The Legacy of Harry Rowed: A Canadian Documentary Photographer

  By Ryley Smith

Coal miners in the Crowsnest. Map of the mine shafts behind them. – Photo by Harry Rowed

Harry Rowed was one of the most prominent Canadian photojournalists of the 21st century. With images from across the country to around the world, Harry Rowed captured tens of thousands of photographs, many of which were still negatives and transparencies, stored in boxes and ignored for decades. That was until his son, Scott Rowed, started his personal journey of discovery and learning about the extraordinary career of his father, Harry Rowed. 

Gertrude Wepsala, from Vancouver, was the Canadian Women’s ski champion through the late 1930s. In the summer of 1939 she was training on Mt Athabasca in Jasper National Park, in preparation for the 1940 Winter Olympics. Shortly after this photo was taken WWII broke out, cancelling the Olympics and ending Gertie’s Olympic dreams. – Photo by Harry Rowed

By studying the negatives, poring over clippings and letters, Googling, tracing, and contacting people, Scott Rowed has slowly pieced together the remarkable career of his father, Harry Rowed, before his retirement in the 1970s. 

This incredible story will be shared during our virtual event, The Legacy of Harry Rowed: A Canadian Documentary Photographer

William Lyon Mackenzie King, Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Governor General of Canada Alexander Cambridge, 1st Earl of Athlone. – Photo by Harry Rowed

The main focus of The Legacy of Harry Rowed: A Canadian Documentary Photographer will be on Harry Rowed’s Canadian content, with a touch on Harry’s trip to the 1936 Berlin Olympics – a key in establishing his credentials – and winters in Puerto Vallarta in the early 1950s, Scott Rowed will share the work of his father, laced with stories and humour that provide a window into his fantastic character. 

To harvest the wild rice, the person in the stern of the canoe would bend over the rice stocks and use two sticks to strip the rice grains off the stalks. – Photo by Harry Rowed

Since Harry Rowed’s career spanned four decades in the golden age of photojournalism, Scott Rowed will cover the cameras and film types used, which varied by the year and the type of assignment. As well, Scott Rowed will include a short section on the techniques he used to digitize Harry Rowed’s negatives, using a DSLR and macro lens.

The Legacy of Harry Rowed: A Canadian Documentary Photographer will take place on Thursday, September 1, 2022, at 7:00 PM MDT.

For more information and to register to watch, click here!

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Author:

Ryley graduated in 2018 from the U of C, with a bachelor in Sociology. With a strong love for writing, and having dabbled in photography, she wanted to take her curious mind and put it towards a more fun and creative future. In her spare time, Ryley finds herself camping, skiing, and fishing. She also loves craft beer and interesting food, ideally together.