My Name is Joe Rehbach. I was born and raised in Köln, Germany, I moved to Vancouver with my parents in 2008. I’m Fluent in both English and German, with some experience when we moved to Canada.

Buying your first vehicle here is tough, I want to help with that. I work at Coastal Ford Burnaby (5750 Laugheed Highway Burnaby, BC) , we have a large variety of new and used vehicles, I hope that I can help some people find their first car in Canada with the help of me speaking German!

Joe Rehbach

Some of my experience listed here:

  • As a detailer, I made sure every vehicle was spotless. It was a fast paced environment, and I worked as a team with my coworkers to ensure that customers were satisfied.
  • Specializing in used vehicles, my days consisted of working closely with service advisors, shop managers, detailers, body shops and wheel specialists to ensure the fast process of reconditioning.
  • I also routinely organized my showroom space in a clean and effective manner. Communicating with customers and answering any questions that they may have was also an important aspect of this job.
  • Working as a sales associate involved answering customers’ questions about products, suggesting products that fit their needs, and assisting coworkers in other departments when needed.
  • While going to school back home in Germany, I had the pleasure to work alongside my brother, learning the ins and outs of the automotive industry.
Coastal Ford in Burnaby

Are you interested in having your high school age child attend a German Conversation Class?

A conversation class encourages the children to spend as much time as possible speaking or listening to German – through reading of books, plays, poetry and analyzing songs.  There might be some dialogues, theatre, partner work and using digital media to pass a message along.  Students will be learning fairy tales, traditional literature & poetry, as well as modern, up-to-date songs that will give them an insight into German culture.  There will also be a session on travel vocabulary – trains, planes & automobiles.

Let me know if something like this would interest your child/ren.  Maximum 16 children per class. Prerequisites are a minimum of one year German lessons and the basics – Alphabet, counting to 100, colours etc.

Regards, Elke

604 828 8788

Even though September is not yet here, you can already sign up to a German School.  As far as I can tell, there are 4 schools:

a.  Westside Vancouver German School:

We offer a widely recognized high quality K-12 German after-school language program. Ideally students join our program at the age of 5 or 6 and progress on to high school. – takes place Tuesdays from 4 pm to 6:15 for children from 5/6 to 10 (high school graduation) or Wednesdays from around 10 to 18 at the Prince of Wales Secondary School.

b.  North Shore German School:

Founded in 1974, the German School North Shore has a rich tradition in providing German language classes to school-aged students from North Vancouver, West Vancouver and the Lower Mainland as far reaching as Port Moody. Our Kindergarten to Grade 12 programs, which follow the prescribed curriculum for German heritage schools, are taught by professional German-speaking teachers. – takes place on Thursdays from 4:15 to 6:15 for Kindergarten to Grade 12

c.  Surrey German Language School:

Die Deutsche Sprachschule Surrey bietet am Samstag morgen international anerkannten Sprachunterricht für Kinder von der Vorschule bis zur 12. Klasse und für Erwachsene an.

The Surrey German Language School offers internationally recognized Saturday morning language classes for children from Pre-School to Grade 12 and for adults. – takes place on Saturdays from 9 am to noon for children from 3+ to Adult level

d.  Deutsche Kindergruppe – for those who are too young for German School – ages 0 to 5 years old

Meetings will resume on the 9th of September

Come with your children (0-5yrs) every Monday between 9:30 am and 12:00 pm to sing songs, play, make crafts and speak German.

Wir sind eine offene Spielgruppe für Kinder von 0-5 Jahren und treffen uns Montags (ausser in den Ferien und an Feiertagen) zwischen 09:30-12:00.
Kommt doch mal vorbei und singt, spielt, bastelt und plaudert mit uns.

Contact: Kecia Boecking, Tel: 604-988-1356

If you know of any other schools/classes or pictures you would like to see in the Westcoast German News Blog, please let me know!

Message from Matthias Klenk of the VIFF 2017

I am writing you from the Vancouver International Film Festival Press Office. We would like to give you and your community 5 free tickets for the French/ German film “Young Karl Marx” from Raoul Peck.

