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Greetings from Westcoast German News and Germans in Vancouver

Hi, this is Elke Porter with Westcoast German News! This year, I am the secretary of the German Canadian Business Association, a member of the Vancouver Alpen Club (under construction until 2025) author of “75 German-Speaking Influential People in Western Canada” working on Book #2 and also German media, public relations, promotions and publicity here in Vancouver. Need someone to record the story of your event? Invite me!

My blog has focused on Austrian, German & Swiss people, places & products since 2007. What started as a newsletter, evolved to a magazine, changed to a digital platform in 2019 and is currently trying to channel the defunct Pazifische Rundschau, the Kanada Kourier & the Deutsche Presse.

Merry Christmas! Happy New Year! Frohe Weihnachten und einen guten Rutsch ins Neue Jahr.

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January 19, 2023BusinessJanuary 19, 2023, Vancouver, BC: Currently there are no German restaurants in the City of Vancouver. My idea is to set up a 2-year German Pop Up Restaurant right here in Kitsilano, offering opportunities to share German food and culture with Vancouverites and other lovers of German food and drink. The question is: is there enough demand for this kind of business? Who would like to help fund it (4 investors donating $500,000 each for a 10% stake, for example). Who will attend the Opening Night Gala? And who will join the Alpen Haus Club (not to be mixed up with the Vancouver Alpen Club) Society (that is still being set up) for only $25. You don’t have to be German to join this project – just love German beer, German food or German pastries. Yum. To discuss these matters, I have set up a brainstorming session on Zoom next Wednesday at 11 am on January 25, 2023. If you would like to attend to join a volunteer board of directors, arrange to entertain using your artistic musical or other skills, invest in the project or just be a promoter to your circle of friends/acquaintences, please sign up on Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/alpen-haus-restaurant-introduction-session-tickets-517188945057 I am also willing to partner up with another type of cuisine to create the first hybrid restaurant of its kind: German/Japanese, German-Korean or German Chinese or Thai etc. Let’s get creative and make it happen! The only way this dream can come true is to make it happen through partnerships, sponsorship and plenty of local support. The first step is to find a good German-trained chef that we could build our brand around. The second step is to decide to rent or own. The third step is to find investors. Vancouver still needs a place where people can go to celebrate Fasching, Oktoberfest, Euro Cup Soccer, Christmas, Silvester (New Year’s) and more. They need a place to listen to accordion music, watch the local Schuhplattlers and eat a traditional Schnitzel with Spätzle. We also need pastry, Pastry for breakfast or morning tea. Pastry for afternoon Kaffee und Kuchen and Pastry for dessert at anytime of day. They need Gemütlichkeit, a Stammtisch and “Where everybody knows your name and they are always glad you came.” In short, let’s make it happen and bring a taste of Germany to Canada. MEDIA CONTACT Elke Porter 604 828 8788admin@westcoastgermannews.com [...]
January 10, 2023SponsorshipsThe Vancouver Westside German School is a non-profit organization and has been providing exceptional education to students in our K-12 classes since 1992 – 30 years and going strong! Over the last 30 years we have maintained a deep commitment to our students and community to promote the German language and culture. The school focuses on giving our students the tools to successfully complete the A1, A2, B1, DSD-I and DSD-II exams. Both the DSD-I and DSD-II exams are internationally recognized with the latter providing the necessary language proficiency credit for admission to any German, Austrian and Swiss University. In BC, students can obtain High School Language credits. We are reaching out to our community partners and our membership for sponsorships for our 30-Year Anniversary Celebration that will be held on June 3, 2023 at the Austria Vancouver Club in Richmond. For your sponsorship, our school would provide you with recognition on our website, social media, newsletters, and our 30-Year Celebration. We are providing recognition for Gold, Silver, and Bronze gifts at a value of $10,000, $4,000, and $1,000, respectively. We are also grateful for your company branded items such as coffee mugs, water bottles, etc. Alternatively, for corporate donations, we have dedicated a donation button on our website. Please note, donations are treated differently for tax purposes and do not allow for publication. A full tax receipt is issued upon donation. Thank you for your support and understanding. Steven Seewald, AScT, CRSP, EP, Ptech, P.L.EngPresident [...]
January 10, 2023Cultural EventsGuest article sent in by Patrick Young: <patrickyoung@ableusa.info Entrepreneurs just starting out may be familiar with the term “branding” but be unsure of what exactly that entails in terms of their business. While it can seem like a complex concept, branding essentially means what you want your business values to be and how you will convey them to potential customers. The German Canadian Business Association presents this guide to understanding branding and how to use it effectively for your business. How to Decide Your Brand Your business’s branding will be the backbone of many decisions you make as a business owner. To determine what your brand should be, Hotjar suggests thinking about the values that most define your business as you aspire it to be. Once you’ve decided what your ideals are, shape them into a set of values you can run your decisions through. For example, if your value set is “trustworthy, innovative, friendly,” the decisions you make about how you operate should reflect those values. How Professionals Can Help While it’s good to save a penny when you can, some parts of your business should be left in professional hands. Reaching your target market is essential to marketing a successful business. You can have the best products or services in the world, and if you can’t get them in the hands of the right people, you’ll never reach your business goals. It’s important to understand precisely who your target market is: their age, their location, how much your product is needed by them, and where they will likely try to access said product. You should also do some research into your competitors to see how they’re interacting with customers and to see if there’s anything you can do to draw more people to your business. Branding and Events Branding and events go hand in hand. If you intend to market your products or services using online events, for example, having excellent branding is beyond important. Without clear, concise branding, people could walk away confused by your branding or the intent of your company. Worse yet, they may not remember the name of your business once the event has come to an end. The goal is to have people walk away with a positive, lasting impression of what you do. Digital Marketing Experts Obtaining and analyzing that information can be overwhelming for someone who doesn’t have an intimate understanding of marketing. The good news is that, via online job portals, you can easily find freelancers that specialize in marketing, and it can be a highly effective investment for small businesses. Statistics cited by Drip show your customers are online, with 63% of shopping beginning on the internet. Digital marketing experts know how to ensure your business shows up in search engines, which is not as straightforward as you may think. They also know how to utilize social media as an efficient marketing tool, all while reflecting your company’s brand. Website or Graphic Designer Website design is another area where you need to have a professional touch. Your website is essentially your shop window for the internet age, and if it doesn’t look inviting and operate easily, your potential customers will simply take their business and go elsewhere. A graphic designer or web designer can create a website that is both easy to navigate and appealing to customers while making it representative of the branding of your business. Strong branding and marketing strategies can make all the difference to your company, including knowing when to outsource to experts like marketing consultants and branding pros. Develop a brand that is right for you and your business and integrate it into every aspect of your business. You’ll better establish your company and reach the customers you desire more quickly than you ever could without it. [...]
December 21, 2022EducationPublished with permission from Masters Student: Florie-Anne Guy UNIVERSITÄT REGENSBURGFakultät für Sprach-, Literatur- und Kulturwissenschaft Masterarbeit im Studiengang Interkulturelle Europa Studien (IKE)LE MULTICULTURALISME CANADIEN COMME OUTIL DE RÉAFFIRMATION CULTURELLE :L!EXEMPLE DES IDENTITÉS GERMANO-CANADIENNES Identitätsfragen waren schon immer ein zentrales Thema der kanadischen Gesellschaft. Historische Fragen über die Zweisprachigkeit und die kulturelle Repräsentation zwischen Engländern und Franzosen haben die politische Bühne seit Ankunft der auswärtigen Siedler belebt. Als historisches Einwanderungsland ruft Kanada noch bis heute zur Einwanderung auf. So folgen Einwanderer aus der ganzen Welt, über Europa und Amerika, von Asien bis Afrika seinem Ruf. German Canadian Business Association Christmas Gala 2022 Im Herzen der englisch-französischen Kluft versteckt sich eine große, jedoch unbekannte Gemeinschaft: die Deutschkanadier. Nachdem sie im XVII. Jahrhundert nach Neufrankreich kamen, erwiesen sie sich als Loyalisten, mal gegenüber der französischen, mal gegenüber der britischen Krone. Die deutschsprachige Gemeinschaft Kanadas integrierte sich schnell in die beiden Mehrheitseinheiten, behielt aber ihre eigene Identität bei. Im gesamten Land wurden deutschsprachige Kirchen, Schulen, Institutionen und Medien gegründet, um diese komplexe Gemeinschaft mit ihren vielfältigen Ursprüngen zu vereinen. Mennoniten, Mährer, Lutheraner, Katholiken, Österreicher, Schweizer, Russen… Das deutsch-kanadische Mosaik ist auch heute noch ein Träger starker kultureller und sprachlicher Unterschiede. Surrey German Language School 2021 Um die Integration von Neuankömmlingen in seinem Hoheitsgebiet zu gewährleisten, hat Kanada eine weltweit einzigartige Politik eingeführt: den Multikulturalismus. Dieser Ansatz wurde in den 1960er Jahren entwickelt und zielte ursprünglich darauf ab, die Traditionen und Folklore jedes Einzelnen hervorzuheben. Nach und nach wurde der Multikulturalismus zu einem Instrument, um Gleichheit zu gewährleisten und Diskriminierung zu bekämpfen. Davon konnte auch die deutsch-kanadische Gemeinschaft profitieren. Denn diese hat während der beiden Weltkriege sehr unter der antideutschen Stimmung gelitten. Dieser Ostrakismus setzte sich nach 1945 fort: So zogen sich die Deutschkanadier weiterhin in einem Opferdiskurs zurück. Dank der Auswirkungen des Multikulturalismus in den 1970er Jahren versteckten sich die Deutschen in Kanada allerdings nicht mehr und ergriffenmediale und gemeinschaftliche Initiativen, um ihre Kultur wiederzubeleben. Im Rahmen dieser Arbeit wird der Prozess der Neubestätigung der deutsch-kanadischen Identität seit dem Aufkommen des Multikulturalismus in den 1970er Jahren beschrieben. Diese Reaffirmation bleibt jedoch differenziert zu betrachten. Die Generation, welche vom Multikulturalismus geprägt wurde ist gealtert und der Multikulturalismus ist somit in den nachfolgenden Generationen nicht mehr gesichert. Die deutschsprachigen Medien, welche vor drei Jahrzehnten mit Stolz gegründet wurden, erleben eine Kehrtwende, Gemeinden werden geschlossen und Kirchen verfallen. Die Treffpunkte der deutsch-kanadischen Gemeinschaft scheinen bedroht zu sein. Aber was, wenn wir in Wirklichkeit eine Neudefinition der Identität der Deutschkanadier erleben? Diese Arbeit untersucht daher, wie der Multikulturalismus die Karten der Repräsentation der deutschsprachigen Kultur auf kanadischem Boden neu gemischt hat.Tatsächlich führt diese Politik durch eine kulturelle und diplomatische Vertretung Deutschlands auf kanadischem Boden auch zu einer aktiveren Zusammenarbeit zwischen Ankunfts- und Herkunftsland der Einwanderer. Wenn sich Kanada als multikulturelle Nation versteht, gilt dies auch für seine Gesellschaft. Einwanderung ist Teil der kanadischen DNA und viele Kanadier möchten zu ihren Wurzeln zurückkehren. In einem Land, in dem sich fast 10% der kanadischen Bevölkerung als deutschstämmig bezeichnet, kann das wachsende Interesse an der Genealogie über neue digitale Tools eine Brücke zwischen den Generationen bilden. Elke Porter, Gründerin der Website Westcoast German News (WGN), ist Schriftstellerin und engagiert sich in Vereinen der deutsch-kanadischen Gemeinschaft. Sie ist eine Zeugin dieser Generationenlücke, welche sie durch neue, auf digitale Medien ausgerichtete Formate zu überbrücken versucht. Die deutsch-kanadische Gemeinschaft ist ein komplexes Gebilde, welches in seiner Art einzigartig ist. Sie ist sowohl alt und etabliert als auch fluktuierend und zögerlich. Es waren deutschsprachige dabei, als die ersten europäischen Expeditionen, den nordamerikanischen Boden betraten. Sie sind die Akteure des kanadischen Aufbaus, halten sich aber aus politischen und kulturellen Gründen im Hintergrund. Sie sind Arbeiter, Ingenieure und Unternehmer und helfen Kanada, sich zu entwickeln. Doch diese Anerkennung schwindet und die Deutschkanadier sehen sich mit einer antideutschen Stimmung konfrontiert: Die germanischen Sprachen und Kulturen finden keinen Platz mehr auf dem kanadischen Schachbrett. Der Multikulturalismus ist somit ein konsequenter Rettungsanker für die deutsch-kanadischen Identitäten. Diese Politik markiert zwar einen Wendepunkt in der Rückbesinnung auf diese Identitäten, ist aber ein zweischneidiges Phänomen: Es bringt die Deutschkanadier zwar zurück ins Rampenlicht, repräsentiert diese aber nicht wie zuvor. Nunmehr sehen sich die deutsch-kanadischen Identitäten durcheine einheitliche, moderne und auf Deutschland ausgerichtete Kultur repräsentiert. Isoliertere Gemeinschaften wie die Mennoniten bilden jedoch eine Ausnahme, da ihre Traditionen davon gestärkt und verteidigt werden, dass sie nach wie vor nach innen gerichtet sind. Die kulturelle Identität der Deutschkanadier hat Zeiten erlebt, in denen sie stark in Frage gestellt wurde.Hinter den Debatten zwischen Franzosen und Engländern versteckt und später für ihren Beitrag zur kanadischen Nation anerkannt, wurden sie während der beiden Weltkriege aufgrund ihrer kulturellen Nähe zum feindlichen Deutschland von der kanadischen Kulturszene verdrängt. Das Aufkommen des Multikulturalismus begleitet die Deutschkanadier somit auch bei ihrerkulturellen Neubesinnung. Diese macht jedoch Platz für eine Generation, welche vom Prinzip des Kanadier-Seins getrieben wird und trotz ihrer Zugehörigkeit zu einer bestimmten Gemeinschaft offen für alle Kulturen ist. Das deutsch-kanadische Erbe überlebt dank individueller und diplomatischer Initiativen. Der Multikulturalismus verankert Kanada in einer Einwanderungsförderung, die dazu beiträgt, dass weiterhin deutsche Einwanderer in das Land kommen. Im Laufe dieser Arbeit werden wir sehen, inwieweit diese Neuankömmlinge Vektoren für den Wiederaufbau neuer deutsch-kanadischer Identitäten sind. [...]
