Through the Amateur of the Year Award, Radio Amateurs of Canada recognizes the outstanding contributions made by Canadian Amateurs. It is the intent of the Board of Directors of Radio Amateurs of Canada to recognize the outstanding Canadian Radio Amateur of the Year, each year such candidates are nominated.
To qualify for the title “RAC Amateur of the Year”, an individual should have made an outstanding contribution to Amateur Radio in the past year or have contributed consistently to the welfare of Amateur Radio over a period of several years. Serving Directors, Officers and Section Managers of Radio Amateurs of Canada are not eligible for this award while in office, nor in respect to their term(s) of office.
Supporting documentation should consist of at least a cover letter by an Amateur Radio operator or organization that describes and outlines the contributions made to Amateur Radio by the nominee. Other documentation that supports the description of these contributions, in other formats, may also be included if applicable.
Nominations: Deadline September 30
Nominations with supporting documentation are to be sent to the RAC Corporate Secretary at the address provided below.
Each year, nominations must be received at RAC Headquarters by the close of the last business day of September (Wednesday, September 30).
RAC Corporate Secretary
Radio Amateurs of Canada
720 Belfast Road
Suite / Bureau 217
Ottawa, ON K1G 0Z5
Selection of the winning candidate will be by majority vote of the RAC Board of Directors based on the supporting documentation submitted with the nomination. The winning candidate will be notified by mail.
Recipients of the RAC Amateur of the Year Award
The “Radio Amateur of the Year” Award was created by the Canadian Radio Relay League which merged with the Canadian Amateur Radio Federation to form Radio Amateurs of Canada.
- 2020 – Al Penney, VO1NO
- 2019 – Cary Rubenfeld, VE4EA
- 2018 – Gabor Horvath, VE7JH
- 2017 – Don Studney, VE7DS and Keith Witney, VE7KW
- 2014 – Alex Shovkoplyas, VE3NEA
- 2012 – Scott Wood, VE1QD
- 2011 – Cezar Trifu, VE3LYC
- 2006 – John Sluymer, VE3EJ
- 2004 – Ian Procyk, VE7HHS
- 2003 – Bill Elliott, VE1MR
- 2002 – Tom Domonkos, VE3FCK
- 2001 – Charles Leggatt, VE3CFL
- 2000 – Glenn McLeod, VE3GLN
- 1998 – George Fanjoy, VE3PEB
- 1992 – Will Melhuish, VE3AOY
- 1991 – Tom Atkins, VE3CDM
- 1988 – Libby Stevens, VE3IOT
- 1986 – Ralph Cameron, VE3BBM
- 1985 – Jack Strangleman, VE3GV
- 1984 – Doug Lockhart, VE7APU
- 1983 – Bill Gillespie, VE6ABC
- 1982 – Gwen Burnett, VE3AYL
- 1981 – Bert Anderson, VE4AP
- 1979 – Fred Hammond, VE3HC
- 1977 – Noreen Nimmons, VE3GOL
- 1976 – Brit Fader, VE1FQ
RAC Amateur of the Year Award 2019:
Cary Rubenfeld, VE4EA
For immediate release:
The RAC Board of Directors takes great pleasure in selecting Cary Rubenfeld, VE4EA, as the recipient of the RAC Amateur of the Year Award for 2019 in recognition of his tireless efforts to promote Amateur Radio in his home province of Manitoba, throughout Canada and internationally.
Through the RAC Amateur of the Year Award, Radio Amateurs of Canada recognizes the outstanding contributions made by Canadian Amateurs. The RAC Board considers nominations for the RAC Amateur of the Year Award and presents it if and when the nomination demonstrates the exceptional contribution made. If there are several nominations the best for that year is approved.
Cary is a founding member of Radiosport Manitoba (RSM) which combines his passion for contesting and DX. Since its inception in 2013, he has served as its Vice-President and Education Coordinator and has recruited renowned guest speakers to present world class presentations remotely to the group.
He was the driving force behind the organization and presentation of “The HF Experience” in 2016, which was an event targeted towards new and old Amateurs that provided a wide array of topics meant to encourage and entice participants to explore the HF bands.
Cary is a long-time member of the Winnipeg Amateur Radio Club (WARC) and has organized and led their annual Field Day events for the past several years. He realized that Field Day has often been many Amateurs first opportunity to get on the air and especially on HF. He has seized these opportunities to create a Field Day that encourages HF operation for those with little or no experience. To assist in this, he has successfully recruited top contesters from Alberta, Ontario and the United States to join the local contesters to act as mentors.
Cary has become the face of VE4 on the international scene. A regular attendee at Dayton and a guest at the last World Radiosport Team Championship (WRTC) event in Germany, he mingles and establishes a personal relationship with Amateurs from around the world. He was also a participant in the VE100VIMY special event in 2017.
In addition to his other volunteer efforts with the Winnipeg ARC, Cary has been instrumental in bringing new life and ideas to the club by seeking out new Amateurs and mentoring them along the path to become proficient operators. In 2019, Cary successfully spearheaded the effort to activate VE4WARC to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Winnipeg Amateur Radio Club.
Stay tuned to the RAC website for additional information about the presentation of the award once the plans have been finalized. For more information about the RAC Amateur of the Year Award visit: https://wp.rac.ca/rac-amateur-of-the-year/
Glenn MacDonell, VE3XRA
RAC President and Chair
Through the Amateur of the Year Award, Radio Amateurs of Canada recognizes the outstanding contributions made by Canadian Amateurs.