The screening will be Monday 9th. So please let me know, if you are interested.


Storyline is:  26 year-old Karl Marx embarks with his wife, Jenny, on the road to exile. In 1844 Paris, he meets Friedrich Engels, an industrialist’s son, who investigated the sordid birth of the British working-class. Engels, the dandy, provides the last piece of the puzzle to the young Karl Marx’s new vision of the world. Together, between censorship and the police’s repression, riots and political upheavals, they will lead the labor movement during its development into a modern era.
Please write to or call me at 604 828 8788.
Regards, Elke

01 Jun 2016
June 1, 2016

Wir sind ein Volk Song

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Words by Elke Porter

Song by the Seekers (“We are Australian”)

Wir sind ein VolkThe story behind the song is that I moved to Australia in 1995 and fell in love with this song while I was there.  When the time came to choose a song for the Year-End Concert at the Vancouver Westside German School, I offered to try writing something to the melody.  I wrote one version, but it just referenced Austrians, Germans and Swiss who moved to Canada over the last 40 -50 years.  But I was asked to make it more multicultural, to talk about more cultures moving around the world, and this is the version that we chose and practiced with the children since Christmas.


Wir sind ein Volk
Wir sind auch viele
Aus allen Laendern dieser Welt
Ob hier geboren
Oder eingewandert
Ich bin; ihr seid, wir sind
wo es uns gefällt

Verse 1

Ich bin ins Schiff gestiegen
Abenteuer war mein Ziel.
Von Morocco nach Italien
Das Leben ein Würfelspiel.
Von Italien dann nach Salzburg
Es war nicht immer leicht
Aber jetzt bis Lebensende
Bleib ich in Österreich.

Verse 2

Nach Schulabschluss in China
Wollte ich andere Laender sehn.
Und anderswo studieren.
Die Trockenheit entgehn..
Ich bekam dann eine Stelle
An dem Nordseestrand
Ich lernte Deutschland lieben
Mein neues Heimatland.

Verse 3

Meine Familie kam aus Pakistan
Wo die Sonne dauernd schien
Dann kam der Krieg zu uns
Wir mussten alle fliehn
Wir gingen nach Australien
Wegen der Demokratie
Wir haben uns so gefreut
Wir verlassen Sydney nie

Verse 4

Bagdad war erst meine Stadt,
Doch sie ist es lang’ nicht mehr.
Ich war gezwungen wegzuziehn.
Ich kam mit Flugzeug her.
Jetzt wohne ich in Dunbar,
Fuer die letzten 20 Jahr’
Geniesse meine Freiheit
Wie nur in Kanada

ElkeAustraliaOnce upon a time, a young girl started attending the Surrey German School back in 1976.  She went every Saturday for 9 years.  This included one year of Landeskunde, one year preparing for a student exchange in Hannover and one-year studying for her “Sprachdiplom I”.  In 1995, this same girl moved to Sydney, Australia and started working at the Johannes Gutenberg German School running the Preschool Program at this private, full-time school.

Finally, this girl moved back to Vancouver with her husband, had two children and sent them to the Westside German School in 2007. In 2012, she started working as a Music Teacher/Assistant on Tuesdays and eventually became  a teacher of the youngest students for 3 years.

Vancouver AlpenclubTuesday, May 31st, 2016, this girl (me) spent her last night as a German Teacher at the Year-End Celebration of the Westside German School at the Vancouver Alpen Club at 33/rd/Victoria.It was also the last day for Principal Christine Spreter von Kreudenstein.  By coincidence, Christine Spreter also started her position as principal in 2012, and had spent the last 4 years leading her team through many changes. Adding recess, regular weekly singing practice, festivals and field trips, Christine changed the program to reflect what children experienced in their public school and made it easier for children to have fun and learn at the same time.  Christine hired new staff that had teaching backgrounds and tried out several new activities every year.  The school grew in the last 4 years and now it is one of the biggest schools in western Canada.

