Sudbury Design Society has established itself as a hub for all things design in our city. Whether you’re a student, graduate or professional looking to network this SDS creates a community in our city for designers of all sorts!  SDS is preparing to for their biennial Sudbury Design Awards: Refined exhibition opening May 24th at The Open Studio – a fantastic showcase of the best in local design! The categories for the competition are just as varied as you’d expect when you consider the many facets of the title: Identity & Branding, website & interactive, apparel & fashion, architectural & interior design. It was a tough task but the carefully selected jury were up to the job and have helped to curate an amazing display of the diversity if our Sudbury designers! We got all the details on Sudbury Design Awards: Refined exhibition from President Meggan Van Harten ahead of the big opening!

Tell us more about the Refined showcase and Sudbury Design Awards? 

The Sudbury Design Awards is a biennial exhibition that displays the best in student and professional work across the full gamut of the Greater Sudbury’s creative industries. Categories for the event included: Identity & Branding, website & interactive, apparel & fashion, architectural & interior design and more.

Refined is the theme for this year’s exhibit.  Refinement represents development or improvement, so as to be precise or subtle. With focus on our mining city, this term best reflects our design community’s image. As designers, architects, illustrators and other creative professionals, we are always refining our work and the environment around us.

Tell us a bit about the judges and the jury process to select the showcase and award recipients? 

Sudbury designers of any industry are invited to submit their work from the last 2 years which were later judged by independent jurors. We chose out of town jurors to ensure that the event is fair and without bias. All work that is selected for the exhibition is based on merit alone. After the jurors had selected the winning pieces for the show they invited to choose their favourite piece to receive a special recognition, unique award, and a jurors pick during the exhibition.

Our judges are all designers based in multiple design disciplines. Our submissions range from logos, interior and exterior design, and website design. Therefor our jury also has to be diverse in terms of their design skills. Our judges this year were: Stefan G. Bucher, Coralie Bickford-Smith (Penguin Books), Brent Long (Fusion Design Group), Adam Antoszek-Rallo (Catalyst Workshop), Ellen Heise (Rogers Communications)

We are so thankful for their contribution to our gala. They all were very excited and willing to help out; even though they are independent from Sudbury. These designers are truly outstanding in their field and are obviously dedicated to the design community on a national or international level.

Where and when can we catch the Refined showcase?

We have collected all of the submissions and juror results, and are now in the process of setting up our opening exhibition night. During which we will award the Refined winners and have an evening of design celebration with catering and a cash bar. Our opening night of Sudbury Design Awards: Refined is May 24th from 6-9pm at The Open Studio. If you miss opening night there will be several opportunities after the opening night to view the pieces. A schedule will also be posted of the on-going dates for the Sudbury Design Awards: Refined exhibition after the opening night here.

Who can apply for future showcase opportunities with SDS?

This is a biennial event which means every 2 years we run a similar competition. We also host multiple opportunities for people to gain recognition and to work more closely with the design community.

We are always looking for others who believe in our community and who want to be further involved. We offer a membership program to help the development of initiatives such as the Sudbury Design Awards. If you’re interested in becoming a member click here for more info.

Where can we find more information about SDS?

Our general website is We can also be reached via email at


Jessica Lovelace is a Public Relations and Communications grad, musical theatre enthusiast, lover of live music and part-time unicorn tamer. Some have said that the Big Dripper from Sub City is a regional delicacy and the perfect end to a Sudbury Saturday Night – Jessica is definitely one of those people. No, the hair is not a perm.

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