Town Launches High River’s Urban Design and Development Awards

HIGH RIVER, AB: The Town has established an awards process that will formally acknowledge and celebrate high quality urban design and development projects in High River.

“The awards will be used to recognize the contribution of planners, architects, engineers, designers and developers to the livability and sustainability of our town,” says Khalid Mohammed, manager of planning and development services with the Town. “They all play an important role in envisioning, designing and building outstanding projects that contribute to the aesthetic appeal of a community.”

Every two years, a Council Award and a People’s Choice Award will be presented to the top two submissions, as determined by an appointed panel of judges, in each of the following categories:

Urban Elements/Public Realm Category – this category will include smaller scale projects which contribute to the quality of the public realm, which may feature elements such as street furniture, lighting, public art, façade improvements and landscapes.

Urban Architecture/ Landmark Category – this category will recognize a building or group of buildings that represent a high quality of design and architectural standards.

“The first nomination period will be for projects completed between May 1, 2018 and October 31, 2020,” adds Mohammed. “All projects must be completed at the time nominations are submitted.”

For the Urban Architecture category, the Town will define completion based on the scale of the project, with larger projects requiring Construction Completion Certificates, while smaller projects will require that occupancy has been granted. For the Urban Elements category, completion definitions will be somewhat more variable, depending on the exact nature of the project and any conditions associated with the permit process.

Nomination forms will soon be available on the Town’s website as well as the High River Town Office. Nominations may only be submitted by residents of High River, or by owners or operators of High River businesses. Submissions may be dropped off at the High River Town Office (309B Macleod Trail SW) during regular business hours, or by e-mail to, or by mail to High River Town Office, 309B Macleod Trail SW, High River, Alberta, T1V 1Z5, Attn: Khalid Mohammed.

A judging panel will be established to evaluate the nomination submissions, and will be comprised of the following:

  • Member of the Alberta Association of Architects
  • Member of the Alberta Association of Landscape Architects
  • Member of the Alberta Professional Planners Institute
  • One member from the community at large
  • Member representing the Town’s Planning and Development Services

“The panel will be formed on a temporary basis and membership will change every two years to coincide with each new nomination period,” says Mohammed.

Khalid Mohammed with Mayor Craig Snodgrass

During the month of November 2020, following expiry of the first nomination period, the panel of judges will review all nominations, and determine the award recipients in each category.

The first awards ceremony is proposed to be held in late November or early December of 2020. All nominees will receive a formal invitation and the first set of winners will be announced and honoured at that time.

During the first awards ceremony, developments of high quality that were completed prior to establishing this awards program (May 1, 2018) and contributed to the aesthetic appeal of our community will be recognized and honorably mentioned.

The winners in each category will be awarded with:

  • A certificate and a trophy from Town Council
  • A short video, which will be posted to the Town’s YouTube channel
  • A professional article which may be published in APPI newsletter, Plan Canada, the High River Times and the Town’s website
  • Recognition during the Town’s annual open house

“We want to emphasize and value the important role that high quality urban design and development play in enhancing and contributing to the aesthetic appeal of a community,” says Mohammed.

“It is our hope that through this awards program, those who are working hard to make High River’s physical environment attractive will feel validated, and that future developments will continue to reflect a high degree of creativity and quality design.”

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