December 15, 2022ArtistsVancouver, December 14, 2022 – Steven Schwabl, with Austrian roots, plans to make a documentary about people with German backgrounds or cultures who were inspired to immigrate to North America by reading the books of Karl May. “This author has nothing but imagination.” Steven’s dad came from Austria as an 18-year-old in the 1950s looking for a life of adventure and riches that he had read about in May’s books – and he found and created that life here in Canada. He helped build dams and power stations in the wilderness, built and sold houses, and started gold mines.  And he loved to share stories of “Old Shatterhand,” May’s purported identity in the Old West. “Your imperial majesty, should I as a cowboy or as a writer conduct the conversation with you?” Schwabl would like to meet and interview other people who were similarly inspired to come to North America, and find out what their expectations were, and what they discovered here. He would like to start by interviewing people in the Vancouver region, where he lives, and then travel to the Canadian North and the US South-west, to meet and interview others. While traveling, Steven will tell stories from May’s books, as well as his dad’s stories in the New World. About Stephen Schwabl Steven Schwabl is a filmmaker, stage actor, writer, and singer from Vancouver, recently reunited with the west coast after many years in Toronto. His most recent film, W, toured festivals internationally, winning prizes in Korea, Poland, and Italy.  [...]
December 2, 2022ArtistsLeise fallen weiße Flocken aus dem weiten Himmelzelt, die Natur verwandelt sich fast uber Nacht,in eine schone Glitzerwelt. Ein kalter Wind weht um das Haus,mit Raureif bedeckt sehen auch die Bourne festlich aus.Nun ist es wieder mal soweit, Ein jeder freut sich auf die Weihnachtszeit.Weihnachtsmarkte laden zum Bummeln ein,alles erstrahlt im Kerzenschein. Tannenduft, Gluhwein, gebrannte Mandeln und noch vieles mehr,auch ein Pfefferkuchenherz muss her,das freut die Lieben zu Hause sicher sehr. Geschenke kaufen, was fur eine Qual für Jedermann,man steht davor und weif., nicht, was ein Jeder uberhaupt gebrauchen kann. Die Weihnachtsgans muss her, ein Tannenbaum mit vielen Ästenund möglichst gerade, so wars am besten. Ganz nach alter Tradition gehoren eine Stolle und Platzchen mit dazu, irgendwann beginnt dann endlich die Weihnachtsruh. Das Fest ist da und stimmt uns alle frohund nachstes Jahr ist ‘s ebenso. von R. Krause About Roswitha Krause Mein Name ist Roswitha Krause. Ich wohne in Pasewalk einer kleinen Stadt in Vorpommern. Seit einigen Jahren bin ich Rednerin. Nach Schulabschluss habe ich eine Ausbildung zur Kinder Krankenschwester absolviert und einige Jahre im Krankenhaus gearbeitet. Später als Erzieherin in einer Kindertagesstätte. Nach der Wende, wurde ich arbeitslos und suchte mir eine Beschäftigung in dem Verein, wo ich heute noch tâtig bin. Im November 2006 bekamen wir Räume zur Verfügung gestellt und ich hatte den Auftrag eine kleine Bibliothek einzurichten. Unsere Bücher sind Spenden von Firmen und Privatpersonen. Der Bücherbestand erhöhte sich kontinuierlich. Inzwischen sind es einige Tausend Bücher. Schon seit meiner Schulzeit liebe ich es, Bücher zu lesen, oder selbst kleine Verse zu schreiben. Nach dem Tod meines Mannes vor einigen Jahren wurde das Schreiben noch intensiver. Bald kam mir die Idee eine kleine Lesestunde durchzuführen; eine Art Literatur zum Kaffee. Ich lud einige Senioren ein und began mit dem Vorlesen von Gedichten und kleinen Geschichten, meine Lesestunde. Durch Mundpropoganda ist der Lesekreis auf über 20 Personen gewachsen und ist recht vielseitig geworden. Die Bücher könnten unentgeldlich ausgeliehen werden. Wir sind ein Verein, der sich um Menschen kümmert denen es nicht so gut geht. Roswitha Krause. [...]
November 25, 2022BusinessNovember 25, 2022 Vancouver, BC – To fund a new German “Pop-Up” Restaurant, Elke Porter, a Schnitzel and Bratkartoffel Fan living in Kitsilano, is hoping to bring a few investors together in this joint project of good cheer. The concept is simple. The Bauhaus, the Blenheim and the Deutsches Haus Restaurant in the Vancouver Alpen Club have shut down. Two out of three will most likely not return. The Deutsches Haus Restaurant, though is slated to be brand new and beautiful in 2025. What can we do in the meantime? Start a pop-up German Restaurant called “Das Alpen Haus.! Ironically, I noticed that the big tent at the Vancouver Christmas Market is also called “Alpen Haus”, but they are gone after Christmas is over. Our Alpen Haus could move into a space vacated by a pub or a restaurant shut down forever due to Covid and lockdowns and set up shop for 2 years until such time as the Deutsches Haus is back open. If things go well, the restaurant could stick around. If it doesn’t take off and become a runaway success, then that is OK, too, as long as it can bridge the gap. What kind of investors are we seeking? Two kinds. One are the proprietors of high quality German wine, beer and spirits and the other is those who provide high quality organic food. I am also hoping to connect with a high end luxury plant nursery to provide a constant stream of live foliage to provide the ambience we imagine when visiting the Alps with its flowery meadows and scenic vistas. Are there any artists who would just love to paint the summits and peaks of famous the famous Zugspitze Mountain or the Matterhorn as seen in Switzerland? Also, there would have to be very high quality chocolates on the menu for dessert, as well as Torte, pastries and spaghetti Ice-cream. Since this restaurant would have to provide a bit of everything, we could have one section that is more fancy than the other. Do you want to watch a soccer match with a crowd of friends in jerseys enjoying beer or would you prefer to listen to classical music while dining in style and enjoying a glass of Riesling recently imported from the Mosel region? With some Jägermeister or Underberg Bitters as your after-dinner drink. The new restaurant could have two sections! Also a place for kids to play while their parents eat or a big table where young people can eat all together, as well as live entertainment like accordions or Schuhplattler. Everything surrounding this project is only limited by our imagination, although also our budget. If you support this concept, it is time to contact your contacts. If each person that reads this blog post, shares this article with 5 people they know who would be interested and they each share it with someone who might be interested, it might not be too long before it ends up on the desk of someone who would be delighted to financially support and join in on a cool project like this. Recently I created a new e-mail just for this project and you can tell your friends/contacts/potential investors to send any correspondence here: alpenhausconcept@westcoastgermannews.com I also have a simple .pdf you can download if interested. Alpen Haus Project 2023 There is literally no competition for German food providers in the City of Vancouver and there is currently no place for fans of Germany to meet up that also includes German culture, German food, German beer and German entertainment. The closest place is the Jägerhof Restaurant in North Vancouver or the Old Bavaria House Restaurant in New Westminster. This is a wide open market just crying out for someone to pull this off. How much are we talking about? A lot of money. At least a cool million and maybe more. Is there potential to get a return on your investment and more? Of course there is. But crunching numbers is not my area of expertise. Every project needs the right people to make it happen and this is where you would come in. We would need the usual suspects: lawyer, account, top shelf restaurant manager, purveyer of wine & spirits as well as an architect just aching to get their hands on this project. My goal would be to work with a group of investors on perfecting the concept and eventually running the programming of the restaurant, as well as taking care of the plants. Of course, the serving staff are also highly important and harder to find these days. If you love German food and don’t mind wearing a dirndl or Lederhosen while you serve our guests, please send us a resume, although it would take a minimum of 6-9 months to truly get going. Potential opening date is anything from May to August, 2023. Thank you for reading this far and if you like this, you know what to do! Share! Support! Join a Volunteer Board of Directors! Please and thank you! The first meeting could be in January 2023 to learn and network with the team to build a solid project plan that will have us all moving in the right directions towards a financial, social, creative success! Bless you all and Merry Christmas! Elke Porteralpenhausconcept@porterprvancouver604 828 8788 [...]
