Balshine was born in Vancouver, B.C. He graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Law. He was a collector and exhibitor of Inuit art for over 35 years and served as the President and a Director of the Arctic Art Museum Society.
The Balshine Family Collection of Contemporary Inuit Art, acquired with the assistance of Finning Ltd., as well as funds from Lorne Balshine and the University of B.C., includes sculptures, prints, drawings and wall hangings and was collected by Mr. Balshine between 1969-1981 from collectors, dealers and auctions in Canada and the USA, and includes over 390 objects. The pieces were meant to be representative of individual and regional artistic styles in contemporary Canadian Inuit art. He was also guided by his own interests in traditional Inuit beliefs and legends. The subject matter of many works in the collection relate to shamanism, human and animal transformations, and the sea goddess legend. The collection also includes subjects drawn from tranditional Inuit life and the environment, such as sea and land animals and humans engaged in family life, hunting, fishing, playing music, and drum dancing. Some works reflect non-traditional ideas and concepts, such as acculturation and Christianity, which have altered the life and beliefs of the Inuit. The collection includes the work of over 200 Inuit artists from 27 Inuit communities.