William Lishman, M.S.M., L.L.D. (Hon) (Born February 12, 1939) is an award-winning sculptor, filmmaker, inventor, naturalist and public speaker, president of William Lishman & Associates Limited, Vice President of Paula Lishman Limited and Chair Emeritus of Operation Migration Inc.
Lishman was one of a few who pioneered ultra-light aviation in Canada, and was the first Canadian to foot-launch and land a rigid-winged aircraft.
In 1988, he was the first person to lead birds in the air with an aircraft and, as documented on ABC's 20/20, in 1993 he conducted the first aircraft-led migration of birds.
In 1994 he co-founded Operation Migration, Inc., and was its Chairperson until 2005. With Operation Migration he flew numerous migrations with geese and cranes, and in 2000 did the major path-finding for the route that has been used to establish the migration of the Whooping Crane between Wisconsin and Florida.
In his career as a sculptor since 1962, Lishman has completed numerous public works of art, including a sculpture for The Vancouver World's Fair (EXPO '86) named "Autohenge," an 85-foot-high, full-scale replica of Stonehenge made from crushed cars. He has also created 8 major wildlife pieces featured in the 3D IMAX film The Last Buffalo (directed by Stephen Low). In 2015 he created a 40’ high stainless steel iceberg for the Canadian Museum of Nature.
In 1990 he designed and constructed a unique earth-integrated dome home that has been featured numerous times in the media, including the Discovery Channel show Extreme Homes.
In 2000 the Canadian government awarded him the Meritorious Service Medal for bringing honour to Canada for his pioneering work with migratory birds.
Bill was also a recipient of The US National Wildlife Federation 2002 Conservation award, numerous international awards for films, and the Odyssey of the Mind award for Creativity which he shares with the likes of Walt Disney and Neil Armstrong. He also holds two honorary doctorates.
For the past ten years Bill has presented over 50 keynote speeches to various organizations around the world and been the guest speaker on 20 adventure expeditions on small cruise ships to remote parts of the planet, including both polar regions.
The 1996 Oscar nominated Columbia pictures film Fly Away Home was inspired by his autobiography Father Goose and he is also credited with inspiring the Jacques Perrin film The Winged Migration. In 2005 he hosted a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Nature Of Things documentary on renewable energy.
The Oak Ridges Moraine book
In 2015 Bill produced and self-published a coffee table book highlighting views of the Oak Ridges Moraine from Above. www.williamlishman.com
He lives in Blackstock with his wife Paula Lishman, a fashion designer and president of the Fur Council of Canada. The Lishmans have two sons, Geordie and Aaron, and one daughter, Carmen.
- Lishman, William. Father Goose. Crown, 1996. ISBN 0-517-70182-0.