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Celebrating the life of George Hunter

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When famous Mississauga photographer George Hunter passed away in April at the age of 92, he left behind an impressive legacy: a collection of thousands of images taken during his celebrated, seven-decade long career.
Earlier this week, a tribute to Hunter was held at the Mississauga City Hall, displaying some of his work. The tribute, organized by Mississauga’s Heritage partners allowed two of his prominent former collegues, Ken Clayton and Tom Bochsler, to pay tribute to Hunter’s life and art, documenting the globe through photography.
Clayton, a producer, and Bochsler, a photographer, discussed not only Hunter’s photographic techniques and influence on the art, but also his life.

Hunter travelled the world as a photographer, including countries most of us will never get the chance to see: Afghanistan, Algeria, China, and Myanmar, among many other travels. His images of Northern American cities at dusk graced the pages of Time magazine in 1954, and in the 1940s he spent a month living among the Inuit in the High Arctic, documenting their daily life with his camera.
Hunter’s photograph’s of Canada’s landscapes are well known, some featured on Canadian currency and stamps. Hunter was drawn to industrial landscapes, and he spent much time photographing miners and mines in the Yellowknife area, finding beauty in what Bochsler called a “dirty, dark, or dangerous” environment. Hunter’s photographs transformed these scenes into something that the average person could relate to, said Boschsler.

Clayton, a longtime friend of Hunter, worked with him on a concert in which over 800 of Hunter’s pictures were displayed as an image show accompanying the sounds of the Mississauga Symphony Orchestra. Clayton paid tribute to his friend’s life, sharing personal memories of time spent with Hunter listening to music, and stories of how Hunter achieved some of us well know shots.


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