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Patenaudes on keys and strings

Spencer Hope Patenaude

The only son of J.P. and his second wife Maria, Spencer Hope shines on the telegraph key. In 1902, he becomes the first telegrapher for Dominion Government Telegraph’s new Vancouver-Dawson City line. In anticipation of a telegraph line through central BC, J.P., an operator in Quebec, trains 17-year-old Hope for the job, which the latter keeps for 47 years at various sites in the Cariboo.

Man at telegraph key

Hope Patenaude at the telegraph key, shortly before his retirement in 1952

Head and shoulders of woman wearing scarf

Author Branwen C. Patenaude, posthumous recipient of Quesnel & District Community Arts Council Inductee award, 2018







Branwen Patenaude

Branwen Hugues was born in Shanghai. The Japanese invasion of China leads her British family to the Cariboo. There she meets husband-to-be Wilfred Patenaude, son of Harold Tilsen and grandson of J.P. Involved in numerous cultural projects, her typewriter’s keys were also on fire with eight books on the Cariboo,  making her one of its most respected historians.

Geoff Patenaude and his musical children

Five singers and musicians performing on stage

From l., siblings Cole, Ciel, Pharis and Marin perform with their father Geoff Patenaude at the 2019 Arts on the Fly Festival

Branwen’s nephew Geoff, son of Harold Tilsen and Mary Johnson and J.P.’s great-grandson, has always played the guitar in his very musical family. The Horsefly community can always depend on his family for entertainment, and contracts lead him right up to Vancouver’s Expo 86. His children Pharis, Marin, Ciel and Cole each perform on their own merits.

Enjoy this interview with Geoff Patenaude with a transcript. To view EN or FR subtitles with transcript, click on the gear wheel at bottom right of screen while the video is playing.

Pharis and spouse Jason Romero become stars. With Pharis on guitar, violin and voice, the couple wins two Juno Awards for Traditional Roots Album of the year. Their music brings you right back to the Woodjam ranch.

Enjoy this interview with Pharis Patenaude with a transcript. To view EN or FR subtitles, click on the gear wheel at bottom right of screen while the video is playing.

Video of Pharis and Jason Romero performing “Hometown Blues”. This video does not provide closed captions or a transcript.