November 23, 2022BusinessVancouver, November 22, 2022 – Tyax was founded by Augustinus (Gus) Abel and Reiner Rothe. It all started in 1980 with Gus meeting his friend Reiner at the beach on a warm summer day at English Bay in Vancouver. Gus, a previous captain on the high seas, originally an immigrant from Tanganyika, East Africa, lived on Beach Avenue in Vancouver, and that day he told Reiner, originally an immigrant from Germany and then a lawyer living in West Vancouver, about having met with Mr. and Mrs. Bingham, the owners of a decaying small Lodge in the Chilcotin area of BC. The Binghams, an elderly couple, were no longer operating the Lodge as an ongoing business and intended to sell it. The natural beauty of the Lodge’s location inspired Gus, who enjoyed the outdoor and hunting, to enter into an initial time limited $5000 option to purchase the Lodge and the property it was situated on in the South Chilcotin Mountains near Pemberton. Reiner, who equally enjoyed the outdoors, being a hiker, avid skier, ski instructor at Whistler, lifeguard, and a lawyer in Vancouver, and Gus then together went to look at the old Lodge and to walk the land around it. The remote Lake along the shores of which the Lodge is situated was known to the natives as Tyaughton Lake” or the “Lake of the Jumping Fish”. In its prime, the Lodge used to be an old hunting and fishing camp in the 1920’s called “Tyax Fish and Game Lodge”. When Gus and Reiner arrived, the 275 acres of pristine, unspoiled Lakeshore wilderness had all the ingredients of turning it into something special. So they put their creative minds together and formed the vision of a destination wilderness resort lodge for visitors from around the world to experience and enjoy the true Canadian Wilderness. Back in Vancouver, Gus and Reiner met with the Binghams to discuss and negotiate details of a purchase. Following this meeting, Reiner met with the Bingham’s lawyer Russ Stanton at his office in Vancouver in 1981, which led to Reiner exercising Gus’s option to purchase and to Reiner making the required purchase price payments. Gus and Reiner then proceeded to work on a Development and Business Plan, in consultation with some of Reiner’s friends and acquaintances, a Vancouver architect, Simon Gould, to design and create a model of the new Lodge; Mick Matheusik, with Horvath Laventhol, a firm specializing in preparing feasibility studies, and Janos Hidi, the then Building Inspector responsible for the Tyaughton Lake and Gold Bridge area. With the concept quickly expanding and additional funds arranged by Reiner with the Federal Business Development Bank (FDBD) in Vancouver soon being exhausted, and with the banks not considering to provide financing for such a remote unknown wilderness concept, Reiner flew to Germany to interest potential investors to raise ongoing additional funds needed to continue the project. This led him to, amongst others, August Hess in Garmisch Patenkirchen in Bavaria (in the hotel and hospitality business), and his son Gerd in Cologne (in the marketing business). Not only did August and Gerd have an interest and confidence in the idea, vision and concept to invest additional funds, but both actually came to Canada to visit Tynaughton Lake and to work with Reiner and Gus to help turn the vision and concept into reality. With the concept thus continuing to develop and progress, August and Gerd both eventually needed to return to Germany. Reiner then flew to Europe again to seek and meet with new potential investors in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Having remained in close contact with August and Gerd, this trip included another visit to Garmisch Patenkirchen for a follow-up meeting with August, who, after his return to Germany, had also continued to promote Tyax with a view of finding new investors amongst his European business contacts. This led to the introduction of Urs Villiger to Reiner. Urs, a successful businessman and contractor/builder in Switzerland, expressed an interest in participating and investing in Tyax, provided his involvement could be combined with and facilitate his and his family’s interest in immigrating to Canada. One of Reiner’s areas of specialization in his law practice being business immigration, this led to further discussions and cooperation between them. Subsequently Urs became an investor in Tyax as an equal one third shareholder in Tyaughton Lake Wilderness Resorts Ltd. with Reiner and Gus. Urs’ and his family successfuly immigrated to Canada pursuant to the Federal and Provincial Entrepreneur Immigration Program. Being a successful contractor/builder in Switzerland and a now part owner of Tyax, Urs became involved, through his company Pacific Log Homes Ltd. in building the new Tyax Lodge based on the design and model created by the architect Simon Gould. In 1985, a local contractor and builder and long time resident of the area, Scott McKenzie, joined in the construction of the Tyax Lodge. It took 12 workers 7 months and 7 days to build the then largest free standing 34,000 square foot Log Lodge on the west coast of North America. The historic opening date was officially on Christmas Eve, December 24, 1986, at 4:30 pm. The province of British Columbia subsequently created and presented a formal slide show on Tyax, featuring Urs and his family as entrepreneur immigrants under the Canadian Business Immigration Program, as a successful example to other aspiring business immigrants to BC. In exchange for additionally required capital contributions by Urs, his share in equity holdings was subsequently increased to 60%, with Reiner and Gus retaining 20% respectively; Gus, being unemployed at the time, was then appointed general manager of Tyax and moved to the Lodge. The concept having been from the beginning that to financially succeed, Tyax would need to be an international four season destination resort, Reiner met with his friend Mike Jacobson of Whistler Mountain Heli skiing. This meeting resulted in the Whistler Heli Skiing operation being extended to Tyax, under the direction of Mike Jacobsen in conjunction with Whistler Heli Skiing, to add the still missing winter season component to Tyax. Abel opened TLH Heli-skiing in 1991 to serve skiers with nearly a million acres of some of the most incredible snow and terrain in the world. In 2010, TLH merged with Tyax Wilderness Resort & Spa to be known as the Tyax Lodge & Heliskiing by the numbers. With the increasing popularity and success of heli skiing at Tyax in the vast unspoiled Coast Range and Chilcotin Mountain ranges surrounding Tyax, and having established a separate company TLH Heliskiing, serving skiers and boarders with nearly one million acres of some of the most incredible snow and terrain in the world, George Rosset joined Tyax to integrate heli skiing with Tyax as its own entity independent of Whistler, under TLH heli skiing, along with Tyax Air operated by Dale Douglas out of Tyax and connecting it with flights to the Vancouver International Airport, Vancouver and Whistler. TLH heli skiing today is internationally recognized as one of the world’s best known successful heliski/boarding/hiking/mountain biking operations. TYAX and TLH have become a special attraction for the international tourist market around the world, catering to the international trend towards, and the increasing appeal of, adventure related four season activities including heli mountain, biking, alpine heli hiking in the summer and heli skiing and boarding and ice fishing in the winter, in the unspoiled, pristine wilderness setting of the Chilcotin and Pacific Coast Mountain Ranges. Urs, for personal health related reasons, having decided to sell his interest in Tyax and it has subsequently been taken over by its new and current owner, Nicholas Savares, who continues to share the founders originally conceived vision. As a result of Nichola’s acquisition of the Tyax, he became the sole owner, although he resides in Belgium. Sadly, Gus succombed to his lengthy battle with cancer. His wife Marita, who herself had become an integral invaluable part of Tyax, and their two sons now reside near Kelowna in the Okanaga Valley. Reiner, having looked after both his parents for many years until their passing, retired from the practice of law in BC to devote his time to look after his investments. He continues to reside in Vancouver, with Tyax always remaining a fond part of his memory, and its ongoing future success continuing to be closely tied to his heart. The main lodge still features 29 spacious guest rooms, a spectacular 114-seat lakeview dining room, western lounge, gift shop, fitness room, massage room, sauna, outdoor whirlpool, and meeting room. Within walking distance are four guest chalets, a beachfront campground, riding stable with horses, lumberjack area, tennis and volleyball courts. A lush, green lawn flows down to the sandy beach with boats, canoes, rowboats, paddleboats, motorboats, and sailboards. In 2017, following substantial renovations, the company updated their name and logo to further unify their family of tourism products. They integrated TLH Heliskiing with Tyax Wilderness Resort & Spa to officially become Tyax Lodge & Heliskiing, operated by Tyax Resort and Tyax Adventures. Tyax Resort is still the original Lodge with Tyax Adventures handling the bike/horse and hiking tours in the area. Tyax Adventures was owned by Dale Douglas and family. In 2022, the adventure company recognized as expert guides to the South Chilcotin and pioneers of floatplane accessed multi-day back country mountain travel were acquired by Blackcomb Helicopters to form their new adventure team tourism division renamed AlpX Expeditions. Blackcomb Helicopters is owned by the McClean Family. The magic continues, all thanks to the hard work and effort of Gus Abel, Reiner Rothe and Urs Villigier. For further details, visit: https://tyax.com/ [...]
November 18, 2022Cultural EventsNovember 18, 2022 Vancouver, BC – In Person: November 17–December 1, 2022Online: November 18–December 10 After a two-year hiatus as an in-theatre festival, the European Union Film Festival returns for a special hybrid edition that brings the latest in European cinema to your screen and, at last, ours too! Proudly presented with festival partners in Ottawa (Canadian Film Institute) and Toronto (EU Toronto Film Festival), along with the member states of the European Union and the Delegation of the European Union to Canada, this year’s festival features entries from all 27 EU members. Each film will screen theatrically at The Cinematheque, with a majority of titles becoming available to rent online at euf​fon​line​.ca in the days following their in-person presentations. (A new virtual title will be released daily, from November 18 to December 10.) The German Film this year: Niemand ist bei den Kälbern – (2021) – Sabrina Sarabi – ttps://thecinematheque.ca/films/2022/no-ones-with-the-calves The groundbreaking Berlin School group of filmmakers (including Valeska Grisebach and Christian Petzold), about to reach two decades of activity, is now established enough to have cast its influence over a new generation of directors. One candidate for this next wave is Sabrina Sarabi (who has also cited Andrea Arnold as a role model). ​“Sarabi draws one of the most vivid and complex female portraits of this year’s Locarno selection. Based on the homonymous novel by Alina Herbing, the film develops around the figure of Christin, a young woman who lives and works with her partner Jan in his family’s farm … finds herself in an environment she detests, overwhelmed by the incomprehension, boredom, and indifference of those around her. Saskia Rosendahl, who portrays this multifaceted character with absolute dedication, was awarded the Pardo for Best Actress” (Maria Giovanna Vagenas, Senses of Cinema). Screening Dates November 23 (Wednesday) 8:50 Streaming November 25 (Friday) through November 26 (Saturday) Austria Presents a few Options: Fuchs im Bau (2020) Arman T. Rihai – https://thecinematheque.ca/films/2022/fox-in-a-hole Set in a juvenile correctional facility, Fox in a Hole revolves around teacher Hannes Fuchs (Aleksandar Petrović), newly assigned to work at its school for troubled youth. In his late thirties with his own dark past and personal demons, Fuchs (whose surname translates as ​“Fox”) starts working alongside professor Elisabeth Berger (Maria Hofstätter, also seen in The Orchestra, Slovenia’s EUFF selection this year), whose unorthodox teaching methods seem to work but rub him the wrong way. Since this facility’s classroom is filled with troublemakers from all strata of Austrian society, Fuchs tries to instill a more structured, disciplined approach. His efforts are frustrated, however, by one particularly problematic student, a Bosnian girl named Samira (Luna Jordan). Incarcerated for putting her father in a coma, she seems ready to explode at any moment. As Samira and Fuchs develop an uneasy relationship, everything will change. But for the better? In German and Bosnian with English subtitles. Screening Dates November 21 (Monday) 6:30 Streaming November 24 (Thursday) through November 25 (Friday) In a show of solidarity with Ukraine, this 2022 edition of the EUFF includes a special presentation of the acclaimed Ukrainian film Klondike, organized in partnership with the Embassy of Ukraine to Canada. Proceeds from the Vancouver screening will benefit the Maple Hope Foundation, a Canadian not-for-profit organization committed to helping people suffering from the war in Ukraine. “The Cinematheque in Vancouver is proud to join our national partners in co-presenting, for a third consecutive year, this virtual version of the European Union Film Festival. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the EUFF at The Cinematheque (itself celebrating 50 years), and while we are thrilled to have the in-person festival finally return to our cinema after a two-year hiatus, we are delighted to know that our Canada-wide online audience will continue to enjoy the riches of contemporary European cinema as well. Whether at home, in theatre, or some convenient combination of both, we look forward to welcoming you to this first-ever hybrid edition of the always-popular festival,” says Shaun Inouye, Artistic Director of The Cinematheque. The Cinematheque is close to Helmcken & Howe in Downtown Vancouver: 580-1125 Howe St, Vancouver, BC V6Z 2K8 Visit their website here: https://thecinematheque.ca/ to order tickets or to learn more. [...]
November 18, 2022Cultural EventsNovember 18, 2922, Vancouver, BC:  There are three opportunities to join the Vancouver Bach Choir for traditional seasonal choral music this December. First, the whole Vancouver Bach Family of Choirs returns to the Orpheum on December 4 for their annual Christmas with the Bach Choir. Back for the first time since 2019, this family friendly concert features all eight children’s and adult choirs, with 400 singers ages 5 to 85, joined by the Touch of Brass quintet and organist Michael Dirk, filling the Orpheum with the sounds of the season. Led by both Children’s Choir Music Director, Marisa Gaetanne and Adult Choir Music Director, Leslie Dala, the concert features traditional and contemporary holiday music including the beloved audience sing-along-carols throughout the concert. On December 10, the Vancouver Bach Choir is joined by members of the Vancouver Opera Orchestra at the Orpheum for Handel’s Messiah. Since The Messiah premiered in 1742, it has become an annual tradition and celebration of the pinnacle of choral music. The annual tradition of The Messiah returns to the Orpheum this year for the first time since 2019. The choir and orchestra, under the baton of Maestro Leslie Dala are joined by a stellar cast of Canadian soloists: Melody Courage, Marion Newman, Asitha Tennekoon and Clarence Frazer, for a holiday tradition beloved by new and returning audiences. New this season, the Vancouver Bach Choir performs a Christmas with the Bach Choir runout at the ACT Centre in Maple Ridge on December 11. The concert will feature soloists from the choir’s new professional core, as well as the Touch of Brass quintet and organist Michael Dirk. The Vancouver Bach Choir is delighted to be performing for the first time in Maple Ridge. Audiences can expect a variety of seasonal favourites, including excerpts from The Messiah, new and traditional carols, including sing-along audience favourites. The Vancouver Bach Choir’s Executive Director, Gillian Hunter-Gibbs says “Christmas with the Bach Choir and the Messiah at the Orpheum are Vancouver cultural staples which we hope if they aren’t already, will become your family’s kick-off to the Christmas season. We are delighted to be back to our full seasonal offerings after three long years of modified Christmas concerts. We are also very much looking forward to bringing the VBC’s magic of the season to audiences in Maple Ridge for the first time this year.” Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased online at www.vancouverbachchoir.com. About the Vancouver Bach Choir: The Vancouver Bach Choir (VBC), celebrating its 92nd season, is an award-winning symphonic choir committed to offering vibrant and culturally diverse choral experiences to its audiences.  As one of the largest choral organizations in Canada, the Vancouver Bach Choir explores a wide range of repertoire from the past to the present with passion and commitment. With eight choirs ranging in age from 5 to 85, the VBC continues to pursue choral excellence at all levels and presents numerous concerts each year through the metro Vancouver region. Over the past eight decades, the choir has performed with numerous world-class musicians. Currently under the baton of Maestro Leslie Dala, the VBC continues its mission and tradition to share the beauty of new and traditional choral music with as wide an audience as possible. The Vancouver Bach children’s program, under the direction of Music Director, Marisa Gaetanne is one of the oldest and most established music outreach programs in the lower mainland. Since 1984, the Vancouver Bach children’s program has developed a unique, multi-tiered program that currently provides incredible choral training for over 350 singers from kindergarten to young adulthood. Auditioned from across the lower mainland, our young singers experience the joy of making music in the company of other like-minded young musicians. Listing Information: Vancouver Bach Choir presents Christmas with the Bach Choir December 4th, 2022, 2:00pm Orpheum Ticket Prices: $20-$70 Visit vancouverbachchoir.com for more details. Handel’s Messiah December 10th, 2022, 7:30pm Orpheum Ticket Prices: $20-$70 Visit vancouverbachchoir.com for more details. Christmas with the Bach Choir: Maple Ridge December 11th, 2022, 3:00pm ACT Arts Centre Ticket Prices: $29-$49 Visit theactmapleridge.org/bach-choir for more details. [...]
