It was in 2011 that Bruno discovered Alliance Française Vancouver while looking for French CDs and films for his elderly father.
Compared to other libraries, the variety that Alliance Française Vancouver was already offering at the time won him over.
Becoming a member was the obvious choice. He was then invited by Marie-Claire Howard, the Board Chair to join a marketing committee to provide his expertise and help with the development of services and the membership program. Bruno joined the Board of Directors in 2014 and was the Chairman from 2015 to 2018.
Conversations on a crucial extension and upgrade of the building were already topical at that time. The Board subsequently launched the first studies on rezoning and explored various options for building improvements with the City of Vancouver. Building on its success, Alliance Française Vancouver needed new spaces to develop its educational and cultural offerings. Several options were considered - build an annex, sell and move. After multiple consultations with real estate developers, architects and builders, retaining ownership of the property at 6161 Cambie St was deemed the best option to guarantee the total independence of organization. Alliance Française Vancouver faced many challenges for this project - in particular the requirements of the City, uncertainties about the feasibility of the project and many back-and-forths conversations. An engineer by training, Bruno is passionate about architecture and has renovated a number of properties. Large-scale projects and relationships with city officials, contractors and architects are not always easy; he knows that very well.
Motivated by the quality and impact of the services that AFV offers to the community, Bruno has always been convinced that the long-term future of AFV is dependent on a new building which will allow AFV to maintain its extraordinary heritage. Bruno envisions the Alliance Française Vancouver of tomorrow as a cultural, educational and community centre, welcoming and accessible to all. A space for meetings and discussions, where all Francophone and Francophile organizations will come together to promote the Francophonie. It will create real partnerships for organizations, complement the current cultural and educational offers and provide cultural spaces that are so lacking in Vancouver.
Just like his memorable meeting with Yann Artus-Bertrand at the screening of his film Human, Bruno looks forward to meeting new people again and hopefully very soon in the new Alliance Française Vancouver building.