Advocacy, legacy, multidisciplinary. 

The Design Professionals of Canada (DesCan) is committed to leading, supporting, and advancing professional design communications in Canada. We are a nationwide, membership-based community and have been establishing standards for design professionals since 1956. Community by Design.

A multidisciplinary approach and membership-driven.

From branding to education, from UX to UI, from application design to placemaking — the design communications industry boasts many overlapping areas of practice and expertise. To reflect our expanding industry and serve its many practitioners, the Design Professionals of Canada’s position is a multidisciplinary one.

The Design Professionals of Canada has been an advocacy-based organization for over 65 years. Since its inception in 1956 it has continued to advance professional design and has cemented itself as a leader and supporter of the Canadian design profession. We are a nationwide organization and community of design professionals, educators, design students, and businesses. Members come together through a vibrant chapter-model across the country. The DesCan community also represents non-design professionals such as photographers, illustrators, copywriters and alike.


CDP™ Certification

DesCan is also Canada’s national Certification body. Committed to the advancement of Certification, DesCan licenses the CDP™ Certified mark to members whose services meet a rigorous and professional standard. The CDP™ Certified mark is recognized as the mark of professional design services and ethical business conduct.

Becoming CDP™ Certified is a combination of your education, a period of meeting relevant experience requirements, and having your work peer reviewed by the the National Certification Board. International professionals can also apply for CDP™ Certification.


Chapters and Board Members

DesCan is an adaptive and vibrant nationwide community fuelled by member participation. Designers, students, educators, other professionals, and businesses band together as chapters and each chapter is defined by its city.

Each chapter is a flexible entity created and developed by volunteers to serve the mission of the Society and the contextual requirements of that city. DesCan has chapters in the following cities:

  • Halifax/Moncton
  • Winnipeg
  • Regina
  • Saskatoon
  • Calgary
  • Edmonton
  • Vancouver
  • Kelowna
  • Victoria
  • Whitehorse

See list of our Board members

Start a Chapter

Interested in starting a DesCan chapter for your city? We have a support system in place to help you grow and succeed.

International Network and Friends

The Design Professionals of Canada was the first non-European member to be admitted into the International Council of Design (ico-D) and the only member to have four ico-D Presidents. The Design Professionals of Canada is respected internationally and our global friends view Canada as a leader in the development of professional Certification (CDP™ Certified). Our affiliation with ico-D also allows our members to attain international recognition, professional development, and a global perspective on design. DesCan is one of the largest association members in ico-D and has been a member since 1974.

The Design Professionals of Canada is also allied with the Registered Graphic Designers of Ontario (RGD), the Societé des Designers Graphiques du Quebec (SDGQ), the University and College Designers Association (UCDA), the Canadian Association of Professional Image Creators (CAPIC) and the Australian Graphic Design Association (AGDA).


Collaborate with DesCan

Interested in collaborating or inviting DesCan to take part in a publication, lecture, conference, exhibit, or event? We’d love to do something great with you. Connect with us: or


DesCan is governed by a National Executive Committee that is comprised of elected representatives who are charged with the responsibility of executing strategic initiatives and directions developed at the Annual General Meetings.

President –  Marga Lopez, CDP

Executive Director – Melanie MacDonald

Secretary – Steven Rosenberg , CDP, Fellow

CDP Certification – Kelly Hartman, CDP

Education – Aidan Rowe, CDP

Communications – Dennis Boyle, CDP

Membership – Vacant

Ethics – Matt Warburton, CDP, Fellow

Foundation – Vacant

Treasurer – Tina Dermanovic-Moore, CDP



The design communications industry has expanded and evolved over the decades. To serve the design communications industry and its practitioners, so too has the organization.


By accomplishments or influence. Those who have made a significant contribution to the organization or the design communications industry.