Four at the TableAt the Year End Celebration, there was a time of greeting the new Principal and to say goodbye to the outgoing Principal.  Consul General for Switzerland Urs Strausak and partner attended.  They were impressed by the student contributions, especially the student newspaper that had been put together by the Senior Classes.  The students also sang a song at the end that had been written by me, based on the song “I am Australian“. It was a song about people starting out in one country and then ending up in another and making it their new home, in spite of challenges and difficulties. One man told me afterwards, how much the song touched his heart, which was a nice compliment.  The children practiced for months and one of the older students sang two of the verses as a solo, accompanying herself on her guitar.

Raffle Prizes TableNew this year was a fundraising raffle with some great prizes.  The event was also held at the Vancouver Alpen Club, instead of at one of the two school (Lord Kitchener Elementary or Prince of Wales Secondary) as the Alpen Club had generously sponsored the school and was able to provide typical German food at a great deal and even a genuine black forest cherry cake of enormous proportions that allowed everyone to have a big piece.

Giant Black Forest Cherry Cake

The food were the typical German sausages, bavarian pretzels and two kinds of potato salad.  Yum. The party was well attended and last past 7 o’clock with many families staying longer than usual and getting to know each other better or planning playdates and get-togethers for the summer.

Fussball beim AlpenclubThe next big event at the Vancouver Alpen Club was showing all the soccer games (3 games, at least) in June and July and they showed this on their big screen, so parents or anyone 19+ could write the dates on their calendar.

Dinner May 19th in GastownAs for me, I am now seeking full-time work, starting in August, in the field of PR, Marketing, German relations and am hoping I can find something to combine all that.  I am also the new Secretary (there are two of us) for the German Canadian Business Association, and would like to invite everyone reading this to the next Pub Night, which, this time around, will be at the Kitsilano Boathouse Restaurant on Tuesday, June 21st, 2016 at 6 pm, hopefully on their beautiful patio.  If you would like to come, please e-mail me at or call me at 604 828 8788 to RSVP.  Non-members pay $10 for a drop-in visit, or you can still join the Association anytime throughout the year, pro-rated (full costs are $280 and Associate Members pay $100, and Student Members pay $50).

13 Apr 2016
April 13, 2016

Open House at Westside German School

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Vancouver Westside German School Open House

Open House Flyer for the Westside German SchoolOn Tuesday, April 26th, 2016, the Westside German School will be hosting an Open House event.

4:40 pm to 5:30 pm – Guest Speaker Dr. Anne Rimrott will speak on how to “Raise Multilingual Children”
5:30 pm to 6 pm – Open Classrooms where you can tour the school
6 pm to 6:15 pm – Sing along in German

Other activities include

  • Meet the principal and learn about the German Classes
  • Ability to talk to other parents/students
  • Enjoy German “Kaffee und Kuchen” by donation
  • Visit our library and enjoy a German media sale

Location is the Lord Kitchener Elementary School
3455 West King Edward Avenue

The Westside German School is regarded as one of the most successful K-12 German Language Schools in Western Canada, based on their high enrolment and high numbers of successful exam students.

Download a .pdf version of the poster by clicking this link:  Open House Flyer 2016

Help Wanted!

Vancouver Westside German School LogoThe Vancouver Westside German School (VWGS) currently invites applications for the position of School Principal. This is a position with a multi-year commitment, renewable on an annual basis, starting May 1st, 2016.

The Vancouver Westside German School ( is a non-profit charitable organization founded in 1992. It offers an after-school German language program for approximately 200 students from Kindergarten to Grade 12, both with and without previous knowledge of the German language. Classes take place once a week between 16:00 and 18:15, with junior classes at Lord Kitchener Elementary on Tuesdays and senior classes at Prince of Wales Secondary on Wednesdays. There are two school terms, which run between September and May, for a total of 33 sessions. The Vancouver Westside German School is a member of CAGLS, the Canadian Association of German Language Schools and engages with BCHLA, the BC Heritage Language Association. The school receives partial financial support from the Federal Republic of Germany through ZfA, the Central Agency for Schools Abroad.

The Principal leads the school in all academic-related matters, provides oversight over administrative functions, and reports and is accountable to the VWGS Board. The teaching and administrative staff both report to the Principal.