The RAC Board of Directors takes great pleasure in selecting Gabor Horvath, VE7JH, as the recipient of the RAC Amateur of the Year Award for 2018.
In his President’s Message in the January-February 2019 issue of The Canadian Amateur magazine, RAC President Glenn MacDonell, VE3XRA, writes:
“Gabor has demonstrated an intense commitment to diverse aspects of Amateur Radio and in 2010 he was recognized as the Pacific Northwest VHF’er of the Year for consistently promoting and encouraging VHF/UHF/microwave activity in the Pacific Northwest.
He was the only Canadian to compete in the 14th IARU High Speed Telegraphy World Championship in 2017 and was one of only four Canadians competing in the 2018 World Radiosport Team Championship in 2018.
In addition, he was a key volunteer in developing the RAC Canada 150 Award in 2017 and he also provided an article on the Cowichan Valley Amateur Radio Society’s Search and Rescue efforts in the January-February 2018 issue of TCA.”
Born in Hungary and introduced to Amateur Radio in elementary school as HA2KMR, Gabor Horvath has held VE3GBA, VE7DXG and VE7JH call signs. Gabor is a member of Radio Amateurs of Canada, the Pacific Northwest VHF Society, ORCA DX and Contest Club, and the Cowichan Valley Amateur Radio Society.
Gabor is active on VHF, usually as a portable on 50, 144, 222, 432, 903, 1296 and 10,368, EME and meteor scatter. He enjoys HF contesting. His home station is an ICOM-706 with 100W, a 3-el tribander and wires for the lower bands but he also operates from the VE7UF contest station.
Gabor was an operator at TM100VIMY and represented IARU Region 2 in the 14th IARU World HST Championship, Esztergom, Hungary which included 105 participants from 18 Countries.
In 2017, drawing on his experience with similar events, and teaming with RAC, Gabor conceived of honoring his adopted country’s sesquicentennial by spearheading the RAC Canada 150 Award. RAC was approached for the use of the RAC station call signs and Gabor made arrangements with his friend Attila, HA2NA, who had a program enabling the automatic generation of PDF awards which greatly simplified the RAC 150 Awards program.
The Award was issued for contacting the RAC stations between July 1, 2017 and December 31, 2017. Gabor was instrumental in using his extensive contacts to ensure that all Provinces and Territories were represented. This project led to a nationwide response with 250+ activations of the RAC call sign resulting in 60,000 QSOs.
The RAC Board considers nominations for this award and presents it if and when the nomination demonstrates the exceptional contribution made. If there are several nominations the best for that year is approved. As shown in the updated list of recipients below, only six Canadian Radio Amateurs have received the award since 2010.
Stay tuned to the RAC website and to The Canadian Amateur magazine for additional information about the presentation of the award once the plans have been finalized.
Canadian Radio Amateur of the Year for 2014: Alex Shovkoplyas, VE3NEA
Submitted by Stan Leschinsky, VE3TW
The RAC Board of Directors takes great pleasure in announcing the selection of Alex Shovkoplyas, VE3NEA, as the Canadian Radio Amateur of the Year for 2014. Through the Radio Amateur of the Year Award, Radio Amateurs of Canada recognizes the outstanding contributions made by Canadian Amateurs.
Alex Shovkoplyas, VE3NEA, is renowned through his unique and innovative software. Available at http://www.dxatlas.com/ his programs are in wide use by many operators around the globe. A diverse menu of tools is available to the Amateur. CWskimmer, as a notable example, allows the simultaneous decoding of all CW signals within the receiver passband. It is now well established, has changed Amateur Radio forever and is closely connected to the Reverse Beacon network. Many will credit his MorseRunner program as their main method of improving CW skills. Recently, DXAtlas has been supplemented with Gritty, an RTTY decoder. In addition, Alex also provides several other innovative tools for download as aids to the DXer.
“I was born in Ukraine, got my Masters degree from Dnipropetrovsk State University, and worked for several years as electrical engineer. I learned programming by self-education and have been a software developer for the last 25 years. Currently, I have a day-time job with a software company and I spend all nights and weekends writing my own Ham Radio software.
I got my first call sign, UB5EMI, in 1981. At that time I used only homebrew equipment. I still like homebrewing, but these days I prefer to homebrew software rather than hardware. In fact, all of my programs for Ham Radio were written for my own use. I just developed what I needed for DXing and, if I thought the program might be useful to other Hams, I published it as either freeware or shareware.
I like DXing more than any other kind of Ham activity. I started chasing DX from Canada in 2004, and now I am at 325 DXCC CW. I use a homebrew Hex-Beam and a dipole with my TS-570, but my most important tool is software – especially CW Skimmer. Ironically, I do not use its decoding capabilities, all I use is its waterfall display that helps me both find DX before it is spotted on the cluster, and crack the pileups once they develop.” – 73 Alex VE3NEA
In recognition of Alex’s numerous and significant contributions to Amateur Radio, he is the recipient of the 2014 RAC Amateur of the Year Award.
The plaque honouring VE3NEA’s achievements was presented by RAC Ontario South Director, Phil McBride, VA3QR/VA3KPJ, at the York Region Hamfest which was held at the Markham Fairgrounds on November 3. Congratulations Alex!