Most people, on reaching their 85th birthday, have been long enjoying retirement and a quieter life.
Saanich resident and photojournalist Ted Grant, who celebrated his birthday on May 27, spent the week after his 85th taking photos for a University of Victoria publication that celebrates the 10-year anniversary of the medical program at the University of Victoria.
Grant, one of Canada’s most celebrated photojournalists, shows no signs of slowing down as he ages.
In April he was in New York for the opening of his one-man photo exhibition at the Leica Gallery on Broadway.
Grant says the New York show was a highlight of his career. Friends and fans from around the world jammed the gallery for the opening and for the chance to see the photographer with 75 of his best-known images.
Unable to hail a cab outside his hotel, he found himself arriving 45 minutes late to his own opening, which led to some good-natured teasing that he was now such a big star he was turning up to events fashionably late.
The weekend before his birthday he was in Vancouver for the annual News Photographers Association of Canada convention, where he was honoured with a video tribute.
The NPAC tribute, in front of an audience of his peers from across Canada, was an emotional event that moved him to tears, he says.
He is currently contemplating a large retrospective book on his career, a followup to last year’s Ted Grant: Sixty Years of Legendary Photojournalism by Thelma Fayle. The challenge of this book will be going through the hundreds of thousands his negatives held by the National Gallery in Ottawa, including the 100,000 shot while on assignment for the National Film Board.
He also plans to take digital printing lessons from local printer Francis Sullivan.
Asked if he has considered retirement, Grant says he has, but only briefly. “Your career is only over if you stop,” he says, and he has no plans to stop any time soon.
The video shown at the NPAC conference, made by noted Vancouver photographer Nick Didlick, can be seen at vimeo.com/94291982.