David Rimmer (1942-2023)

David Rimmer, Self-Portrait, April 1979. 9 gelatin silver prints, 50.8 x 66 cm. National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, CMCP Collection. Photo: NGC.

The Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory (AHVA) acknowledges the passing of David Rimmer, one of Canada’s most influential experimental filmmakers.

Born in Vancouver, Rimmer studied economics and mathematics at the University of British Columbia (UBC) before pursuing a career in film and art in the late 1960s. Rimmer’s films have been screened at prestigious venues in Canada and abroad, including the Canadian Cultural Centre in Paris, Canada House in London, and the European Media Art Festival in Osnabruck, Germany. Rimmer is a winner of the 2011 Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts.

Rimmer taught as a sessional lecturer in what was then the Department of Fine Arts from 1974 to 1979, delivering studio courses with an emphasis on film (Fine Arts 290, 381, and 481) and foundation studio techniques (Fine Arts 181).  

Professor Emeritus Richard Prince reflects, “I worked with and shared an office with him and three other studio faculty members in the Lasserre Building from 1975 until Dave left to teach at the Emily Carr School of Art as it soon became. He was a friendly, warm and modest person, welcoming and encouraging to the students. His enthusiasm for art and his lack of pretension were great assets in allowing others to flourish. He had a wry sense of humour with a particular look that when it appeared, one knew that the wheels were still turning and the shutter was still clicking.”  

Visit the National Gallery of Canada’s online collection to view a selection of Rimmer’s works.  

Tributes to Rimmer published by Stir