Born 1947 in Montreal, Quebec, Michael John de Gruchy Haslam graduated from Sir George Williams University in 1970 with a degree in anthropology. He went on to have a prominent career as a conceptual and performance artist, both in Quebec and nationally during the 1970s and 80s. Michael Haslam was recently named in “Traffic”, a history of Conceptual Art in Canada, as co-founder of the Insurrection Art Co. These self-styled, “urban art guerillas” held several influential exhibitions in Montreal, Quebec City and Ottawa from 1970 to 1973.
Haslam had many solo exhibitions, public art commissions and performances in Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto from 1973 until 1983. He was the recipient of several Canada Council Arts Grants and two Quebec National Arts Grants during this period.
Michael Haslam was a central figure in the infamous “l’affair Corridart”. Corridart was the major public art installation for the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games. Haslam’s, “social-networking”, counter-culture public telephone system, “Teletron”, was installed on a major downtown street. Corridart offended Mayor Jean Drapeau so much that he ordered the entire eight blocks of art dismantled and destroyed the night before the Opening Ceremonies. The artists were eventually awarded modest damages.
He was awarded the Gold Medal for multimedia performance at “le Folie Culture” International Art and Psychiatry Conference in Quebec City in 1988 for his performance, “A Post-Modern Prehistory of Art Therapy”.
In 1985 Haslam graduated from Concordia with a Master’s degree in Art Therapy. From 2009 to 2012 he was the senior Art Therapist at the Dr. Peter Centre, St.Paul’s Hospital, Vancouver. His art works are included in many private, and several major public collections such as: le Musee des Beaux Arts and le Musee d’Art Contemporain Montreal; the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; the Permanent Collection of the Canada Council in Ottawa; le Musee du Quebec; the Art Gallery of Winnipeg, and the Vancouver Art Gallery. Michael Haslam currently resides in North Vancouver.