09 Apr 2015
April 9, 2015

New Info About the Saengerfest

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MGV Lyra Mens ChoirJune 5th, 2015 – Surrey, British Columbia – The Vancouver-based MGV Lyra German Men’s Choir will be hosting the 40th North Pacific Singing Festival in Surrey this year. Eight choirs, with more than 280 singers, will be participating. The choirs include German and Austrian mixed and men’s choirs from British Columbia, Washington and Oregon. The concert will culminate with a mass choir performance involving all participating singers.

Coinciding with this year’s Sängerfest, the hosting Vancouver-based MGV Lyra Choir will be celebrating its 50th anniversary. Their conductor is Ben Ewert, who studied choral music at both Trinity Western and Cambridge University in England.  Ewert’s long-term goal is to revitalize the Canadian choral scene and infuse it with youthful vibrancy.

Events such as the Sängerfest provide entertainment of significant cultural value and seek to uphold the noble tradition of German Song, which is, and will always be, part of the Austrian and German collective heritage. It is also an opportunity to celebrate and share German culture with a broad audience and build new connections within the community. The Lyra Choir is always happy to welcome new singers of all ages, and especially invites young people to be a part of this century old German Tradition.

This year’s program includes songs by well-known classical artists, such as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Franz Joseph Hadyn and Richard Wagner.  The prelude will be performed by local band “Edelweiss Musikanten” under the leadership of Karl Schindler, while the final song will be the famed Hallelujah Chorus by Georg Friedrich Handel.  Audience members will even be able to sing along to a well-known folk song named “Kein Schoener Land in dieser Zeit.”

The first festival was held in 1902 when choirs from the Pacific Northwest met in Seattle. From 1902 on, festivals were held either annually or every other year until 1936. After a pause during the difficult years of WW II, German choirs resumed their activities and reunited in 1952 to celebrate their first post-war and 15th Song Festival in Seattle, Washington. Since then, festivals have been held every two to three years, making the Society over 100 years old.

Media Contact:

Elke Porter
604 828 8788

40th Anniversary Sängerfest of the Nord Pacific Sängerbund to be held this spring in Surrey, British Columbia

Nord Pacific SaengerbundJune 5th, 2015 – Surrey, British Columbia – The Vancouver-based MGV Lyra German Men’s Choir will be hosting the 40th Anniversary of the North Pacific Sängerbund in June 2015. Eight choirs, with more than 280 singers, will be participating in this exciting event. The individual performing choirs include German and Austrian mixed and male choirs from British Columbia, Washington and Oregon. The concert will culminate with a mass choir performance consisting of all participating singers.

The event will be held on June 5th, 2015 at the Chandos Pattison Auditorium in Surrey, British Columbia. Tickets can be purchased by contacting Rudy Milz at (604) 987-2838. The cost is twenty dollars.

The Sängerfest has a very long history and is proud to be celebrating its 40th anniversary. The first festival was held in 1902 when choirs from the Pacific Northwest gathered in Seattle. From 1902 on, festivals were held either annually or every other year until 1936. After a pause during the difficult years of WW II, German choirs resumed their activities and reunited in 1952 to celebrate their first post-war and 15th Song Festival in Seattle, Washington. Since then, festivals have been held every two to three years.

Coinciding with this year’s Sängerfest, the hosting Vancouver-based choir (MGV Lyra) will be celebrating its 50th anniversary. Under the guidance of very dedicated conductors, the powerful voices of the Lyra Men’s Choir have resounded in many communities throughout British Columbia and the United States. The four extended concert tours through Germany are also highlights of the choir’s fifty-year existence.

Events such as this year’s Sängerfest provides enjoyable entertainment of significant cultural value and seeks to uphold the noble tradition of German Song, which is, and will always be, part of our collective heritage. It is also an opportunity to celebrate and share German culture with a broad audience and build new connections within the community.

Quotes “MGV Lyra is proud to be hosting this year’s Sängerfest. It is an opportunity to jointly celebrate our club’s 50th anniversary and the 40th Sängerfest in the Pacific Northwest. We look forward to celebrating German culture and language through this festival and sharing our love of choral singing with the community at large.”

Horst Zimmermann, Chairman of the Event Committee

“I am honoured that MGV Lyra will be hosting this year’s Sängerfest. Singing in the choir has influenced my life greatly. Our club is more than a social group; it is a family. I am very excited that our choir can share its love for German singing and culture with the broader community.”

