Michael Burtch, a graduate of Queen’s University in Kingston, is the retired Director-Curator of the Art Gallery of Algoma in Sault Ste. Marie and is currently an Adjunct Professor of Art History and Research Associate with the NORDIK Institute at Algoma University.  He is a sculptor and a sound artist with an extensive exhibition history.  As an art historian Burtch has published numerous articles and catalogues on artists including J. Barry, David Bierk, Ken Danby, John Howlin and Evan Penny and most recently he contributed his curatorial essay to the Art Gallery of Algoma’s “One Hundred Years of Art in the Sault.”  His book “Hymn to the Sun” about the early work of Jack Bush accompanied a national tour of the artist’s work.  He was engaged in a major research project with Gary and Joanie McGuffin on the Group of Seven.  The project entailed extensive research and field study with the goal of identifying, documenting and interpreting exact sites in Algoma and Superior’s north shore where members of this famous group of artists painted their iconic works.  A documentary film, commissioned by TVO and produced by White Pine Pictures, was released in October 2015 for broadcast.  In 2017 the film won a Canadian Screen Award, the Barbara Sears Award for Best Editorial Research.  Burtch has also been honoured locally with the 2003 Community Recognition Award from the city’s Cultural Advisory Board, in 2015 with both Tourism Sault Ste. Marie’s and Algoma Country’s Awards of Excellence and in 2017 with the City of Sault Ste. Marie’s highest honour, the Medal of Merit.