A Brief History: Building the Foundation

Winnipeg, Portage Place c. 1988  /  Winnipeg Architecture Foundation 

...it is important to note that it is not the interest of LACF to enhance the profession of landscape architecture. Rather the interest of LACF is to support the enhancement of man's environment -Task Force Report 08.1987

Landscape architects know that a sound foundation is essential to achieving lasting results. In the mid-1980s, when Donald Graham, FCSLA, suggested reviving previous efforts to establish a Foundation which would support the core values of the profession of landscape architecture, he received an enthusiastic response.

An organizational task force, chaired by Cecelia Paine, FCSLA, and an interim board worked to define the philosophy and objectives and formulate an action plan. Landscape Architecture Canada Foundation (LACF) held its first official meeting in Winnipeg, July 1988. The duly appointed Board of Directors, chaired by Jim Taylor, FCSLA, proceeded with the election of officers and reviewed the task force recommendations and bylaws. This is when the official journey began. 

LACF and CSLA - Shared territory and distinctly different

The Canadian Society of Landscape Architects (CSLA, est. 1930) and the Landscape Architecture Canada Foundation (LACF - est. 1989) share the landscape as common ground.  CSLA is a professional organization for landscape architects, interns and students that stands as the Canadian voice advocating for the profession and its members.  LACF's mission is to promote and advance the fundamental ideals of the profession through research, communication and scholarship. LACF is also a charitable organization that receives and disburses funds in support of its mission.   

In 1989, CSLA Fellows and members took the lead in establishing and administering LACF and they have remained committed to ensuring its continued success for over 30 years. The CSLA College of Fellows has a longstanding tradition of leading an annual fundraising Campaign of Fellows. Many members of the LACF Board of Directors are CSLA members. 

The Frances McLeod Blue bequest

In 1992, LACF greatly benefited from a sizeable bequest to the Foundation from Frances McLeod Blue.  Frances Blue (1914-1991)  served as an active member of the CSLA for many years and eventually, she became the official recorder of CSLA history. Given her profound dedication to landscape architecture, perhaps it was not surprising then that the profession continued to benefit from her generosity after her passing.  Her estate donated $225,000 to LACF providing a solid foundation for grants and other activities in support of research, scholarship and communication. Her legacy gift helped establish core programs and later inspired the LACF board to establish the Frances McLeod Collection / Fund at the University of Guelph archives in her honour.  LACF also created the Frances Blue Legacy Circlea donation category that recognizes individuals or groups who plan to gift the Foundation in their trust or will.

A Short History of The Landscape Architecture Canada Foundation by James Taylor FCSLA, one of the founding members of LACF, provides a concise overview of who was there and how it all began.  

Moving forward...

3 logos and 30 years of supporting research, communication and scholarship 

To mark LACF’s 25th anniversary [2013], the by-laws of the Foundation were amended to permit expanded membership. LACF set new financial targets and elaborated strategies and policies towards ensuring a sustainable future. The logo and website were redesigned in 2014 to reflect the colour and vibrancy of the profession and the Foundation. In 2015, a memorandum of understanding between LACF and CSLA  outlining collaborative initiatives and common ground was established. The Foundation is grateful to the CSLA and component associations for their continued collaboration as well as their in-kind and promotional support. 

In 2019, with increased support, growing popularity, generous sponsors and a well-established core program of research, communication and scholarship activities, LACF is growing strong. 

 LACF Board members >