Dieter Momeyer, Past President of MGV Lyra For more information:

Horst Zimmermann Chairman of the Event Committee
Phone: (604) 371-2409
Email: horst.zimmermann@nordpacificsaengerbund.com
Website: www.nordpacificsaengerbund.com

09 Mar 2015
March 9, 2015

Volunteer for Germany this May

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European Festival Has a German Table that Needs Volunteers

Germany TentThe European Festival, found at www.europeanfestival.ca has around 30 countries participating on May 30th and 31st, 2015 (Saturday/Sunday).

Each country receives one culture table that needs volunteers. So far, we have around 4 people willing to help out Saturday, but need people to help out on Sunday.

If we have two people each taking 2 hour shifts, we need 4 more for Saturday and 8 for Sunday.

If you are interested in participating, or have great ideas on how to decorate/set up the Germany Table – FIFA World Cup memorabilia? Beerstein Collections? Classic German Authors? Knowledge about the local German Community in BC? – please respond to this blog post.

You can also share this with your friends and family.

Each volunteer will receive free entry to the Festival. Gates open at 11 am on both days.

Tickets will be $10 for a weekend pass at the gate ($8 online)
Children under the age of 12 are free

$1 will be charged per activity for children at the Festival. A booklet with activity vouchers will be available at the gates.

Kecia has been representing Germany at the monthly meetings and we are grateful for all of her hard work and hope to support her at the German Table at the Festival this year.

German News from the West Coast of Canada & the US

April CoverWestcoast German News started as a newsletter originally called “German Voices Vancouver”. I felt that changing it to add “news” to the title would instantly let people know what my newsletter was about. With a more generic name like “German Voices”, I had people who imagined we were a singing group or a closed group that wasn’t meant for the general public. For a couple of years I published a monthly newsletter, then I changed the format to a digital magazine and now I am just blogging as topics and events come up.

The German language and the German community is dying out in Vancouver, and it is also made of out of two distinct groups: those who left Germany after World I and II with a backpack to make a better life for themselves and those who moved here with “containers” of their households and who have jobs as professors at UBC, or scientists, or as consultants or who are running their own business with products from Germany. The ones who came here in the 1940’s to 1960’s often entered the “trades” and many made a great life for themselves, also, but they are now in their 70’s, 80’s or 90’s and soon the German Community will no longer have these reminders of the way things were. In short, we are in a time of true transition with multiculturalism shaping the direction everything is moving towards.

So what can you expect from Westcoast German News? Here are some frequently asked questions:

1. Who is my audience? Germans living on the west coast of Canada and US are the primary target market, but I also have people selling to the German market, selling German products or producing German-related events, although not German themselves. A new aspect of my blog is to promote people making movies, creating works of art or performing as bands/singers, whether they live locally or in Germany, Austria or Switzerland. It is a shrinking world, after all!

2. What is my goal? Westcoast German News is there to share news about German-related activity on the west coast, as most German businesses or non-profits still seem centered in Ontario or Quebec. Yet, it seems that everywhere I go, I hear Germans, meet Swiss or run across Austrians. And I live in Vancouver! It seems that many people have made a success for themselves without seeming to need help from the German community, so people don’t always connect and bond like other communities. It is also a lot of work to continuously monitor what others are doing, rather than having one place that connects everyone. That can be a fulltime job.

3. Where do I get my stories? I try to connect with everyone and every group, but am constantly surprised to find new articles or events, thanks to social media. I myself have a Facebook Page called “Germans in Vancouver”. Then, I am a director of the German Canadian Business Association and manage that Facebook Page. I also have a “Westcoast German News” page and a page called Vancouver Tourists. I subscribe to every media outlet in town, I follow passive house groups, FIFA World Cup Groups, German Consulate Vancouver, German-Canadian Care Home, St. Mark’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, the Vancouver Alpenclub, the Christmas Market, Harvest Haus etc.

4. How do I support businesses? I have a page for entrepreneurs and business owners, where they can advertise their business for only $5 a month. The advertisement also includes a link to their website, mention on Facebook and, if wanted, a blog post on Westcoast German News.

