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Isnardy descendants on the stage and in the field

Standing man playing a violin

Jimmy Isnardy, ca.1899-1909

Jimmy Isnardy

Jimmy Isnardy (1879-1978), son of Amédée and Julienne, attended St. Louis College in New Westminster, run by the Oblates. There, he learned to play the violin and became one of the best fiddlers in BC.  Fiddle music was shared between cultures and was the main source of music for community dances.


William Isnardy

Medal of Britannia and lion

First World War Memorial Plaque presented to William Isnardy’s parents. Also known by grieving families as the “Dead Man’s Penny”

William Isnardy (1895-1917), son of Joe and Annie Swanson, fought in France in the First World War with Vancouver’s 29th Canadian Infantry (“Tobin’s Tigers”) and with the 11th Canadian Mounted Rifles. Wounded in battle, he died of his injuries and was buried at the Sains-en-Gohelle cemetery, Pas-de-Calais, France.

Head and shoulders photo of soldier and set of medals

David “Sonny” Isnardy with medals he received when fighting for Canada in the Second World War

David “Sonny” Isnardy

David “Sonny” Isnardy (1914-1988), son of James “Jimmy” and Christine Bowe, fought in the Second World War.



Mike Isnardy

Two cowboys with horses before a log cabin

At left, a teenage Mike Isnardy “itching to head out on a cattle drive”, circa 1939


Mike Isnardy (1923-2004), son of Jimmy and Evelyn, was a well respected as a horseman. On his Springhouse Ranch, he raised cattle as well as bucking horses for rodeos. He organized the rodeos in at least a dozen BC towns, and he continued to ride pickup — working the ring at rodeos to move stock and help competitors — until 1975 when a ranching accident left him using a wheelchair.

Prize saddle on display

Prize Saddle won by Mike Isnardy in 1975, displayed at the BC Cowboy Hall of Fame, Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin, Williams Lake, 2019

He was inducted into the BC Cowboy Hall of Fame in 2001 for Horsemanship.