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Ernie Fladell was an advertising executive, originally from Brooklyn, New York, who moved to the Vancouver area in 1971. In Vancouver, he was involved in cultural promotion, working for the City's Social Planning Department, and in the development of various arts festivals in the city..
Fladell served in the United States army during WWII, moving into the advertising business after the war. He worked for the NBC network, then opened his own advertising agency. In 1971, he sold his interest in the agency and moved his family to North Vancouver, where he and his wife opened a picture framing business. He later took on a position with the City of Vancouver's Social Planning Department and was involved in the development and promotion of festivals, public art programs, and organised the performing arts festival associated with the United Nations Habitat Conference, held in Vancouver in 1976. He was one of the founders of both the Vancouver Children's Festival and the Vancouver Folk Music Festival.
In the early 1980's Fladell moved to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, where he was head of regional communications. He continued to be involved in the Children's Festival, becoming Executive Director in 1984.