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.
Some thoughts from the subject of this 1944 Foncie photo: “My dad had left to go overseas in l944 in the RCAF. He worked beforehand extra hours to buy my mum this coat to keep her warm while away. They had only been married one year when he left and was gone almost two years. Happily came home again and settled down. Bill and Mary Webb.”
Foncie’s Corner is an interactive website, serving as a “digital street corner” to collect your Foncie photos and stories. The images and memories you share will become part of this extensive collection, tracing a timeline through the heart of Vancouver. Your shared images could even become part of a documentary about Foncie and his work.
This is a story about Vancouver, about British Columbia, and about it’s people … so they need your help. Visit Knowledge.ca/FonciesCorner to add your photos and stories to the collection.
We’ll be sharing a couple of Foncie photos here on V.I.A. each week leading up to the release 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!
Some thoughts from the subject of this 1949 Foncie photo: “I’m astounded – for the first time I have all my Foncie Photos in one place, in a time line I have never seen before and have never given any thought to. The pictures had been scattered for years in sundry photo albums and boxes. Looking for the pictures has been so worthwhile – they not only show historical snap shots of Vancouver but for me they graphically show a very important piece of my own history. Me, doing my first job which entailed walking from The Pen Shop on Seymour Street every day after school. Saw Foncie every day on my walk back to the South end of Granville St. Bridge.”