The OARC presents awards of various types to deserving amateurs. This page describes the awards and links to galleries of any award ceremonies that were photographed.

Photo by Ariel on Unsplash

The Joe Norton Award for the Advancement of Amateur Radio (retired in 2023)

Each year the Ottawa Amateur Radio Club offered a cash gift (five hundred dollars in 2022) along with a commemorative wall plaque to a recently licensed amateur. The award was open to any amateur in the national capital area licensed within the last two years. The individual was free to do as they wish with the award.

Due to complications arising from the COVID pandemic the dates for the 2022 Joe Norton award were revised. This revision was announced at the November 2022 meeting of the OARC. A notice with the revised dates was posted at

The funds used to establish and run the Joe Norton Award, first awarded in 1985, had been entirely consumed prior to 2022 (a run of 38 years!) at which point the award was retired.

The final recipient was Rod Wilson VE3RXN who was given the 2022 $500 award at the March 8, 2023 OARC meeting. The judges for this award, Dave Green VE3TLY and Wayne Getchell VE3CZO, noted that all of the candidates had made excellent submissions, and choosing a winner was not easy.

Joe Norton VE3PN was co-founder of one of the first high-tech companies in Ottawa, Computing Devices of Canada, which he helped start in 1948. Joe balanced his work life with family and pursued a number of hobbies. He was an avid amateur radio enthusiast and when he became a silent key in October 1979 his family donated all his amateur radio equipment to the OARC and asked that the donation be used to assist beginning amateurs. After considerable deliberation in 1982 the OARC decided to sell the gear and use the proceeds to establish an award fund in Joe’s name. Since 1985 proceeds from the fund provided new amateurs in the national capital region with a cash award.


To be eligible a candidate had to:

  1. Be a resident of the National Capital Region as defined by the official federal government map.
  2. Have received an Amateur Radio Operator Certificate within 24 months of the award closing date.
  3. Send a written submission of no less than 600 words and no more than 900 words to the Executive of the Ottawa Amateur Radio Club Inc. setting out their interests, achievements and plans to contribute to the advancement of amateur radio.
  4. Present themselves for an interview if so requested by the judges.

The Rules

  1. Written submissions must be received on or before 17:00h November 1st. Entries received after that date will not be considered.
  2. The OARC will send an acknowledgement upon receipt of an application.
  3. A panel of judges appointed by the executive of the Ottawa Amateur Radio Club will evaluate all entries.
  4. Finalists may be interviewed by members of the Executive of the Ottawa Amateur Radio Club, the panel of judges, or both.
  5. Submissions will not be returned.
  6. If the judges do not select a candidate in any year, no award shall be made in that year and the monies shall remain in the fund to be awarded in subsequent years.
  7. All decisions of the executive of the Ottawa Amateur Radio Club Inc. in the selection of a recipient of this award are final.
  8. The winner will be notified on or before November 20th.
  9. The winner will inform the Ottawa Amateur Radio Club of their acceptance of the award no later than November 30th.
  10. The award presentation will be made during the regular meeting of the Ottawa Amateur Radio Club in December.
  11. The winner agrees to have his or her name, photograph, and address published in club bulletins, trade papers, website, and on the airwaves.

How Entries Were Submitted

Entries were accepted by mail to the Ottawa Amateur Radio Club Inc. post office box and by email to the club executive. Electronic entries had to be sent in plain ASCII text only. No word processor formatting or word processor attachments were allowed. Entries had to include the applicant’s full name, address, call sign, and email address in in addition to the submission. Both mail boxes, paper and electronic, were cleared at 17:00h on the closing date.

Judging Guidelines

Here’s a guideline for some of the things the judges were looking for when evaluating submissions.

  1. Quality of writing style, the ability to clearly articulate interests, achievements, and plans for future areas of endeavour in amateur radio.
  2. Level of activities and contribution to amateur radio.
  3. Interest level in sampling various ‘new to you’ aspects of amateur radio.
  4. Assistance to others in developing their interest or skills in amateur radio.
  5. Level of involvement in club or public service amateur radio activities.
  6. Clarity of proposed future contributions to amateur radio.

The National Capital Award


Homebrew Night Awards

The club holds a “Homebrew Night” every April where members show off their new homemade gear.

  • A panel of judges selects the winner of The Clare Fowler Award.
  • A vote of the members present selects the winner of “The People’s Choice Award”.

See the “Homebrew Night” page for more details and pictures of past Homebrew Nights.

Last Updated on 2023-10-07 by AdminOARC