This portion of the interview is about Annie Boulanger’s membership in and work for Burnaby Writers’ Club and Burnaby Arts Council. She describes the Arts Council’s financial difficulties between 1983 and 1990, her election to President in 1985, the inadequacy of the James Cowan Theatre, and her ho…
This portion of the interview is about Annie Boulanger’s membership in and work for Burnaby Writers’ Club and Burnaby Arts Council. She describes the Arts Council’s financial difficulties between 1983 and 1990, her election to President in 1985, the inadequacy of the James Cowan Theatre, and her hopes for arts facilities in the Deer Lake area.
Recording is of an interview with Annie Boulanger, conducted by Rod Fowler. Annie Boulanger was one of eleven participants interviewed as part of the SFU/Burnaby Centennial Committee's oral history series titled, "Voices of Burnaby". The interview is mainly about Annie Boulanger’s volunteer community work in Burnaby, including initiating the teaching of french and gymnastics at Seaforth School where her children attended, doing historical research and oral histories for Burnaby Heritage Village and the SFU Archives, becoming a long term member of the Burnaby Writers’ Club, being a member and President of Burnaby Arts Council, and member of the Parks Board's Centre for the Performing Arts Committee (1987). The interview focuses attention on the Arts Council’s financial difficulties between 1985 and 1990, and the need for a comprehensive approach to supporting the arts through a municipal arts policy. Annie Boulanger also talks about her parents’ history, their home on Napier Street and her later home on Government Road, her education and teaching career, and her arts journalism. To view “Narrow By” terms for each track expand this description and see “Notes”.
Annie Urbanovits Boulanger’s parents emigrated from Hungary to Toronto, Louis in 1925 and Irene in 1930, where they married. Louis and Irene Boulanger moved to Vancouver where Louis worked in the Vancouver Shipyards during WWII and then for Nichols Chemical Company in Barnet for 15 years. While the Urbanovits family lived in Cloverdale, Louis commuted to Kask’s Camp in Barnet, until they moved to Burnaby in 1951 to an old farm purchased on Napier Street. Between 1951 and 1956 Annie completed her BA degree, majoring in chemistry and english with a minor in physical education, and obtained her teaching diploma at UBC. She taught for 4 years in various locations in BC before marrying and moving to Manitoba and Ottawa. She and her husband and five children (two more children to come later) returned to Burnaby in 1964 to a home on Government Street to be close to family. Annie Boulanger became involved in the community first through her children’s school, initiating and teaching french classes in Seaforth School in 1969, and supporting the development of gymnastics in school and as a municipal program. Her interest in Archives lead to doing oral histories for John Adams, curator of Heritage Village [Burnaby Heritage Village], and for SFU Archives. She became a long time member of the Burnaby Writers’ Club in the 1970s, taking a course in writing non-fiction from Chris Potter. In 1983 Annie Boulanger joined the Burnaby Arts Council, becoming President in 1985. She was involved in lobbying the municipality for better monetary support and facilities for the arts and for the creation of a Municipal Arts Policy. She has continued to promote the arts in Burnaby through her appointment to Burnaby’s Visual Arts Advisory Board in 1997, her arts journalism, writing regular book and theatre reviews for the local newspaper, and other activities. She was a member of the Burnaby Centennial Committee and was one of the editors of the book “Burnaby Centennial Anthology”.
Rod Fowler returned to university as a mature student in the 1980s after working about twenty years in the field of economics and computerization in business in England, Europe and Western Canada. He graduated with a BA from SFU in both History and Sociology in 1987, his MA degree in Geography in 1989, and his PhD in Cultural Geography at SFU. He taught courses in Geography, Sociology, History and Canadian Studies at several Lower Mainland colleges, before becoming a full time member of the Geography Department at Kwantlen University College.
Interviews were digitized in 2015 allowing them to be accessible on Heritage Burnaby. The digitization project was initiated by the Community Heritage Commission with support from City of Burnaby Council.
Track three of interview with Annie Boulanger
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