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1939 à 1955

1956 à 1965

1965 à 1971

1971 - today

The Young Serviceman in Canada : 1956-1965

As a parachutist and communications specialist in the Canadian army, Vladimir lived in several provinces, namely Alberta, Ontario, New Brunswick and finally Quebec. In 1960, while posted in Fredericton, New Brunswick, he was getting bored during his spare time, because he had never been able to develop a taste for the traditional pastimes of professional soldiers : playing cards and drinking. He did go fishing once in a while, but it was only a seasonal activity.


Parachute Jumping Exercise

One day, as he was walking about town, he saw an artist’s box in a display window and suddenly, he found the answer. He remembered that in primary school he always got good grades in drawing classes and now that he was in the army, he was often being asked to illustrate various documents. He thought that painting could be a pleasant and exciting pastime. He went in the store and asked for the price of the box. " But sir, it’s not for sale, it’s part of my window display", was the answer. Actually, it was not an art materials store but a tobacco shop. However, thanks to his powers of persuasion, he managed to leave the store with the artist’s box in hand.

And that’s how it all started...

 


The Young Serviceman (18 years old)
His first picture showed two mountains facing a small body of water and was painted on a piece of cloth cut off a truck cover, because it was made of canvas and thanks to the movies, Vladimir knew that a work of art had to be done on canvas (he has learned otherwise since). But canvas is a limp material and hard to paint on ; so it had to be mounted on a frame. Resourceful and good with his hands, he made a frame with the wood taken from a vegetable crate. Nothing would please him more than to be able to see that first painting again.
 

His second picture portrayed a cougar set in a tropical forest and, once happily completed, it was slashed with a knife by a drunken soldier. But that didn’t stop Vladimir from pursuing his new-found pastime. He kept painting on any adequate surface and he was delighted to have finally found a satisfying activity.

In 1961, he was transferred to Camp Valcartier in the province of Quebec to supply communications to the Royal 22e Régiment. However, the military authorities had " forgotten " to inform him that Quebec was a francophone province and the Alberta schools had never mentioned it. Therefore, he was both shocked and excited to find himself in totally strange surroundings. For a person who loved adventure, he could not be happier. But how do you strike up an acquaintance or make friends if you are unable to communicate in the spoken and written language of the people ?
Marriage to Renée Tremblay,
1963

His chance encounter in Quebec City with a young francophone, a full-time high-school teacher and part-time University student, and above all bilingual, changed the course of his life. Attracted by the qualities and personality of this young woman who bore an almost common name in Quebec - Tremblay -, Vladimir started a persistent courtship that led him to the altar in 1963.

The Student in Quebec: 1965-1971