Harry Kiyooka was born in 1926 in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan and raised in Calgary, Alberta. He received his Bachelor of Education, from the University of Alberta in 1953. Followed by a Bachelor of Fine Arts, University of Manitoba in 1954. In 1956 he completed his Masters of Arts, at Michigan State University. Then in 1957 he received another Masters of Fine Arts, from the University of Colorado.
From 1958 -1961 he studied in Italy on a Canada Council Scholarship.
In 1961, Kiyooka returned to Calgary and obtained a teaching position at the new University of Alberta, Calgary campus. In 1988, he retired from the University after twenty-seven years and was honoured as a Professor Emeritus of Art.
He has travelled and worked extensively in Europe, Japan and the United States.
Kiyooka has been the recipient of the Canada Council Senior Fellowship and various awards such as First Prize for Painting at the 10th Winnipeg Show and the Jacox Award-Joint Prize, All Alberta Exhibition from the Edmonton Art Gallery.
His abstract artwork has been exhibted in many national and international exhibitions. His brother is also an abstract painter, Roy Kiyooka.
For over thity years, Kiyooka has served on local, provincial and national boards such as the Canadian Conference of the Arts, the Royal Canadian Academy, the Alberta Society of Artists, the Alberta Art Foundation, Calgary Allied Arts Centre, the Calgary Allied Arts Foundation and the Calgary Contemporary Arts Society.
He is a founding member of the Calgary Contemporary Arts Society (1982), Life Member of the Alberta Society of Artists and member of the Royal Canadian Academy.
Kiyooka was awarded a 125th Anniversary Medal of Confederation for his contribution to the community in establishing the Triangle Gallery of Visual Arts in 1988 in Calgary. In 1996, Harry was the recipient of the Award of Excellence from the Alberta College of Art and Design for his contributions to the visual arts.