5. How do I support non-profits and charities? I have a new businesses directory that will hopefully include all the basic German information in Vancouver and/or British Columbia by the time it is done. Want to know where to find the Artisan Bakery? Check out the directory. Want to know where to sign your children up to German classes? Check the directory.

6. How do I support Evevents? Either I blog about them, share pictures about them, or you can also use the advertising page at $5 a month.

7. To Sum it All Up – Finally, the Westcoast German News blog is there to strengthen the ties of the German Community. One of the often-heard remarks is that the community is quite splintered. Different German groups often have overlapping events, rather than spreading them out over the year. If everything is contained in one blog, then people can see what the availability in the calendar for German-speakers is like. Repeating events are the “Tag der Deutschen Einheit”, Sankt Martins Tag, Nikolausfest/Weihnachtsfest, Silvester (Neu Jahr), Fasching, Maifest, European Festival, Saengerfest (every 3 years) and then one-time events, such as Olympics, FIFA World Cup and now the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

So, in short, please read this blog, share your events, advertise your business or services and keep the German community, language and culture alive in Vancouver and beyond.

31 Jan 2015
January 31, 2015

40th Sängerfest June 5th, 2015

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Mgv LyraThe 40th Saengerfest of the Nord Pacific Saengerbund is coming up! Mgv Lyra are the Host Choir and will perform with 7 other Choirs from Portland, Spokane, Seattle, Vancouver (3 choirs incl. us), Kelowna and Victoria on Friday, June 5th, 2015 in Surrey at the Chandos Pattison Auditorium. The musical director is Ben Ewert.   There will also be a 40th Anniversary Banquet and Dance on Saturday, June 6th, 2015.

For tickets ($20.00), please contact one the three methods below to book:

This Saengerfest is only every 2 to 3 years and will hopefully keep the German singing alive.  The website is http://www.nordpacificsaengerbund.com

28 Jan 2015
January 28, 2015

FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015 Schedule

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Match Schedule

BC Place Stadium Matches

  • Japan vs. Switzerland
    Monday, June 8th, 2015
  • Switzerland vs. Ecuador
    Friday, June 12th, 2015
  • Nigeria vs. USA
    Tuesday, June 16th, 2015

Round of 16

  1. Sunday, June 21st, 2015
  2. Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015

Quarter Finals

Saturday, June 27th, 2015

Semi Finals

None in BC


Sunday, July 5th, 2015


FIFA Games Schedule for 2015

Click on this picture to get access to a bigger one.

Final FIFA Schedule

Click on this picture to get access to a picture one!



27 Jan 2015
January 27, 2015

Der Kiepenkasper in Surrey

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KiepenkasperSaturday, January 24th,  Uwe Spillmann from the KIEPENKASPER Theater performed at the Surrey German Language School.

Link to the Surrey German School:  http://www.surreygermanschool.com/

At 9:30 he presented “Reise zur Pirateninsel” and “Die drei Zauberfedern” for the E-classes (DaF or Deutsch als Fremdsprache).

At 11:00 he performed “Du bist ja gar kein Ungeheuer” and “Der Schneemann ist ein armer Tropf” for G-classes (DaZ or Deutsch als Zweitsprache).

It was a community event and therefore they invited family, friends and neighbours. Beatrice Schreiber, President of the German Canadian Business Association, was one of the guests who truly enjoyed herself.

Several years ago, the Kiepenkasper also performed at the Westside German School.  Here is a link to their website: http://www.vwgs.org/2012/

BeatriceThe Surrey German Language School was proud to offer this Northern German Tradition of a puppet show to their students and were glad to see so much support from the community.

Thanks to Yvonne, for sending us these pictures.

28 Dec 2014
December 28, 2014

German New Year

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FeuerzangenbowleSince I grew up in Canada, I didn’t always have the opportunity to celebrate special events the way children in Germany would celebrate with their families. But I am still fascinated by these traditions and hope to introduce some of them to my children and eventually, my grandchildren. The other important point is that my parents were both not born in Germany proper, and have both come from “Volksdeutsche” (people who were born in other territories or countries, but still had German blood and citizenship). My parents were both born during the war, and with their families on the move, and the borders changing hands a few times, they had different traditions they followed, or were just glad to have reached a New Year and didn’t need to follow traditions, except attending church in gratitude.

