Did you know that there is a Civic Election coming up in October?
Vancouver will be electing a new mayor and:
- 10 councillors for Vancouver City Council
- 7 commissioners for the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation
- 9 school trustees for the Vancouver School Board
I have decided to run in this election as a Vancouver City Councillor.
My campaign slogan is “Clean, green, with an accessible scene.”
My new website is www.elkeporter.com
I am hoping to tackle affordable housing, like everyone else, but my ideas are to use creative space ideas, such as modular housing, laneway housing, tiny housing, wood houses, shipping crate homes, wood pallet homes, hemp concrete homes, co-op housing, prefabricated housing or micro homes like those found in Japan.
Solving housing & homelessness challenges around the world:
How about this idea from Hawaii: Kahauiki Village is a proposed community of approximately 153 one and two bedroom homes to be built on 11.3 acres of land located between Nimitz Highway, Keehi Lagoon Park and Sand Island. Kahauiki Village will provide long term, permanent, affordable housing for approximately 153 currently homeless families with children on Oahu. When completed, Kahauiki Village is expected to house over 600 adults and children.
Or flex-housing: housing that could be easily adapted to meet the present and future needs of the occupants. Adaptability will become increasingly important as our population ages. As lifestyle changes, and as we witness an increase in home-based activities and new technologies.”
Solving homelessness: (various countries, such as Finland tried this). The optimal solution, a group of four experts appointed by the Ministry of the Environment in Finland found, was Housing First. “Solving social and health problems is not a prerequisite for arranging housing,” they observed. “Instead, housing is a prerequisite that will also enable solving a homeless person’s other problems.” One of those goals was to cut the number of long-term homeless in half by producing 1,250 new homes, including supported housing units for tenants with their own leases, and around-the-clock presence of trained caring staff for residents who needed help.
Germany solves homelessness in Munich: Munich, Germany’s third largest city, with a population of 1.3 million, conditions are comparatively good; public support, partly in co-operation with charities, helps to alleviate the plight of the homeless. Among the numerous general facilities for the homeless are centres and overnight accommodation specifically for women (with or without children); residential establishments for ex-prisoners and those in danger of committing offenses; live-in communities with supervision; rehabilitation centres; tea houses; advisory centres; short-term sleeping accommodation and employment offers; therapy centres for addicts etc.
Helping homeless in Korea: The Korean Homeless Team is managed by the street paper Big Issue South Korea, a social enterprise that is part of international street paper network The Big Issue. One of the enterprise’s permanent activities is street football, titled The Homeless Healthy Football League. Its impact is two-fold. It encourages homeless people to regularly exercise and therefore lead a healthy lifestyle. It also raises awareness about homelessness and shows people in Korea that homeless people can play football, and consequently work and live just like any ordinary person.
Allowing homeless to shower daily: Project WeHOPE, a homeless non-profit in San Mateo, California, is crowdfunding a new type of facility for its clients: a customized trailer that comes with showers, a washer/dryer, and bathrooms. The trailer has an accessible ramp, a small hydraulic lift for wheelchairs, and its own tank for grey water collection. Once it’s built, WeHOPE plans to take the trailer to encampments in the San Mateo area, including in Half Moon Bay where many homeless migrant workers live on the beach.
Several months ago, Eric Spoeth from Edmonton contacted me to let me know that he had written and filmed a movie and would be showing it in Vancouver on April 8th, 2018. I agreed to promote the film in my “Das Schwarze Brett” magazine and on this blog. We even traded ad space. He received a half-page ad and I was able to see my 30-second advertising spot on the big screen.
Here is a picture of film director Erich Spoeth, with one of the “stars” of the show. His mother, Erika, was the youngest of 4 children, born towards the end of the war. She had two older sisters (Alwine & Altertine aka Tina) and one brother (Wiegand). This movie was the story of them being forced to flee the USSR in 1944 and end up staying in a house in a small village along the way. That is the last time the children saw their father alive. Baby Erika was only 1 year old.
