Joe Norton Award

Entry Information

Each year the Ottawa Amateur Radio Club Inc. makes available an award of five hundred dollars along with a commemorative wall plaque. The award honours individuals new to the hobby who demonstrate participation and leadership in ham radio activities and a vision for their future initiatives. This would include technical contributions, communication activities, club involvement, public service communication events, or assistance to others. The award is open to any amateur in the national capital area licensed within the last three years. The individual is free to do as they wish with the award.

Award Background

Joe Norton 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 grew a number of hobbies. He was an avid amateur radio enthusiast and when VE3PN 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 a trust fund. Since 1985 proceeds from the trust fund have provided new amateurs in the National Capital region with a cash award.


To be eligible, a candidate must:

  1. Be a resident of the National Capital Region as defined by the official federal government map.
  2. Have received their first Amateur Radio Operator Certificate within 36 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 December 1st. Entries received after that date will not be considered.
  2. The OARC will send an acknowledgment in writing upon receipt of an application.
  3. A panel of judges appointed by the executive of the Ottawa Amateur Radio Club Inc. will evaluate all entries.
  4. Finalists may be interviewed by members of the executive of the Ottawa Amateur Radio Club Inc., 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 return to the trust fund.
  7. All decisions of the executive of the Ottawa Amateur Radio Club Inc. are final.
  8. The winner will be notified on or before November 30th and must inform the Ottawa Amateur Radio Club Inc. of their acceptance of the award no later than December 21st.
  9. The award presentation will be made during the regular meeting of the Ottawa Amateur Radio Club Inc. in January.
  10. The winner agrees to have his or her name, call sign, and any photographs associated with the award published.

How to Submit an Entry

By mail, to:
Joe Norton Trust Award
Ottawa Amateur Radio Club Inc.
Box 8873
Ottawa, ON
K1G 3J2

By e-mail to:

executive _AT_ oarc DOT net

Subject line: Joe Norton award submission
Electronic entries must be sent in plain text only. No word processor formatting or attachments are allowed. Be certain to include your full name, address, call sign, and your e-mail address in your submission.

Both mail boxes, paper and electronic, will be cleared at 17:00h on the closing date.

What the judges will be looking for

Here's a list, in no particular order, of some of the things the judges will be looking for when evaluating your submission:

  1. Level of activity and contribution to amateur radio.
  2. Level of involvement in club or public service amateur radio activities.
  3. Assistance to others in developing their interest or skills in amateur radio.
  4. Interest level in sampling various "new to you" aspects of amateur radio.
  5. Future plans and goals pertaining to amateur radio.
  6. Quality of writing style. The ability to clearly articulate interests, achievements, and plans for future areas of endeavor in amateur radio.

OARC Website