Michael Burns Sr.

Michael Burns Sr.

Michael Burns

Eclipse Award Photographer Michael Burns Dies

Photographer earned two Eclipse Awards and seven Sovereign Awards

Michael Burns, who won two Eclipse Awards for outstanding photography, died Feb. 8. He was 84.

Burns, who started working at racetracks as an apprentice at Old Woodbine in Toronto in 1943, earned Eclipse Awards in 1974 and in 1993. He earned a record seven Sovereign Awards, his most recent coming in 2009.

Burns was part of the sports scene around the world for the past seven decades. He was the official photographer for the Canadian government at five Olympics.

Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, Burns was the official photographer of the Ontario Jockey Club (Woodbine Entertainment Group) since 1956.

His photos promoted racing for more than 60 years. While working for Turofsky Photos in the 1940s and 1950s, Burns covered the National Hockey League at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto.

Burns, a member of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame, made a significant donation of over 30,000 negatives to Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. Capturing over 30 different sports since the late 1940s, these photos are available for viewing on a section of the Hall’s website: The Michael Burns Photography Collection.

Burns’ survivors include his wife of 59 years, Helen, and three children.

Visitation will be from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. (EST) Thursday, Feb 11, at the Turner & Porter Yorke Chapel, 2357 Bloor St. West, Toronto.

A funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. Friday at St. Clement Catholic Church, 409 Markland Drive, Toronto, with a reception to follow at 1 p.m. at St. George’s Golf & Country Club, 1668 Islington Ave.

Donations can be made c/o Dr. A. Simone, Canadian Food for Children Organization, 40 King George Rd., Toronto, Ontario, M8X 1L3.