Here are some ideas:

1. Feuerzangenbowle: this is where they take a clump of sugar, slather it with wine, place it on a metal clip with a slit in the middle and set it on fire, so that the burnt sugar drips into a pot or bowl filled with the rest of the wine. It is a very impressive activity, and one that I enjoyed seeing as a child.

2. Fireworks: Vancouver, BC where I live now sometimes offers fireworks and sometimes doesn’t. To be honest, I am not necessarily a fan of fireworks! I would go, if I was going with my family or in some kind of group.

3. Lead melting: you melt a bit of lead over a handle, let it cool off in some water and then read your future in the shape the lead has turned into: money, fame, health?

4. Blessing of wealth: You need to keep a pig around, as that represents “Good luck” or wealth in German. On the other hand, ensure that you are not eating a goose, as they fly away with your luck! Save up a “scale” or your New Year’s Carp and carry it around in your purse. This could ensure a regular flow of cash. If you want an abundant amount of change, ensure that you have a significant amount of lentil soup in your cupboard, or serve it on New Year’s Eve! You can also eat four leaf clovers or little chimney sweeps made out of marzipan.

5. Food & Drink: fondue or racelette, lentil soup, carp/fish or sweet apples dipped in honey. For drinks, people enjoy the Feuerzangenbowle, drinking champagne precisely at midnight and then throwing the glass over one of your shoulders, since “broken glass = good luck”. You can also say “Prosit Neujahr!” or “Guten Rutsch” – which means that we hope you find success in the New Year.

As entertainment, you can watch “Dinner for One” (now on YouTube), which is also known as the “90th Birthday of Miss Sophi”.

27 Nov 2014
November 27, 2014

Children’s Nikolaus Party 2015

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Der Nicholaus kommt…

St Nicholaus will come on Sunday 6th of December to the club.

Come and join us for this old German custom

Starting at 12:00PM in our Jaegerstube (next to the restaurant)

Free food will be provided at 12:00PM sharp (Wiener Wurst, Chicken Fingers, Peas and Carrots, Fries)

St Nicholaus will arrive at around 12:45PM (Please bring a boot)

After the “official” part there will be a bouncy castle, entertainment and crafts for the children.

Program is over at 3:00PM

Entrance is free – donations are welcome

Volunteers are needed:  Crafts, Colouring, Singing etc.

Address: 4875 Victoria Drive, Vancouver, BC
Phone: 604 874-3811
Corner of 33rd/Victoria Drive in East Vancouver



18 Nov 2014
November 18, 2014

Upcoming German Christmas Events

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Sign-up your children for the daily Advent-Storyteller event at the Vancouver Christmas Market: www.SignUpGenius.com/go/10C0E4EA5AF28A6F85-advent2/13390661

Explore many fun children’s activities, e.g. making your own traditional mini Herrnhuter Star at the Vancouver Christmas Market (recommended age: 8+), for images click here: http://mybrilliantstar.com/

Senior students: volunteer with the many German speaking vendors – an excellent hands-on experience to practice German in context. Please contact Kirsten Friedrichs at orgavwgs@gmail.com for further information.

Here is the list of Christmas-themed storytime in German with media from the Vancouver Public Library. You can put a hold on items and have them sent to your local branch:


Christmas Bazaar of the St. Mark’s church on Saturday, Nov. 29, 10am-2pm. German lunch, cookies, cakes, books and more: http://stmarkschurch.ca/bazaar.html. The Christmas Story is performed on Dec. 14th during their Advent service.

An evening of German Advent and Christmas classics on Wednesday, Dec. 3, 8pm.

The Oratorio Singers and the baroque instrumental ensemble OS415 will present an evening of cantatas, motets and chorales byBuxtehude, Schütz, Kuhnau, Praetorius, Rosenmüller, Bruckner and Schubert with guest soloist, countertenor, Mark Donnelly. All will be invited to participate in the singing of Christmas chorales in German and/or English, e.g. Es ist ein Ros entsprungen, Macht hoch die Tür. St. Andrew´s-Wesley Church on Burrard at Nelson. Tickets at the door only: $25 general admission.

There is a Children’s Christmas Party at the Vancouver Alpen Club on a Sunday in December – The party is usually from 1 pm to 3 pm or so.  As soon as I have some more details, I will pass these along.

If anybody has any other Christmas Parties or suggestions that would benefit children, please let us know!