Here are two of the young people waiting out front in the line up and the three teenagers sitting together in the theatre. One of these girls was born in Germany, one was born in Vancouver to a German father and one was born to a German mother. Each of them had a reason to attend this film. To learn about their heritage. To learn historical facts from a German-citizen-born-outside Germany perspective (Volksdeutsche) and to be a part of the German Community here in Vancouver.
Here is one of the young ladies raising her hand to ask a question in the Q & A season after the film was over. The questions were typical ones you might expect: How did you end up in Canada? What made you decide to make the film? Where was the story filmed?
The main thing when talking it over with some of the youngest audience members was hearing how this story was all new to them. Only one out of 3 had heard a little bit about this turbulent time in history, when Germans living in the USSR and other territories were caught up in the violence of war and forced to leave their homes, sometimes in the dead of winter, forever.
The girl who knew about Russian Germans had an Oma (grandmother) who came from Bessarabia, a place where Germans had been invited to live by Katarina the Great and had built prosperous farms and villages over 150 years. World War II changed everything. First, they had been forced to leave their homes in 1941, and had been relocated to West Prussia. Then, they had been overrun by Soviets and again, where forced to leave a place they had just gotten used to. But at least, the Bessarabians had been relocated as one group and had even arranged to stay in the same relocation camps as one united group during the war.
Unlike having woman and children, as well as entire families, separated as men were either fighting in the war, working for the war effort or supporting their families with long-distance work. The women, the children, the elderly were the ones who made the escapes in the big so-called “Trek”. That is what happened to the Zernickel family. Just as the father left, the mother and her four young children were forced to leave. Helene tried everything she could to stall, to wait, so that Waldemar could catch up with her, but alas.
Waiting for Waldemar never does come up with an answer to the question: Where is Waldemar? Instead, he has been missing since 1944. Nobody ever found out where he went or what happened to him. There is nothing they would like better than to see him one more time. Talk to him one more time. Spend some time with him, listening to his music, his piano, his singing… If Waldemar Zernickel was alive today, he would be 105 years old, but that wouldn’t matter. The movie did its part by pulling in the audience and letting us feel the anguish, the loss, the pain, as well as the hope and belief that kept them going.
I can recommend everyone to watch this movie and be transformed by the story. As ordinary Germans who just wanted to be together, to enjoy family life, to play piano, and eat farm fresh food and who were caught up in events beyond their control. Yet they still came out of it with the knowledge that “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
Waiting for Waldemar is a moving 45-minute film about a family that escaped to Germany from Russia during the Second World War. Erika and her brother Wiegand, who were only babies when their father Waldemar disappeared during the escape and are now in their 70’s, combine fragments of memories and third-hand testimonies to paint a picture of the man that meant – and means – so much to them. Waiting for Waldemar is a bittersweet affirmation that love bears all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Eric Spoeth has directed two full length documentaries and a dozen short films. His work includes working as an Assistant Director on The Matrix, Cut Bank, Blackstone, and other film and TV productions across Alberta.
You can buy the movie on the website: http://www.spoeth.com/wfw.html
February 17, 8 pm at the Orpheum – tickets still available
2. Buildex Vancouver – One German Company representing Wednesday at 3:30pm
February 14 and 15, 2018
BUILDEX Vancouver is Western Canada’s largest tradeshow and conference for the Construction, Renovation, Architecture, Interior Design and Property Management industries. With over 600 exhibits, and more than 80 educational seminars BUILDEX attracts over 14,000 attendees annually.
Friday, February 16, 2018
LunarFest and Ballet Productions Canada Society Present – “The Butterfly Lovers” – a romance that is older than Romeo and Juliet. Also showcasing “The Love Stories” by German Choreographer Irene Schneider
4. Multicultural Fair – http://www.
5. Living, Building, Thinking: art & expressionism –
March 3 to May 21, 2018
Living, Building, Thinking: art & expressionism uses the German Expressionist collection from the McMaster Museum of Art to explore the development of Expressionism in art from the early 19th century to the present day.
