Ken Danby

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Ken Danby
Born Kenneth Edison Danby
(1940-03-06)6 March 1940
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
Died 23 September 2007(2007-09-23) (aged 67)
Algonquin Park, Ontario
Nationality Canadian
Known for Painting
Movement Realism
Awards Order of Canada
Order of Ontario

Ken Danby, CM OOnt (6 March 1940 – 23 September 2007) was a Canadian painter in the realist style.

Life and work[edit]

Ken Danby enrolled at the Ontario College of Art in 1958.

In 1961, Ken participated in the first ever Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition/TOAE. The exhibition was organized by TOAE founder Murray Koffler and was held on the August 5th weekend in the parking lot of the Four Seasons hotel, located at that time on Jarvis Street in Toronto Canada. Ken was the winner of BEST OF Exhibition during this first season of TOAE. Ironically the painting that won him the award was an untitled abstract, currently in the collection of the artist.

Ken's first solo exhibition in 1964 sold out.

Danby is best known for creating highly realistic paintings that study everyday life. His At the Crease (1972) is an iconic and widely reproduced work in Canada, portraying a masked hockey goalie defending his net.[1]

In 1975, Danby was elected a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts.[2] He has also been a recipient of the Jessie Dow Prize, the 125th Anniversary Commemorative Medal of Canada, the City of Sault Ste. Marie's Award of Merit and both the Queen's Silver and Golden Jubilee Medals.

In the 1980s, he prepared a series of watercolours about the Americas Cup and the Canadian athletes at the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo. Danby has served on the governing board of the Canada Council and as a member of the Board of Trustees of the National Gallery of Canada.

In 1997, Danby received an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario. In 2001, he was vested in both the Order of Ontario and the Order of Canada.[3]

Ken Danby has a school named after him on Grange Road in Guelph, Ontario, and a street named after him in his home of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. Ken Danby Way in the Sault includes the Public Library and fittingly, the Art Gallery of Algoma. He was inducted into the Sault's Walk of Fame in 2006.


On 23 September 2007, Danby collapsed while on a canoe trip in Algonquin Park near North Tea Lake with his wife Gillian Danby and friends. The party summoned help, but paramedics were unable to revive him.

Danby is the second famous Canadian artist to die in Algonquin Park. Tom Thomson died on Canoe Lake at the park in July 1917. Canadian writer Blair Frazer also drowned in the park on the Petawawa River's Rollaway Rapids in May 1968.


Danby was married and had three sons. Ken's wife's name is Gillian Danby. His son, Noah Danby, is an actor and has been in various commercials, movies and television shows, most notably the drama series Painkiller Jane where he played the character Connor King.


  1. ^ Sault Ste. Marie: Extraordinary, Not Ordinary, Hometown Hockey
  2. ^ "Members since 1880". Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. Retrieved 11 September 2013. 
  3. ^ The Official Ken Danby Home Page – Frequently Asked Questions

External links[edit]