W.D. (Wally) West opened his photograhpic studio in Prince George, British Columbia in 1946. Upon his retirement in 1991, the City of Prince George purchased much of his collection. The City donated the collection to the Fraser-Fort George Museum Society for archiving and preservation in 1993 and now resides at The Exploration Place (Fraser-Fort George Regional Museum).
The collection consists of 4 main parts:
- General: The images here depict regional and social events, community organizations, businesses, trade fairs, conventions, agriculture, construction, natural disasters, street scenes, aerial views and portraits.
- Simonson: Wally West purchased the Jacob Simonson studio in 1946. Simonson opened the first photograhpic studio in South Fort George in 1910. Jacob Simonson passed away in 1946.
- Pulp Mills: The construction of Northwood, Intercontinental, and P.G. Pulp mills.
- Schools: These are mostly class photos from schools in the Prince George region. They were taken between 1947 and 1960 and include 25 individual schools.
Wally has recieved numerous awards and accolades in Canada and internationally including an Honorary Master of Photographic Arts. Other recipients of this honorary award include: Sherman Hines, Yousuf Karsh, Oma Marler, Rt. Hon. Roland Michener, and Bruce Poldon.
W.D. Wally West HLM Hon.
MPA SPA F/PPABC