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What are the ORAs?

Launched in 1992, the Outstanding Retailer Awards are Canada’s only national awards program dedicated to celebrating the achievements of hardware, home improvement and building supply dealers and their staff. In its 30-year history, the program has honoured more than 170 retailers. The ORA Gala has become a must-attend for retail leaders from every part of Canada, who come to celebrate the industry’s finest.

What are the categories?

There are seven Outstanding Retailer Award categories.

  1. Best Hardware Store (any size)
  2. Best Building Supply/Home Centre (under 15,000 square feet)
  3. Best Building Supply/Home Centre (over 15,000 square feet)
  4. Best Young Retailer (a store manager 35 or under; entrants may be store owners or employees of an independent store or retail chain.)
  5. Marc Robichaud Community Leader. This award is open to all stores. Its purpose is to celebrate the outstanding contributions/events, charitable donations, etc., made by a store’s staff/managers/owners to the community they serve.
  6. Best Large Surface Retailer (over 65,000 square feet)
  7. Best Contractor Specialist Store


Who can apply?

All Canadian home improvement retailers/dealers that have operated under the current ownership for at least two years are eligible to apply for the ORAs.

Dealers may submit their entries directly; chain/buying group head offices may choose to select their best dealer(s) and prepare their entries for them, in collaboration with the dealer; or vendors may identify specific outstanding retailers for entry and contact us directly.

How do I apply?

A basic entry consists of filling out the ORA entry form, found at the bottom of this page. It is mandatory to fully answer all 22 questions for your application to be judged. Submissions must also contain a minimum of 5 exterior photos, and a minimum of 20 interior photos. Video and audio materials are optional. (They may be useful if you have very unusual and/or effective broadcast commercials that were made just for your business. But they are rarely the decisive factor in winning.) The deadline for applications is Friday, June 14th, 2024.

What do I get if I win?

A trip for two to Charlevoix, Quebec, including two nights accommodation and admission to the Hardlines Conference and Outstanding Retailer Awards; an inscribed plaque; a marketing package that includes a write-up in Hardlines Home Improvement Quarterly Magazine; a customized video; and photo ready to be sent to local media. The awards will be presented at a special ORA Gala Dinner, held at the end of Day One of the Hardlines Conference.

When will I know if I’ve won?

Judging will take place in mid July, and winners will be informed by mid-August.

Where and when will the awards ceremony take place?

The Outstanding Retailer Awards Gala Dinner will take place October 22nd, 2024 at Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu, Charlevoix, Q.C.

Download the English ORA entry form HERE.

Download the French ORA entry form HERE.


Any questions? Contact Jillian at oras@hardlines.ca.

En français