Royal Architectural Institute of Canada

Governor General's Medals in Architecture — Call for Submissions


Submissions deadline: 4:00 p.m. December 1, 2017

RAIC and the Canada Council for the Arts (CCA) are pleased to invite architects to participate in the competition for the 2018 Governor General’s Medals in Architecture. The RAIC, with the RAIC College of Fellows, is proud to organize and administer the competition. The Canada Council for the Arts is responsible for selecting and administering the peer assessment committee.

>  Objective

>  Rules of the Competition

>  Eligibility

>  Questions and Answers

>  Awards

>  Notification

>  Peer Assessment Committee

>  Checklist

>  Assessment

>  For More Information

>  Procedures for Entry



The objective of the Governor General’s Medals in Architecture is to recognize and celebrate outstanding design in recently completed built projects by Canadian architects. The 2018 competition continues a tradition initiated by the Massey Medals in 1950, providing an important source of understanding of the nature of Canadian architecture and the regional, cultural and historic forces expressed in the built environment.


Projects built in and outside of Canada, completed between January 1, 2010 and September 1, 2017 and for which licensed/registered architects or Team of Architects who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada and are licensed/registered with a Canadian Provincial or Territorial Jurisdiction and were the lead design architects, are eligible to be submitted.

The following are NOT eligible:

  • projects having received a Governor General’s Medal in Architecture in a previous competition;
  • projects with involvement of a peer assessment committee member (jury) for the 2018 competition; or a member of the RAIC Awards Committee or RAIC staff; or a member of the Board or staff of the Canada Council for the Arts.


The 2018 competition will result in the awarding of 12 Governor General’s Medals in Architecture.

Peer Assessment Committee

The Jury members are:

David T. Fortin, MRAIC, PhD, Architect AAA
Assistant Professor, Laurentian University McEwen School of Architecture (Alberta, Saskatchewan and Sudbury, Ontario)

Adele Weder, MASA, Hon. MRAIC
Editor 2017-18, Canadian Architect (Vancouver, BC)

Andrew Frontini, MRAIC
Design Director, Principal Perkins + Will (Toronto, ON)

Andrea Wolff, FRAIC
Founding Partner, ARCHITEM Wolff Shapiro Kuskowski Architects (Montreal, QC)

Róisín Heneghan
Founding Parnter, Heneghan Peng Architects (Dublin, Ireland)


Medals are awarded for excellence in the art of architecture. The primary criterion will be the architectural artistic merit of the design, including such elements as:

  • conceptual clarity;
  • compatibility with the site;
  • detailing;
  • innovation and uniqueness;
  • sustainable design.

Procedures for Entry

Submission Date

Submissions must be received before 4 p.m. Friday, December 1, 2017. Entrants are solely responsible for timely submissions. This date and time are firm without exceptions.

Submissions must be sent to:

Governor General’s Medals in Architecture
Suite 330, 55 Murray Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1N 5M3

Entry Fee

For RAIC members: (the lead design architect must be a member of the RAIC)

525.00 $ AB, BC, MB, NT, NU, SK, YT
574.88 $ QC
565.00 $ ON
575.00 $ NB, NL, NS, PE

For non-RAIC members:

787.50 $ AB, BC, MB, NT, NU, SK, YT
862.31 $ QC
847.50 $ ON
862.50 $ NB, NL, NS, PE

All prices include applicable taxes.



Please note that binders, including hardcopies of project images, are no longer accepted. For each entry, two printed copies of each of the following documents must be included in the submission package and two CD/DVD-ROMs or USB key:

  • Project Information/Credit Sheet (item 2)
  • 500-word Project Description (item 3)
  • Key List of Images (item 5)

Only one copy of the proof of payment needs to be submitted (item 6).

