Sneaking a drink back in 1938?


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.

A family friend of the subject of this 1938 image writes:
“I love this photo. June Symington is walking down the street carrying some kind of parcel, looking suspiciously like a bottle of some sort. I know that her family never drank anyathing stronger than peppermint water for the most part, so I wonder what was being transported, where, and for whom. I’ll never know.”

This is a story about Vancouver, about British Columbia, and about it’s people… so they need your help. Visit to add your photos and stories to the collection.

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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!