Born in England, Ted Harrison (1926-2015) studied at the West Hartlepool School of Art completing his diploma after the war in 1949. He earned a teaching certificate from the University of Durham and, after moving to Canada in 1957, a Bachelor of Education from the University of Alberta. Harrison began a teaching career that lasted almost three decades. In 1968, he took a teaching post in Carcross in the Yukon. There he worked and painted until 1993. In this period he developed his distinct style of flowing lines and expressive shapes brilliant, solid colours to depict the culture, people and wildlife of this northern territory.
Harrison was a celebrated illustrator and author of children's books. His illustrated book of the Robert Service poem The Cremation of Sam McGee in 1986 is read widely in Canadian elementary schools. The famous poem is based on Service's experience in the Yukon.
Harrison was made a Member of the Order of Canada for his contributions to Canadian culture. He received honorary doctorates from Athabasca University, the University of Victoria and the University of Alberta. He was elected member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. Harrison's artwork is held in private, corporate and public collections around the world.