David Courtney Milne was a fine art photographer and author of regional, national, and international significance. Born on 3 October 1943 in Saskatoon, he earned his BA in psychology from the University of Saskatchewan, and went on to study at the Brooks Institute of Photography, Pepperdine College, and the University of Minnesota. Milne had a dual appointment at the University of Guelph, where he was both a lecturer in the department of psychology and head of the Film Unit, from 1968-1970. He then returned to Saskatchewan, where he worked at the University of Saskatchewan’s Division of Audio-Visual Services and served as the director of the Saskatoon Cablevision Co-op. He made the decision to devote himself full-time to photography in 1975. Milne remained based in Saskatchewan, but photographed in all the provinces and territories of Canada, as well as in thirty-five other countries and on all seven continents.
As one reviewer noted, Milne’s body of work was “informed and filtered through his knowledge and love of art and music, and an eye attuned to the patterns of nature – the flora, fauna and landforms. As well it has underlying principles - his conviction of environmental responsibility, a reverence for the spiritual importance of geographic (mostly ancient) sites and respect for all faiths, his promotion of the idea of the universal importance of women and aboriginal peoples, and his lifelong attempt to further mass communication and education.”
During his lifetime, Milne published 10 books, contributed images to numerous other books, and wrote 185 articles on aspects of his work. His photographs are in the permanent collections of more than 30 public and corporate galleries. He received numerous honours for his work, including the Gold Medal for Distinction in Canadian Photography awarded by the National Association for Photographic Art (1993), a nomination for the Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts (2004), and an honorary degree from the University of Regina (2005). He was named as one of 100 Alumni of Influence by the College of Arts and Science, University of Saskatchewan, and in 2011 he was posthumously invested into the Saskatchewan Order of Merit.
Milne died on 29 August 2010.