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OCAD U remembers prominent Arctic researcher Norman Earle Hallendy

Norman Hallendy headshot in sepia tones.

Photo of Norman Earle Hallendy courtesy of Tubman Funeral Homes

The OCAD University community mourns the passing of Norman Earle Hallendy on Oct. 27 at the age of 91. Hallendy was a graduate of the Ontario College of Art (OCA) before it became OCAD U.


Norman Earle Hallendy graduated from the design program at OCA in 1954. His post-graduate studies were undertaken at the Swedish Institute for Cultural Relations in Stockholm, Design Research in Zurich and Milano in 1955 and Environmental Research at M.I.T., Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1957.

Hallendy went on to work at the Brussels World Fair, the National Film Board and Northern Affairs, where he played a role in launching Inuit Graphic Art in 1959.

Upon retiring as Vice-President at Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation in 1988, he was focused on his passion for the Canadian Arctic, forming a close bond with the elders of Cape Dorset.

He became an internationally recognized Arctic ethnohistorian, writer and photographer, and a leading authority on inuksuit, going on to publish several books on the Arctic. One such book, Inuksuit: Silent Messengers of the Arctic, features Hallendy’s photography, his insights into the Inuktitut language and the spiritual and practical life of his Inuit friends.

His work on inuksuit, and ethnographic work, in southwest Baffin Island was recognized by the Royal Canadian Geographical Society in 2001 with the Gold Medal.

Hallendy then received the coveted Mungo Park Medal from the Royal Scottish Geographical Society in 2007. He was awarded The Polar Medal in 2018, an Honour from the Crown presented by the Governor General which recognizes persons who render extraordinary services in the polar regions and in Canada’s North.

OCAD U extends its condolences to his family, friends and loved ones.

Tubman Funeral Homes
Toronto Star
The Globe and Mail