Many Canadians have German ancestors. The first big wave of German immigrants arrived from about about 1850 to the beginning of WWI; a second one left Germany right after WWII. While today we can’t talk of waves anymore, each year a few thousand Germans receive their permanent resident card.
Why do they choose Canada as their new home country? How do they feel after landing in a new country on the other side of the world?
Here we feature diverse perspectives of those who decided to try a new life in the new world. Can you imagine becoming an owner of gold mines in Canada, traveling as a journeyman from coast to coast to coast, or buying your own tower?
Check back regularly as we will add portraits on a monthly basis.
We are always thrilled to see German artists reach an international audience. German dramaturg and translator Birgit Schreyer Duarte is regularly involved in bringing German playwrights to Canadian stages – most recently by translating “Das Ding” by Philipp Löhle for the Canadian Stage. We spoke to Birgit about her work on the edge between Canadian and German stage culture.
Birgit Schreyer Duarte
When Daniel Stubbe started his first job at a pastry shop in Germany and put on his apron for the first time, he thought to himself: “This feels like home!” Fast-forward 23 years, and we meet Daniel in his store at 653 Dupont Street, Toronto, to hear more about his business, his life, and his plans for the future. One thing is clear right from the start of our conversation: There are worse things than interviewing someone with the smell of chocolate in your nose.
Interview with Daniel Stubbe, Chocolatier
HitchBOT, the talkative cosmopolitan robot from Port Credit, Ontario travelled across Canada, Germany and the United States until its trip came to a sad end when it was vandalized in Philadelphia. We talked to Frauke Zeller, hitchBOT's German co-creator, about creating hitchBOT, media strategies, and academia in Germany and Canada.
Find out why the descendant from the old Woermann dynasty, once upon a time owner of a shipping line in Hamburg, ends up taking care of a remote lodge high up in the mountains of British Columbia.
When John Wannecke and Yellowknife found each other, this German immigrant from Wernigerode in the Harz mountain range took off. Literally...
Find out how the son of an engineer and a baroness from Germany struck gold in Yukon, become a millionaire in five years, and became known as wonder boy in Dawson`s mining community.
It had always been Bernhard Güller`s goal to be a conductor. He already dreamt of it when he was a boy in a small German town. Be careful what you wish for. Because you might just end up as a German conductor of a symphony orchestra in Canada!
When she was just 21 years old, she met a Canadian at the catholic World Youth Day in Cologne and Dusseldorf. Nine years later, Miriam is married to Kevin, she lives in Saskatoon in the province of Saskatchewan, and works as the administrative assistant of Chief Darcy Bear of the Whitecap Dakota First Nations.
Jürgen Schau leads a double life – and he doesn`t do anything to hide it. The people in Germany, and especially in Berlin where Jürgen comes from, would be aghast if they saw this man on the East coast of Canada: He is traipsing around at night, in a weird outfit, carrying a torch in one gloved hand, a butterfly net and a basket in the other - and waders up to his waist.
Jürgen and Elfie Schau
Cylla von Tiedemann is one of Canada's most treasured dance photographers. Her work with the world-renowned National Ballet of Canada has graced the covers of magazines, brochures, and gallery walls. Right now, one of her photographs can be seen all over Toronto – the promotional poster for the hit musical “Once”, which is staged by the Mirvish Theatre.
Cylla von Tiedemann
When Heidi Linckh told her parents in Germany on a nice spring day last year what she had just done, they said: “Now all is lost!” Find out how Heidi and her husband Konrad ended up with a 138-metre tall tower in Ontario.
Heidi and Konrad Linckh
Barbara Fischer, the Executive Director and Chief Curator of the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, was born in Bochum, Germany, and moved to Canada after finishing high school. She studied visual arts at University of Victoria in British Columbia and started volunteering at an artist-run centre, getting a foothold in the arts community. We sat down with Ms.Fischer to discuss contemporary art and being German in Canada.
Twenty-five years ago, when Florentine Strzelcyk from Hamburg, Germany received the offer to become an exchange student in Canada, she went for Vancouver. Today she lives in Calgary, because it's the place to be for a professor in German Studies. She teaches the “Holocaust on Film” and her expertise is the “Afterlife of Nazis in the Movies”.
Birgit Rameseder grew up in Germany devouring books like "The Valley of Kings" about the tombs of Pharaohs in Egypt, getting involved in archeological digs in Bavaria and Amman, Jordan. After immigrating to Canada, she became Chief Geologist for De Beers, the world's leading diamond mining and exploration company.
Ronny Pahl has traveled to 46 countries. Fourty-six! And he is only a little over thirty years old. Ronny belongs to a rare species: He was a traveling journeyman.