Upcoming Events

Sep 14 2020 Calls / Competitions /

The Canadian Architect Awards Of Excellence

September 14, 11:59 PM Submission deadline.


Celebrating 53 years, Canadian Architect has since 1967 sponsored an annual national awards program recognizing projects in the design stage. Each year, submissions are due in September, judging takes place in October and the winning schemes are published in a special issue every December. Student Awards of Excellence are also awarded for final-year projects by Canadian architecture students.


Please watch this space for updates.

June 1, 2020: Competition opens. Click here to enter the submission portal.

September 14, 2020 @ 11:59 pm: Submission deadline.

Mid-October, 2020: Winners notified

December 2020: Winners featured in December issue of Canadian Architect 


To enter, you must be either (A) an architect registered in Canada or (B) a graduate of an accredited Canadian architecture school holding a professional degree from that school.

Projects must be in the design stage, scheduled for construction or under construction but not substantially complete by September 10, 2020. All projects must be commissioned by a client with the intention to build the submitted proposal. All building types and concisely presented urban design schemes are eligible.

To enter the student awards, you must have been nominated by your school and asked to submit via a separate site.


Awards are given for architectural design excellence. Jurors will consider the following criteria (with all criteria being weighted equally): 

  • Physical organization and form, including attention to composition and detail
  • Response to program, site, geographic and/or urban context
  • Innovation in concept, process, materials, building systems and/or implementation
  • Demonstration of exemplary environmental and/or social awareness 

You can read about our 2020 jurors here.


Each entry is to be submitted as a PDF file, consisting of up to twelve (12) pages in horizontal format no larger than 11” x 17” and a maximum file size of 25 MB. To facilitate in the judging process, an additional single feature image of the project is required, not to exceed 3 MB in size.

Each entry should include drawings and images including site plan, floor plans, sections, elevations and/or model views.

Each entry should include a text of up to 500 words on the first page of the PDF, consisting of a brief description of the project. Additional descriptive text of up to 1000 words more may be included within the PDF file.

You have the option to submit a video up to two (2) minutes in length to explain the key concepts of your proposal. To submit the video, first upload it to a YouTube account that does not identify you or your firm by name. Then paste the YouTube link in the video section of the submission form. Also, include the link on the first page of your PDF submission. Please do not include links to any additional audiovisual materials, as they will not be considered.

The designer’s name must NOT appear on the submission except on the entry form. The project name and location should be identified and must match the project name on the submission form.

We strongly encourage submissions to include the project’s projected Energy Use Intensity (EUI, in kWh/m2/year) and Water Use Intensity (WUI, in m3/m2/year). These figures should be indicated on the first page of the entry.


Entry Fee: $175.00 plus applicable taxes

All payments are processed online, and all major credit cards are accepted. 



Award winners will be notified after judging takes place in October 2020. 

Framed certificates will be given to each winning architect team and client.

Winners will be published in a special issue of Canadian Architect in December 2020. Winners grant Canadian Architect first publication rights for their winning submissions.


Q: How will the entries be viewed?
 The jurors will be previewing the entries by PDF. At the jurying session, the entries will be reviewed digitally on a large screen. The Key Image submitted for each entry will be printed out for use as a reference during the jurying session.

Q: Is it possible to submit a printed version instead of a PDF?
A: No. We only accept digital submissions. In the past, submissions were accepted by print, but we have now transitioned over to a fully digital submission process.

Q: Can my entry be prepared in French?
A: Yes. Most entries are submitted in English, and English is the recommended language of submission to ensure the fullest understanding of your project. However, we will have bilingual staff and jurors who can help provide loose translations of entries submitted in French during the jurying session.

Q: Can I submit multiple entries?
A: Yes. You will need to go through the submission process for each separate entry.

Q: Can I resubmit an entry from a previous year?
A: Yes. You may resubmit an entry from a previous year for consideration by this year’s jury. We encourage you to include updated information if available.

Q: If a project received an Award of Merit in a previous year, can it be re-submitted for consideration for the Award of Excellence?
A: No. If a project has already been recognized with an Award, we will not accept the submission again.

Q: Does the additional feature image count in the 12 total pages?
A: No. During the submission process, you will be asked to upload the feature image separately. Typically, entrants choose to use an image that is repeated within their 12-page entry.

Q: Should I include a cover page? And would it be included in the 12 total pages?
A: A cover page is optional. If you choose to include one, you may add it as an additional page. However, the total file size must remain under 25 MB.

Q: Must the 500-word text appear on the cover page or the first page after?
A: The text should appear on the first of the 12 main pages of your PDF entry (ie. the first page if no cover page is included, or the first page after the cover page).

Q: Why are you asking for the Energy Use Intensity (EUI) and Water Use Intensity (WUI) figures? Are these required?
A:  In recent years, sustainability has been an important consideration for jurors. Having these metrics allows the jurors to better evaluate the sustainability aspect of submitted projects. It is strongly suggested that you include them on the first page of your entry, if they are available. However, given that these metrics may not be available for all projects, it is not a requirement for submitting to the awards at this time.

Q: Who should I contact with additional questions?
A: For submission eligibility inquiries, please contact Elsa Lam, Editor, elam@canadianarchitect.com.
For technical or form inquiries, please contact Laura Moffatt, Manager, Publishing Operations, lmoffatt@iqbusinessmedia.com.