Visiting the Home of a Canadian Author

Gabrielle Roy's childhood home in St. Boniface

Gabrielle Roy’s childhood home in St. Boniface

Gabrielle Roy is one of Canada’s literary giants and she was born right here in Winnipeg. I had a chance to visit her childhood home during the recent Doors Open event. guide gabrielle roy houseOur first guide Adreanne was a college student from Quebec.  She told us Gabrielle had lived in this house at 375 Deschambault in St.Boniface from her birth in 1909 till she left for Europe in 1937.

Our second guide shows us a photograph of Gabrielle's family

Our second guide shows us a photograph of Gabrielle’s family

Gabrielle’s parents both moved to Manitoba from Quebec. Seven of Gabrielle’s siblings survived childhood.  She was closest to her sister Bernadette who became a nun. 

OUr guide explains how a stereoscope works

Our guide explains how a stereoscope works

Gabrielle’s father worked for the Canadian government settling new immigrants in western Canada. He was nearly 60 when Gabrielle, his eleventh child was born.

Gabrielle Roy's mother's sewing machine

Gabrielle Roy’s mother’s sewing machine

Gabrielle’s mother loved fashion and dressing up. She bought material at the Eatons story to make dresses for her daughters. After her husband became ill and could no longer work Gabrielle’s mother earned extra money for the family by doing sewing.

Gabrielle Roy with her grade one class at Provencher  School

Gabrielle and her grade ones at Provencher School

Gabrielle became a teacher and taught in Manitoba for a number of years before leaving to move to Europe and then to Montreal. the tin fluteGabrielle set her first and most famous book The Tin Flute in Montreal but several of her books have Manitoba settings including the two I am currently reading……

children of the heartChildren of My Heart which is about a young school teacher and her students and..BC46Roy_deschambault.inddRue Deschambault about life in St. Boniface.

Toys in the attice of Gabrielle's Roy's home

Toys in the attice of Gabrielle’s Roy’s home

Gabrielle Roy’s house would be a great place to bring children. I went up to the attic of the museum and saw activity centres where young visitors could put on little dramas with costumes, write poems, listen to stories and play with toys from the time of Gabrielle’s childhood. 

Gabrielle Roy

Gabrielle Roy

Gabrielle Roy won the 1947 Governor General’s Award for fiction. A quote from Gabrielle Roy  “Could we ever know each other in the slightest without the arts?” was on the back of the Canadian $20 bill from 2004 to 2012. 

Other posts about Manitoba authors………

The Age of Hope

The Constructed Mennonite

A Children’s Writer Who Has Found the Magic Formula

 

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Categories: Books, Literature, Museums, St. Boniface | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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