For more than 100 years now, Alliance Française Vancouver has been a welcoming community touching the lives of thousands of individuals. We are pleased to share some of these stories below.
If you have a story to share, please contact Lucie OBERT, our Social Media & Communication Assistant.
Richard returned home to Canada last year after a long career in Hong Kong. Fascinated by la Côte d'Azur at age 12, he has sought to maintain a connection to the language and culture ever since. He formerly studied French in Hong Kong, where one night he dreamt in French for the first time. Richard is inspired by his current experience at l'Alliance Francaise Vancouver - a place where culture and language powerfully come together in support of learning and discovery. He says: "Volunteering as a board member is my way to inspire other students at Alliance Francaise Vancouver to pursue their own linguistic dreams."
Céline, Yannick and their family have called Vancouver home for many years now and are regulars at events and at the media library. Most recently, they attended RectoVRso, a virtual and augmented reality art exhibition. In their words: "Superb exhibition, one that we have not seen for a long time. The organising team really pulled it together. Our two kids aged 9 and 5 were in wonder in front of so much creativity, beauty, originality and poetry. We will look forward to attending similar exhibitions in the future".
Émilie, originally from northern France, takes advantage of her year abroad to volunteer in several associations in Vancouver. We are fortunate to welcome her to the media library every week and to benefit from her expertise and her invaluable help. She loves to volunteer. To her, "There is no greater reward than helping people in need and seeing the difference you are able to make in their lives".
It was in 2011 that Bruno discovered Alliance Française Vancouver while looking for CDs and films in French for his elderly father. The
variety that Alliance Française Vancouver was already offering at the time compared to other libraries won him over.
Becoming a member was the obvious choice and he was invited by Marie-Claire Howard, the Board Chair to join the marketing committee to provide his expertise and help with the development of offers and membership program.
Bruno joined the Board of Directors in 2014 and was its Chairman from 2015 to 2018.
As the Vice-President of the Board for the past five years, Robert has invested a lot in this new building project. He now sits on the construction and financial planning committees.
The first challenges on this project were mainly related to its cost. Several options have been explored. Renovation of the current building was first discussed, but upgrading to modern standards reduced its space, rather than fulfil its need for expansion. Other options were also considered, such as including residential apartments in the same building and working with local developers in order to balance the budget, but this could not work given the unacceptable financial consequences and costs and potential drawbacks from sharing its space.
"I started volunteering at the library of Alliance Française Vancouver in December 2020. I loved being surrounded by hundreds of
books, I always find one to take home with me.
Alliance Française's team is very welcoming, especially Fanny ( Culture and Library Manager) and Laura my teacher, they are both very patient and always helping me.
It is with pleasure that I learn the French litterature and culture with the Alliance Française."
"I love teaching and French is my native language, the one in which I feel most comfortable. It is also in French that I am the
We are an amazing team of teachers, helping each other about our job and experiences every day is important for us.
Beautiful friendships are born and it's also part of being FSL teacher.
This is a really great experience! I love working at Alliance Française Vancouver."
"I've worked as receptionist agent at Alliance Fraçaise Vancouver for a year now. This is such a great experienc to meet teachers and students as well as be part of the Francophone culture that I love so much."
" I've been a member of Alliance Française Vancouver since two years. I'm teaching French to my four grandchildren.
Fanny gives really good advices about what books I should choose at the library, it is a great opportunity to speak French."
"My name is Izzy and I am the Festival Director for the Vancouver Comic Arts Festival. Our festival has been partnering with the Alliance Française Vancouver for many years.
I love working with Fanny at the Alliance to provide French-language comics programming to the Vancouver Community. She’s so thoughtful, and
it’s clear she loves comics as much as we do!
I look forward to working with the Alliance Française team in the future, and can’t wait to see what exciting projects we’ll work on together."
"I study French at Alliance Française Vancouver because Canada is a bilingual country and I hope to be able to travel to
French is a pretty language spoken in multiple countries in the world.
If everybody was speaking another language the world would be"
"My name is Elisa and I am working with Alliance Française Vancouver through my French course (FREN346) that I took at UBC in my last semester.
I has the chance to host an event with one of my school colleague and work with Fanny on the "Apéro Trivia" presented by Alliance
Française at the end of each month.
Working with Alliance Française Vancouver was nice. It helped me to practice my French and encouraged me to wor in the francophonie worl!"
"As a member of the organizing comittee of the "Salon du Livre de Vancouver", I would like to thank Alliance Française
Vancouver and the contribution they give us in our effort to present this virtual "Salon du livre" this year.
We are very happy that Alliance have given us their support since our debut in 2019.
We wanted to make this third edition a truly international event, with authors and presenters from all over the French-speaking world from France, from Belgium, Spain, Cameroon, China, Quebec, Métis people, Plains, Ontario, Maliseet First Nation and authors from. We are proud of this great gathering of the world of books and publishers, booksellers participants and organizers of the Salon who are at the heart of this Franco-Colombian book fresco."
Language has a special place in Suzy’s heart. Fluent in English, Arabic and French, she sees language as a gateway to access and enjoy a diversity of cultures, celebrating both their uniqueness and commonalities. To her, cultural exchanges and dialogues are essential in promoting greater understanding, and she is inspired by the potential of the new Alliance Française Vancouver building to create those welcoming and much-needed spaces to gather the community around a shared experience.
Vancouver is already losing so many cultural spaces. Cinemas, galleries, cultural organisations and artist studios are closing down in the face of rising property costs and commercial redevelopment pressures.