RAIC medals

RAIC unveils new Governor General’s medals

Thursday, September 13, 2018

The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) will unveil a beautiful new design for the Governor General’s Medals in Architecture at the 2018 awards ceremony in Winnipeg. Awarded every two years, the Governor General’s Medals in Architecture celebrate outstanding design in recently completed projects by Canadian architects.

“We are very pleased to share the new medal for architecture named for the Governor General of Canada,” says RAIC president Michael Cox. “The medal has been refreshed and redesigned. It reflects our history and the contemporary nature of architecture. The medals are beautiful works of design and symbolic tokens which reflect the esteem in which we hold the recipients. We are delighted to inaugurate the medal at this year’s award ceremony.”

The updated Governor General’s Medal in Architecture depicts a lion which is a symbol of the Governor General of Canada, on behalf of which the medals are awarded. The lion is wearing a crown of maple leaves and holding a compass.  The crown indicates that the awards program is administered by the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada. The maple leaves signal that this is a Canadian award. The compass is a drawing and measuring tool for architects.

The lion is sitting on a rocky mount between two oak trees with acorns. The rocky base and the trees represent two of the most common construction materials — stone and wood. They also evoke a landscape. In the same way as a building, the oak tree, symbolizing sturdiness and excellence, expresses the notions of shelter and protection.

The image is encircled by a motto in Latin “Recognizing excellence in architecture” which is the purpose of the medals. The name of the winning project and firm is engraved on the reverse side.

The medals were designed under the auspices of the Canadian Heraldic Authority with direction from the RAIC board of directors. The medals were produced by the Royal Canadian Mint. The previous medal was designed in 1982 and depicted a lion with a crown holding a maple leaf.


photo credit: Couvrette/Ottawa

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