About the OSA

History of the Ottawa Sport Awards

In 1953, Lou LaBlond of the Associated Canadians Travellers (ACT) initiated the first awards dinner called the ACT Sportmens Dinner, honouring 16 amateur athletes with assistance from the Eastview Lions Club and the Eastview Recreation Centre. The event continued to be known as the ACT Awards for an amazing 50 years under the guidance of Mike Milligan and Gary Mighton. In 2003, both Mike and Gary decided to step down from their key organizing roles.

Bob Chiarellii, the Mayor of the City of Ottawa at the time, recognized the need to continue to honour and celebrate Ottawas top amateur athletes and approached Pat Reid, a recognized local sports contributor, to continue the organization of the event. Early in 2004, the 2003 Ottawa Sport Awards were held with a significantly expanded list of awards including:

  • Top Male and Female Athlete of the Year
  • Volunteer Sportsman of the Year in three categories - Lifetime Achievement in Sport Administration (dedicated to Mark Lowry), Sport Technical Officiating and Sport Volunteerism
  • Outstanding Male and Female Sports Team of the Year,
  • Outstanding Male and Female Coach of the Year (dedicated to Jack Donahue)
  • Amateur Sport Club of the Year, and
  • The Ernie Calcutt, Eddie McCabe, Brian Smith Memorial Award for Lifetime Achievement in Sports Media.

Finally, a ninth major award category was created, called the Mayors Cup. This special award is given to an individual(s) who has made a significant lifetime contribution to sport - in areas otherwise not covered by sport administration, sport technical officiating or sport volunteering categories.

For more details on past Ottawa Sport Award winners including bios, please visit the Past Winners page.

Sponsorship Opportunities

If you would like to participate in the promotion of amateur sport excellence and achievement in our city, please contact us by filling out the
Sponsorship Opportunities Form.