November 17, 2022Cultural EventsNovember 2022, Vancouver, BC – Jack Poole Plaza – We are excited to share what is new at the current Vancouver Christmas Market and all of their updates for the fall season of 2022. One of the stories I heard yesterday was about the fact that the Christmas Market has a “Lover’s Lane” and that it has been the venue for a number of proposals over the last 12 years. Even though the Market only opened a few days ago, there already has been a proposal held! Someone just couldn’t wait until Christmas. Another less well-known story is the fact that their charitable partner is “Make a Wish Foundation” hopes to raise at least $10,000 in a 2-week period. Basic Facts Website: https://www.vancouverchristmasmarket.com/ When Nov 12 – 25: open 4 pm to 9:30 pm (Fri-Sa open until 10:00 pm)Nov 26 – Dec 23: open 11:30 am to 9:30 pm (Fri-Sa open until 10:00 pm)Dec 24: open 11:30 am to 6:00 pm Where Jack Poole Plaza1055 Canada PlaceVancouver, BC., V6G 3E1 Parking There are over 400 underground parking spaces under the Vancouver Trade and Convention Centre and an additional 750 parking spaces under Canada Place next door. There is metered street parking on most of the streets close to the plaza, but it is expensive.  There is no free parking near the plaza. The Jack Poole Plaza is located only a few short blocks from the Burrard Street Skytrain Station and is a short walk from Waterfront Station, two of the most connected transit stations in Vancouver or bike there along the seawall. About Christmas Market From their website “Like centuries-old traditions, many German towns host a Christkindlmarkt. The Vancouver Christmas Market brings this festive Old World tradition to Vancouver. This cherished holiday event offers an authentic German feast for the senses. Stroll the twinkling pathways of a European-inspired Christmas village in the crisp winter air. Discover unique treasures to stuff into stockings or tuck under the Christmas tree at one of the more than 90 artisan huts offering handcrafted gifts for everyone on your list.” There is a handy information booth that can help you with raingear on those really bad days. There is also Vancouver’s only Carousel – Thanks to friends at Interac, visitors to this year’s Market are invited to RIDE THE HOLIDAYLIFE CAROUSEL FOR FREE… all season long! (Plus, you’ll have the option to pay that free ride forward by making a donation using Interac®️ Debit contactless payments to Make-A-Wish® Canada!) You probably know that the Vancouver Christmas Market has a Lovers Lane, but did you know that they also have a Lovers Lane light tunnel with 10000 twinkling lights? The pancake & waffle house is brought to you by the Netherlands During the winter in the Netherlands, people indulge in poffertjes—decadent mini puffed pancakes. Baked on big square brass plates indented with small holes, the little cakes are greased with oil and served with butter and sugar. Commonly found in restaurants and at fairs, poffertjes are one of the most beloved delicacies in Holland. Meanwhile, Croffle (a compound word of croissant and waffle) is a dessert invented in Ireland where croissant raw paper is baked in a waffle pan and eaten with ice cream or maple syrup. I myself had a sample of the pancakes, and they were really delicious! A typical German “pyriamid” that serves as both the Glühwein & Feuerzangenbowle booth, as well as the entertainment stage above, the walk-in Christmas tree and a new sky curtain of lights are great opportunities to talk selfies and to immerse yourself into the atmosphere of Christmas. As they tell us: “Brand new this year, visitors can watch Jack Poole Plaza glitter under the Sky Curtain of Lights! The Market will be connected by lights (over 22,000 of them!) across the Tannenbaum Terrace, creating a sparkling blanket over the Market.” The Bratwurst Haus is German and under new ownership Bratwurst also known as a brat in American English, is a sausage usually composed of veal, pork or beef. Bratwurst is usually grilled or pan fried, and sometimes cooked in broth or beer. I managed to find out that they are serving their bratwurst from “Arctic Meat & Sausage”, which is owned by Marco Jensch. The Christmas Market has some great signage and there are some typical German street names like: Kaufmannsgasse (shopping alley), Tannenbaum Terrace (Christmas Tree Terrace), SchapslPlatz (Schnaps Place), Glühwein Marktplatz (Glühwein Market Place) and Gourmetstrasse (Gourmet Street). The pyramid menu consists of three items only: Glühwein, Feuerzangenbowle (apple wine with rum) and Kinderpunsch (non-alcoholic Glühwein). We were able to taste test “Those Pretzels” who told us: We started out making this old family recipe (our “once you start you can’t stop” secret is in the sauce) in our kitchen for friends and family members, graduating to the garage for more friends and family members. In 2021, we opened a commercial facility and made our debut at the Vancouver Christmas Market, Bavarian Beer Haus is German! Share a holiday toast with friends and family with a selection of authentic Bavarian beers. We recommend Erdinger, a beer brewed according to the traditional recipe and in strict accordance with the Bavarian Purity Law. Stiegl – another favourite – is Austria’s private brewery, living by the motto “quality before quantity.” Street signs, the Lover’s Lane Light Tunnel and Mulling Spice! If you want to keep the flavours of Christmas alive at home, visit the “Mulling Spice House” – They sell everything from handcrafted gourmet mulling spice pouches to easily make Glühwein (mulled wine), hot rum toddies or hot apple cider at home. They’ve also got everything you need to light your Glühwein on fire – from sugar cones to “Feuerzangen” (fire tongs) to complete sets – they have what you need to prepare and enjoy traditional “Feuerzangenbowle”. Entertainment this year, will be performing from the Flying Stage on the second storey of the Christmas Pyramid. They will have you singing, dancing, and reminiscing about Christmases long, long ago.  Below, Malte Klütz is describing a “Schwibbogen”, something new to the Christmas Market this year: The Schwibbogen is a traditional German decorative candle holder that’s used during the Christmas season. It’s featured in Christmas markets in Germany, such as Striezelmarkt Dresden. At the Vancouver Christmas Market, the 12.6ft tall Schwibbogen will be situated near the Market entrance for an excellent photo opportunity. The development of the schwibbogen arch is closely related to the mining traditions of the ore mountains. It most likely developed as a candle holder made from metal for the Christmas shift (Mettenschicht), a common dinner celebrated by miners, the mining foreman (Steiger) and the smith who had been responsible for the mining tools throughout the year. It bears symbols commonly associated with the life and wishes of the miners. Before electricity was readily available in the early 18th century, miners who lived in the Ore Mountains region of Saxony spent most of the winter months in complete utter darkness. Since they would finish work after the sun had gone down, the miners would often get lost in the woods when coming home. To help guide them home, family members would put candle lights in the windows. This led to the first known candle arch being created by a mountain blacksmith named Johan Teller. You won’t get lost at the market thanks to the great signage. There are also games as the “Bread Und Spiele” Booth sells fun Canada-themed memory games for the older crowd, and a Christmas Market scavenger hunt for younger ones: The Scavenger Hunt sends you and your child on a merry quest to locate specific items to win a holiday-inspired prize amongst the hustle and bustle of browsing, tasting, and cheering. Bread Und Spiele started offering the finest European-style sourdough, hand-crafting thousands of loaves and delivering them to homes in Kitsilano and surrounding neighbourhoods over a year ago. Besides wine and punch, you will also find amazingly delicious hot chocolate at the Vancouver Christmas Market. You can also frolick with Vancouver Christmas Market mascots “Holly and Jolly” in the Lover’s Lane Light Tunnel or elsewhere in the Market. Finally, there are prizes to be won at the “Schönheitshaus” (house of beauty). These are all hand-made items from around the world. A very impressive collection. Charcuterie Haus is Canadian from Kamloops, but inspired by France Based in Kamloops BC, Spruce Goose pride themselves on their mouth-watering, hand-crafted charcuterie. Whether paired with caramelized onions and walnuts or enjoyed with a crusty baguette, their poached-to-perfection Pate de Campagne is one of their signature items. Slow Bottled Sunday (middle) is a back to the land condiment movement that rescues truckloads of fresh, whole food and crafts inspired garden flavours for the whole family. Their first products – a line of “tree-ripened” condiments made with BC-grown fruit – launched this summer and they’re busy cooking up several more wholesome condiments for curious shoppers. Thanks to the pathway on top of the Cactus Club restaurant, an extension of the living roof is planted and it allows for a great overview of the Market. It looks just like a tiny Bavarian village transplanted to Vancouver. Whether you want to taste the food and drink, propose to your loved one or purchase toys and games you can’t find anywhere else, the Vancouver Christmas Market is the place to be this holiday season. Remember to bring your wallet and be prepared to spend: as everything is imported, custom-designed, hand-made or individually crafted, everything is more expensive than you might be used to at your local retail store. This year you might have to make a booking and pick a time slot, so it prepares to be really organized. The entertainment schedule is here: https://www.vancouverchristmasmarket.com/entertainment-schedule/ and you can also learn about special days like Date Night, Student Night, Jolly Hour, Apple Cider Day, Pride Night and of course, St. Nikolaus Day on December 6th. Guess what? A big name star has been booked this year! Fefe Dobson: They have added a BIG name to our Entertainment Schedule this year… @fefedobson is coming to #VanChristmas2022 🎸⁠ on Friday, Dec. 2nd, at the Market!⁠ ⁠Riverdale and Lost In Space star @friendlybrownkid will kick off the night, performing on the Flying Stage from 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm.⁠ ⁠Then, catch Fefe Dobson’s acoustic set in the Alpen Haus from 8:15 pm – 9:00 pm, followed by a live DJ set from @devodlive to follow at the Flying Stage between 9:00 pm – 10:00 pm. 🎹⁠ ⁠Limited tickets are available. Secure yours today!⁠ ⁠https://www.vancouverchristmasmarket.com/tickets/ [...]
November 10, 2022Cultural EventsVancouver, November 10, 2022 Tuesday brought over 50 lanterns to the St Mark’s Church, mainly home-made creations of children from the Vancouver Westside German School, but also the East Vancouver German School and the greater German Community in Metro Vancouver. Over 30 families came together to celebrate the St. Martin’s Festival usually held November 11th with traditional St. Martin’s activities: Watch a play, take a processional walk with a lantern to a nearby park and sing, as well as get a Weckmann or Stutenkerl and drink hot chocolate. In really traditional places in Germany, they might light up a bonfire (against our city by-laws) or cook a roast goose for dinner, but alas that was not on the menu. A big thank you to Ute Steves for the good organization and the willingness to try something new, as well as inviting me representing Westcoast German News to participate and report. The children were able to order cake by donation. They could also purchase German books – both fiction and non-fiction. Their lanterns were placed on long tables for the judges to be able to choose the five best ones among them. Ute Steves, Principal of the Westside German School and Susanne Sonntag, administrator of the Westside German School are standing on either side of the Deputy Consul General Hans Stocker and his wife Ursula. Pastor Ingrid Doerschel of the St. Mark’s Evangelical Church, Deputy Consul General and wife, as well as Carola von Hahn of the German Canadian Care Home were happy for this chance to bring the German Community of Vancouver together. There were also some members of the German Canadian Business Association myself, Steven and Kecia. Steven also represents the Alpenplattlers. First everybody had to assemble and find a spot to sit. Ingrid and Anje were the two MC’s. Then there were the speeches. The evening started with a St. Martin’s play that was performed by random members of the audience with no chance to practice before-hand, and it was amazingly well done! I would also like to especially mention Pastor Ingrid who has an excellent singing voice and Antje, who helped keep things moving on the stage. Everybody seemed to enjoy themselves. I was particularly impressed with young Martin, who had a horse the audience named “Banana”. Here “he” is handing out bread to a hungry person. It was time to practice singing The Lantern judges were Carola, Ann-Kathrin, a representative from the St. Mark’s Church and Ursula Stocker. The judges had to choose between watching and possibly participating in the play or staying in the basement to choose the 5 best lanterns. I was asked to be a judge, but then ended up performing in the play as a singer, so that is why I ended up not helping the judges. It was probably a good thing, as it would have been really tough to make the decision on which was the top 5 decorated lanterns on the table. After the play, the children went on a walk around the block to a local park and then stood and sang “Sankt Martin”, “Ich geh mit meiner Laterne” and “Laterne, Laterne, Sonne, Mond und Sterne. “Brenne auf mein Licht, Brenne auf mein Licht”, aber nur meine liebe Laterne nicht!” Ute Steves handed out the home-made Weckmänner with their cutest little pipes and after some hot chocolate, everybody went home. About the Vancouver Westside 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. Students who would like to join our program at a later stage, must be able to speak/read/write in German at the same level as their peers. We teach German as a foreign language and German as a second language. To that end we stream our students throughout the entire program into a second language stream and a foreign language stream. (For additional information please see Classes). Our program reflects a variety of language levels including German language introduction in Kindergarten, progression at the elementary level, exam classes for provincial high school credits, and the German language diploma, which is a language proficiency requirement for admission to any German, Austrian and Swiss university. Students learn German with us once a week after regular school hours. Junior classes (ages 5 to 10) are held on Tuesdays from 4:15 pm to 6:30 pm, and senior students (10 years and up) attend classes on Wednesdays from 4:30 pm to 6:45 pm, at Prince of Wales Secondary School. About the St. Mark’s Church Enjoy worshiping in an inspiring and comfortable church setting. St. Mark’s worship services are taking place in one of Vancouver’s heritage buildings. Those who come for the first time realize that the people of St. Mark’s love their church. The tender loving care is evident everywhere. Most important of all it is evident in being part of the St. Mark’s family. We have a more than 60 years of history in Vancouver, welcoming each other into the fellowship of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Vancouver’s St. Mark’s Evangelical-Lutheran Church is a group of down to earth Christians who have a love for the Lord. Sunday German Worship Services are at 9:30 am and English Worship Services are at 11:00 am. Pastor Ingrid (Cramer) – Doerschel works together with a terrific team of dedicated Christians to make the Kingdom of God a reality in our shaken world. We have various Bible Studies to meet the personal needs of those who want to strengthen their faith. There are Ladies and Men’s Groups. We offer English Sunday School every Sunday in both Services. For children between 1-4 years we also offer German Sunday School every Sunday. On every third Sunday in month we offer German Sunday school for older kids. The Alpha Course has been offered three times with a spiritual week end retreat. There is a prayer group for guidance and support. You should check us out sometime! About Westcoast German News German Media on the West Coast of Canada and the US. We offer public relations, event promotion and publicity services for the German Community in Western Canada. We also have a directory and a store with a few small products for sale like T-Shirts with German sayings on them. About the Two Events: GCBA Christmas Gala on December 7th – https://www.eventbrite.com/e/gcba-christmas-gala-2022-tickets-453037185417?aff=ebdssbdestsearchGerman Soccer Fans: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/german-house-2022-tickets-400272725497?aff=ebdssbdestsearch&keep_tld=1 [...]
