA Public Practice Award recognizes the outstanding leadership of a member of the profession in public practice who promotes and enhances landscape architecture by working for improved understanding and appreciation of the work of landscape architects in both public and private practice.

Jeff Silverthorn, OALA

Jeff Silverthorn has been in public service for 25 years. He started his career in the public sector, at the City of Kanata, where he worked for 13 years. With the 2001 amalgamation of Kanata with the City of Ottawa, Jeff became the program manager for all park and open space design and construction in Ottawa. He and his team now develop an average of 18 new parks per season and complete an additional 25 related park projects per year. As Manager of Design and Construction (Buildings and Parks), Jeff not only oversees all municipal park projects in Ottawa but also all of the many municipal architectural projects.

The David Erb Memorial Award

David Erb was an outstanding volunteer in furthering the goals of OALA. The David Erb Memorial Award is a prestigious way to acknowledge an OALA member whose outstanding volunteerism over the years, has contributed to furthering the goals and strategic plans of the OALA as well as, making a real difference to the OALA and its members.

This year the OALA recognizes two recipients.

Marianne Mokrycke, OALA

Marianne has given tireless dedication to the OALA, contributing to many successful events, including several annual general meetings, continuing education seminars, workshops, industry tours, and as co-chair of the OALA Continuing Education Committee (CEC). Her enthusiasm, strong determination, perseverance, and motivation in putting together programs for the CEC have been, quite simply, exceptional. Her sense of humour and frankness have had a positive impact on the entire committee, and on the OALA in general.

Diane Emmerson, OALA

For the past five years, Diane has taken a leading role in guiding the activities of Landscape Architecture Ottawa. As chair of this group, Diane has worked tirelessly to organize and chair monthly meetings, professional events, and social gatherings. Her involvement has re-invigorated what was an essentially dormant chapter into a vibrant group of more than 75 professionals. Diane has served as the communications conduit through which Ottawa-area members are able to exchange information, stay informed on continuing education sessions, and form positions on local issues, such as the re-development of Lansdowne Park and Ottawa Street Tree Planting policies.

Carl Borgstrom Award for Service to the Environment

The Carl Borgstrom Award for Service to the Environment recognizes an OALA member or landscape architectural group, organization, or agency recognized by OALA whose practice promotes special or unique contributions to sensitive, sustainable design and use of the environment.

This year the OALA recognizes two recipients.

Victoria Lister Carley, OALA

Victoria Lister Carley weaves her skills as a visual artist with her passionate interest in the environment to create landscapes that combine the evocative and emotional qualities of art with sensitivity to the environment. She is a long-time member of the Friends of the Leslie Street Spit Steering Committee, a former Board member of the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority and the Ontario Field Ornithologists, participant in various citizen science projects, and a founding member of the Ground Editorial Board.

Glenn Gilbert, OALA

Glenn Gilbert’s interest in working with First Nations and the environment brought him to Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, Ontario Region, where, in the mid-1990s, he was appointed Regional Manager, Environment Unit. He has worked with many diverse groups, often at odds, to bring environmental principles to the forefront of the management of a multi-million-dollar capital program affecting 127 First Nation communities.

OALA Award for Service to the Environment

This award is given to a non-landscape architectural individual, group, organization, or agency in the Province of Ontario to recognize and encourage a special or unusual contribution to the sensitive, sustainable design for human use of the environment. The contribution must emulate the fundamental principles of the OALA and the OALA Mission Statement and go beyond the normal levels of community action in preserving, protecting, or improving the environment.

This year the OALA recognizes two recipients.

The Beaver River Watershed Initiative

Dedicated to the restoration and rehabilitation of the Beaver River Watershed, in Grey County, Ontario, this initiative has involved the community-at-large, government agencies, individual stakeholders, service clubs, member municipalities, landowners, and sports clubs in their efforts.

Citizens for Safe Cycling, Ottawa

In Ottawa, there are no greater champions of cycling than Citizens for Safe Cycling and the group’s president, Hans Moor. Along with inspiring new cyclists and building consensus among advocacy groups, Hans has been a reliable and invaluable resource, providing input on many City of Ottawa policies and projects that involve cycling issues, and has made a substantial impact on the community.