The term Expressionism is invariably associated with the period of art and social activism in Germany between 1905 and 1937, encompassing visual art, literature, philosophy, theatre, film, photography and architecture. In the context of an expanded view on the subject, Living, Building, Thinking offers a rich and thought-provoking perspective on the relationships between artists and societies, and the ever-changing responses and visual expressions that circulate through shared hopes and aspirations for social awareness and change.
During World War 2, a family of Germans flee Ukraine to escape persecution. Halfway during their journey, their father disappears. Seventy years later, a brother and sister try to put together the pieces of who he was with their imaginations and third hand stories.
They are also looking for sponsors, so if you are interested, please let them know! Imagine your business up on the big screen in front of hundreds of members of the German community
April – Thursday, April 12, 2018 from 4 pm to 6 pm
BCIT’s Dr. Maureen Connelly will discuss and host a tour of the living architecture and acoustics labs, the current research projects underway, and the latest findings which provide real-world relevance for Metro Vancouver’s residential housing industry. From green roofs and living walls, to sound transmission of cavity walls and reducing impact noise on decks and laneway homes, this session will provide with an insider look into the current research projects and how their findings could impact the future of housing.
Key learning objectives:
1. Review strategies using living architecture in residential spaces; models using material components, and reviewing performance data.
2. Examine noise propagation in laneway homes, building envelope requirements for laneways, and possible solutions for noise transmission.
3. Learn about the Centre of Architectural Ecology and its research. Connect with faculty and students leading the projects.
8. European Festival in Burnaby – http://www.europeanfestival.ca
Bring friends and family and travel Europe for the weekend. Visit the annual European Festival! Last weekend of May, at Swangard Stadium in Burnaby. Don’t miss out on this exciting weekend of cultural and culinary delights and rich entertainment! The European Festival highlights the best of European, culture and tradition – giving you a taste of that great “Old Continent” right in your own backyard! Come savour it all, from German Pork Hock and Hungarian Lángos to Balkan Ćevapi and Turkish Kofte! Come and experience Europe, from east to west, as seen through the eyes of Europeans. On The last weekend of May, EuroFest BC Society brings unity through diversity to the Lower Mainland with the colours, music and food of Europe!
The German Table needs at least 8 volunteers – two for parking, two for the table in 4-hour shifts and two for set up and two for clean up. Contact Elke at 604 828 8788 if you want to help!
Saturday May 26th, Sunday May 27th 2018
Germany plays The Korean Republic June 27, 2018 at 5 pm local time
Usually the Vancouver Alpen Club also offers game time
Seeking Sponsors to help cover the costs for the $1000 for Apple Strudl.
What is the Multicultural Fair:
Objectives are to celebrate the diverse cultures at the Prince of Wales Secondary School, to bring together the school community with the community at large and to enhance global learning. To help students connect with diverse languages, social studies, art and music.
11:05 am to 12:40 pm
February 23, 2018 on Thursday
Prince of Wales Gym.
Tickets cost $5 each and it is ok to buy more than one.
Tickets cover the performances, the display tables, the international foods and the chance to win a prize. People don’t need to buy a ticket, if they plan not to eat anything.
There will be at least 10 performances around 5 minutes each.
We could also use someone wearing traditional outfits to stand by the German Booth.
Germany would like to present a typical German dessert and would order 20 strudels from Klaus and his Kaffeehaus for everyone to enjoy. Each strudel would be cut into 20 to 25 pieces, as it is lunch time and there will be lots of other food there, too.
We are seeking at least 3 sponsors to help out – so far, we have the Westside German School, some waiving fees by Klaus and Westside German News sponsoring cake. Let me know if you would like to be involved!
