About us


Mission Vision & Values


A volunteer-driven club providing its members opportunities to increase their knowledge and to apply this knowledge to improve their skills and achieve their photographic goals and objectives.


To provide our members with a full range of programs and services that serve their needs regardless of their area of photographic interest or their current capabilities.


Our club values:

  • gaining and sharing knowledge and experience across all aspects of photography,
  • members who are involved and willing to help other members and the club
  • having fun through exploring and sharing photographic opportunities with other members

Club meetings are normally held in person at 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays from September to mid-May at the RA Centre, 2451 Riverside Drive, Ottawa. However, it has been decided that the regular weekly meetings will continue to be virtual from September to December 2022. Having said that, outings such as nature and urban, and educational and Studio opportunities are being planned and will be in-person.

For information about the club you can email us.

For membership fee information, contact:

RA Centre
2451 Riverside Drive
Ottawa, ON, K1H 7X7



Club Contacts

To contact us use following mailing address:

Attn: Photo Club
The RA Centre
2451 Riverside Drive,
Ottawa, Ont. Canada K1H 7X7
Email: Email us.

Club Executive Council

RA Photo Club Executive Council Members 2023-2024
ChairAnna Nitoslawska
SecretaryBarbara Lapointe
Program Committee ChairGlenn Bloodworth
Competitions Committee ChairBill McCloskey
Social Commitee ChairIzabel Dabrowski
Communications Committee ChairMike MacKay
Education Committee ChairRoss Laing
Studio ManagerRick Harris
Darkroom Equipment ManagerDavid Elden
Past Chair/InterclubManfred Mueller
TreasurerJean Saint-Jacques
Nature Group LeaderRoger Miller
Audio Visual Group LeaderPosition Vacant
Life, Face & Figure Group LeaderMike MacKay
Photo Feedback Group LeaderSami Kandalaft
Urban Group LeaderPosition Vacant
Gallery Committee ChairJane Spencer
Tech Services CoordinatorRoger Miller
Fine Art Photography LeaderMaureen Murphy
Vice-ChairNorman Smith
Studio Group LeaderWilfred Oberthier
New Members Committee ChairKipper Trevorrow
Still Life Group LeaderAllan B Cameron

History of the Club

RA Photo Club History

Tracing its origins to the beginning of the Second World War, Ottawa’s RA Photo Club has a proud record of achievement in support of amateur photography in the national capital region. Founded in 1939 in modest quarters above a downtown restaurant, it focused, in early years, on black and white photography. Fittingly enough, its first Chairperson, Doug White, worked with the National Film Board, a federal agency which gained international renown for its prowess in the photographic arts. As recounted by the club's first Life member, Alice Gillies, in her memoir, A Snapshot of the Past:


1939 - 40 The members met on Monday evenings in a room above Bowles Lunch, at 3 Rideau Street, adjacent to the Union Station, now the Government Conference Centre.
1941 - 42 Members invited to Jim Newton's home for a darkroom workshop.
1946 - 47 The RA News paid $5 for the best photograph every month from a club member.
1950 - 51 Chairperson Harry Bleinham introduced coloured slides, and a darkroom was installed at 30 Rideau Street. Prints were exhibited at the Odeon and Glebe Theatres, camera shops and Freiman's department store.
1952 - 53 A Christmas party was held at the RA Lodge, 50 Wellington Street.
1955 - 56 Chairperson Don Thorn introduced a Portrait Studio.
1956 - 57 Club fees were raised from $1 to $2; non-members paid $4; the darkroom fee was $4. The meetings were now held at 243 Lisgar Street, in the RA House.
1958 - 59 Membership totaled 50, with 15 members using the darkroom.
1961- 62 The RA Camera Club, the Colour Photographic Association of Canada (CPAC), and the Camera Club of Ottawa met together at the RA Centre. The darkroom in the RA's new quarters on Riverside Drive was introduced by Al Hern.
1963 - 64 A 70" by 70" projection screen was acquired for the first time. The members were divided into two groups: Novice and Advanced.
1964 - 65 Membership rose to 90. A library was set up and a banquet held at the end of the year.
1969 - 70 The Nature Group was informally organized in early 1970.
1975 - 76 The first Open House was successfully organized by Karen Lehmann on May 4, 1976.
1976 - 77 Membership rose to 125. Studio, Fashion and Portraiture were introduced.
1978 - 79 The first Audio-Visual Program was introduced.
1983 - 84 The club's name was changed from RA Camera Club to RA Photo Club.