November 6, 2022Cultural EventsNovember 6th, 2022 in Vancouver, BC – The Vancouver Westside German School and the St. Mark’s Lutheran Church are inviting the members of the German Community, the members of the St. Mark’s Church, the German Canadian Care Home and the East Vancouver German School to join them on November 8th at 4:30 pm at the St. Mark’s Church at 1573 East 18th Avenue in Vancouver. Look forward to the lantern competition showcasing the most beautiful latern. After a St. Martin’s play in the church basement, you and your children will be able to carry your lanterns through the streets singing German lantern songs with the help of a musician. Afterwards there will be traditional “Weckmänner”. Don’t miss this great event in German tradition. They will be selling cake and German & English books. Vancouver German School contact details:www.vwgs.orginfo@vwgs.org St. Mark’s Church contact details:www.stmarkschurch.castmarkslutheran@shaw.ca About a Lantern Festival Martinstag is named after St. Martin of Tours, a Roman soldier who became a monk after being baptised as an adult. He was eventually made a saint by the Catholic Church for being a kind man who cut his cloak in half to share with a beggar during a snowstorm.What do the lanterns mean?In many parts of Germany it is traditional for children to participate in a procession of paper lanterns in remembrance of St. Martin. They make their own little lanterns in school or kindergarten and then gather on city streets to sing songs about good old Marty and their lanterns. Often a man dressed as St. Martin with a long red cloak leads the parade on horseback. So this is actually a big deal then? It’s officially a Catholic holiday, but in recent years the lantern processions have become widespread even in Protestant areas of Germany. So just like Santa Claus has little to do with the birth of Christ, these days St. Martin Day’s is probably better known for the luminous procession than the saintly history. So what do I do on St. Martin’s Day? If you have kids, you’ll probably spend the evening outside with a bunch of other parents and their children. Most German Schools use battery operated tea candles that won’t catch fire and burn down the lanterns. What do I do if I don’t have children? Is there anything else to it? Like most holidays, St. Martin’s Day is also about eating food. The traditional victuals are goose with red cabbage and dumplings. Yummy! But why goose? According to legend, Martin was reluctant to become a bishop as an honour for all his good deeds, so he hid in a stable filled with geese to escape from Church officials. Martin might have been a very kind and gentle man, but he apparently wasn’t the smartest. Otherwise he would have considered a better hiding place than a pen filled with gabbling geese – who ended up giving away his location. And the geese had to pay for that? Perhaps, but the more likely reason is that November 11 is the beginning of Advent fasting and hardcore Catholics get a last chance to feast before they abstain from greasy food and booze until Christmas. The lanterns come in all shapes, sizes and colors and there are wonderful resources on Pinterest for making your own. Here are some links: https://www.theomaway.com/children/st-martins-day-lanterns/ http://www.nicnacnoo.com/blog/2013/11/making-paper-lanterns/ http://gardenmama.typepad.com/my_weblog/2010/11/my-entry-1.html http://lusaorganics.typepad.com/clean/2011/10/how-to-make-paper-lanterns.html [...]
October 24, 2022Cultural EventsVancouver, October 21, 2022 – Friday night at 6 pm on the dot, the doors opened to the second last Oktoberfest celebration in the current Vancouver Alpen Club Building. It was a bittersweet feeling seeing the familiar restaurant tables, chairs and dividers of the former Deutsches Haus Retaurant gone, although they were replaced with tables and benches that were more suited to an Oktoberfest. It was the same, yet so different, especially knowing that the new restaurant is not scheduled for completion until 2025. The kitchen was closed, but the bar was open. Food was provided by a food truck outside, but the beer was plenty and stocked for two days of heavy celebrations. The staff were all dressed in typical Bavarian Dirndl or Lederhosen and were kept busy replenishing drinks all night long. We started our evening with a delicious Schnitzel, knowing this might be the last time we would be indulging in this in Vancouver City for at least 2-3 years. We were seated at Table #8, which had perfect accessibility to the bar and to the dance floor in the Jägerstube. The band was called “Hans and Franz” and had 3 people playing. Drums, accordian and guitars, as well as the occasionally trumpets, saxophone and alpen horn. Every so often, they would play the most famous “Ein Prosit, ein Prosit Der Gemütlichkeit X2 and then yelled OANS! ZWOA! DREI! G’SUFFA! Followed by “Zicke zacke zicke zacke Hoi Hoi Hoi! Zicke (zicke) Zacke (zacke) Zicke zacke, zicke zacke Hoi Hoi Hoi. The organizers of the Oktoberfest ’22 were Lorenzo and Alena. President of the Board also showed up and had dinner with Andy Köchl from the Austria Vancouver Club in Richmond, BC. Some people brought their best to the event, decked out in Lederhosen (leather pants) and dirndl (traditional German/Austrian dresses). We also were fortunate to see the Alpenplattlers (middle photo) perform for us. The first game was the beer holding contest. Pick a full mug of beer (in this case water) and see who can hold it horizontally with a straight arm as long as possible. LOL. This skill might come in handy when you are trying to make it through all the “Zicke zacke” songs. Then five men were chosen to learn the Schuhplattler moves on the spot, while five ladies participated in the twirling contest. You might be happy to know that I won second place in the twirling. It was all in good fun. The Alpenplattlers performed a few hits. In one of them, two men “fought” over a dirndl clad lady and while they were busy fighting a third one took her to the dance floor. Over the centuries, the form gradually evolved as farmers, hunters, and woodsmen practiced it in the isolated towns and villages of the Bavarian and Tyrolean Alps. Sometimes it was performed as a partner dance, with couples doing a Ländler and then splitting up so the girls could twirl in their colourful dirndls as the boys showed off their platteln. At other times it was just the boys onstage, arranged in a circle, a square or a line, plattling wildly for the audience. Early Schuhplattlers often highlighted the towns where they were invented or imitated the various professions of the performers, such as the Mühlradl (miller’s dance), the Holzhacker (wood cutter), and the Glockenplattler (bell dance). The music was generally in three-quarter time, like the Ländler, and was performed on the zither or the guitar, and by 1830s, the accordion or concertina. Here are the last few glimpses. A good time was had by all. Let me know if you were there and if so, how did you enjoy it? If you could please help support the Vancouver Alpen Club Society during the redevelopment, all donations and or sponsorships would be greatly appreciated, if interested please contact info@vacbc.ca for more information. We want to bring Oktoberfest back to life in 2025 in a fantastic venue that is supported by the local German Community in British Columbia. [...]
October 6, 2022Cultural Events(Vancouver, BC) – October 4, 2022: The Vancouver Christmas Market returns to its seaside home, Jack Poole Plaza (downtown at the Olympic Cauldron) this holiday season. Vancouver’s largest and longest-running Christmas Market – and only European Christmas Market – invites families and friends to celebrate the holidays during the six-week event running from November 12 to December 24. To help spread the cheer, the Market offers reduced-price tickets for guests to purchase online from October 4 to October 10. Pre-sale tickets can be purchased at www.vancouverchristmasmarket.com/tickets with voucher code VCM2022. Vancouverites and visitors from around the world will gather to socialize, celebrate and take part in unique holiday activities: stroll inside Canada’s only walk-in Christmas tree, enjoy the smells and sounds of Christmas cheer, or amble through old-world Market alleys to find favourite European and international eats and treats like Glühwein, German Bratwurst and Swiss Raclette. The 12th year of the beloved, German-inspired Market introduces over 90 huts featuring new vendors, carousel rides, festive live music, photo opportunities and magical lighting displays. New features include a Schwibbogen (a traditional German decorative candle holder that’s used during the Christmas season), an AR experience that connects visitors to traditional European stories like the Snow Queen and the Nutcracker, and a sky curtain connecting the Christmas Pyramid to vendors with over 440 light strings and 22,000 lights. “Last year, we were so pleased to see Vancouverites, along with their friends and family, renew their holiday tradition at the Market,” says Denise Wegener, President of the Vancouver Christmas Market. “We’re excited to see people visit the Market for lunch, plan visits with their families and friends, and enjoy date nights. Last year, there were holiday parties, family reunions, and even wedding proposals. I can’t wait to see what this year brings!” This year’s Market will again offer an online reservation system. Guests are prompted to select a time slot, then purchase their online tickets. Once they enter, visitors are invited to stay as long as they like and enjoy the winter wonderland while taking in unbeatable ocean views. Pre-sale tickets are available for purchase online at www.vancouverchristmasmarket.com​/tickets Event: Vancouver Christmas Market – Vancouver’s only authentic German-inspired outdoor Market Location:​ Jack Poole Plaza (downtown at the Olympic Cauldron), 1055 Canada Place, Vancouver, BC Dates:​ The Vancouver Christmas Market will be open daily from November 12 – December 24 Times: Nov. 12 – 25: open 4 pm to 9:30 pmNov. 26 – Dec. 23: open 11:30 am to 9:30 pmDec. 24: open 11:30 am to 6:00 pm Pre-Sale Online Tickets: Purchase pre-sale tickets online from October 4 to October 10 and receive $4.00 off with voucher code VCM2022 Parking: Street parking and several public parkades are nearby Public Transit: The Vancouver Christmas Market is a short walk from Waterfront Station, downtown Canada Line and Expo Line SkyTrains and several bus routes Connect with the Vancouver Christmas Market: Website: ​vancouverchristmasmarket.com Facebook: @VancouverChristmasMarket Instagram: @vanchristmas Twitter: @vanchristmas TikTok: @vanchristmas About The Vancouver Christmas Market: vancouverchristmasmarket.com Since 2010, the Vancouver Christmas Market has delighted locals and visitors with authentic German-inspired festivities. Combining colourful décor, artisan gifts, sweet and savoury food and drink, and live music, the yuletide celebration creates the ideal atmosphere to mix and mingle with friends and family, enjoy a quick lunch or after-work drink, and indulge in a variety of cultural activities, old world confections, and seasonal entertainment. [...]
