Frequently asked questions

The prize

What is the Margolese National Design for Living Prize?

The Margolese National Design for Living Prize is an annual $50,000 unrestricted award to individuals who have shown exceptional commitment to make Canada a better place to live and the prospect for still more to come in the future. The prize is designed to provide recipients with the flexibility to pursue their own interests. There are no specific obligations or reporting requirements.

What do the recipients receive?

The prize awards one prize of $50,000, payable in Canadian dollars, each year.

What fields are generally represented among the recipients?

Recipients may be architects, landscape architects, urban planners, engineers, artists, policy makers, entrepreneurs, community activists, or those in other fields.

The selection process

How are nominees brought to the prize’s attention?

The prize invites a pool of external nominators broadly constituted from disciplines and fields appropriate to the prize and representative of Canada’s broad cultural, ethnic, geographic and gender diversity to submit the names of potential candidates. The prize no longer accepts applications or unsolicited nominations.

Why don’t you accept applications or nominations?

The prize no longer accepts applications in order to maintain an equitable, accessible basis against which to assess and compare all nominees. The prize no longer accepts unsolicited nominations in order to better allocate limited resources on identification and review of candidates most appropriate to the prize.

What is the selection committee?

A selection committee of nationally and internationally recognized experts in disciplines relevant to the prize. Its membership changes every year. Committee members contribute different perspectives, but individual members do not speak on behalf of any particular constituency or discipline. Selections are made by consensus.

What are the selection criteria?

The selection decisions focus on candidates’ contributions to the development or improvement of living environments for Canadians of all economic classes.

What are the conditions of receiving the prize?

Recipients must not reveal their award until the University of British Columbia makes the official announcement. Recipients must agree to allow photographs and public information about themselves to be used in promotional materials. The prize will be awarded in Vancouver at a public lecture given by recipients typically in late March. In addition to the public lecture, the prize expects recipients to offer one seminar to UBC students.

Why all the confidentiality?

All participants in the selection process serve anonymously and their communications are confidential. Anonymity protects participants, and the process, from unsolicited influence.

Prize history

When was the first award made?

The first prize was awarded in 2012.