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OALA Awards

Congratulations to all those honoured with the 2023 OALA Recognition Awards, and special thank you to the OALA Honours, Awards and Protocol Committee (HAP) members: Jane Welsh (Chair), Steve Barnhart, James Melvin, Nelson Edwards, Ashley Hosker, and Stefan Fediuk. The awards were presented on June 8th at OALA Honours.

Award winner, Tony DiGiovanni at OALA Honours of June 8, 2023 with Steve Barnhart (left) and Jane Welsh (right). IMAGE/ Courtesy of OALA

This award acknowledges excellence by an OALA member and their exemplary overall body of professional work and accomplishments. The award promotes awareness of landscape architectural works and achievements among landscape architects, allied professionals, clients, and the public.

Donna Hinde, OALA, FCSLA
Donna Hinde has a distinguished, 40-year career. After graduating from the landscape architecture program at the University of Guelph, Donna took a position at engineering firm MMM Dillon. Within two years, she was a division head. She gained a provincial reputation in community redevelopment and facilitated many successful community meetings. In the early 90s, she co-founded what became The Planning Partnership where she remains an active partner, and where her work has garnered numerous awards. She served as president of OALA
from 1998-2000 and increased the visibility of the profession and ramped up the Association’s public voice to advocate for important environmental and social issues.

Honourary members are those who have contributed significantly to advancing the course of landscape architecture in Ontario.

Tony DiGiovanni
Tony is the former Executive Director of Landscape Ontario. Throughout his 33-year tenure there, he demonstrated a strong commitment to collaboration, and has been instrumental in bringing together diverse individuals and organizations. He advanced the priorities of Landscape Ontario members, and his work has had a significant impact on the profession. Tony continues to inspire and support students pursuing post-secondary education in the horticulture field, and the Tony DiGiovanni Scholarship Fund was launched in 2003. His work on the Highway of Heroes Living Tribute and involvement on the boards of Canadian Trees for Life and the Toronto Botanical Gardens are further examples of his dedication to the profession.

This award recognizes scholarly activities and/or the development of innovative practices and the publication and dissemination of this knowledge for the betterment of the profession and the greater good. This may include: 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. There are two recipients this year.

Brendan Stewart, OALA, CSLA
Brendan Stewart has been a full-time professor at the University of Guelph since 2017. His teaching and research as a professor in the landscape architecture programs, undergraduate and master’s, focuses on cultural landscapes and community design. Brendan is a leader of the plazaPOPS program, a community-led, high-impact, low-cost process that transforms parking lots into free and accessible gathering places. plazaPOPS seeks to support and enhance the vibrant communities and businesses that already characterize Toronto’s inner suburbs. In addition, Brendan has received several SSHRC grants to fund this program and was awarded $1 million by the federal government in June, 2021.

plazaPOPS. IMAGES/ Courtesy of Brendan Stewart

Fadi Masoud
Fadi Masoud’s research as a professor in the Master of Landscape Architecture Program at the University of Toronto addresses critical issues like the global climate crisis, and social equity and justice. His work has resulted in numerous publications, exhibitions, and collaborative research design projects. He built a new interdisciplinary research network, his work has secured over $500,000 in grants, and he has trained over 30 MLA students as research assistants. Fadi’s founding of the Platform for Resilient Urbanism (PRU) lab in 2018, focusing on climate adaptation and resilient cities, is a testament to his commitment to advancing the role of landscape architects in fighting the climate crisis.

Renderings by Fadi Masoud. IMAGES/ Courtesy of Fadi Masoud

This public outreach award recognizes and encourages special or unusual contributions for culturally sensitive and inclusive, sustainable design solutions leading to the improvement of environmental health, community livability, and human interaction in the environment. The award may also recognize work that contributes to addressing climate change and supports nature-based solutions.

Plenty Canada
Plenty Canada is an Indigenous not-for-profit organization committed to reconciliation through the cross-cultural protection of nature. Their mission is to facilitate access to and share resources with Indigenous peoples and other community groups around the world in support of their environmental protection and sustainable development goals. Plenty Canada is dedicated to Indigenous cultural revitalization, and the building of cultural capacity within communities. Recent environmental stewardship projects include the Greenbelt Plant Survey, a new role as the management organization for the UNESCO Biosphere Designation of the Niagara Escarpment, and the Reconciliation and Climate Change Planting partnership.

This award recognizes an OALA member who practices in an environmentally, socially, culturally, and economically sensitive and sustainable manner. Ecologically sound and sustainable design does not preclude aesthetically beautiful work, nor vice versa, and this award is intended to recognize such efforts.

