From 1934 to 1979, street photographer Foncie Pulice set up his camera on Vancouver city sidewalks and snapped candid shots of people strolling by. For almost half a century, he took thousands of photos, unwittingly capturing moments in time, the history of a city, and the lives of British Columbians.
Now documentary filmmaker Melanie Wood and British Columbia’s Knowledge Network are bringing these photographs together – collecting them from albums around the province and giving them a public home. Photo negatives of Foncie’s images do not exist. He destroyed most of them when he retired. Until now there was no central archive or collection.
Some thoughts from the subject of this 1955 Foncie photo taken on Granville Street in 1954 – It’s me and my boyfriend walking down Granville Street one evening. I had told my parents that I was out with friends, which was partially true. However, mom would not allow me on out with a boy on my own even though I was in grade 12. If she had known I was actually on a date, I would have been grounded! I kept the picture hidden then but now it has a treasured place in my photo album.
This is a story about Vancouver, about British Columbia, and about it’s people … so they need your help. Visit Knowledge.ca/FonciesCorner to add your photos and stories to the collection.
We’re sharing a couple of Foncie photos here on V.I.A. each week leading up to the premiere of the documentary film being released in the summer. Share your memories (or the ones you find in your parents’ and grandparents’ archives) and become a part of Vancouver’s history!
Some thoughts from the subject of this Foncie photo: My dad, James Bernath (right) and his friend Barry V. Moore (left) walking down Granville Street around 1956. If you look closely you can see my dad’s nephews playing and hiding behind them (look for the boys 1950’s style sneakers). Interesting to also note that Barry’s dad was Vaughn Moore, who operated the Vaughn Moore Dance Studios near Granville and Robson .
By the way, this is how photography (and history) survives – reminder – never throw away photos… find somewhere to post them!