Role and Responsibilities

The School Principal’s primary responsibilities include:

  •  Recruit, mentor, and evaluate teachers and teaching assistants
  •  Organize classes and oversee student placement (based on registration, available teachers/facilities)
  •  Ensure effective implementation of and enhancements to the curriculum
  •  Assess students and administer language exams, as required
  •  Coordinate, review and sign report cards
  •  Teach classes and/or substitute, as required
  •  Respond to specific inquiries from current and new parents
  •  Undertake conflict management and address other situations as they arise
  •  Ensure that all administrative functions are performed as required
  •  Implements the annual operating plan for the school
  •  Report to and work closely with the VWGS Board
  •  Support VWGS Board’s strategic planning
  •  Oversee all school communications
  • Attend and speak at school events
  •  Liaise with external stakeholders (German Consulate, VSB, Language Consultant, etc.)
  • Represent VWGS in various German and other heritage language associations, cultural engagement activities, and community-building events


Required Qualifications and Experience

The School Principal plays a leadership role and therefore required qualifications and experience include:

  •  University diploma or equivalent in education with relevant professional development
  •  Demonstrated success in assuming principal responsibilities
  •  Training and/or demonstrated experience as a teacher in K-12 education
  •  Demonstrated experience in teaching German as a first and/or a second language
  •  Knowledge of non-traditional teaching methodologies desirable
  •  Non-profit organization experience desirable


Candidate Requirements

The ideal candidate is an enthusiastic educator with a caring and engaging attitude, is creative, collaborative, and resourceful, and shows an interest in innovation and/or improvement where necessary. The candidate exhibits leadership qualities, effective team work as well as the ability to delegate, is a competent teacher mentor, and interacts well with parents. The candidate has a collegial and consultative approach, with a willingness to learn and to seek advice from others, and the strength to make final decisions. The candidate has excellent oral and written communication skills in both German and English (C1 level of proficiency).

As the school operates as a non-profit organization, the position requires a certain degree of flexibility with regards to workload and scheduling of hours over the school year, which may not always be consistent from one week to the next. The position entails approximately 12-18 hours/week as principal with a salary in the range of $30-$40/hour, depending on the level of qualifications and experience. Applicants must be legally entitled to work in Canada.

Applications are due no later than February 15, 2016 and should be sent in confidence to with the words “VWGS School Principal” in the subject line. Applications must include: (1) a letter of application in German and in English, outlining the candidate’s qualifications; (2) candidate’s curriculum vitae. Shortlisted candidates will be required to provide names of three referees who can comment on the candidate’s qualifications. For more information or queries, please contact Meike Wernicke (

08 Jan 2016
January 8, 2016

Video Wettbewerb

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Fwd: Video-Wettbewerb der Fachberater 2016 – 5-15 Jahre‏

Video-/Podcastingwettbewerb 2016

Video IconLiebe Schülerinnen und Schüler,
beim diesjährigen Video-/Podcastingwettbewerb der Fachberater in Kanada geht es um das Thema:

“Kleider machen Leute”

“Muss ich das anziehen?” …. “Darf ich das tragen?” … “Ich
verkleide mich als …”
“Wie siehst du denn aus?” … “Heute zieh’ ich mich mal wie Oma an!” …

Welche Erlebnisse habt ihr schon beim Anziehen und Einkaufen gehabt?
Wollt ihr mal ganz neu und anders aussehen?

Wir sind auf eure Kurzfilme gespannt!

Ihr lernt in einer Klasse in Kanada Deutsch und seid zwischen 5 und 15
Jahren alt.
Euer Beitrag ist ungefähr drei Minuten lang.
Er wird als Videoclip bei Pasch-Net hochgeladen.

Was könnt Ihr gewinnen?

– Hauptpreis für Teilnehmer über 13 Jahren: Besuch eines deutschen
Sommercamps in den USA.
– Tolle Preise für alle Schüler ab 5 Jahren, die mit ihrer Klasse oder
in einer kleinen Gruppe teilnehmen (Tickets, Gutscheine, Einladungen
für die ganze Klasse…).

Wann müsst ihr fertig sein?

