LACF Annual Grants Program

"Research is essential for evidence-based decision-making and creating spaces and systems that respond to environmental and human needs." LAF

2021 Grants Application Information

Deadline: Friday, November 13, 2020 at midnight in the time zone you are submitting from

Philosophical Framework

Landscape architecture as a profession strives to balance human use and enjoyment of land with the conservation and health of the environment. The primary goal of the Landscape Architecture Canada Foundation (LACF) is to support the fundamental ideals expressed through the profession of landscape architecture.  These ideals include but are not limited to:

  • conserving and managing environmental resources;
  • promoting sustainable development;
  • accommodating the needs of humans in the environment; and
  • enhancing and improving aesthetic quality in the landscape.

“Professionalism depends on a body of knowledge about what ought to be. This is not just to do with the market; this is not knowledge in the academic sense.  This is about the application of moral obligation in the context of action. Future-seeking knowledge is what the professional bodies of medicine, law and architecture (landscape architecture) are really all about.” -Francis Duffey, 1996 in Mitchell, “New Thinking in Design”

Grant Objectives

Over the past thirty years, LACF has funded a wide range of projects including historic research, oral histories, professional education programs, design research, habitat design guidelines, environmental education and awareness programs, and design communication projects. Projects funded are outlined in our Portfolio Archives.

“Everyone designs who devises courses of action aimed at changing existing situations into preferred ones.“  -Herbert Simon, 1969 in “The Science of Design: Creating the Artificial”

Grant Focus 2021: Design, Speculate, Postulate, Question, Research, Theorize, Explore

Grant applicants should push beyond the boundaries of everyday practice. The Grants jury is open to submissions exploring new design theories, speculations about new landscape interventions, questioning the current norms of practice, and arguing for new areas of research and professional development, as well as submissions seeking to expand the traditional areas of landscape research.

Proposed research may be in the form of designs, articles, papers, and essays. In all instances the successful proponents are encouraged to promote the wide dissemination of their design-research results in the larger public realm as well as within the profession.

The jury recognizes that the sums awarded by the Foundation may be “seed money” to instigate further design-research investigation. Preference will be given to submissions that look beyond the immediate requirements and propose results which advance the profession. Members of the profession are encouraged to take this opportunity to push the boundaries of inquiry, take some risks, and to enjoy the beginnings of a longer-term journey!

“The next ten years maybe the most challenging, creative and hopefully, rewarding decade in the history of our profession.”  -Colleen Mercer Clarke, Landscapes/Paysages Vol.21, No 1

Every year LACF receives applications on a surprising range of topics and three bursaries are available to fund specific topic areas. Find out more about the Northern Research Bursary, Gunter A. Schoch Bursary and Donald Graham Bursary.

Special Project Grants funding is also available from the LACF for projects that are outside the scope of the Annual Grants Program. Find out more about the Special Project Grants funding.

2021 Funding

LACF plans to award at least $40,000 in Grants and Bursaries in 2021:

  • Grants valued up to $10,000 are available to CSLA professionals, educators, PhD candidates and others seeking to explore or question an issue or particular interest they believe to be crucial to the profession or to the landscape.
  • Two grants of $2,500 each are offered to graduate and undegraduate students pursuing their thesis or final project for work whose study focus is in keeping with the mandate of the Foundation.
  • Large or on-going projects may be projects may be funded subsequent years, but application must be made annually.


Fall 2020      Announcement of 2021 Grants Program.
November 13, 2020 Grant applications due
January 2021   Announcement of recipients and release of 50% of funds.
Winter/Spring 2021 Announcement of award winners in CSLA Bulletin.
December 18, 2021  Final product submitted and final funds released.


LACF grant applications will be accepted from landscape architects, students, educators and others. Members of the LACF Board of Directors, the Grants Committee and Grants Jury and their immediate relatives are not eligible for grants. 

Promotion and Communication of Projects

As a condition of award, all recipients are strongly encouraged to publish, present or appropriately communicate the results of their work to CSLA members, the public and other audiences. It is understood that grant recipients must allow LACF to use the end-product for purposes of promotion and visibility of LACF and to distribute results of funded projects upon requests from others.  Recipients must provide a summary suitable for posting to the website. As well, successful applicants must agree to suitably acknowledge LACF as project sponsors. 

Submission Guidelines for 2021

Applicants are required to provide the following information in their submissions. Applications submitted without satisfying all these requirements will not be considered.

  1. Concise statement of the proposed project, not to exceed 150 words, suitable for posting to the LACF website, accompanied by graphics.
  2. A description of the project, not to exceed 5 pages, to include statements of: intent or purpose, methodology, significance of the project, potential usefulness, or application of the results. Include sufficient information to clearly demonstrate how the proposed project meets the evaluation criteria stated below.
  3. A timetable for undertaking and completing the project, bearing in mind that projects are to be completed in 2021
  4. A detailed budget including other funding sources and how the requested funds will be spent.
  5. A clear statement of the end-product to be produced and how or where publication, presentation or communication of the grant results will be achieved. 
  6. A resume of the prime applicant (no more than 5 pages) and project associates and a profile of the team organization, if relevant. 
  7. Letters of support for the proposed project, preferably from a community group, client or user and a letter from an arms-length practicing landscape architect.
  8. Submissions must be sent in one pdf file to and receipt confirmed by the Chair of the Grants committee.
  9. Submissions must be received no later than Friday, November 13, 2020

Download the Application Form

Evaluation by the Grants Jury

Members of the LACF Grants Jury will evaluate the submissions based on the following criteria.  The decisions of the Jury are final and the Jury reserves the right not to make any grant awards.

Topic/Purpose: degree of originality and expected contribution to the advancement of knowledge; the project pushes beyond the realm of everyday landscape architecture

Relevance/Significance: scholarly, intellectual, social and cultural significance of the research.  Proponents are encouraged to relate their project to the Canadian Landscape Charter and the objectives and activities of LACF

Team: prime applicant and study team demonstrates ability required to execute the project successfully

Methodology: appropriateness and expected effectiveness of the research (or communication, depending upon the nature of the project) strategies or methodologies

Feasibility: of successfully completing the program of research, and appropriateness of the schedule of research, given the applicant's and/or research team's resources and commitments

Communication: suitability and expected effectiveness of plans to communicate research results both within and, as appropriate, beyond the professional community.  A plan for appropriate and visible recognition of LACF grant is given

Proposal: complete, succinct, well organized, and clearly stated

Supported: letters of support from arms-length and authoritative sources endorse the project; written commitment from funding partners

Property Rights

All documents submitted are the property of the LACF and will not be returned. The LACF assumes no responsibility towards participants for the loss, disappearance or destruction of documents in their application, or for documents submitted late.

Grants Portfolio

To learn more, visit our Grants Portfolio featuring projects supported by the Foundation in the current year.  You can also scroll through our Portfolio Archives Collection that profiles over 150 initiatives (grants, bursaries and special projects) funded since the Foundation was established.

A Dedicated Jury

All annual grant submissions are adjudicated and awarded by a National Jury composed of six individuals from public, and private practice with academic credentials representing the Atlantic, Quebec, Ontario, Prairie, British Columbia regions and Canada’s north.  With an increasing number of submissions every year, the task for our volunteer jurors has become increasingly challenging and exciting. 

Read More 


Donors and sponsors who contribute to the LACF Annual General Fund provide critical financial support for LACF grant and bursary programs as well as for special project funding. LACF is grateful to supporters who share in our vision of universally rich, resilient and sustainable landscapes for the betterment of humankind. 

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