Around 300 people filled the David Lam Auditorium on Sunday, Oct. 27 for the book launch of Thelma Fayle’s, Ted Grant: Sixty Years of Legendary Photojournalism. The book launch consisted of talks by Roger Touchie, head of the publisher Heritage House, Thelma Fayle, the author, and Ted Grant himself, who is often considered one of the fathers of Canadian photojournalism.
Touchie provided the introduction, while Fayle read three excerpts and provided more insight on the making of the book, but the focus of the event was Grant. While showing slides of his iconic photos, Grant delivered a humorous and often emotional commentary full of stories, which held the audience’s deepest attention the entire time. These slides included images of Jackie Kennedy, Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, Pierre Trudeau, John Diefenbaker, and a self-portrait of Grant on his 76th birthday, upside-down during a flight in a fighter plane.
While the name Ted Grant may not be immediately recognizable, his photos are. Fayle hopes to ensure that Grant receives more recognition for his work. “So many people knew his work and nobody knew his name. The fact that 12 publishers rejected the idea blew me away,” said Fayle. She hopes with more people reading the book, more will appreciate the work he has done.
Along with being denied by 12 publishers, Fayle conducted over 100 hours of interviews with Grant and scanned through some 300 000 prints of his work at the National Archives in Ottawa.
While concluding and giving thanks, Grant said, “I may have had other books published, but it’s not like having a book published about yourself—particularly the way Thelma wrote it, it’s unbelievable.”