Einsendeschluss ist der 15. März 2016

Viel Spaß und Erfolg!

wünschen eure Fachberate

Beim diesjährigen
Video-/Podcastingwettbewerb der Fachberater in Kanada geht es um das Thema:

“Kleider machen Leute “

4-girls-dancing in dirndls“Muss ich das anziehen?” …. “Darf ich das tragen?” … “Ich verkleide mich als …”
“Wie siehst du denn aus?” … “Heute zieh’ ich mich mal wie Oma an!” …

Welche Erlebnisse habt ihr schon beim Anziehen und Einkaufen gehabt?
Wollt ihr mal ganz neu und anders aussehen?
Wir sind auf eure Kurzfilme gespannt!

Ihr lernt in einer Klasse in Kanada Deutsch und seid zwischen 5 und 15 Jahren alt.
Euer Beitrag ist ungefähr drei Minuten lang.
Er wird als Videoclip bei Pasch-Net hochgeladen.
Eure Lehrerin oder euer Lehrer erklärt euch, wie das geht.

Was könnt Ihr gewinnen?

– Hauptpreis für Teilnehmer über 13 Jahren: Besuch eines deutschen Sommercamps in den USA.
– Tolle Preise für alle Schüler ab 5 Jahren, die mit ihrer Klasse oder in einer kleinen Gruppe teilnehmen (Tickets, Gutscheine, Einladungen (für die ganze Klasse…).

Wann müsst ihr fertig sein?

Einsendeschluss ist der 15. März 2016

Viel Spaß und Erfolg!

wünschen eure Fachberater

Friedrich Broeckelmann & Andreas Meckes
Toronto Edmonton – Pasch Network

04 Nov 2015
November 4, 2015

Guest Author – Cora Schupp

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Second Generation German



Don’t get me wrong – I love Canada. I was born and brought up here on its soil, water and sun. It will always be first and foremost my home. However, growing up in the 1960’s and 1970’s as children of IMMIGRANTS IN SEARCH OF A BETTER LIFE (sound familiar?) there are some cultural experiences that have been inlayed in many of us – much like decorative art, which contributes to the beauty of the finished object. I think many of you can relate – and maybe not all as Germans, but some as Northern European. At the very least, maybe you will get a chuckle or two.
1) You’ve had it drummed into your head for as long as you can remember to be on time. After all, your Dad was a German Soldier (but not a Nazi, because no one had a Dad that admitted they were a Nazi) and his favourite expression was:

Fünf Minuten vor der Zeit, ist des Soldaten Pünktlichkeit.

This roughly translates as; “To a German Soldier, being punctual means being five minutes early” This can apply to Doctor’s appointments or just meeting a friend for coffee. And heaven forbid if you show up early – you still catch yourselfself waiting in the car in a driveway until your watch reads the correct hour.

German beer mugs2) If you hoist a glass with friends and say “Prosit”, they have to look you in the eye. That doesn’t mean a stare, but our eyes should meet – after all, we will never be as young as this again.
So jung kommen wir nicht mehr zusammen.”

3) You still judge a person on their handshake. Your mom told you over and over again that if a person only offers part of their hand, it means they are cheap. If they won’t give you their hand, which is free, they will not be generous with themselves in other ways. Some people lay their hand in yours and it feels like a cold clammy fish, and others pump so hard you think your hand will break (and you make your living from your hands!)

Shaking handsIn your mind there is nothing ruder than having someone reach out their hand to you to shake it, but they are already looking over your shoulder to see if someone more interesting than you is in the room. You wonder why they bother.

4) You enjoy being a guest in your Canadian friends homes and have had many a good meal and fun times. Everyone is working hard these days, and you especially appreciate the relaxed manner of hosting, and make no judgment calls – hey, you don’t have to cook the meals and you appreciate their generosity and hospitality!

However, when it comes time to invite them to your home, you somehow can’t bring yourself to serve meals on paper plates and plastic cutlery. You have a dishwasher after all, and what good is your fine china if you don’t use it to serve friends? And heaven forbid if there isn’t a freshly laundered and ironed white tablecloth underneath all that goulash and dumplings. You just can’t help yourself! (My parents were Niedersachseners – it’s their fault!)

