Daniel J. Izzard (1923 – 2007)

British-born Daniel J. Izzard’s life was full of chance encounters and fiction-worthy adventures. In 1947, while stationed aboard the HMS Vanguard battleship during the royal tour of South Africa, he exchanged words with King George VI. As art editor at the time for the HMS Vanguard Magazine (the only magazine produced on a warship), Izzard created exquisite covers and detailed drawings, works which are highly sought-after today by museums and libraries all over the world.

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As a naval officer after the war, Izzard was part of an attaché to HM Queen Elizabeth II and travelled with her aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia on a tour of the Commonwealth countries. Years later, during the Queen’s 1982 visit to Ottawa on Proclamation Day, the Canadian government presented her with one of Izzard’s paintings.


Izzard moved to Canada in the mid-1950s, inspired by photos of British Columbia’s natural beauty. In 1963, he began painting full time. Inspiration was found on solo canoe painting trips to remote areas of Canada. Travel abroad was constant; he found his muse in the sights and wonders of Europe, Asia, North Africa, the Americas, and the Middle East. His travels greatly informed his body of work, which comprised of fifty-eight one-man exhibitions over the course of forty-three years.


In 1985, after a painting trip to India, Izzard was diagnosed with an incurable, degenerative heart disease. At sixty-two, he had far surpassed the maximum age (fifty) allowed for a new heart. After much debate as to his eligibility, he became Canada’s oldest living heart transplant recipient, and his successful operation opened the door for many others. His first solo exhibition post-surgery in 1993 was opened by renowned physician, scientist, and entrepreneur Dr. Calvin R. Stiller C.M., O. Ont., M.D., FRCP (C), known for pioneering the first multi-centre clinical trials for the anti-rejection drug cyclosporin.


In 1988, Izzard was honoured by the mayor and council of Vancouver as one of West Vancouver’s Outstanding Achievers of the past seventy-five years. In 1993, he received a commemorative medal for the one-hundred-and-twenty-fifth anniversary of the Confederation of Canada, and in 2000 he received the North Shore FANS Recognition Award. On March 26, 2006, after holding elected letter status since 1979, Izzard received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Federation of Canadian Artists in Vancouver, B.C. This honour came in recognition of his long and illustrious career, as well as his work in support of non-profit institutions and leadership in forming the Canadian Institute of Portrait Artists.


After his transplant, Izzard lived for twenty years. His career left an enduring legacy of paintings that will be remembered for their beauty, light, and indelible spirit, depicting Izzard’s beautiful visions of the world.