In 2021, Library and Archives Canada (LAC) announced the acquisition of a significant portion of Gabor Szilasi’s professional archives. Over the last 50 years, LAC has made several other acquisitions of his works, mainly black-and-white photographic prints. This most recent acquisition, which includes more than 80,000 negatives, covers nearly seven decades of Szilasi’s life and career as a photographer, and makes the Gabor Szilasi fonds the most comprehensive collection of his works in Canada.
Gabor Szilasi is a nationally and internationally renowned documentary photographer. He is the recipient of the prestigious Governor General’s Award for lifetime achievement (2010) and the Prix Paul-Émile-Bourduas (2009), and has been appointed Compagnon de l’Ordre des arts et des lettres du Québec (2021). He has exhibited widely both across Canada and internationally. His work can be found in the collections of many notable Canadian galleries and museums, including the National Gallery of Canada.
Learn more about Szilasi’s legacy by consulting the following links dedicated to his work:
Born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1928, Szilasi fled the country in 1957 following the Hungarian Uprising, and settled in Canada in 1958. Already a prolific photographer upon arrival, Szilasi quickly connected with the Quebec photography community. Szilasi’s body of work is heavily influenced by the city of Montréal, his home for more than 60 years, and by his travels throughout Quebec, including the diversity among the different regions of the province, their people and their architectural styles. His career includes over a decade as photographer for the Service de Cinéphoto du Québec (later the Office du film du Québec). He subsequently taught photography, first at Cégep du Vieux Montréal, and then at Concordia University for 25 years. In addition, Mr. Szilasi is a national and international lecturer on his work and on documentary photography.
All documents pertaining to Gabor Szilasi in LAC’s Collection Search portal