5) Your idea of heaven on earth is a good sour pickled herring – even better in a cream sauce with apples and onions. Bring up Hackepeter which is raw ground pork on a crusty bun with a raw onion ring, and a raw egg broken over it – your Canadian friends are barfing in the corner just thinking about it, and you are thinking “What’s wrong with that? I don’t get it?”

HackepeterAnd you always wonder why people giggle when you say “Strammer Max“, and you are 58 and google it, and find out why.

6) You know how to make soup out of a bone and an onion. Your friends tell you that when World War III starts, they will run to your house because you will know how to feed them.

7) On the subject of world cuisine, American is on the bottom of the list. You’ve been to Oktoberfest celebration in the States where deep-fried Twinkies were on the menu, next to Bavarian Fish Tacos, warm American beer served in (gulp) plastic cups, and you are wondering why everyone makes such a fuss over your good herring.

8) What ever you do, DON’T MENTION THE WAR. For those not familiar with the inside Fawlty Towers joke, go on YouTube to

9) You couldn’t understand why all your parents’ friends talked about Bremen, Berlin, and Cologne at home, but talked about Vienna outside. Then it dawned on you at about age 12, that lots of Germans pretended to be Austrian to their Canadian neighbors, who associated Austrians with the cutsey “Sound of Music” people, all Germans as Nazi’s, and didn’t know the difference between Lederhosen and Leberklosse. (My own Mom said she didn’t want to be a hypocrite, because everyone would find out anyway, and she wanted to be liked for herself. Besides, in the German community, all knew each others accents and dialects anyway.)

10) You were brought up to call everyone Mr and Mrs., or at the least Auntie and Uncle, and to this day you stammer through “sie” grammar rather than “du” because all you really learned at home was family German. Then you go to night school and learn there are 7 different ways to pluralize a noun, and you give up. Right there. But then you visit Germany and everyone is really nice about. I mean really really nice.

11) You have a relative that actually worked in a castle. For a Knight. (My venerable grandmother, who lived to be 97, while hoisting a beer and singing naughty tavern songs, told me that she worked for a Knight in a Castle, in the stables). Ok, Oma, I thought, you are in your cups. Then you do your research and find out that when your Grandma was 14, in 1914, living in Essen, there was a castle in town, owned by a Knight, and is still known today for its horse racing, and you realize she was indeed, probably right.

Max & Mor12) Max und Moritz were infinitely more interesting and evil than The Simpsons.

13) Calendars in Germany always start on a Monday – the first day of work, of course. In Canada they start on Saturdays, split half way through the weekend, which makes no sense at all. You find yourself double checking the dates – never mind the 24-hour clock. 21:00? Ok, minus 12, think, think, oh that’s 9:00 pm. Maybe?

14) Back on the subject of beer: you are immensely proud of the 1516 Purity Law Reinheitsgebot, which insists on only water, barley and hops. The idea of mixing fruit juice in your beer makes you shudder. Only Belgians do that. Or Americans.

15) Everyone has always told you German is a harsh, ugly language, and you believe it. Then you meet an Iranian music teacher that tells you how beautiful it is. How, while singing, you have to draw out the consonants and finish the T crisply, because the audience waits for it in expectation. I.E. Lust and Brust are sung Luuuusssss   T, and Bruussss T. Then everyone sighs and is happy. I finish off with Mr Bean singing Ode to Joy.

This is a true story.

 Curve Digital Service

October 29, 2015

Written by Cora Schupp in New Westminster, BC, CANADA


Cora Schupp Biography


Cora grew up in northern BC but now lives in New Westminster with her husband Hans. She is self employed doing professional bookkeeping and accounting for a variety of clients, and became a published author in April of this year.


Cora and Hans sing in both the Austria Vancouver Club Melody Choir and the Concordia Choir in Vancouver. She speaks a broken “Hoch Deutsch” but has been unable to master a word of “Schwab” or “Bayern”



Cleaning Up in a Dirty Business

Cora Schupp Wrote “Cleaning Up in a Dirty Business” in April 2015.