October 4, 2022Cultural EventsVancouver, October 4, 2022 – The Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Vancouver, Mr. Marc Eichhorn, on the occasion of the 32nd German Unity Day invited the GCBA, as well as VIP’s and other special guests from the science, academic and arts sectors to a reception on Monday, October 3, 2022, at the BCIT Student Association (BCITSA) Great Hall at 6 pm. Left to right: Elke Porter, Westcoast German News, Uschi Stocker, Hans Stocker, Deputy Consul General (Stellvertretender Generalkonsul), Abdel Karim Awwad, Head Marketing of Brian Jessel BMW, Susanne Eichhorn and Mr. Marc Eichhorn, General Consul of the Federal Republic of Germany. Top Row: Elke with Ozzie Jurock, Real Estate Blogger/Guru, Kecia Boecking, the president of the Eurofest BC Society, Meo Cui, Program Assistant at Thomson Rivers University. Bottom Row, Beatrice Schreiber, President of the German Canadian Business Association (GCBA) and Rainer Müller, CEO of Parc Retirement Living. Consul General Marc Eichhorn talked about the importance of democracy and freedom. The German Unity Day is a national holiday commemorating the reunification, which occurred in 1990, where the former GDR (East Germany) joined the Federal Republic of Germany. To learn more about the German Unity Day, please click here: https://www.studying-in-germany.org/german-unity-day/ There was wine, perrier and delicious hors d’oeuvres with tiny German flags, as well as delicious Black Forest Cherry Cake Above shows a picture of the United Voices Choir who did a great job singing the Canadian & German anthem. Left to right: Elke, Abdel and Mass Abedi, Producer of AhornTV/TulipTV and TV production manager. Andreas Rufer, Consulate General of Switzerland, Consul General Marc Eichhorn, and Fabio McLeod, solicitor in “McQuarrie Legal Services” Real Estate and Business law practice group. It was a very nice event. To see my TikTok, please visit: https://www.tiktok.com/@westcoastgerman/vido/7150673244633238789 [...]
September 30, 2022Cultural EventsVancouver, September 30, 2022 – Last night I had the pleasure of joining the The Italian Chamber of Commerce in Canada – West (ICCC West) in celebrating their 30th anniversary with ‘La Grande Festa’, a deluxe gala dinner along with their members, partners, and the public on September 29, 2022 at 6 PM at Coast Coal Harbour Vancouver Hotel, with partial proceeds going to benefit Variety – The Children’s Charity. There were lots of sponsors and auction items, including ebco, Brian Jessel BMW and the Whitecaps. Left to right: Italian Consul General Fabio Messineo, in the middle is Celso Boscariol, President of Italian Chamber of Commerce in Canada – West and to the right is Coach Vanni Sartini from the Vancouver Whitecaps Football Club.  We were honoured to be seated as guests of Brian Jessel BMW, who were sponsors of this event. Left to right: Consul General Messineo is giving a speech, in the middle are Jim Gordon & Leeta Liepins hosts of “Our City Tonight” who were filming live during the event (on CheckTV) as media sponsors and to the right is a speech by Italian Chamber of Commerce President Boscariol. Here you can see the delicious Antipasto ““Patè di Trota”, which was basically Limoncello Marinated Trout with Caper Berries & Focaccia Above you can see Abdel Karim Awwad, the Head Marketing Manager of Brian Jessel BMW and also on the Board of the German Canadian Business Association posing with President Borcariol, middle with Justin Genest, Chief Executive Officer at Genest Capital and on the right, Consul General Messineo. Abdel is standing next to Alex Martyniak, Executive Director at European Chamber of Commerce in Canada – West. Abdel is standing with Vanni Sartini, Coach (photo on left) and Natalya Porter and I are standing on either side of James Howey (photo on the right) Global experience in aviation, business development, client management and strategy James (Air Canada) & Alex (EU Chamber) are on either side of the happy couple that bid on the Air Canada Trip for two during the live auction and won the bid. For more information, please see: https://iccbc.com/iccc-events/la-grande-festa/ [...]
September 27, 2022ArtistsTickets for Canada’s only gourmet cabaret sensation, Cabaret Bijou, are now available for an unrivaled evening of world-class entertainment, fine dining all inside the majestic Mirror Palace. VANCOUVER, BC — (September 23, 2022) — Artistic Director and Creator,  Scott Malcolm is thrilled to announce the launch of CABARET BIJOU, Canada’s only gourmet cabaret sensation. This dazzling coupling of sassy cabaret-style show, and mouth-watering gourmet dining experience is opening in Vancouver on October 19th, 2022.   The evening’s dazzling entertainment arouses one’s senses as world-renowned artists create a dizzying interactive display. From jugglers and contortionists to trapeze artists and magicians, the cabaret-style acts combine spectacular acrobatics with a touch of cirque and a splash of vaudeville to create a must see, immersive experience.  The show’s setting is an opulent Spiegel pavilion, reminiscent of La Belle Epoque. The Cabaret Bijou team has raised the Mirror Palace at the Vanier Park. This bejewelled venue is a replica of a 100-year-old turn-of-the-century art deco treasure box, made of hand-crafted woodwork and over 2,000 bevelled mirrors. Dinner is the inspiration of Chef Sean Reeve of his three Vancouver restaurants;  The Mackenzie Room, Collective Goods and Say Mercy!.  Chef Sean has designed a four-course dining delight for the BIJOU guests. “After the unprecedented events of the last few years, we are thrilled to be launching CABARET BIJOU in Vancouver,” says Scott Malcolm, Artistic Director and the show’s Creator. “Our inaugural show is an opulent feast for the senses. Straight out of Old-World Europe, our exhilarating and daring CABARET BIJOU promises an evening lively enough to wake the spirits of Moulin Rouge.”   To ensure the financial success of this venture Scott has partnered with Blair Murdoch, successful businessman, television producer and former founding partner of Arc’teryx.  The Premier of CABARET BIJOU is set for October 19th. Tickets for all shows include a live, cabaret cirque-style evening with assigned seating inside the Mirror Palace accompanied by a plated, four-course gourmet meal. Individual tickets for the three-hour, gourmet spectacle start at $109 and can be purchased online.  About Cabaret BIJOU CABRET BIJOU is the brainchild of Creator Scott Malcolm. Based on the traditions of vaudeville, cirque, dinner-cabaret and fine dining experiences, CABARET BIJOU is an evening set in the Mirror Palace, a unique pavilion of light, mirrors, and merriment. Guests dine while enjoying a bawdy, sensuous show as it unfolds around them . CABARET BIJOU is located in Vanier Park, originally know as Sen̓áḵw, and runs October 19, 2022, to March 5, 2023. This event is idealfor large groups, celebrations and corporate holiday parties. Entertainment is geared to an adult audience (16+ is suggested). Please see https://cabaretbijou.com/ for more information. [...]
September 26, 2022Cultural EventsSaturday, September 24, 2022, Vancouver, BC – Several members of the German Canadian Business Association, as well as myself with Westcoast German News and other prominent members of the German-Canadian business community were invited to Brian Jessel BMW VIP Launch Event. There was valet parking, a red carpet and the most amazing “photography wall” where everyone could have their picture taken the minute they walked in the door. Drinks and light refreshments were sponsored and available to gratis to all guests. Here we are: (left to right) Elke Porter (me) with Westcoast German News and the secretary of the German Canadian Business Association (GCBA). Then Abdel Karim Awwad, the Head of Sales & Marketing at Brian Jessel BMW as well as the planner of this fabulous event, then Beatrice Schreiber President of the German Canadian Business Association, and Laura Cáceres, a junior graphic designer with Brian Jessel BMW. The GCBA is happy to announce that Brian Jessel BMW is one of their corporate members and that Abdel Karim Awwad is on the Board of Directors as “Cooperate Business and Membership Development Director” The room was spectacular and the 250 guests were treated to wine and light refreshments. Below shows three pictures. (left to right) The first one is Beatrice Schreiber and Susanne Ziehr posing together. The middle picture and left picture show GCBA member and successful real estate Guru Oz Jurock with Beatrice and Susanne posing for the camera. Below is MC and Head of Marketing & Sales event planner Abdel Karim Awwad, next to Jim Murray, the Managing Partner of Brian Jessel BMW and Kevin Marcotte from Toronto, who is the manager of Luxury Class Brands. Drumroll please, it is time for the great reveal! The audience was excited. A closer look at the covered car and the moment that potential customers could feel, see, touch and interact the all new electric BMW i7. More members of the German Canadian Business Association, including Manuel Ruthardt, the treasurer of the Board of Directors on the left. Left to right (below) are Oz Jurock, Elke Porter, Beatrice Schreiber and Susanne Ziehr. Beatrice and Abdel Karim Awwad are in the middle picture, while myself, Beatrice and Ozzie are on the left. We were treated to two performances from the Goh Ballet Academy choreographed just for this occasion. It was a beautiful car, and if you ordered one on the spot, they would be able to have it in your hands by next year. Hot off the assembly line. For more information, or to order one of these beauties to enjoy the “electric performance combined with multi-sensory entertainment” at Brian Jessel BMW i7 [...]
September 19, 2022AustrianRichmond, September 18, 2022 – A glorious summer day in Richmond, British Columbia, was the backdrop to the 50th Anniversary of the Austria Vancouver Club. The Austria Vancouver Club was founded by 18 Austrian immigrants and was registered in Victoria, capital of British Columbia) on December 16, 1971 under the Society Act of British Columbia. The celebration was held in the club with a sold out hall. Someone walking past me stated that he hadn’t seen this many people in the club in years – not even on New Year’s Eve! The doors opened on the dot of 12 noon, where a line had already formed and was waiting at least 20 minutes in the warm sunshine. The opening ceremonies were planned for 1 pm. At 2 pm, it was finally lunch time, with further entertainment after the luncheon. The only tables that were reserved were for the VIP guests, such as Justin Hoffman, the President of the Board of the Vancouver Alpen Club and Norman Laube, the Honorary Vice Consul of British Columbia & Yukon. There was also a short speech by Mayor Malcolm Brodie of Richmond. Other people at the table were Kecia Boecking, the President of the Eurofest BC Society, Martin Kral & wife Karen, from the Austrian Club of Washington, USA and yours truly, Westcoast German News. Beatrice Schreiber, the President of the German Canadian Business Association was unable to make it due to illness. Mayor Malcolm Brodie (left) next to Honorary Vice-Consul Norman Laube The food was sitting in front of us – a typical Austrian Meat and Cheese Board (Brettljause) – but we were asked to wait until the break to eat. On top of the Brettljause, was a “Trattenbacher Taschenfeitel), a pocket knife ordered directly from Austria. The Trattenbacher Taschenfeitel (also called Trattenbacher Zauckerl) is an Austrian pocket knife with a centuries-old manufacturing tradition. Place of manufacture is the Trattenbach valley in Upper Austria. We ordered the Feitel directly from the factory and had it engraved. The fact that these knives were made from Scharsach steel is particularly noteworthy, since at the time this steel was largely reserved for weapon and scythe manufacture. The hall was also nicely decorated with Al Pichler on the accordion to entertain the crowds. Below is a picture of President of the Austria Vancouver Club Andreas (Andy) Köchl, then Steven Seewald of the Alpenplattler (Schuhplattler) Group next to Mayor Brodie. After that is a couple who drove all the way up from Washington, Martin Kral and Karen, to extend their congratulations and best wishes to the Austria Club. The crowd was also entertained by the AVC Melody Choir, with conductor Helga Belluz and pianist Joshua Tanuwijaya. There were speeches: Angela Gerber, AVC Special Duties Director Andreas Koechl, current AVC President and Founding Member Frank Perner, former President and Founding Member Eric Wutschnik, former President Helga Posch, wife of former President and Founding Member and she herself was also part of the AVC Executive Major Malcom Brodie, Richmond Video Message from Dr. Martin Eichtinger (NÖ Landesrat) Member of the Provincial Government of Lower Austria Norman Laube, Honorary Vice Consul of Austria There was time for the crowds to enjoy the accordion and dance: Kecia Boecking and her mother enjoying the event. All guests were given one cutting board, one unique Austrian foldable cheese knife, one beerstein and one program guide to take home. I was at this event thanks to the invitation from Martina Mitterer, secretary of the Austria Vancouver Club, shown here with her husband Heribert Mitterer, the cultural director. Al Pichler played for hours, and got a lot of feet moving! Kecia and I by the stage and next to us is a photo of the Schuhplattler group just about to make their way to the dance floor. The AVC Edelweiss Dancers did an amazing job, although I got them on video. To see short video clips of this event, check out my TikTok channel: https://www.tiktok.com/@porterprvancouver. As far as I could tell, the youngest Schuhplattler was fourteen years old. What was very special to me was that my daughter came along and enjoyed herself thanks to the friendly outgoing people at her table who made her feel welcome. She was asked to join the Schuhplattler group by at least three people and was asked to dance more than once! I really liked when in one of the speeches, someone said “We hope to see young people sitting here in another 50 years celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Club!” Let’s make it happen! [...]
