William Robert Damant 1884-1962
William Robert Damant was born Dec. 5, 1884, at Danville, Quebec. He grew up in the Eastern Townships, lived there and worked for the railroad until the Depression when he moved to Val d'Or, Quebec, to work in the gold mines at Lappa Cadillac. With the outbreak of WWII, he moved to the Montreal area and made ammunition for Dominion Iindustries Ltd. Following the war, he moved to Lachute, Quebec and lived with his daughter and her family until near the end of his life. He died Oct. 26, 1962 in Verdun, Quebec of pnemonia and is buried in the Protestant Cemetery at Lachute, Quebec.
He was a machinist and mechanic by trade. In addition to painting, he was an outdoorsman, marksman and moose hunter. He wrote articles for outdoors magazines and sometimes wrote and painted under the penname 'Steve Northwood'. He built furniture, canoes, boats, crossbows, loaded his own ammunition and designed a rifle (the "Wildcat").
According to his obituary, he received formal training at the Royal Academy of Arts in Montreal. The earliest date seen on a painting of his is 1915, but more likely his paintings dated 1933 appear more likely when he started painting. He would sell or give his paintings away. The family legend has it that he studied under F. S. Coburn and was also a good friend of his. Coburn had a huge influence Damant. Horses pulling sleighs of logs through the snow was a favourite subject for both of them. My grandfather also painted wild life scenes, still-life and, after a rail trip out west, some scenes from the Rocky Mtns.
Bio information was provided by his grandson Ian Morrison, living in Delta British Colombia, Canada