Signatures Series: Interview with Bruce MacKinnon

Bruce MacKinnon 

Guy Berthiaume, Librarian and Archivist of Canada, in conversation with:

Bruce MacKinnon, award-winning editorial cartoonist for the Halifax Chronicle-Herald

Monday, June 19, 2017, from noon to 1:15 p.m.
In English only
Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21
Andrea and Charles Bronfman Theatre
1055 Marginal Road
Halifax, Nova Scotia

Hosted by Guy Berthiaume, Librarian and Archivist of Canada, the Signatures Series features original interviews with individuals who provide insights into parts of the Library and Archives Canada (LAC) collection, either because they have donated archives to LAC or are experts on them.

Bruce MacKinnon fonds consist of 91 drawings in pen and black ink (1986–1995). The conversation cover his work from the beginning of his carrier to 1995.

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A native of Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Bruce MacKinnon studied at St. Francis Xavier University, Mount Allison University and the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design.

His first professional experience in cartooning was at the age of 14, when he was hired to draw cartoons for the local weekly, The Casket. While in high school, he drew for the Antigonish Spectator, and while attending St. Francis Xavier University (StFX), he was a contributing cartoonist for the Xaverian Weekly. Bruce started drawing a weekly editorial cartoon for the Halifax Chronicle-Herald in 1985, working at home while raising his newborn daughter. He joined the paper fulltime in August of 1986.

Much of Bruce's work forms part of the permanent collections of StFX University, the National Gallery of Canada and the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. He has published four books of cartoons and caricatures: Inklings (1990); Inklings II (1994); Pendemonium (2002); and Penetration (2010), which marked his 25th year with the Chronicle Herald. In 2013 the Chronicle Herald published Drawing Opinions, featuring mainly cartoons by Bruce MacKinnon and related Herald content.

MacKinnon participated in a panel discussion on political cartooning in Canada at the screening of Cartoonists: Foot Soldiers of Democracy, held on March 27, 2015, at the Reel Artists Film Festival. He will appear as a guest speaker at Eurocature '15, June 7 to 11, 2015, in Vienna, Austria.

Bruce lives in Halifax with his wife, Peggy. His daughter, Robyn, is a visual artist and his son, Jamieson, is a drummer who performs with Bruce as the father-son duo, Bruce & Jay.


To date, Bruce has been nominated eight times for a National Newspaper Award (NNA), winning in 1992, 1993, 2013, 2014 and 2015. He also received the NNA inaugural Journalist of the Year award for 2014. Bruce has also won 17 Atlantic Journalism Awards for editorial cartooning (including Journalist of the Year in 1991 and a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000); nine Best Political Cartoonist awards in The Coast's Best of Halifax Reader's Survey (including a 2009 Hall of Fame induction, which formally closed the category); and second place in the 2004 World Press Cartoon Competition. In 1996 he was awarded an honourary doctorate by St. Mary's University for his work in the field of editorial cartooning. In October 2011 he was appointed to the Order of Nova Scotia and in 2013 he received both an honourary Doctor of Fine Arts from NSCAD University and the Friend of StFX Award from St. Francis Xavier University. In 2014 he won the World Press Freedom Award and took second prize in the 2014 Niels Bugge International Cartoon Award.

In 2015, he and his son, Jamieson, won The Coast’s Best of Halifax Reader's Choice Award for Best Cover Band. In 2017, he won the Townsie Award of the Association of Canadian Cartoonists.

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