September 4, 2022BusinessFriday, September 1, 2022 – Richmond, BC – Beatrice Schreiber, the President of the German Canadian Business Association (GCBA), was given a tour of GEA Frozen Food (https://www.gea.com/en/index.jsp) by the Head of the Business Unit Anne-Laure Brault. I tagged along to take pictures and get an idea of what GEA had to offer. It turns out that GEA designs and manufacturs freezers for food processing applications. Another name they go by is GEA Refrigeration Canada Inc. GEA (https://www.gea.de/) is one of the world’s largest suppliers of systems and components to the food, beverage and pharmaceutical industries. The international technology group, founded in 1881, focuses on machinery and plants, as well as advanced process technology, components and comprehensive services. With more than 18,000 employees working across five divisions and 62 countries, the group generated revenues of more than EUR 4.7 billion in fiscal year 2021. GEA plants, processes, components and services enhance the efficiency and sustainability of production processes across the globe. They also contribute significantly to the reduction of CO2 emissions, plastic usage and food waste. In doing so, GEA makes a key contribution toward a sustainable future, in line with the company’s purpose: “Engineering for a better world”. I Some companies that belong to GEA today are: Aerofreeze, Aeromatic-Fielder, Aquarius, Aseptomag, Atlas, Avapac, AWP, Barr-Rosin, Belam, Bischoff, Bowen, Breconcherry, Huppmann, Brouwers, CFS, Colby, Comas, Courtoy, Collette, CMT, Diessel, Dixie Union, Elba, Eurotek, Exergy, FES, FIL, Goedhart, Grasso, Grenco, Hilge, Houle, Intec, Ilka Mafa, Imaforni, Kestner, Koppens, Krämer + Grebe, Laguilharre, Liquid Processing, Lyophil, Matal, Messo, Milfos, Mullerup, Niro, Niro Soavi, Niro PT, Norbco, Nu-Con, Pavan, Pharma Systems, Procomac, Scami, Scanio, Scan-Vibro, Surge, Sterner, TDS, Technofrigo, Tiromat, Tuchenhagen, VIPOLL, Westfalia Landtechnik, Westfalia Separator, WestfaliaSurge, Wiegand, Wilarus, Wolfking. Today, EA is active in the food, beverage, chemical, pharma, dairy processing, dairy farming and marine industries. Their portfolio includes machinery and plants as well as advanced process technology, components and comprehensive services. They have been in the freezing or refrigeration industry in Canada since 1979 and employ over 150 people. What surprised me is that there were so many different kinds of freezers – spiral freezers designed for easy cleaning and access, tunnel freezers with various belt designs for many different products (meat, poultry, dairy, seafood, fruits/veg, ready meals, convenience food, baked goods), impingement freezers that feature an air-jet technology that minimizes dehydration loss while speeding up impingement freezing and some freezers as big as an apartment building. GEA has more than 35 years experience in the “food freezing industry” and has refined the art of specialized and customized refrigeration. They also work hard to provide machines that offer the ultimate in food safety and prevent foodborne pathogens and bacteria make their way from the farm or facility to a consumer’s plate. This can easily happen through moisture. GEA has more than 1000 chillers and freezers installed worldwide and has a huge database available on the products they have handled successfully in the past. They also have a state-of-the-art test lab that customers often visit, bringing product prototypes to carry out tests to measure freezing and retention times. They also study airflow and temperature to determine how big the machines needs to be. In some cases, that is very big! History of GEA In 1881, Wilhelm Merton, Leo Ellinger & Zacharias Hochschild found Metallgesellschaft Aktiengesellschaft (MG), a joint stock metals trading company, Frankfurt am Main. In 1971, after the tumultous years of World War I and II, All MG businesses were organized into five divisions: metals processing, plant construction, chemicals, transport and communications with centralized function covering: finance, staff & administration and technology In 2005/2006, GEA AG merges with parent company mg technologies ag; mg technologies ag then renamed GEA Group Aktiengesellschaft; Huppmann acquisition; headquarter moves from Frankfurt to Bochum. In 2011, GEA group structure further streamlined and centralized; headquarter moves from Bochum to Düsseldorf; company purpose launched: “Engineering for a better world.” If you would like to join the German Canadian Business Association on a tour of the facility and plant in November, please let us know! You can send an e-mail to secretary@germancanadianbusiness.com You can also visit GEA online: https://www.gea.com/en/index.jsp See you there! [...]
September 3, 2022Film FestivalVancouver, September 2, 2022 -Kefi Entertainment and The Dora Papoutsakis Show are excited to bring the Greek International Film Festival Tour of Canada (GIFFT) to Vancouver! Our festival in Vancouver will take place on September 30th, October 1st & 2nd and we are excited to host the festival at the historic Dunbar Theatre.  Presented by Agape Greek Radio, the Hellenic Heritage Foundation and Itoc Media Corp, GIFFT is a showcase and celebration of Greeks in cinema. Held in 9 cities across Canada, GIFFT will provide an exciting platform for directors, writers, producers, and actors of Greek Heritage to showcase their exceptional art. Participating cities include: Toronto, Hamilton/Niagara, Ottawa, London, Winnipeg, Regina, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver.    Schedule of films/events: Friday, September 30th: 6:30 to 7:30pm:  Welcome Reception (with Samos wines and Naxos cheese) sponsored by Kolonaki Group 7:30 Short Film: Wolves Feature Film: Smyrna My Beloved Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6dc3LbJX_GY Followed by Q&A session (presenter TBA) Saturday, October 1st 12:00pm Short Film: Christmas Present Feature Film: Where Are You Adam? Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAeiv2C0hNE Followed by Q&A session (presenter TBA)3:30pm Short Film: Agriolouloudo Feature Film: When Mercury Held It’s Breath – The Battle of Crete. Trailer: https://vimeo.com/680479413Followed by Q&A session with SFU Hellenic Studies Professor, Dr. James Horncastle. 7pm Short Film: At The Airport. Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PT-f3aTXbqk Feature Film: Echoes of the Past (Kalavryta 1943) Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VX3qKai2uiAFollowed by Q&A session with SFU Hellenic Studies Professor, Dr. James Horncastle. Sunday, October 2nd 5pm Short Film: Como, Ti Amo Feature Film: The Rocket Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-mve-UWAyUs 7:30pm Short Film: Greek to Me Trailer: https://vimeo.com/698384284?embedded=true&source=vimeo_logo&owner=67218601 Feature Film: King Otto – Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWLQUaIPkiY&t=10sEach film will be preceded by a short film and many will be followed with a panel discussion with a special guest.  We are excited for GIFFT to become a recurring successful event for the Greek community in the Lower Mainland. Thank you to our local and national sponsors!! You can find them on our website! We are looking for local businesses and organizations to partner with us and play a part in this community event. Your involvement would not only contribute to our event, but show support and highlight the importance of recognizing Greek filmmakers and artists while promoting these amazing films to film lovers in the Lower Mainland. If you’re interested in joining our efforts and support, please email us and we will send you our event sponsorship packages. Events like ours are important to our community and we would love to have you involved! TICKETS ARE ON SALE NOW!  Please visit www.gifft.ca/Vancouver to purchase your tickets now! Follow us on social media for updates: FB: The Dora Papoutsakis Show Instagram: dorapapoutsakis_agaperadio [...]
September 2, 2022ArtistsVancouver, September 6, 2022 – In 2018, he sold out the Waterfront Theatre and won Pick of the Fringe with his 5-Step Guide to Being German ,a stand up comedy show about cultures. Now, one pandemic later, German comedian Paco Erhard returns with this darkest, most personal, and possibly most hilarious show yet: Paco Erhard: Worst. German. Ever. In Paco Erhard: Worst. German. Ever., the Munich-born comedian mixes biting social satire with deeply personal experiences: his father’s slide in to dementia, his ideas to get Red and Blue States to compromise, baffling run-ins with neo-fascists in Calgary, COVID causing his and his Canadian partner’s break- up, and why he is nervous about moving to New York:“ I’ve been woke for quite awhile now, but I’ve never done it competitively.” Most famous for his cross-cultural stand up, Erhard explains: “I realized that the more I opened up about my struggles and rough times recently, the more people went ‘oh my god, me too’ and opened up themselves. Around the world, the personal and political spheres haven’t been this intertwined in a longtime–and laughing about everything together has been cathartic. ”The German funny man has been a staple performer at comedy festivals worldwide since 2011, selling out shows at Edinburgh Fringe, Edmonton Fringe, Melbourne International Comedy Festival and New Zealand International Comedy Festival among many others. Now based out of the USA, Erhard is hot off a stupendous run at two of the America’s largest fringe festivals, Orlando and San Diego, winning multiple awards, including Critic’s Pick and Patrons’ Pick. And he has his eyes on yet or e impact in Canada and the US.“ I am well aware that nothing makes people dig out the word‘ oxymoron’ more than a German comedian”, he says. But, Erhard says, being funny was his way to fit in as he grew up in eight 00 different regions of Germany, lived in the UK, Italy, Spain, and America and travelled the world for many years.Being forced to develop a sense of humor to adapt, he quips, “helped me overcome this of course completely factual developmental disability of all us 82 million Germans. I’m an inspirational story of what is possible.” And being the great-grandson of a high-ranking German politician ousted by the Nazis and reinstated by the Americans after the war, his political comedy he says may “have a lesson or two from German history to help America not completely f***up in 2024”. However, Vancouver audiences should not think that Paco Erhard: Worst. German. Ever. is a show about Germany and America only and that Canada will escape Erhard’s mischief: “If your trucker protests earlier this year showed us anything, it’s that Canada needs fixing and deserves lampooning too. So buckle up, my friends!” Venue, dates, and times: Revue Stage, 1601 Johnston Street, Vancouver, BC V6H 3R9 •Fri, 9 September–10:00pm •Sun, 11 September–6:30pm•Tue, 13 September–4:30pm•Fri, 16 September–6:15pm•Sat, 17 September–4:05pm•Sun, 18 September–4:30pm Runtime: 75mins. Tickets: • Online: https://www.vancouverfringe.com/festival/paco-erhard-worst-german-ever/•By phone: (+1) 778-918-8273 (Tue–Fri: 11am–4pm).•In person: At Festival House, Cartwright St., Granville Island, V6H 3R8 [...]
August 29, 2022SeniorsVancouver, August 29, 2022 – The German Canadian Care Home is pleased to invite members and friends to a presentation by Dr. Florian Gassner (UBC) on the cultural history of the Ukraine & Russia on Saturday, Sepember 17, 2022 at 2 pm. October 15th will be a traditional Oktoberfest celebration. As always, they will serve coffee, tea and cake at 2 pm, with the presentation beginning at 2:30 pm. They ask for your patience and understanding in case of last-minute changes to the schedule. Family & friends are welcome, but every visitor will need to be vaccinated against Covid-19. We will also have masks available for you to use, if necessary. Thank you for your donations, which will help cover the costs for the coffee, cake and any other related expenses. Please use the side entrance to the big hall (atrium).Follow the signs down to the right and through the lower parking lot.Don’t enter through the care home. We are counting on you to take responsibility and protect yourself and others by wearing a mask whenever possible throughout this event. Please contact Waltraud Custer with any questions: Outreach Coordinator604-713-6562 Cell: 604 263-2010www.gcch.caoutreachprogram@gcch.ca The German-Canadian Care Home is building a “new vision of elder health care” and a new building to support it. If you would like to learn how you can help (financially), please visit this page to make donations, bequests, tributes and/or memorials. How to Donate New Home Information We are working towards the development of a new, state-of-the-art care home that will enhance our ability to provide high quality services and innovative care to our residents. The new building design accommodates 178 residents. It looks and feels like a residential space while being fully equipped for the delivery of complex care. Individual suites are nested in intimate “home units” consisting of 11 to 13 rooms and are connected to recreational and social areas. The design incorporates a separate home with several, short-term respite beds for seniors recovering from passing health crises. In addition, an adult day-care section offers social activities for seniors from the community. The redevelopment project has continued to slowly but steadily progress. Discussions with main external stakeholders, which are Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH), BC Housing and the City of Vancouver, have continued to progress towards securing the necessary funding and development approvals. Parallel to the negotiations with VCH and the City of Vancouver, discussions with BC Housing as lender are ongoing and the redevelopment committee is working towards achieving a financing commitment by the end of 2021 to coincide with VCH approvals. The redevelopment committee is pleased with the progress that has been made on the project and is hopeful that significant approval milestones will be reached in the coming months. It is planned that we will continue to provide care to about 50 residents in the West side building during the construction phase. The West side building located on the North-West parcel of the property will be demolished once the new care home is fully operational to make room for the rental building. [...]