Kuehne + Nagel and Deutsche Messe AG agree on long-term collaboration
Hamburg / Germany, January 17, 2018 – Kuehne + Nagel and Deutsche Messe AG are set to continue their successful partnership. Kuehne + Nagel will remain an official logistics service provider to Germany’s largest trade fair organiser until at least 2027 and will use a traffic management system to optimise trade fair traffic.
Since 1993, Kuehne + Nagel has been an official logistics service provider at the exhibition grounds in Hanover. As part of the trade fair forwarding contract that has now been extended, the company will be offering exclusive trade fair services. In addition, Kuehne + Nagel will be providing services on behalf of Deutsche Messe AG directly. The range of services on offer includes setup of a traffic management system to optimise the traffic situation at the exhibition grounds.
This two-step web-supported system is based on the concept of a slot allocation process for delivery vehicles. In the first step, a time window is reserved for each delivery, resulting in a significant reduction in peak traffic. In the second step, the system creates real-time optimisations as soon as any change occurs in daily operations that requires recalculations.
Dr. Hansjörg Rodi, Managing Director of Kuehne + Nagel Germany, said: “We are delighted to have extended our long-standing partnership with Deutsche Messe AG. Expo & Event logistics represents an important business sector for Kuehne + Nagel. In this area, we can combine our expertise in freight forwarding with IT solutions that suit customer requirements. This generates added value for customers – a perfect example of this is our traffic management system for optimising trade fair traffic. It enables much more efficient use of existing resources including a reduction in unproductive waiting times. Ultimately, that also supports to relieve pressure on the public road network”.
Kuehne + Nagel is one of the world’s leading providers of logistics services for trade fairs and exhibitions. Every year, Kuehne + Nagel handles around 130 trade fairs in Germany alone.
Join us for the screening of the Canadian-made docu-drama “Waiting for Waldemar” in Vancouver, BC on April 8th at 2:00pm at the Cinematheque on 1131 Howe St.
“Waiting for Waldemar” is the story of Erika, a one-year old who was born in a German colony in Ukraine. When Hitler declared war on Russia, millions of ethnic Germans were forced to escape. After a lull in the war, her father Waldemar disappeared in the town of Bendsburg, never to be seen again. 70 years later, Erika tries to put together the pieces of what became of her father, using 3rd hand stories and fragments of memories.
Having played to over 2000 people in over 10 cities around North America, “Waiting for Waldemar” is a testament that “love bears all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
The director, Eric Spoeth, will be in attendance for an audience Q&A after the screening.
Eric Spoeth is looking for business partners who may be interested in sponsoring the event, in the form of a full-screen ad that would play prior to the film. For $250, I could offer a 10-30 second commercial spot for companies on the big screen before the feature. If you don’t have a promotional video, we can produce a stills-based ad with a professional voiceover for an extra $250.
More information here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1053783861431509/
About Eric Spoeth: Born of Silesian and Dnieper-German immigrants, Eric Spoeth studied Film and Media Production from the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia. He frequently directs works that are an homage to film genres, such as Crane on a Rock (Hong Kong cinema), The Manikin (Silent Film), and Mea Maxima Culpa (1920s horror serials). He also works as an assistant director on productions in Western Canada.
Saturday, January 20 – 10am
Alliance Française de Vancouver
Register by email: email@example.com
For all kids around the ages of 3 and 6 years
Kids are the best! is a sentiment very much backed by science, at least when it comes to language learning. At our new bilingual storytime, we capitalize on this fact and let kids dive right into a well of fun adventures, rhymes, and stories. No matter how you and your kids‘ exact lingual background may look like, our native speakers of French and German will get everyone quickly immersed in the library books we select for each session.
Come and join us for the first session on January 20, 10 a.m. upstairs at our library‘s Kids corner and prepare to take home a new word (or two). A bientôt & bis dann!
