Every year CHBA – Calgary Region puts out a call for volunteer judges to their membership roster for SAM Awards judges.  In case you are not familiar with the SAM Awards, they are the Sales and Marketing Awards.  They are the Academy Awards of the building industry and are hosted by CHBA – Calgary Region.  The SAM Awards celebrate the most creative and professional work in the Calgary home building industry. Created by the Canadian Home Builders’ Association – Calgary Region (CHBA – Calgary Region,) the Sales and Marketing Awards were initiated to recognize quality products and accomplishments. 

Damon, a member of our Social Media Committee and a valued member of our Architectural Design/Drafting Team, volunteered to be a judge this year.  Learn about his experience: 

“My experience as a judge for the SAM Awards” 

By Damon


This year I volunteered and had the opportunity to judge for the 2013 SAM Awards being awarded April 2014.

The categories I judged were:

  • renovations with additions
  • renovations without additions and
  • kitchen renovations

I was first approached to be a judge years ago, filled out an application highlighting my qualifications and thus entered the judging approval process. Since then I have been judging for the SAM Awards on and off for 12 years whenever my work load permits.

Most years there is an email that goes out to CHBA – Calgary Region members for a “call for judges” when needed as we are a busy industry. The judging process is set up to be impartial and very ethical. I am not to copy any images or plans I am judging and I am not to show the images or plans to anyone else.

Being a judge for the SAM Awards require a certain level of ethics, professional conduct and impartiality. The impartiality is really clever and for the most part built in. We are typically only given categories to judge that our company has not submitted entries into. We also are required to opt out from judging any individual project where there is a conflict of interest of any kind.  Often, we do not know the company that submitted a project but that is not always the case.

I have found the ethics of the judges to be impeccable especially on site visits. We are often offered refreshments etc. and we always decline so to not give the impression of favoritism. We do not discuss among judges what we have scored each project and so there really could be a huge variation of scores based on the perspective of each judge. I have been present where a home was to be judged on site and we were not able to access the home so we came back later on our own time the same evening to ensure that every project had the opportunity to be judged as we know the amount of work and pride that goes into submissions for the SAM Awards.

The submissions this year were some of the best I have had the opportunity to judge in 12 years. I found myself looking over some pictures of my favorites after I had completed judging each category as there were some amazing projects submitted this year that as a designer impressed me greatly. Judging for the SAM Awards is a very rewarding experience as I get exposed to amazing decorating and design, see new trends and different segments of the industry I may not otherwise get exposed to. I would definitely recommend to any design professional in our industry to volunteer to be a judge for the SAM Awards. 

For more information on the SAM Awards visit:  www.samawards.com

Lyle and our SAM Award

Lyle, Drafting and Design Manager, with a coveted SAM Award that Shane Homes won April 2013 at the SAM Awards Gala at the Telus Convention Centre