What is the OWA Mandate?

 The Ottawa Woodworkers Association (OWA) exists for two main reasons:
  • The exchange of related information for the purpose of skills advancement and woodworking enjoyment.
  • To promote woodworking as a hobby, as a profession, or anything inbetween.

What is the principal activity of the OWA?

The OWA meets monthly from September until June. It is a gathering of amateur and professional woodworkers from the Ottawa Valley and surrounding area. Normally each meeting has a theme - one main topic which is presented and discussed in an open-forum atmosphere. It's a great opportunity to meet fellow woodworkers, share ideas, seek advice, and get out of the sawdust once in a while! Over the last couple of years we have been expanding into events that include members and non members.

What kind of woodworking does the OWA include?

The OWA focus is on woodworking in general. We discuss everything from seasonal wood movement and finishing techniques to table-saw tuning and shop safety. The membership consists of a mixture of hand-tool and power-tool enthusiasts, and those inbetween.  Our members are professionals and amateurs, and beginners, intermediate, and accomplished woodworkers.

Can anyone join the OWA?

New members are always welcome! The membership fee is $50.00 per year ($25.00 for full-time students with a valid student card). Visitors can attend two meetings before making a decision to join or not.  Information about the next meeting is posted in the side-bar that appears by clicking the three short lines at the top left of the home page.

What is the OWA structure?

The OWA is governed by a Constitution and a set of Bylaws.  Each year elections are held and an executive is voted into govern the organization.  With the November 4th elections the executive officers for the 2023-24 season are:

President - Don Duchesne
Past President - Rob Suarez
Vice President/Program Coordinator Held jointly by Joseph Federer and Charles Anderson
Secretary - Chuck Robineau
Treasurer - Jocelyn Plourde, Principal and Greg Fox, Deputy
Public Relations Coordinator - George Fouriezos
Appointed Directees at Large - Gary Devries and Saif Terai

Is there OWA Merchandise?

 We do have merch although we don't shill it at the meetings.  Caps might be in short supply, but there are T-shirts (medium and up) and mugs, each at $15.  Caps are half-off unless we get some in, in which case they will also be priced at $15.  Speak discretely to one of the officers of the executive to arrange a purchase.

How can I contact the OWA?

 Email  ottawa.woodworkers.assoc@gmail.com

Can you say a little about the early history of the OWA?

Sure. Here are Chris vanderZwan's notes as archived by Terry MacClean and passed on through Brian Greene and Wayne Richardson:

The first meeting (gathering?) was at the Tim Horton’s on Hazeldean near Terry Fox... Wednesday, February 25th 2003

Second meeting – Kanata Public Library (Hazeldean Branch) ... April 1st 2003

First OWA Field Trip (and 3rd meeting) was out to Danny Proulx’ shop in Russell for a tour – Saturday, May 3rd

We had a small meeting in June (@ Tim Hortons) them took the summer off

From there we started meeting at the Bells-Corners Public Library - October 3rd I think?

Tour of Lee Valley’s manufacturing facility – Feb 12th, 2004

May 6th, 2004... Our meeting topic was “how best to proceed” John Blore Offered to help draft the constitution and bylaws

Contributors to the first OWA Constitution and Bylaws: John Blore, Gump, Norman, Paul Mahood, Donna H, Bob Demers and Chris V.

First General meeting (and election) – Thursday, November 4th, 2004

First OWA Executive: Secretary: Donna Hedley Treasurer: John Blore Program Coordinator: Bob Demers Vice President: Kevin Hewitt President: Chris vanderZwan

Danny Passed away November 26th, 2004 – The OWA gave him “Membership number 1”

First meeting at Trend Arlington Centre – Wednesday, December 8th, Theme was “sharpening”.

Jack, Norman and Kevin initiated the “Spirit of the OWA Award” in Danny’s memory (February 2005). First Recipient of “The Danny Proulx Memorial Award” - Bob Demers – Wednesday, January 11th, 2006, presented by Gale Proulx.

Here are the names from our first mailing list – a couple of these guys didn’t make it to the first meeting but this list is dated the week after the second meeting:
  • Morris, Steve
  • Neville, Steve
  • Moore, Ross
  • Kita, Ron
  • Jackson, Peter
  • d'Entremont, Phil
  • Wylie, Mark
  • Prevost, Marc
  • Hewitt, Kevin
  • Schwass, Jack
  • Hudson, Keith
  • Proulx, Danny
  • vanderZwan, Chris
  • Jones, Adrian
  • Devries, Gary


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