Author/Gabrielle Roy House
Gabrielle Roy was chosen in the arts for her outstanding literary achievements and contribution to Canadian literature. She received the Governor General’s Award three times in 1947, 1957 and 1977. Roy has been presented with many other prestigious awards including the Prix Fémina in Paris and New York’s Literary Guild Award for her first novel Bonheur d’occasion (1945). It was translated as The Tin Flute in 1947. This same year she became the first woman to be elected into the Royal Society of Canada. In 1955, Roy was chosen as the Woman of the Year by the Canadian Press and in 1967 was appointed as a Companion of the Order of Canada.
Her writings brought much attention to Winnipeg and in particular St. Boniface, a unique and historic francophone community. It can be said her growing up in St. Boniface and the expanse of the prairies had a profound influence on her writings which included 12 novels and many short stories. One of her books, Rue Deschambault (Street of Riches), describes growing up in St. Boniface and powerfully captures it at the turn of the 19th century right up until 1937. The autobiography of Gabrielle Roy also covers her years in Manitoba. In Street of Riches Roy talks about crossing the Provencher Bridge with her mother to go shopping at Eaton’s Department store
A great homage to this renowned Canadian author is the Gabrielle Roy House, which is the house she grew up in and was the inspiration for Street of Riches. Located at 375 Deschambault Street, it has been restored and refurbished and opened in 2003 to the public. This literary historical museum attracts visitors from around the world. There are program activities that encourage creativity and imagination.