CCA Master’s Students Program

The CCA Master’s Students Program encourages students at Canadian architecture schools to take up urgent questions of public relevance to the built environment in Canada and beyond. Through a three-month collaborative project, participants actively engage with the CCA’s Collection, participate in seminars and other pedagogical activities, and articulate their own understanding of architecture as a public concern.

River, Shore, Land: Ecological Futures at the Jardins de Métis

This three-year project seeks to explore and support how the Jardins de Métis/Reford Gardens are contending with a changing local climate. The Jardins de Métis is a landmark horticultural laboratory that for decades has set an agenda for international landscape design. This project focuses on the site’s changing local conditions through its connections to the Mitis River, the shoreline of the Saint-Lawrence River, and their surrounding territorial ties to what is now known as Gaspésie. Each year the three participating students will develop a project anchored by this state of ecological flux, occasioned both by the effects of global warming as well as the short- and long-term consequences of farming, mining, and other local extractive industries. Grand-Métis, Quebec, will thus become a microcosm to reflect on the broader ecological futures of shoreline erosion, depleting aquifers, soil exhaustion, and other manifestations of a rapidly changing ecology.

The Jardins de Métis will serve as a space of dialogue and community engagement. Located on the eastern shore of the Mitis River, and so on the ancestral territories of the Wolastoqiyik and the Mi’gmaq, the Jardins de Métis will host the participating students for a one-month research residency in June of each year, as well as foster a community forum near the end of the project period. Participants may also draw on the Jardins de Métis’ archival collection.

First Year - 2023

The first year will focus on the Mitis River and its important role as a gathering place for Indigenous communities, as a site of labour, harvesting, and a networked commodity that brings in tourists on a seasonal basis.

Hannah Thiessen
Jia Chen Mi
Marie-Ellen Houde-Hostland

Second Year - 2024

The second year will examine the shoreline and how the Jardins de Métis is imagining new time-based methods to slow, counter, and work with water-based erosion.

Third Year - 2025

The third and final year will consider the territorial legacies of local extractive industries and how these can exceed current paradigms of ‘remediation’ in order to project new models of ecological restoration premised on the resurgence of biodiverse futures that also recognize the legal implications of Indigenous sovereignty, with particular attention to the Wolastoqiyik Wahsipekuk First Nation, located on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River near Rivière-du-Loup, the site of Canada’s smallest reserve, and their advocacy for renewed land-based rights.

Guidelines and terms

Participants will be selected by a CCA internal committee. Selected candidates will work collaboratively on a common research project, with advising and support provided by the CCA’s Associate Director of Research.

Students currently enrolled in professional and post-professional master’s programs—Master of Architecture, Master of Landscape Architecture, Master of Environmental Design, or Master of Urban Design— in Canada are eligible to apply, regardless of citizenship.

Selected candidates are expected to participate in a one-month residency at the Jardins de Métis (1st to 30 June) and two-month residency at CCA (1st July to 31 August), for which they will receive a stipend of CAN $7,500 to cover travel, housing, and living expenses while in Montréal and Grand-Métis. The award is non-renewable.


The call for applications is now closed. The next call for the 2024 Master’s Students Program will be issued in February 2024.

For questions regarding the program, please contact

For updates on the Master’s Students Program, please subscribe to the newsletter.

This program is generously supported by the Power Corporation of Canada.

The diversity of our institution is at the core of our creativity and strengthens our research efforts. While all qualified candidates are invited to apply, we particularly welcome applications from persons with disabilities, Indigenous, Black, and other people of colour, of all genders, and LGBTQ+ persons. Candidates are encouraged to self-identify in their application (CV or cover letter). Applicants who require accommodations for any part of the application process can contact to receive confidential assistance.


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