Townsend is one of Canada’s favorite and foremost nature artists. In fact, he was both the first Canadian and the youngest person ever to win the “Artist of the Year” Award from the collectors Society at the 1989 Western and Wildlife Art Exhibition in Minneapolis Minnesota. His incredibly detailed, yet clear and precise art has gained admiration around the world. He was named the featured artist at the Vancouver International Wildlife Art Show and a participant of the World Wildlife Fund’s “Spirit of the Wild” art auction and the Endangered Species Art Show at the Kortright Conservation Centre. He was also featured with just four other distinguished Canadian artists, in a Canadian exhibition at the Suntory Museum in Osaka and Tokyo, Japan. In 1996, it was Townsend’s design that was chosen to grace Canada’s new two-dollar coin.