Waterloo newspaperman Herb Smith is credited as founder of the Outdoor Writers of Canada in 1957. With Smith as the OWC's first president, the charter membership consisted of newspaper and magazine writers, but has since grown to include authors, script writers, photographers, cinematographers, artists, illustrators, radio & television personalities, lecturers, public relations specialists, and outdoor industry contacts.
The original concept behind the OWC was craft improvement, but it quickly became evident that there was a need to work closely with government, industry, organizations and private interests to educate and promote the responsible use of Canada's natural resources.
2008, OWC Headquarters moved to Cochrane, Alberta.


A community of professional outdoor communicators that is well informed, interconnected and enthusiastic about promoting hunting, fishing and other traditional outdoor activities.


The Outdoor Writers of Canada (OWC) is an organization of individual communicators and corporate partners that promotes and recognizes high standards of craftsmanship and professional conduct among its members. The OWC provides services to members to assist them in achieving success and excellence in outdoor communications related to hunting, fishing and other traditional outdoor activities.


To stimulate interest in and an appreciation of the outdoors. To stimulate high standards of craftsmanship among those concerned with the portrayal of outdoor life. To co-operate with others in support of the responsible use(s) of Canada's natural resources.


We believe...

  • that truth, accuracy and fairness are fundamental in reporting the outdoors.
  • that the ethics of our craft demand a responsibility to search out facts and present them honestly and conscientiously.
  • it to be a public trust never to permit personal gain to sway our judgement or to stoop to plagiarism.
  • that no member should solicit any goods and / or services for consideration, direct or indirect, whether promotional or otherwise, that would influence or appear to influence the truth, accuracy and fairness in his or her reporting about the outdoors.
OWC founded by Herb Smith at the Toronto Men's Press Club
1st Annual Meeting held at Shoofly Lodge, ON
Outdoor Writing Awards competition established
OWC hosts the 1st World Congress of Outdoor Writers at Mont Tremblant, PQ
Pete McGillen Award introduced - Ernie Taylor, 1st recipient
Quebec chapter separates from the OWC
Craft improvement supplement added to Inside Outdoors newsletter
OWC constitution drafted / amended / adopted
OWC website posted on the InterNet
Membership survey conducted
OWC Strategic Plan 2000 - 2004 adopted
Head office was moved to Cochrane, Alberta
©2009 Outdoor Writers of Canada. All rights reserved.