William Eakin – 2009 Manitoba Arts Award of Distinction

William Eakin has been named the eighth recipient of the Manitoba Arts Council’s Manitoba Arts Award of Distinction. This $30,000 award is presented annually to recognize the highest level of artistic excellence and distinguished career achievements by a professional Manitoba artist.

William Eakin was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, in 1952. He studied at the Vancouver School of Art from 1971-1974, and then at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston from 1974-1975. He has lectured at the University of Manitoba School of Fine Art and the Department of Fine Art at the University of Victoria (British Columbia). In the mid-1980s Eakin served as Fine Arts Advisor for the Sanivik Co-op in Baker Lake, Nunavut.

Over the last thirty years as a professional artist, he has received numerous awards from Manitoba Arts Council and Canada Council for the Arts, and in 1996 he was recognized with the prestigious Canada Council for the Arts Duke and Duchess of York Prize in photography. He has exhibited his photography in solo and group exhibitions across Canada. Internationally his work has been exhibited in Alaska, Minnesota, France, The Netherlands, Australia, Japan, and Taipei.

Eakin’s photography has been placed in important collections nationally, including: The Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography; the National Photography Collection in Canada’s Public Archives (Ottawa); the Art Bank of the Canada Council for the Arts (Ottawa); the Banff Centre; the Edmonton Art Gallery; the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Air Canada; Gallery 1.1.1. (University of Manitoba); Art Gallery of North York (Ontario); Mackenzie Art Gallery (Saskatchewan); and the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre (Yellowknife). Eakin’s work was included in the comprehensive study Image and Inscription: An Anthology of Contemporary Canadian Photography edited by Robert Bean for YYZ Books (Toronto, 2005).

Previous Award of Distinction recipients include: Roland Mahe (2008), Dr. Robert Turner (2007), Aganetha Dyck (2006), Guy Maddin (2005), Grant Guy (2004), Robert Kroetsch (2003), and Leslee Silverman (2002).