Governor General's Medals in Architecture — Call for Submissions | Royal Architectural Institute of Canada

Governor General's Medals in Architecture — Call for Submissions

Submission deadline: 10:00 p.m. ET, December 7, 2023 December 14, 2023

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


The objective of the Governor General’s Medals in Architecture is to recognize and celebrate outstanding design in recently completed built projects of any size, type and geographical location by Canadian architects. The 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. Outstanding design considers exemplary approaches to sustainability, and the support and advancement of equity, diversity, and inclusion.


Eligible projects can be built anywhere in the world, and must be completed within the past seven (7) years from the deadline for submission. The project’s lead design architect or team of architects must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada and licensed/registered with a Canadian Provincial or Territorial Jurisdiction.

The following are NOT eligible:

  • Projects having received a Governor General’s Medal in Architecture in a previous competition;
  • Projects with involvement of a member of the RAIC Awards Advisory Committee or RAIC staff; or a member of the Board or staff of the Canada Council for the Arts.


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

Peer Assessment Committee

The peer assessment committee (jury) will be selected after the call for submissions closes.

Assessment Criteria

Medals are awarded for excellence in architecture. All of the following criteria will be used in the assessment by the jury:

  1. Shows an innovative vision and conceptual clarity in terms of spatial organization, scale, form, and adaptability;
  2. Responds to and enhances the site, local context, and public realm, and promotes healthy and resilient communities;
  3. Provides for meaningful experience and social and cultural value, is accessible to various and diverse groups, and demonstrates positive outcomes with users and the client;
  4. Demonstrates leadership in sustainability, including approaches at all scales that improve ecological health, address biodiversity and climate action, and use resources and energy responsibly;
  5. Shows that the selection and use of materials and building systems (including structure, assemblies, etc.) is appropriate and consistent with the overall design vision and sustainability goals.

Submission Date

Submissions must be received before 10:00 p.m. ET, Thursday, December 7, 2023 10:00 p.m. ET, Thursday, December 14, 2023. Entrants are solely responsible for timely submissions. This date and time are firm without exceptions.

Entry Fee

An entry fee, plus applicable taxes, must accompany each submission.

Fees are based on the submitted project's construction contract value / building cost of the project:

Under $2.5 million: $755.00  ($355.00 for RAIC members*) 
$2.5 million - $5 million: $975.00 ($575.00 for RAIC members*)
$5 million - 100 million: $1315.00 ($915.00 for RAIC members*)
$100 million + : $1730.00 ($1330.00 for RAIC members*)

*For member fees, the lead design architect must be a member of the RAIC.


Submissions will be completed using the online submission platform.

Entries can be submitted either in English or in French.

Note: Once you have started the online submission process, you may 'save' and come back at a later date to complete your submission (prior to the submission deadline).


Entry Details


Full credit must be given.

Entrants must include:

  • Name of lead architects and joint venture partners, if applicable
  • List of contributing team members from each architecture firm
  • Project name
  • Project address
  • Project client
  • Interior area and, if relevant, exterior area, in square metres
  • Construction contract value / building cost of the project
  • Occupation date of the project
  • A list of all key consultants to be credited, ie. structural engineer, electrical engineer, landscape architect, sustainability consultant, etc.

All credits on certificates, medals and publicity will be based on this information. If more than one architect is credited for a project, the order in which names are listed will be the official sequence. Any errors or omissions are the responsibility of the entrant. 


Three (3) descriptions are required:

  1. A 750-word maximum project statement, in French and/or English, outlining the objectives and significance of the project and summarizing how the project meets the assessment criteria. This text will be used in jury deliberations and for editorial coverage.
  2. A 200-word maximum text, in French and/or English, describing the project’s sustainability approaches. The text may include explanatory graphics, to a maximum of two (2) pages in total length. The text should outline specific measures taken by the project related to, at minimum, operational energy use, embodied energy, and water usage. This text will be used in conjunction with the submitted sustainability data in jury deliberations.
  3. A 100-word maximum (French) and 100-word maximum (English) bilingual media statement. This text will be used for editorial coverage, including on the Canada Council for the Arts and RAIC websites.



A maximum of twenty (20) images in total, including a minimum of one (1) and maximum of six (6) key drawings (plans, sections, details, etc.).

Entrants must:

  • Identify seven (7) of these images to be used for press purposes;
  • Include a mix of exterior and interior photos, and show the building in use, if possible;
  • Upload each image as single image files, not composite boards - the exception to this rule would be to place the before and after images of a renovation/adaptive reuse project side-by-side and upload as one file.



The Key List of Images should correspond to the images and should include image file names, a caption under 15 words for each image, and photographer credits. Please indicate seven (7) images to be used for press purposes.


5. VIDEO (optional)

Entrants have the option to include a video, maximum of two (2) minutes in length.

If this option is chosen, entrants must:

  • Include a mix of interior and exterior documentation, with the aim of conveying the spatial experience of the building;
  • Show the building in use, if possible.



The key metrics of Energy Use Intensity (EUI) and Thermal Energy Demand Intensity (TEDI) are mandatory starting with the 2024 submission cycle.

Entrants must:

  • Provide EUI and TEDI metrics based on a completed energy model, and verification that the built project fulfills the key criteria of the model. Alternatively, these metrics may be calculated based on a minimum of six months of representative utility bills.
  • In the cases where EUI and TEDI do not apply (for instance, in structures consisting of only unconditioned outdoor spaces), the particularities of the project as they relate to sustainability should be addressed in the text description.


Rules of the Competition

One (1) medal in total will be bestowed to each winning project. 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 Governor General’s Medals in Architecture grants all rights to the RAIC and Canada Council for the Arts for unrestricted publication of the submitted texts and of the images designated for press purposes 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.


All entrants will be notified privately of the results after the submission deadline date. It is expected that the public announcement and an awards ceremony will be held in Ottawa. Travel to the ceremony for the medalists is at their own expense. Entrants who are not selected will be notified by e-mail and/or letter. Results will not be released over the telephone.


Submission should contain:

  • Project Information Sheet
  • Project Statement
  • Sustainability Description
  • Bilingual Media Statement
  • Up to Twenty (20) Images
  • Key List of Images
  • Sustainability Data
  • Payment of entry fee
  • Video (optional)


For more information, e-mail:



The RAIC is committed to equity and justice as well as inclusion across race, colour, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, disability and age and encourages anyone interested in the Honours and Awards Program to submit.