Saying goodbye to the Blog

Please visit our new website

If that's the address you're following and you got here, just refresh your browser. Thank you for supporting the telling and honouring of the stories of our mothers' lives.

My Mother's Story Video

My Mother's Story from Bojan Dulabic on Vimeo.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

My Mother's Story - North Shore

Exciting news for My Mother's Story in Nov. 2011! In partnership with Presentation House Theatre in North Vancouver we will use the skills we've gained working with actors and workshop participants to gather Mother Stories from across the North Shore of Vancouver. Starting with friends and contacts living there, we will encourage groups of friends, service and social groups, men and women, to write the story of their mother's life and share them with their intimate circle. We know many people will find this beneficial to themselves and their groups.

And then whoever feels encouraged can submit their stories here to the website and we will choose 9 of these stories to be told on stage as part of the Presentation House season. We will cast professional actors to "play" the writers of these stories using a script similar to those we've had for our Mother's Day shows. Kim Collier, creator of Electric Theatre and recent winner of the Siminovich award, is thrilled to be able to direct this show. It's all unfolding with grant applications, sponsorship deals and a brand new website to gather and display the stories.
Can't wait!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Take a last look at this website! At the end of November 2010 we will be unveiling the new My Mother's Story website (at the same address) currently being created by a dedicated team in the Integrated Media department at Capilano University in North Vancouver.

On the new site you'll be able to -
  • read even more stories from the archive;
  • track submissions to My Mother's Story: North Shore, our new project in community engagement (story recruitment starts Mother's Day 2011, show running at Presentation House Oct. 2011);
  • and check the progress of 500 Mothers, our new campaign to reach daughters and sons across North America to tell their stories and build our archive.
I'll also be heating up the old social networking tools and reaching out to even more people interested in immortalizing the lives of 20th century women.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Michelle S - Vancouver

I just got a card from my daughter today that said “However hard you try, you end up like your mother”. I now know at 61, that being more like my mom would actually not be such a bad thing. Yvette Lebel-Bourbeau passed away at 88 some 10 years ago now. Yvette was one of the most humble, gracious, generous people I have known.

She longed to be more educated, being the “chosen one” to stay home after grade 3 to cook and clean at 9 years of age for the other 11 members in the family. She taught her own 6 children the art of hard work and that nobody hands you anything on a platter….you work for what you want in life (yes, we are all workaholics). However, no amount of formal education could improve the values & behaviors that were just part of her persona. This was a woman who knew the difference between right and wrong and steadfastly stuck to her principles. She taught me to have a disdain for smoking (I concur), that you should only marry French-Catholic people (I didn’t listen), that spring cleaning is good for the soul (just getting that message now), that making grand-peres for dessert when there is nothing else around will thrill your visitors (amen), to keep the door open for anyone who wants to visit and that you stop to talk to them (no i-pods to interfere back then) and above all else, family is the most important part of your life (getting this message late in life I am afraid but none-the-less, getting it!). Merci maman for all the gifts you gave me and bonne fetes des meres!

From the baby of the family, Michelle

Thursday, March 25, 2010

We've had an exciting year trying out all kinds of ways of telling our mothers' stories. After the successful Mother's Day show with 20 women gracing the Granville Island Stage, we were asked to create a distinct show for Western Gold Theatre, a company that specializes in programming for seniors ( Six of our more mature cast members developed a fuller telling of their mothers' stories for a 60 minute show that toured community centers around the Vancouver. Again the audiences (who ranged in age from 8 to 80) were moved and enchanted by our simple storytelling and went on to tell us their mothers' stories in return. We were so thankful for this opportunity to share, in a more intimate setting, our combined histories.

After the success of the 10 person show we created for the Vancouver Storytelling Festival ( in February 2009, we've been musing about what other ways we could tell our stories. For years people have been telling us they wished we had more performances of our shows so their friends and family could also enjoy them, and our actors have always been keen to tell their stories again. But the logistics of creating and financing an ongoing show with a cast of 20 has been too daunting. Still, the thought persists that there must be a way to get beyond these single performance shows we've been able to create for special audiences or occasions. We've also wondered what we might be able to create if we hired a director and designers and had rehearsals - oh the possibilities! We might even have a show that could run for weeks instead of days! And maybe we could encourage all kinds of people to write and tell their mothers' stories!

To that end, in the manner by which this whole project has continued to unfold, we just decided to make it happen. So we've applied for grants, have started to solicit sponsors, and will spend time in a rehearsal hall this spring 2010 with a director - Britt Small of Victoria's Atomic Vaudeville company ( - creating a show that will feature 10 of our actors telling the stories you've come to appreciate from shows of the past, plus all the theatricality you'd expect from any big downtown show. Keep your eyes on this site for more details.