Für Kinder im Vorschulalter (von ca. 3- 6 Jahren)
Kinder, Kinder! Sie können alles – nur wissen sie es noch nicht. Besonders bemerkbar macht sich das im Spracherwerb, bei dem die Devise „früh und viel“ lautet, am besten ganz en passant. In unserer zweisprachigen Vorlesestunde laden wir alle Kinder im Vorschulalter ein, in die Welt der Helden und Heldinnnen, der Abenteuer und Alltagsrätsel einzutauchen, möglich gemacht durch Bücher aus der Bücherei, die von unseren muttersprachlichen Mitarbeitern und Freiwilligen abwechselnd auf Deutsch und auf Französisch vorgetragen werden.
Unser erstes Treffen findet am 20. Januar um 10 Uhr morgens statt, oben in der Kinderbücherei der Alliance Française. See you then, à bientôt!
Here is a letter from the Outreach Coordinator of the German Canadian Care Home: loosely translated, they are offering two events that the public can join them in:
a. January 13, 2018 – Feuerzangenbowle Movie starring Heinz Rühmann
b. January 27, 2018 – Dr. Florian Gassner (UBC) will moderate the topic of Music as Religion – Beethoven, Wagner & Nietschke
These events take place on Saturdays at 2 pm – they will serve coffee/tea and cake; donations are welcome
All guests are welcome. For more information please contact:
2017 brachte für jeden von uns eine gemischte Palette von Erlebnissen, für den einen gut, den anderen nicht so gut.
Mit unseren Themen war es ähnlich, manches gefiel, manches nicht so sehr. Aber wir werden uns wieder bemühen ein Programm zu gestalten, das für jedes Interesse etwas zu bieten hat.
Durch Ihre Anwesenheit, in Ihrer Einzigartigkeit, sind Sie immer ein Geschenk für die Bewohner des Heimes und auch für die anderen Teilnehmer .
Nun wünsche ich Ihnen für das Jahr 2018 , was Sie sich selbst von Herzen wünschen, Freude, Gesundheit und Mut zum Lieben und geliebt sein. Und mögen Sie die Kraft und den Glauben an die Erfüllung Ihrer Wünsche nicht verlieren.
Wir fangen das Jahr 2018 am
- Januar mit dem wohlbekannten und klassischen Film <Die Feuerzangenbowle> an,
in der Heinz Rühmann die Hauptrolle spielt. Das DVD bietet Untertitel an.
Am 27. Januar wird Dr. Florian Gassner (UBC) zum Thema < Musik, als Religion> referieren. Das Thema wird durch die Musiker Beethoven, Wagner und Nietzsche erläutert.
BITTE BENUTZEN SIE DEN SEITENEINGANG (mit Treppen oder Rampe).
Folgen Sie der Beschilderung, rechts herrunter und durch den unteren Parkplatz.
Wie immer servieren wir um 14.00 Uhr Kaffee, Tee und Kuchen.
Das jeweilige Programm folgt um 14:30 Uhr.
Gäste sind stets willkommen.
Wir freuen uns über Ihre Spenden, die die Kosten für Kaffee, Kuchen und sonstige Auslagen tragen helfen.
Vielleicht haben Sie Lust bei den Vorbereitungen und dem Servieren mitzuhelfen.
Ein oder zwei Samstag Nachmittage für ca 3 Monate wäre schon eine große Hilfe.
Wir suchen ausserdem Unterstützung für das wöchentliche deutsche Programm in der Bibliothek, Freitags von 2.00 -3.00 pm.
Unsere deutsch-sprachigen Heimbewohner versammeln sich mit Familienangehörigen und Freunden um schön gedeckte Kaffee Tische.
Zusammen werden zeitgemäße Themen besprochen und gekannte deutsche Volkslieder gesungen..
Mit freundlichen Grüßen or kind regards
From the opening rumble of the organ to the final triumphant cries of the trumpets, Mahler’s 8th Symphony is a work of monumental grandeur and passion. Yet its theme is intimate and universal – the idea that love conquers all. Often dubbed the “Symphony of a Thousand,” due to the massive forces involved, our performance will feature over 300 performers on stage at the Orpheum Theatre, with a fantastic cast of local singers. Join us for this once in a lifetime experience. Presented in Latin and German with English surtitles.
