Joe Average was born in Victoria in 1957. He is a self-taugh pop-art, social advocate. He began signing his artwork as Joe Average when he was 19 years old. He has captured the attention of international art critics, royalty, celebrities, and the public with his use of cheerful cartoon-like forms, bold bright colours, creativity and compassion.
Average has been living with HIV for the past 20 years, he been recognized internationally as an advocate for AIDS, an artist, and a noted philanthropist. He has, and conitues to donate many works of art for charitable causes. His art was featured on a 1996 Canadian Stamp which was also the conference image for the 1996 XI International Conference on AIDS.
In 1998 Joe was recognized by the Governor General of Canada with the Caring Canadian Award. The City of Vancouver bestowed him with a Civic Merit Award in 1994. He was the recipient of a 1993 Jessie Award, and has been officially presented to Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana at Rideau Hall. Other honours include, The Canadian Institute of the Arts for Young Audiences Award, Xtra West Magazine's Heroes of 1996 Award, and in 1997 the Friends for Life Society honored him with the Friend In Deed Award. Joe most recently won the Davie Street Banner Competition.
Average was honored as one of two grand marshals of Vancouver's annual gay pride parade in August 2006. He is a member of The Royal Canadian Academy of Arts.