Malak Karsh

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Malak Karsh, OC
Sign gatineau 1.jpg
Born (1915-03-01)March 1, 1915
Mardin, Ottoman Empire
Died November 8, 2001(2001-11-08) (aged 86)
Ottawa, Ontario
Nationality Canadian
Known for Photography
Notable work Picture of the floating logs on the Ottawa River
Awards Order of Canada

Malak Karsh, OC (March 1, 1915 – November 8, 2001) was a Canadian photographer of Armenian heritage, brother of Yousuf Karsh, who is best known for his photographs of the Ottawa region.

Born in Mardin, Ottoman Empire, he emigrated to Canada in 1937 and went to work with his brother. In 1963, he took a picture of the floating logs on the Ottawa River, called Paper and Politics, which was put on the back of the 1969-1979 Scenes of Canada series Canadian $1 note.

He was one of the founders of the Canadian Tulip Festival and its honorary president at the time of his death. According to mayor Bob Chiarelli, "He helped put Ottawa on the map. Probably the biggest and best brand for Ottawa was his tulips." [1]

In 1996, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. In 2005, the city of Ottawa established the Karsh Prize, honouring Ottawa photo-based artists, in honour of Malak and Yousuf Karsh.[2]

Approximately 100 of his photos of the Britannia Boat Club c 1940s are in the Library and Archives Canada collection.

Karsh died on November 8, 2001 at the age of 86. He is buried in Maclaren Cemetery Wakefield, Quebec.


  1. ^ Caroline Murray, "Mourning a Rare Talent: Malak Karsh's exquisite photos chronicled a city and a nation," Ottawa Sun, 9 November 2001, p. 4.
  2. ^ "The Picture of Excellence," The Ottawa Citizen, 14 February 2005, p. B4.

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