For reproduction clarity, printed copies should be in black ink on one-sided 8 ½” x 11” white sheets of regular photocopy paper (portrait orientation). These same documents must also be included in electronic format (Microsoft Word), along with digital images (item 4), on two duplicate CD/DVD-ROMs or USB keys. The online payment receipt should be submitted as a PDF file.


All credits on certificates, medals and publicity will be based on this information. Any errors or omissions will be the responsibility of the entrant. All information must be typed.

Full credit must be given. If more than one architect is credited for a single project, the order in which names are listed will be the official sequence.

Please use the indicators A - G as follows.


Name of Project
Location (City, Province, Country)
Date of Occupancy
Construction Budget
Cost per square foot for residential projects


Contact Person if different from (B):
Firm Name
Street Address, City,
Province, Postal Code


Lead Design Architect or Team of Architects
Provincial Architectural License Number and/or Proof of Registration
Firm Name
Street Address, City, Province, Postal Code
Lead Contact Person
(from each architectural firm involved in project, if a joint venture or consortium):

Architect Name
Firm Name
Street Address, City, Province, Postal Code
List of individuals of the Project
Team to be recognized:
Firm Name


Media Contact Person:
Firm Name
Street Address, City,
Province, Postal Code


Street Address, City,
Province, Postal Code


Consulting Team:
Primary Consultants
Specialist Consultants


Signature of Architect
(Principal, Partner or Director)


Two (2) descriptions are required:

  1. A 500-word maximum statement on one page outlining the objectives and significance of the project and summarizing for the peer assessment committee (jury) why the project is considered worthy of a medal. This text should be conceived to be accessible to the general public.
  2. A 100-word maximum media statement crafted for website postings and media campaigns. 


A maximum of 10 digital images including a site plan, a building plan and cross-section must be included on two (2) duplicate PC-compatible CD/DVD-ROMs or USB key. CD/DVD-ROMs or USB key must be labeled with the project name. An image file can be composed of one or several images. All images used in a composite image must be provided as individual image files (at high resolution only) in a folder entitled “Composite Individual Images”.

Each of the 10 images must be saved in two resolutions; a high resolution version for publication purposes and a low resolution version for jury adjudication. Images must be stored in corresponding folders labeled “High Resolution” and “Low Resolution”.

Electronic images must comply with the following specifications:

  • Only JPEG image-format saved at high-quality/low-compression setting are acceptable. Low-quality/high-compression JPEGs will not be accepted.
  • High resolution images must be 300 dpi and approximately 4200 x 3150 pixels. Low resolution images must be a maximum size of 1.5 MB.
  • All images should be in RGB color mode (CMYK will not be accepted).
  • All file names must be composed of a number followed by a title. Single digit numbers must start with zero “0” (ex.: “01title.jpg”… “09title.jpg”, “10title.jpg”). Do not use punctuation, symbols or more than 45 characters in the file names.
  • Compressed archive files (.zip, .sit) will not be accepted.
  • Editing and/or deletion of existing building elements to artificially enhance an image will not be accepted.


The Key List of Images should correspond to the images on the CD/DVD-ROMs or USB key and should include image number, name of building, architect and photographer credits where applicable for each image provided.

6. Proof of payment

Once the payment has been processed online, a receipt will be emailed to you. You are to include a hard copy of this receipt in your submission package as proof of payment. A PDF document of this receipt should also be included on the CD/DVD-ROMs or USB key along with other required documents. 

Rules of the Competition

Only one medal will be bestowed to the lead design architect listed for each project selected. Additional medals can be purchased upon request by each architectural firm involved in the project or by the client.

Submission of an entry to the 2018 Governor General’s Medals in Architecture grants all rights to the RAIC and Canada Council for the Arts for unrestricted publication of the material in all media, including electronic media. Permission from owners/clients and photographers is the responsibility of the entrants and must be obtained before making an entry.
Photographs used for any purpose by the RAIC or the Canada Council for the Arts will bear the customary photographer’s credit line as provided by the entrant.

