MHS Smarty Party: 20 October 2022

Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Henry Daniel Kalen (1928-2004)


Born at Winnipeg on 20 January 1928, he entered the University of Manitoba in 1951, receiving his Bachelor of Architecture degree six years later. He worked for the Federal Department of Public Works and GBR Architects, received his accreditation in the Manitoba Association of Architects and the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, but after three years of practice, decided to pursue his first career love of photography.

In 1960, he attended the summer session in Art Education at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, then joined the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Manitoba. He also assisted in teaching architectural drawing, graphic presentation and fundamentals of design from 1960 to 1971. He was a founding member of the Professional Photographers Association of Manitoba (PPAM). During his many years of membership, he held many executive positions, designed the PPAM logo, and won many competition awards including the Photographer of the Year twice. He was also a member of the Professional Photographers of Canada where he earned his Craftsman of Photographic Art in 1970. He also belonged to the Professional Photographers of America where he also won several print competition awards.

During the early 1970s he taught at the Neepawa Festival of Arts. He was the first photographer to have a one-man show at the Winnipeg Art Gallery in 1966. In 1967, he received a Canada Council grant to produce a major exhibit of Regina as a Centennial project. In 1973, he ventured into the post card distribution business. During the next 17 years, his company published over 400 post cards and sold over 12 million post cards across five provinces. His stock photos were filed with the Image Bank in Toronto and he was a stringer for such national magazines as Macleans, Chatelaine, Weekend Magazine and Canadian Geographic. In 1982, the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada awarded him the Allied Arts Medal for architectural photography. He was accepted for membership in the Royal Canadian Academy. His book Henry Kalen's Winnipeg was launched in September of 2000 and was a long-time bestseller.

He died at Winnipeg on 25 December 2004. A collection of some 1,500 of Kalen’s photographs are held at the University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections.


Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 10 January 2005.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 26 December 2014

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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