Tuesday, 4 October 2011

My Mother

A beautiful tribute to a great mother.
2 minutes 39 seconds

By Thelma Gibson Towns
Thelma grew up in Vancouver’s Strathcona neighbourhood to become an accomplished artist; she is a musician, singer, dancer, and actress.  She and her brothers performed in Vancouver’s first live television show Bamboula.   She has won awards for her contributions to the black community and achievements in the performing arts. 


  1. That was beautiful Thelma. I learned a lot more about you and your family today, but mostly about Momma. Thank-you for sharing.

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  3. Dear Debbie (or Thelma),

    My company is MixedBlood Entertainment (MBE) in Toronto. I am a self-taught African Canadian dance and music historian and still learning about my people's contribution to the world. Together with another African American dance and music history professor from Detroit, we are hosting a lecture/demo/dance and Brown-bag discussion with the University of Toronto's Women Centre and Women in Arts (WIA) Program at the end of February 2013 for their Black History celebrations. For this event, we are "Touching on T.O.B.A.: The Femme Fatales". Theatre Organizers Booking Association (T.O.B.A.) was the Black Vaudeville circuit from the 1920's-1950's. We will be highlighting the women of T.O.B.A., including Jeni LeGon, Katherine Dunham and one other female Canadian artist.

    I was almost going to give up on adding another artist due to the difficulties in finding information in the Canadian records about African Canadian artists, especially the women. I decided to give the endeavour one more go and looked into Youtube. I am elated at this moment to have found the Fanny Keifer interview with Austin "Chic" Gibson and Thelma Gibson Towns, the brother and sister of the legendary Len Gibson!!! I followed up by googling Thelma Gibson Towns and found this story she submitted for Vancouver Stories. I am so excited and need to contact her and/or her family member(s).

    I am so thankful not to have given up! Please, please, please contact me at my email dance@mixedbloodentertainment.com. I would love to include Thelma Gibson Towns' story in the lecture and some of her Tap, Caribbean, Latin American and Jazz dance movements specific to her.

    Thank you, thank you and thank you for this wonderful story.

    Much respect,


  4. Hi Thelma, my name is Kim Lane. I am Virgil Lane and Betty Lane's Daugther. Nettie Lane was my grandmother. I am searching for family and I wondered if we could connect. my email is kpretzer@shaw.ca