After much discussion, the Club established criteria for monthly competitions whereby participants advance from the Junior level through Intermediate, Senior and (a very few) to Master levels. At first, there were separate categories for prints and slides but this has evolved into just one top prize for Photographer of the Year.

In 1998 and 2003, the RA Photo Club organized two very successful Canadian Camera Conferences for CAPA (Canadian Association for Photographic Art), hosting photographers from across Canada. Activities included photographic field trips, proficient speakers, wine and cheese events, banquets, barbeques, etc. The RAPC inaugurated Trade Shows as part of these events.

A well-attended full day Planning Session was held in 2006. As a result, there was some organizational re-structuring. Soon after, the Club’s By-Laws were revised and Organization Guidelines were established to provide guidance to future members.

The RA Photo Club is today one of the largest, best equipped, most active and diversified photo clubs in Canada. Initially serving federal government employees only, its services are now open to all who are interested in photography. Home base is the RA Centre, a major recreational complex located at 2451 Riverside Drive, off Bronson Avenue. Thousands of photography enthusiasts have enjoyed its vigorous program of presentations, outings, workshops and special projects and services. Operation of a self- contained darkroom and studio and, more recently, digital resource facilities has provided additional inducement for members to learn and improve photographic skills by active hands-on participation.

Operation of club programs is richly sustained by involving an extraordinarily high proportion of members in executive and group activities. Of some 300 members registered, more than 60 are actively engaged in one or more committees. About one-third of members take part in periodic photo competitions. Many members get involved in one or more special interest groups and activities, with as many as 100 signing up for such popular pursuits as nature, urban or digital photography.

Succeeding years have seen steady progress as club leaders have managed to sustain and expand the scope of photographic activity to serve the ever broadening interests of photo enthusiasts. For many years, club members actively supported other programs of the RA Centre by volunteering to take photos of these activities. An annual "photo blitz" was staged with this objective, so that much of the imagery contained in the centre's periodical RA News was the work of club photographers. Many members have also contributed generously to community projects such as Wildlife Week by providing prints for exhibition.

Widespread interest in the rapid development of digital photography sparked a dramatic increase in club membership from the 100-125 range to 300+ in recent years. Improved communications, especially through a dedicated RA Photo Club web site, has contributed significantly to this expansion. A significant innovation was the formation in 2005-2006 of a new and vibrant Urban Group dedicated to photography in the urban environment. Members of the group got off to an enthusiastic start covering such summer festivals as Dragon Boat Races, Bluesfest, Tulip Festival and the Chamber Music Festival. It is the dedication and passion of RA Photo Club members to all aspects of photography that will continue to make history in the Ottawa region and beyond.

Leadership in club programming has been constantly assured by a succession of able chairpersons and executive committee members, many of whom have maintained club membership over lengthy periods. Chairpersons over the past two decades include:

  • Bob Matyas (2010-11)
  • Pierre Gauthier (2008-2010)
  • Dave Elden (2007-08)
  • Corry Berghout (2006-07)
  • Robert James (2004-05, 2005-06)
  • Tom Ritchie (2003-04)
  • Barbara Lapointe (2002-03, 1995-96, and 1985-86)
  • Brian Fogarty (2001-02)
  • Peter Roberts (2000-01)
  • Dave Haggarty (1999-2000 and 1992-93)
  • Linda Brewer (1998-99)
  • Guy Lorriman (1997-98)
  • Catherine Kelly (1996-97)
  • Bill Rankin (1994-95)
  • Pam McLennan (1993-94)
  • Joy Macdonell (1991-92)
  • Ed Overstreet (1990-91)
  • Bill Bovey (1989-90)
  • J-P Jerome (1988-89)
  • Marjorie Leach (1987-88)

All but two of these are still club members.

Life members honoured for dedicated service to the club include:

  • Alice Gillies
  • Eric Cottee
  • Henri Langlois
  • Paul Holland
  • Ed Overstreet
  • Barry Thoms
  • Catherine Kelly
  • Barbara Lapointe
  • Pierre Gauthier
  • John Elliott
  • David Elden