March 15, 2011
Ontario sweeps national awards
Jason Becker of Caterpillar, left, and Randy Tumber president of Tumber & Associates, winner of the Caterpillar Award of Excellence for Landscape Construction/Installation.

By Kristen McIntyre CHT
Conference and event coordinator

The Awards of Excellence program is designed to help members of this great industry tell their story by showcasing and celebrating the best of the best.  And, this year Ontario has much to celebrate, winning three of four National Awards of Excellence at this year’s event in Vancouver.

The Awards are meant to recognize and inspire. They also stir the competitive spirit and stimulate advancement, achievement and improvement.  I heard a member say, “We are in the business of enriching lives.”  

Winners were announced at CNLA’s eighth annual National Awards of Landscape Excellence ceremony on, Feb. 9, with more than 130 industry professionals, educators, garden writers, politicians, like-minded and allied organizations recognizing outstanding excellence in the green industry, including a welcome from B.C. Minister of Agriculture, Ben Stewart.

Each year, the provincial horticultural trade associations hold annual awards competitions in which landscape construction and maintenance contractors enter their recent projects, hoping to be recognized as the best in the industry. These competitions, recognizing those projects that stand out in quality, workmanship and design, also act as a means to promote to the public the level of skill, quality and workmanship of which our industry professionals are capable.

Each provincial association has the opportunity to submit the top-scoring winning entries into the National Awards of Excellence program, administered by the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association. Entrants into the 2011 National Awards of Excellence from Ontario were construction category: International Landscaping, Oriole Landscaping, and Tumber and Associates; maintenance category, Boffo Landscaping, The Cultivated Garden and Water’s Edge Landscaping. Congratulations to all of the members for the great work achieving entrance into the National Awards program.

“This is more than just an awards competition; this program highlights the tremendous work that our members across the country are involved with,” says Joseph Salemi, manager of membership services for CNLA. He also commented that “the eighth annual National Awards of Landscape Excellence was the biggest yet, and next year the landscape construction and maintenance categories will be divided into residential and commercial.”

The John Deere Award of Excellence for Landscape Maintenance was presented to The Cultivated Garden from Toronto and the Caterpillar Award of Excellence for Landscape Construction went to Tumber and Associates from Orangeville.

The Garden Centres Canada Inspection Program Award of Excellence was presented to Sheridan Nurseries, Unionville. This was only the second time the award has been presented.

Barbara Rosensweig, owner of The Cultivated Garden, commented on her national award, “It is a huge honour to be recognized by peers. They are not judging you on emotion, but on the quality of your work – that means a lot. They know what it takes, and it is a different level of satisfaction. As a woman in this industry, we could always use more encouragement and this will hopefully show that women can manage a family and run a successful business and achieve excellence.”

woman and man on stageBarbara Rosensweig of The Cultivated Garden,receives the John Deere Award of Excellence for Landscape Maintenance from Jeremy Vandehaar of John Deere Ltd.

Randy Tumber, owner of Tumber and Associates, said of his win, “We are very excited about this. It certainly is a highlight for our employees; it means a lot to them. Ya, they get paycheque and the feeling of a job well done, but this is tangible. This gives them a real sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. This is what they got into the industry for in the first place.”

As well as motivation and a retention tool for their employees, Tumber noted that the national win, “adds a sense of creditability to our company. To be awarded by a horticulture association of CNLA’s calibre is humbling and satisfying; we are truly flattered.”