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Notes: A miscellany of news and events

The CSLA is calling for nominations for the 2022 Governor General’s Medal in Landscape Architecture—“the highest honour bestowed on a landscape architect by the CSLA.” Eligibility and assessment criteria are all detailed on the CSLA website, and the deadline for submissions is February 17, 2022, at 4 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. For more information, visit: www.csla-aapc.ca/awards/gg-medal.

Blue Stick Garden. IMAGE/ Courtesy of Claude Cormier + Associés

Claude Cormier, the celebrated Canadian landscape architect behind iconic spaces such as Berczy Park and Sugar Beach in Toronto, or installations like “Pink Balls” and “18 Shades of Gay” in Montreal’s Gay Village, has established a scholarship for the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design Masters in Landscape Architecture program, at his alma mater, the University of Toronto. The annual “Claude Cormier Award in Landscape Architecture” will provide $500,000 to an MLA student in their final year, to cover their tuition and allow them to travel and enhance their studies.

18 Shades of Gay, Montreal. IMAGE/ Our American Dream www.ouramericandream.fr

“This is an important moment for landscape architecture,” Cormier says in a U of T news release. “There is growing recognition that landscape architecture is not about selecting plants to adorn a building, but rather that landscape is integral to making meaningful places.

“Landscape architecture is about drawing connections between people and buildings, connecting natural ecosystems with urban environments, and positively steering the health of ourselves and our planet.

“We need to support the next generation of landscape architects to discover new ways of designing for our built environment.” Third-year MLA student Agata Mrozowski is the award’s 2021 recipient.

Sugar Beach, Toronto. IMAGE/ Industryous Photography
Berczy Park, Toronto. IMAGE/ Industryous Photography

new members
The Ontario Association of Landscape Architects is proud to recognize and welcome the following new members
to the Association:
Shaun Barattia *
Chloe Bennett *
David Bodnarchuk
Steven Byrne
Cornel Campbell *
Myles Carbert
Hugh (Hui) Chen *
Cynthia Chiu Chen *
Alessandro Colavecchio
Jason Connacher
Hadi El-Shayeb *
Kent Ford
Harmandeep Gill
Robert Gray
Darren Hoekstra
David Howerton
Zachary Hunter
Asuka Kono
Nicole Lamirande
Max Lazo
Andrea Legere

Asterisk (*) denotes Full Members without the use of professional seal.

Sticking with the Cormier theme, readers will likely be interested in the retrospective book about the work of Claude Cormier et Associés, Serious Fun: the landscapes of Claude Cormier.

It’s written by Marc Treib, an historian and landscape architecture critic and professor of architecture emeritus at University of California, Berkley, and Susan Herrington, a United States-licenced landscape architect and landscape architecture professor at University of British Columbia.

The book is full of big, brightly-coloured images’ of Cormier’s work, conceptual drawings, and inspirations, and it digs into methods and ideas behind some of the firm’s iconic works.

Serious Fun book. IMAGE/ Courtesy of ORO Editions

in memoriam

Jeffrey Beaton, MLA, OALA, CSLA
The OALA is saddened to announce the passing of Jeffrey Beaton. Jeff had been a full member of the OALA since November 2012. The Association was notified on September 30th 2021.

Jeffrey graduated from the University of Western Ontario with an undergraduate degree in biology. He graduated from the University of Guelph in 2009 with his master’s in landscape architecture and became a full member of the OALA in November 2012.

Jeffrey worked at AECOM until 2016, when he joined the City of Pickering. At the City, he held the position of Coordinator, Parks Infrastructure within the Operations Department, Public Works Section.

In its memo to colleagues, Jeff’s coworkers noted that he was a caring, friendly and approachable person who enjoyed working alongside his colleagues to deliver key parks projects to our residents.

Jeff also invested his time and talent to make his community a better place. As a resident of Whitby, Jeff was a member of the Governance Committee and the Board representative on the Lakeridge Health Foundation. He volunteered his time to many local organizations, including the Town of Whitby, where he was the Chair of the Accessibility Advisory Committee (ACC). He also supported the Durham Region Transit Advisory Committee, and the Durham Youth Justice Committee through the Boys and Girls Club of Durham.

In honour of Jeff Beaton, the flags flown at City properties in Pickering were at half-mast.

In addition to his work within the community, Jeff was an active volunteer for the OALA. He was a reviewer for Associate PDP reports as well as an advisor to Associate members of the OALA. Jeff also organized and led local tours for landscape architects in Durham region and participated in many OALA Continuing Education and social events. Just this past summer, Jeff had requested a past issue of Ground quarterly magazine to ensure his library was complete.

Services for Jeffrey were held in Timmins, Ontario.

OALA members have alerted us to a petition being circulated by NDP MPP for Spadina—Fort York Chris Glover, entitled “Protect Migratory Birds.”According to the petition, an estimated 25 million birds die in Canada, annually, in collisions with windows. This includes at-risk species. Some Ontario municipalities have standards requiring bird-friendly design, especially for commercial buildings, but they’re not universal.

The petition wants the Ontario Legislature to incorporate the Canadian Standards Association’s 2019 “Bird Friendly Building Design” guidelines into the Ontario Building Code, and require bird-friendly materials to be incorporated in new residential and commercial windows.

If you’d like to sign this petition, you can visit: www.chrisglovermpp.ca/protect_migratory_birds.

equity resources
In the hopes of promoting diversity, equity, and understanding, Ground will be sharing resources for supporting, encouraging, and celebrating racial justice in the landscape architecture field. Here are a few selections:

The Skin We’re In: A year of Black resistance and power by Desmond Cole, published by Doubleday Canada.

“As a writer and editor in the realm of public space who happens to enjoy pretty much every privilege a person can have, it’s important for me to seek out perspectives from people with profoundly different lived experiences—especially those of people who experience systemic oppression, racism, and other forms of sanctioned, societal violence.

In Desmond Cole’s award-winning book, he documents the many ways our governments, police forces, school boards, and white colonial culture contribute to and perpetuate anti-Black racism. Because this racism is so pervasive, Cole demonstrates, there’s really no aspect of our institutions or the public realm that is untouched by this ongoing injustice.

As such, landscape architects, urban planners, advocates, and community leaders must always view the public realm through the lens of anti-oppression and racism, or the spaces and communities they contribute to will continue to perpetuate these injustices. The Skin We’re In provides such a lens, I’m certain it will be valuable and compelling for anyone who picks it up.” — Glyn Bowerman, Ground Editor and host of the Spacing Radio podcast

If you’d like to go deeper, the CSLA is providing a Diversity & Equity Resources page on their website: www.csla-aapc.ca/mission-areas/diversity-and-equity.