Sibylle von Knobloch, OALA, CSLA
In her 40-plus-year landscape architecture career, Sibylle von Knobloch has left her mark on the urban landscape of Toronto. As a Principal of NAK Design Group Inc., she led the design of numerous urban landscapes, public parks, and large, multi-use developments that promote sustainable design strategies and stewardship. Her work on Clover Hill Park and Gibson Park demonstrate her intent to maintain the site’s natural assets. She has received numerous awards and citations for her work throughout the GTA, most notably from BILD, CSLA, and various municipalities’ urban design awards. She has been a member of the Toronto Urban Design Review Committee and the Mississauga Urban Design Advisory Panel.

EI8HTY8 Condos and Gibson Park. IMAGES/ Courtesy of Sibylle von Knobloch

This award recognizes the outstanding leadership and contribution of an associate member for going above and beyond to assist fellow associates.

Khatereh Baharikhoob
Khatereh Baharikhoob has demonstrated exceptional leadership skills and commitment to the profession through her volunteerism within OALA. She is a pivotal member of the Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) Task Force. Her commitment to this project has been unwavering, from assisting in reviewing/drafting the RFP for a JEDI-focused consultancy, to participating in meaningful conversations with fellow Task Force members. Khatereh is a mentor, guest speaker, and review critic at the University of Guelph’s BLA Program. She provides ongoing mentorship to multiple students and new MLA graduates, encouraging them to attend OALA webinars and conferences and expand their networks.

Renderings by DIALOG. IMAGES/ Courtesy of Khatereh Baharikhoob

This prestigious award is named for an outstanding volunteer of the OALA, David Erb. His volunteer services to the Association furthered the goals of the OALA and set a high standard. This award recognizes a Full Member of the OALA who has shown outstanding volunteerism over the years, and contributed to furthering the goals and strategic plan of the OALA, while making a real difference to the association and its members. There are two recipients this year.

Eric Conway, OALA, CSLA
For several years, Eric Conway has been an active member of OALA and the Southwest Chapter. He assisted in the organization and programming of both the 2020 conference (canceled due to COVID), and the joint conference with OPPI held in London in 2022. At the Southwest Chapter, Eric is always looking for ways to engage with the London community and region. He is also an active member of the CSLA Committee on Climate Adaptation Municipal Roundtable where he organized the 2022 session in London featuring London’s Climate Emergency Action Plan.

Ryan James, OALA, CSLA
Ryan James is a leader within OALA and the Landscape Architecture Ottawa (LAO) chapter. He volunteers to benefit not just the OALA, but the National Capital Region and various community groups. He has been a member of the Social Committee since 2018, and is responsible for organizing key annual events such as the skating event at Rideau Hall, and the summer and holiday socials. As Chair of the LAO, he has been the first point of contact for local agencies and municipalities who need to communicate with local landscape architects and the Association. He also attends local events with government leaders to garner support for the Practice Act.

Social Committee outing. IMAGE/ Courtesy of Ryan James

This award acknowledges the outstanding leadership of a member of the profession in public service 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. The award may be given to an individual in recognition of a specific project, for a body of work, or for exemplary leadership or advocacy. There are two recipients this year.

Stephen O’Bright, OALA, CSLA

Stephen O’Bright is an accomplished landscape architect and certified engineering technologist. He has been involved with OALA for many years, serving in various roles, including liaison representative with the Ontario Parks Association, elected Executive Councillor - Secretary, Chairman of the Examination Board, Examination Board member, and on both the Communications and Tutorial committees. He is also the 2002 David Erb Award recipient. Stephen’s extensive body of work, and his appreciation of Toronto’s cultural, architectural, archeological, and natural heritage has helped creat vibrant active amenities that balance functional design with operational requirements.

Sun deck rendering. IMAGE/ Courtesy of Stephen O'Bright

Robert Duguid, OALA, CSLA
Robert Duguid is a skilled landscape architect who has shaped Toronto’s public realm for over 30 years in the realms of environmental sustainability, master planning, urban design, cultural landscapes, and waterfront revitalization. His extensive portfolio includes projects all across Toronto, and his expertise, professionalism, and understated project management approach has influenced and touched many colleagues and professionals alike. His work showcases the integrity of his project delivery and his attention to detail speaks volumes for itself.

This award is given in recognition of the contributions of an OALA Full member who supports and advances initiatives and actions of the Association and promotes the profession of landscape architecture in the province of Ontario.

Jane Welsh, OALA, FCSLA
Jane Welsh has made significant contributions in her over-30-year career. President of the OALA for 3 years, Jane gave countless hours to advance landscape architecture in Ontario. She conducted in-person meetings with leaders at all levels of government, providing position papers and advocating for the profession during the COVID-19 pandemic. Jane’s work includes the City of Toronto’s first ravine bylaw, the Green Roof bylaw, a world-class municipal green building standard, and the City of Toronto’s first Environmental Plan, and her current leadership role in the 2022 Municipal Comprehensive Review of environmental policies in the Official Plan. As chair of the CSLA Committee on Climate Adaptation, Jane is leading discussions on mitigating and adapting to environmental change.