We’re so close to deadline day now! Our 15th annual WL Designers of the Year celebrates the best and brightest designers in Western Canada—and we can’t wait to showcase yours in our September 2022 issue.

Enter now to place your work in front of these top architects from around the world.

Entering another category? ICYMI, we’ve also revealed our Furniture Design, Industrial Design, and Interior Design panels—get to know who they are!

Farida Abu-Bakare

Farida Abu-Bakare, WXY Studio

Farida is a registered architect in Ontario and holds a Master of Architecture from Ryerson University and a Bachelor of Architectural Studies from Carleton University. She is the Director of Global Practice at the award-winning architecture, urban design, and planning firm WXY. Over ten years Farida has lived and worked throughout North America and Africa to build an extensive portfolio including aviation, cultural, healthcare, higher education, justice, residential, science and technology projects.

Farida is the emeritus Community Affairs Director of Atlanta’s NOMA Chapter (National Organization of Minority Architects) whose mission is to champion diversity within the design profession. Her work with NOMA led her to co-found BAIDA (Black Architects and Interior Designers Association) a Canadian non-profit organization which promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion in the profession of architecture and interior design. Farida is also passionate about contributing to the future of the profession in Canada and serves on the provincial self-governing body, the Ontario Association of Architects (OAA) as an elected OAA Council member on a three-year term (2021-2023).


james cheng

Credit: The Collective You

James Cheng, James K.M. Architects

James K.M. Cheng is a Canadian architect recognized for his pioneering contributions to west coast architecture and city building. Born in Hong Kong and educated in North America, Cheng’s approach represents a sensitive marriage of generous open environments with vibrant high-density living. He is a lecturer at the University of British Columbia, and a design critic and juror.

Cheng established James K.M. Cheng Architects Inc. in 1978 after winning a collaborative entry with Romses Kwan & Associates to build the Chinese Cultural Centre in Vancouver. Since its inception, the firm has been presciently focused on designing high-density urban environments around nuanced open spaces that foster social interchange. Cheng plays a leading role in the widely studied and emulated form of urban development known as Vancouverism. The firm continues to evolve concepts of livability and sustainability at various scales – most recently at the community planning level throughout the Greater Vancouver region, in China, and in Hawaii.

Cheng has received over forty-five design awards, including Order of Canada, our country’s highest honour for lifetime achievement, from the Governor General office of Canada, Canada’s Governor General’s Medal in Architecture. His work has been published and exhibited in Canada, the United States, London, Germany, Japan, Taiwan, and Hong Kong

Omar Gandhi

Omar Gandhi, Omar Gandhi Architect

Omar Gandhi is the Principal of Omar Gandhi Architect, an architectural practice founded in 2010 with small teams in both Halifax and Toronto. The work of its two studios – OG Halifax and OGTO – has garnered much national and international attention in the young practice’s short history.

In its early years, the studio was awarded the Canada Council for the Arts Professional Prix de Rome, was included in Wallpaper* magazine’s Architects Directory, and Omar himself was named as one of Monocle magazine’s ‘Most Influential Canadians’. Omar was chosen as one of the Architectural League of New York’s ‘Emerging Voices’ of 2016 and was appointed as the Louis I. Kahn visiting Assistant Professor in Architectural Design at the Yale School of Architecture for the 2018-19 academic year.

Most recently, Omar Gandhi Architect was the recipient of a 2018 Governor General’s Medal in Architecture for its work on Rabbit Snare Gorge, and honoured as the only Canadian practice in Architectural Record Magazine’s 2018 Design Vanguard.


brigitte shiim

Finn O’Hara

Brigitte Shim, Shim-Sutcliffe Architects

Brigitte is a founding principal at Shim-Sutcliffe Architects, one of Canada’s most innovative architectural practices with an international reputation for masterful designs that bridge architecture, landscape, interiors, furniture, lighting and hardware. Shim is also a professor at the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design at the University of Toronto. She is a Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (FRAIC), an Honorary Fellow of the American Institute of Architects (Hon. FAIA), and an elected member of the Royal Canadian Academy (RCA).

In 2013, Shim was awarded the Order of Canada along with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. In 2021 Brigitte and partner A. Howard Sutcliffe were joint recipients of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada’s Gold Medal.