Michelle La Flamme - Burcu’s Angels

Artists' Memories of Mount Pleasant
9 Stations
17:15 min Audio
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Michelle La Flamme - Burcu’s Angels


The vintage store, Burcu’s Angels, was a haven for Michelle when she needed it most.


So now we were at the corner of Main and Broadway. There’s a gaping hole here as they are preparing to put the Broadway SkyTrain in, but boy, oh boy, there was a lot of activity here back in the day. I remember when it was a bank. I remember when it was a donut shop and right at this location was fantastic for Burcu’s Angels. It was the stop that had the best vintage in town. Not only that, she had a free box out front. I remember the first day that she found the location. We met there, we went inside, it was a sausage factory. So we had to think quickly how to get rid of the smell. And the mannequins would be on the street capturing people’s attention. There was a bus stop right there.

And so people would spend time, not only going in to buy clothing, but just to hang out and socialize. And I would come back from UBC after having taken really intense courses, dealing with race and representation and debrief in the back with Burcu about all kinds of stuff. Next thing you know, we would have music on. Next thing you know, we would be dancing wildly and somehow the days didn’t seem quite so bad because of that location and being able to stop in there. Some nights in winter time, we would don vintage furs and sit out front and imagine that we were in a Parisian hotel and just enjoying ourselves. And that spot really has a lot of memories for me.

I also shot a short film here called Cross Plot. It was Alex Mackenzie from the Blinding Light who had the one day workshop on Super 8 where you shot and processed the film and spooled it and screened it the same day. And I shot Cross Plot here, which was about a kid who takes off from school, ends up going to this vintage store, cross dressing, and runs into his dad who guess what, is doing the same thing? And Cross Plot was my first film and shot in this location. A few years after Burcu had the store opened here, she started playing music, Something About Reptiles. The band would be rehearsing here in the back, and it was just always filled with laughter, Burcu’s hospitality, tons of great artists coming in and out and people enjoying dress up and play. And so I’ve got yea, this location really resonates a lot with me.

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