All submissions will be kept by the RAIC for publications, public relations and archival purposes. Unsuccessful entries will not be returned to entrants.

All recipients of winning submissions must produce two display panels. The panels must be delivered to the RAIC by April 6, 2018. All panels must be made from 1/2” thick gatorboard, 20” x 20” in size. Detailed specifications will be provided to all medalists.

RAIC and the Canada Council for the Arts must be included in all media/newspaper releases and announcements regarding the medal by winning candidates.

Questions & Answers

Q1 - Is one studio able to submit more than one project for consideration? If so, should each be sent out in their own envelope? Lastly, would the studio pay the entrance fee for each project? Or one fee overall?

A1 - Your studio can submit more than one submission for this award.  A fee is required for each submission. Each submission should be in one envelope but can certainly be couriered together in a larger envelope.

Q2 - Are the Governor General’s Awards anonymous?  Is the firm name only to be included in the Project Information Page? 

A2 – No, the submissions are not anonymous, the firm name can be included.

Q3 - Are images allowed to be presented in portrait orientation, i.e., high resolution images at (300dpi at 3150 pixels x 4200 pixels)?

A3 - Yes, the images can be submitted in portrait or landscape format.

Q4 - How will the jury members be reviewing the submissions? Will they be reviewing them on screen in a group setting? 

A4 – The submissions will be projected on a screen via a projector during a face to face meeting.

Q5 -  Can the digital images include more than one illustration? (i.e. two floor plans in one page; or two interior shots in one page; and the like)?

A5 - Yes, an image can include more than one photo/illustration. This will be referred to as a collage. All images within the collage must be saved individually as image files in a sub folder within the main images folder.

Q6 - Is it possible to drop the submission off to the indicated address (Suite 330, 55 Murray Street, Ottawa, ON) before the deadline, or must it be delivered via post?

A6 -  Yes, the submission can be hand-delivered our couriered prior to the deadline.  Our office is open from 8:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Q7 - Are we able to use the firm names involved on the project as part of the Item 3 write-ups?

A7 -  Yes, reference to the firm is permitted.

Q8 - As part of items 4 or 5, do you want us to provide any text or description to identify what the image is?  This would be especially helpful with the composite images containing multiple photos.

A8 - Yes, you can add the descriptive text for each image in the image key list form.

Q9 - Do additional medal requests need to be identified at the time of this submission, or can it be requested later in the event that we identified as a winning team?

A9 – Confirmation of additional medals is only required after the firm has been informed that it is a recipient of the medal.

Q10 - The instructions state that low resolution images must be a maximum size of 1.5 MB. Is this the saved file size or the image size when opened? 

A10 – This refers to the saved file size.

Q11 - How will submissions be viewed? Are only the low-resolution files used for judging and are they projected on a screen or viewed on monitors?

A11 - Yes, only low-resolution images will be projected on a screen.  The high-resolution files are required should the project be selected as a recipient for our publication.


The winning entrants will be notified privately of the results approximately three months after the deadline date. It is expected that the public announcement and an awards ceremony will be held in 2018 in Ottawa. Travel to the ceremony for the medalists is at their own expense. Entrants who are not selected will be notified by letter. Results will not be released over the telephone.


Submission package should contain:

  • Two (2) printed copies of the Project Information/Credit Sheet
  • Two (2) printed copies of the 500-word Project description
  • Two (2) printed copies of the Key List of all digital images
  • One (1) printed copy of the online payment receipt as proof of payment
  • Two (2) copies of a CD/DVD-ROMs or USB key containing:

    • a maximum of 10 digital images of which a site plan, a building plan and a building cross-section must be included;
    • Project information/credit sheet (MS Word format);
    • 500-word Project description (MS Word format);
    • 100-word Project media description (MS Word format);
    • Key List of Images (MS Word format);
    • Online payment receipt as proof of payment (PDF).

For More Information

Tel: 1-844-856-7242