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 Coordinator.
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 better"
"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 had the chance to host an event with one of my school colleague and I 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 practice my French and encouraged me to work in the francophonie world!"
"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.
Have you used a GIF recently in your digital communications? For those not familiar with the term, GIF are animated images, more like a short movie on repeat mode.
Nicolas Sassoon, a Franco- Canadian artist based in Vancouver since 2008, has found a unique way to work with GIF as part of his artistic practice. Using early computer imaging processes of the 80s and 90s, he transforms them into a wide array of pixelated forms, figures, patterns and structures that conveys a unique vision on nature, architecture and landscape. His works are abstract, innovative and cross-disciplinary. He has worked with art institutions, major festivals, museums, fashion brands and Alliance Française Vancouver (AFV) as part of its 115th anniversary celebrations in 2019.
"I have been a student at Alliance Française Vancouver for 3 years. It is there, in the classroom and in the library that I fell in love with French language.
I am very grateful to my teachers who have always encouraged me to improve myself and to Fanny, media library manager, with whom I chat
online every week during the Café Actus.
I am so happy to be able to move forward in this community where this language that I love is celebrated, and in Vancouver, a beautiful city that I love too."
"I am from Bogota, the capitol of Colombia. I learned French in Bogota, the capitol of Colombia. I learned French in Bogota first
to move in Montréal. There, I had the opportunity to learn about the French culture.
One thing that surpised me the most is the french gastronomy. It is delicious! I loved discovering this important side of the french culture : baguette, cheese and good wine.
I have been working at Alliance Française Vancouver for 3 months now. It is for me a chance de be able to practice French language in
Indeed, it brings me closer to my goal : becoming a French teacher.
I can say that I feel like a fish in the water ("comme un poisson dans l'eau") at the Alliance. Not to mention the joyful working atmosphere that I am enjoying at the moment : the smile of the children who attend classes, the access to French books in the library and the cultural diversity of my work colleagues. "
"Originally from Bretagne, I discovered the thrills of a concert there, the poetry of a play, the surprises of an exhibition,
the excitement of a festival.. without forgetting the flavor of a novel devoured on the beach.
It is therefore convinced that culture is a vital need - for all of us - that I have had the chance to make it my job: to organize cultural events and manage a media library.
After two years at the Alliance Française of Kuala Lumpur, I am very happy to be part of the Alliance Française Vancouver since December 2019.There, I meet passionate and fascinating students, teachers driven by constantly evolving work, curious members and dedicated volunteers, not to mention the many partners with whom I hope to prove that Vancouver is a city culturally rich! "
Franco-ténoise since 2009, Edith is a depuis 2009, Édith is a jack of all trades with a passion for inclusion, diversity and equity.
First a journalist, her pen is now dedicated to art therapy.
"Art Therapy is a therapeutic process promoting self-expression through the arts.
There is no need to be artistically skilled to participate, you just need to want to create!"
After retiring from her career as a lawyer, Mary decided to pursue the goal of improving her French language skills.
The system of education at Alliance Française Vancouver appealed to her because of its structured approach to teaching oral comprehension/expression, and written comprehension/expression. The opportunity to obtain internationally recognized diplomas through an examination process also interested her as an objective measure of progress. The fact that private courses were available, allowing for greater flexibility in arranging class dates and times also influenced her ‘evolution’ as a long term student and supporter of Alliance Française Vancouver.
Karine has so many good memories at Alliance Française Vancouver in the 6161 Cambie St location.
Karine tells us about her meeting with comic books authors Marcelina Truong and Sandrine Revel during a Comic Book Festival Month : “We were only 10 people. It was a very close exchange, and a great one. My daughter had attended a comic book creation workshop with Marcelino Truong while in France. Two years later, we had the opportunity to attend a workshop with him, here in Vancouver and live this experience together.”
"Originally from Bretagne, I decided to make a stop in beautiful British Columbia for a few months to do an internship within the Alliance Française of Vancouver. It was a real chance for me to be able to discover the cultural world of the Alliances Françaises. I had the opporunity to coordinate"Make Music Canada" event with all the Alliances of Canada, to animate a few events like "Apéro Trivia" or manage the media library which helped me to meet many great people.
I would like to thank Alliance Française Vancouver for allowing me to work with their incredible team for those few months. I have so many good memories."