Tickets start at $20. Available at www.vancouverbachchoir.com.
“Light the light of our senses, pour love into our hearts.”
Leslie Dala | Conductor of the West Coast Symphony
Vancouver Bach Choir and Children’s Chorus
Robyn Driedger-Klassen | Soprano Melanie Krueger | Soprano Sarah Templeton | Soprano
Emma Parkinson | Mezzo soprano Leah Giselle Field | Mezzo soprano
Martin Sadd | Tenor Kevin Armstrong | Baritone Peter Monaghan | Bass-baritone
Mahler Symphony No. 8 Social Media information
Direct Ticket URL (goes straight to our box office, bypasses the VBC website-
Celebrating 8 Years of Vancouver Christmas Market!
Some things have changed, but some things have stayed the same. There are still lights, booths, the carousel, but also new vendors, new activities for children – kids who complete the scavenger hunt earn a free ride on the carousel – and new, at least to me, “Flying Stage” on the second storey of the Christmas Pyramid, right above the Glühwein! You can also take some pictures right inside the Alpine Haus at the “North Pole” that has been set up there.
For my German, Swiss and Austrian readers who have been spoiled with a wealth of Christmas Markets back home, the biggest complaint is having to pay an entrance fee, but there are still deals, groupons and other specials to be had. If you order online, you also receive a complimentary seasons pass, so that is worth it. This year, entrance fees are $10 for Adults, $9 for Seniors, $5 for children ages 7 to 12 and 6 and under are Free.
Get your tickets here at this link: https://store.vancouverchristmasmarket.com/event/13/2017-vancouver-christmas-market
There are also discounts available for groups of 12 or more or if you show up before 4 pm on Weekdays.
- A change that was made is that the Market, with over 75 vendors, has now been split into three main areas: Handwerkgasse (Artisan Alley), which includes Zotter Chocolates, Candymeister and Sonnentor Tea.
- Marktplatz (Eats and Treats), which includes Freybe Brat Haus, Das Bavarian & Pretzel Haus, Das Lachs Haus (Salmon), Das Schnitzel Haus, Das Kartoffel Haus and Das Waffle Haus. Suddenly I am starving!
- There are also Kaufmannsgasse (Merchant Alley) and the “Tannenbaum Terrace” (Christmas Tree Terrace).
I really saw an effort to be more German and to have more German signage. I appreciate that and felt it was much more authentic. There were also many Herrnhuter Stars placed at every booth and other strategic places around the venue. Beautiful.
Be dazzled by the glittering carousel, a 30-foot tall walk-in Christmas tree boasting 36,000 twinkling lights, live entertainment, and a multitude of festive family activities. (from their website, although ©Photo Credit is Elke Porter)
|You can also enjoy nightly entertainment.Here is where you can find out what is playing:https://www.vancouverchristmasmarket.com/activities/entertainment/The Entertainment seems to be focussing more on Canadian or International Artists this year, rather than German, but at least this performer has performed in Germany:
Melanie Dekker: A voice like chocolate. 100 concerts a year. A soulful roots-pop entertainer. A songbird and prolific writer who has created fantastic hit songs and 6 albums. Her percussive guitar style and warm lyrics quickly fire up your heart. She’s opened for Faith Hill, Chaka Khan, Bryan Adams & headlined folk festivals in Canada, Germany, Denmark & Estonia.
4:30PM – 6:30PM
4:30PM – 6:30PMHer website is here: http://www.melaniedekker.com
A Christmas Concert by the German Consulate was held November 23 for the German Community!
A Christmas Concert presented by the German Consulate featuring Rosemary Siemens and Eli Bennett. If you missed it, there are some snippets online (you may have to scroll a bit)
Her website is here: http://rosemarysiemens.com