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Mary Anne Cooper is a community activist whose story is an inspiration to us all.

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Film synopsis

When we first meet Dr. Mary Anne Cooper she is 104 and her hometown of Port Moody, BC is the same age. The ‘Spirit of Port Moody’ tells the city’s story in tandem with a recounting of Mary Anne’s eventful life. 

This thoughtfully crafted documentary follows Port Moody as it grows from a small coastal lumber town to a rail terminus and develops into the modern urban and industrial centre it is today, closely tied to nearby Vancouver by recently built rapid transit. 

The film offers a variety of perspectives including indigenous history. It conveys the impact of historical decisions on today’s natural and man-made environments. 

Mary Anne, who has lived through two world wars and two pandemics, is the feisty senior darling of her west coast community of Port Moody. This extraordinary woman is active on social media and fights relentlessly at public meetings for local heritage preservation and environmental protection.  She is gifted with a great sense of humour and is never at a loss for words. A social activist, she is proof that old age is no deterrent to living purposefully and productively.

(photos from left to right: Mary Anne in her kitchen; filmmaker Eva Wunderman, Mary Anne Cooper, and Ruth Foster (photo courtesy of Diane Strandberg); Mary Anne as Grand Parade Marshall in Port Moody; Mary Anne Cooper Way at the Ioco Townsite)

Media about the film & Mary Anne Cooper

Eva Wunderman - Producer/Director

Born in Stockholm, Sweden, Eva lived in Australia and England before immigrating to Canada in 1981. She worked in Radio for several years before getting into the film industry in the early 1990’s. 

For over twenty years, she has been producing and directing highly innovative, award-winning documentaries and her films have been broadcast around the world. Her documentaries have taken her to remote locations around the world and have been shown throughout North America, Asia, Europe and Australia. 

Eva has become known for her intimate style and fearless ability to get the footage needed and to make people feel comfortable in front of the camera. Eva has won numerous awards including a Leo Award for best director, a Gemini for the television series “Weird Homes” and a Gracie Allen Individual Achievement Award. Learn more about Eva here.

Sincere thanks to the generous sponsors, donors and volunteers who made this film possible. If Mary Anne has taught us anything, it’s with enough energy and conviction, each of us has the capacity to create positive change in our communities. 

A full list of the contributors to this documentary film can be found here.   

– Ruth Foster, Executive Producer