Ronald J. Thom Award for Early Design Achievement



1 March, 2016
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Prize Amount


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The Canada Council for the Arts is committed to equity and inclusion, and welcomes applications from diverse Aboriginal, cultural and regional communities, and from people with disabilities.

Please refer to the complete Award Guidelines [PDF, 366 KB].

Program Description

The Ronald J. Thom Award for Early Design Achievement is awarded to either a practitioner of architecture or an architectural firm. The successful candidate must be in the early stages of a career or practice and must demonstrate both outstanding creative talent and exceptional potential in architectural design.

The successful candidate must demonstrate sensitivity to architecture’s allied arts, crafts and professions within the context of an integrated built environment. These include landscape architecture, interior design, furniture design, graphic design and decorative arts.

The award was established in 1990, in collaboration with the Canada Council for the Arts, by friends and colleagues of the eminent Canadian architect Ronald J. Thom. The award, which honours Mr. Thom’s life and work, reflects the qualities of his legacy to Canada. This legacy includes both his buildings and the encouragement and inspiration he gave his colleagues in architecture and its allied arts and professions.


1 March, 2016

Prize Amount

The award is valued at $10,000.


By application

General Criteria

To apply for this award as an individual, you must be a Canadian citizen or have permanent resident status, as defined by Citizenship and Immigration Canada. 

You do not need to be living in Canada to apply. 

To apply as an architectural firm, your firm must be at least 75% Canadian-owned and have its head office and executive located in Canada.

You must also meet the Canada Council’s definition of a professional artist, defined as someone who:

  • has specialized training in the field (not necessarily in academic institutions)
  • is recognized as a professional artist by peers (artists working in the same artistic tradition)
  • has a history of presenting work publicly or being published

To meet the above definition as a professional practitioner of architecture or architecture firm you must:

  • have produced a professional body of work
  • have maintained a professional practice for at least three years after you completed your specialized training
  • specialize in architecture, landscape architecture, and/or urban design

Other Restrictions

You may submit an application to the Professional Prix de Rome in Architecture, the Ronald J. Thom Award, and the Architecture: Grants to Individuals and Firms program in the same year. 

Applications to the Professional Prix de Rome in Architecture will be assessed first, followed by those for the Ronald J. Thom Award, and finally the Assistance to Practitioners, Critics and Curators of Architecture.  If you are successful in any of the competitions listed above, your application will be withdrawn from subsequent competitions.

All final reports due for previous Canada Council grants must be submitted before the application deadline for this award. If you or your firm has not submitted all final reports that are due, your application will not be eligible.

Further Information

Brigitte Desrochers
Program Officer
Visual Arts Section

1-800-263-5588 (toll-free) or 613-566-4414, ext. 5270

TTY: 1-866-585-5559

For a complete list of past recipients, please contact Prizes.

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