Chandra Bodalia fonds

Fonds/Collection, 2021_06

Chandravadan "Chandra" Bodalia was born in 1948, in the Gujarati village of Sisodra to his parents Nagindas Bodalia and Chanchalben Bodalia. He grew up in India and pursued an education in art, attaining a diploma in arts and painting. In 1976, Bodalia moved to Canada, arriving in Vancouver. He married his wife Nirmala and they had two children together, Mona and Vimal. In Vancouver, Bodalia began a career as a photojournalist. His photos covered the pages of local newspapers including The Voice and Link. Throughout his career, Bodalia was awarded for his work over twenty times, including in 2016 when he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement award as a photojournalist by The Times of Canada. Bodalia photographed important events for the South Asian community in the Lower Mainland and highlighted the stories and experiences of South Asian Canadians. He covered a range of events, from community programs and celebrations to personal events such as weddings, birthdays, and religious ceremonies. Oftentimes Bodalia took photos at his own cost and refused payment for his work. Known by politicians and locals alike, Bodalia was affectionately nicknamed the “Smile Catcher,” and was a prominent member of the South Asian community in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. On May 24, 2017, Chandra Bodalia died after a battle with throat cancer. He left behind a vast collection of photos taken over the decades. It is estimated that he had taken over three million photographs during his time as a photojournalist. This fonds is a small selection of Bodalia’s photos and provides a glimpse into his life’s work.