August 24, 2022OktoberfestRichmond, August 23, 2022 – The Austria Vancouver Club, located in Richmond, is celebrating Oktoberfest for the first time since the pandemic on three different occasions: September 24, October 15 and October 22 with a Dinner/Dance. Their invitation reads: Please join us for our first fall Oktoberfest on September 24th! Tickets must be purchased in advance. Tickets will not be sold at the door but MUST be purchased at the time of reservations. Ticket sales will start August 29th and can be requested by phone: 778.872.9363 by email: reservations@austriavancouverclub.ca or in person during our Friday, Family Nights (first family night is September 9th). Tickets are $40 for members, $45 for non-members and can be reserved after August 29th, call 778-872-9363. In order to be a member of good standing, you will need to have paid for 2020, 2021 and 2022! September 24st – Band:  Al Pichler; Entertainment: AVC Edelweiss Dancers October 15th – Band: Al Pichler; Entertainment:  AVC Edelweiss Dancers October 22nd – Band:  The Silver Stars; Entertainment:  AVC Edelweiss Dancers Where is the Austria Club located? 5851 Westminster Highway, Richmond BC Parking directions: There is no access from Westminster Highway.Turn North on Lynas Lane then right onto Dover Crescent.The entrance to the club will be on the right. What is Contact Information? Also find us on: AVC Club InstagramEdelweiss Dancers FacebookEdelweiss Dancers InstagramMelody Choir Facebook Contacts: Club: (604) 273-4725Reservations:(778) 872-9363 EmailHall Rentals: (604) 224-3136 EmailOther Contacts The Austria Vancouver Club is a non profit cultural club. The club was established to practice and uphold Austrian traditions and language. We are an Austrian Cultural club that is open to all visitors. We are open on our Friday casual family evenings, except on holiday weekends from 6:00,dinner and drinks are available. Also open every second Saturday evening except holiday weekends, for a dance. http://www.austriavancouverclub.ca/ [...]
August 20, 2022FIFA World CupAugust 19, Vancouver, BC – Watch the games with your friends and family at the “BC Kitchen Sports Bar” found at 39 Smithe Street, Vancouver on Sunday, November 27, 2022 at 10 am. This year, BC Kitchen will be the venue of “The Official German House”, located on the second floor of the beautiful parq vancouver, Downtown Vancouver’s casino resort, featuring a beautiful casino, high-end salons, restaurants, entertainment, bars, patios, and hotels all under one roof. Where Can I sign up and how much will it cost? German House 2022$10.00 ticket includes entry + complimentary first beer or soft drink. 19+ only GERMANY v SPAINLIVE at BC Kitchen | Parq VancouverKICKOFF 11:00am (Over 19s Only) Ticket Link :https://GermanSupportersVancouver.eventbrite.ca Who is the host? Elke Porter with Westcoast German News. She will be the official event manager for the German House. Elke is a fan of Manuel Neuer and enjoys being there at the World Cup cheering on the German Team with other fans. Since the Vancouver Alpen Club is temporarily unavailable and may not open for the games, it is nice to know there is another option to watch the game with other German-speakers in Vancouver. Of course, everyone is welcome. So where can you park? There is underground parking right next to the parq casino resort. Per hour – $4.00 prior to 5:00 p.m.5:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. – $15.00 daily maximum5:00 p.m. to 12:00 Midnight – $15.00 flat rate (no per hour option)24 hours – $50.00 How do I get free parking? All Encore Rewards members receive free parking at Parq Vancouver when they use Encore Rewards Card to play at table games or slots. Once you arrive at the Casino, please head to Guest Services on level 2 to register your license plate. Please note that you must earn a minimum of 15 points on the days you park at Parq. Where is BC Kitchen? (Driving directions from YVR) Leaving the airport, follow signs to City Centre via Granville St. Follow Granville St. until you have crossed the Granville St. Bridge. Once over the bridge, take the exit for BC 99N to turn onto Drake St., the first stoplight after the Granville St. Bridge. Follow Drake St. for five blocks until you reach Pacific Blvd. Turn left onto Pacific Blvd then proceed for 1 km. As you near BC Place Stadium turn left onto Smithe Street and you will have arrived at Parq Vancouver. Alternatively, if coming over the Cambie St. bridge take a left onto Expo Blvd., and then take a left onto Nelson St. and left onto Pacific Blvd to Smithe St. Is it possible to stay at the venue? There are two luxury hotels, including western Canada’s first JW Marriott and a first-to-market boutique experience, the DOUGLAS, an Autograph Collection Hotel, which offer various deals and packages for their guests. Check it out here: https://www.parqvancouver.com/hotels/ What about food and drink? We are still working on the beer on tap, which will include at least one German brand. Then we are looking at Schnitzel, Bratwurst and other authentic German dishes. We will let you know as soon as we have finalized a menu. More about the BC Kitchen Sports Bar There are 15 television sets, so everyone will have a great view of the game. “Warm, contemporary lounge ambience meets cool Canadian sports bar atmosphere” There is seating for at least 150 people, although this can be extended, if necessary. We want to ensure that as many people as possible are there to watch the games, so we can celebrate the wins and cry together at any losses. “Football is said to have the power to bring people together, regardless of their age, race, gender, culture, or nationality, and that is never truer than at the World Cup. It is the most played and watched sport in the world, and because of that, the World Cup is one of the most anticipated sporting events, with only the Olympics rivalling it in terms of popularity.” By Reuben Gready with “Medium” Can you please remind me where to sign up? German House 2022$10.00 ticket includes entry + complimentary first beer or soft drink. 19+ only GERMANY v SPAINLIVE at BC Kitchen | Parq VancouverKICKOFF 11:00am (Over 19s Only) Ticket Link :https://GermanSupportersVancouver.eventbrite.ca [...]
August 5, 2022politicsThursday, August 4, 2022 at 11 am – I went to the German Consulate and had a good talk with the new Consul General Eichhorn. He is replacing Dr. Klaus Otto Schmidt, who has now retired and has moved back to Germany. GK Eichhorn came here to Vancouver with his wife, Susanne, who is also working in the German Consulate in a different department. GK Eichhorn spent the last 5 years living and working in Berlin. He was very happy to receive a job posting in Canada, especially in BC. His new home is in Kerrisdale, close to the Arbutus Greenway. Once his container arrives from Germany, GK Eichhorn hopes to be able to commute to work by bicycle, thanks to the excellent cycling infrastructure in downtown and Vancouver. Besides cycling, GK Eichhorn also enjoys kayaking and hiking, also in winter, as he is very excited about seeing snow.  In his former post, GK Eichhorn had two separate tasks.  The main one that took up most of his time, was climate change and environmental issues, especially in terms of replacing existing fossil fuels with clean energy or coming up with innovative solutions to get industry closer to carbon neutral. Germany aims to become greenhouse gas neutral by 2045. The second task GK Eichhorn worked on was Arms Control Issues, which was also interesting.  GK Eichhorn feels that a crisis can lead to great creativity, such as now that Russia reduced the flow of gas through the Nord Stream One pipeline by 60 per cent, Germany will need to look for alternate solutions. At least before winter arrives. At the moment, the flow of gas has beenreduced to around 20%. This might be a good opportunity on coming up with new ways to heat homes, fuel cars and transport goods.  According to a recent article in the CBC “We’re now on alert stage two,” said German Ambassador to Canada Sabine Sparwasser. “People are asked to change heating systems, people are asked to cut down on their consumption. And our energy ministry even said you can cut down on the shower time.”  Currently GK Eichhorn is using the car available to the Consulate, but he is soon hoping to commute to work regularly by bicycle, instead of driving. He is even looking forward to rain and possible snow, as there were months where it didn’t rain in Berlin leading to water shortages. Water levels in many lakes are sinking as are groundwater levels, particularly near the water-hungry capital of Berlin, according to the Deutsche Welle. In Vancouver, this won’t be an issue. GK Eichhorn also won’t let rain stop him from another hobby he has: hiking.  As for his overall assignment in Vancouver, GK Eichhorn hopes to spend time in areas involving clean/green energy, climate change, the environment, the economy, First Nations and his favourite, science & research. The economy in Vancouver is connected to China, Japan or Korea, but science on the other hand, is closely connected to Europe. GK Eichhorn has already been to the TRIUMF Lab at UBC, where he met a German researchers. He also attended an event at UBC connected to the Fraunhofer Institute and spent time in BCIT with Mark Chiarello, who is the Associate Director of Global Relations and on the board of the German Canadian Business Association.  While he is residing here in Vancouver, GK Eichhorn also plans to spend time visiting other areas that his consulate is responsible for. Northern British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Yukon and the Northwest Territories. There is also a long list of local tourist attractions in British Columbia, that he is hoping to see, like Haida Gwaii, formerly Queen Charlotte Islands. He hopes that four years are long enough to fit everything in. The last time he was in Canada was 1977, and he fondly remembered his trip through Calgary and the Rocky Mountains.  The posting to Vancouver is considered a dream job and one of the top 5 consular favourites in the world. One aspect is that there are a lot of things that Canada and Germany have in common. Things like, a shared commitment to preserving the rules‑based international order in areas such as security and disarmament, human rights, as well as climate and energy policies. Also, more than 1000 bilateral collaborations have been established between Germany and Canada since the signing of the German‑Canadian Intergovernmental Agreement on Scientific and Technological Cooperation in 1971. An interesting point GK Eichhorn made was that there is no mandate for Germans living in Canada to sign up with the German Consulate. This means, there is no way of knowing how many Germans are actually living in Greater Vancouver. This is especially interesting when it comes to the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), a progressive trade agreement between the EU and Canada. So far, no one has collected actual statistics to see how many businesses have been established in Vancouver or people have been hired from Germany. This is something that would interest me; seeing CETA in action. GK Eichhorn is otherwise looking forward to establishing good relationships within his consular district and planning interesting events, such as the “Day of German Unity” celebration to be held at BCIT this year. He is also looking forward to getting to know the German Canadian Business Association and other German institutions in Vancouver. In his spare time, he plans to hike, bike, kayak, enjoy sledding in the snow and sight-see. If anyone has any recommendations, you can contact him at the German Consulate or attend one of the many German-related events planned for this fall.  Learn more here: https://canada.diplo.de/ca-en/vertretungen/generalkonsulat3/-/1206788 [...]
August 3, 2022ArtistsVancouver, August 3, 2022 – Toronto-based comedian Laura Ramoso is best known for her relatable, satirical videos and award-winning live comedy special, diane (2019). In 2021, Laura began making short-form sketch and character videos for Instagram and TikTok as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to living all around the world and with a German & Italian background, Laura takes inspiration from the real world and uses it to make her audience laugh. She hopes to visit Vancouver in the fall, but in the meantime is hoping to continue making videos that appeal to a wide audience across Canada, US and Europe. Interview with Laura Ramoso 1. Why did your parents move around so much and where was your favourite place? My mom (retired now) was a Medical Officer for the World Health Organization, focusing on public health in developing countries and tuberculosis control. She kept getting stationed in different countries, which meant we would move every couple of years. I was born in Legnago, Italy, then shortly after we moved to Douala, Cameroon for 6 years, Baku, Azerbaijan for 3 years, Beijing, China for 5 years, and Hanoi, Vietnam for 3 years. I then graduated high school and moved to British Columbia for university. The different cities were all amazing in their own unique way, but I really enjoyed Hanoi. It was a wonderful place to finish up high school. 2. How many languages do you speak? Which language do you think in? I speak English and Italian fluently, French a little bit less fluently, and my German would probably be described as conversational. I find that the language I think in changes based on the one I’m speaking. If I’m in Canada and constantly speaking in English, I tend to think in English too. If I’m in Italy and mostly speaking Italian, I start thinking in Italian as well. 3. What was it like moving to Canada and going to school in Victoria, the west coast? I really wanted to move to Canada and experience a slice of North America, since I’d never been there before. Going to school in Victoria was a shot in the dark but it turned out to be the best! It was the perfect place and size to start fresh and plant some roots – not too overwhelming, but exciting enough. Aside from the gorgeous scenery and university program I attended, I got to meet my closest friends and eventually even my husband (score!). My first few years in BC were also instrumental in introducing me to the intricacies of North American story and joke-telling. I would consider it a crucial part of my comedic upbringing. 4. Was it a bit of a culture shock to live in Toronto? To be honest, no. I was pretty used to moving around and by that point, I was ready to live in a big city with more going on. I was happy and satisfied that it lived up to my expectations. Mind you, it took me about 3-6 months to feel “settled”, but that’s quite normal. 5. Can you give our readers a summary of your first special “diane” My first comedy hour, “Diane” (2019), satirized the characters in your life you kinda know but definitely hate and used polarizing genres and physical comedy to tell the story of Diane: a woman who had to embody many Dianes in order to figure out which one was ultimately right for her. 6. How do you come up with ideas for your TikTok Channel? 99% of my concepts come from real-world observations, big or small. I am inspired by the people I see and interact with in my day-to-day, or real-life situations and behaviours I find odd, charming, relatable etc. I then take that observation or truth, and exaggerate it to the point of satire. That is my favourite kind of comedy to write and perform. I keep a running note on my Notes app and I make sure to add to it throughout the day whenever I feel inspired. 7. What are some hobbies outside of comedy? I love to play volleyball! I join an indoor league in the winters, and a beach league in the summers. I also enjoy watching good movies and going out with friends. Finally, and if this is weird to say so be it, I like to clean and do laundry – it brings me peace. 8. How has the pandemic impacted your career? Where to start. At first, the pandemic completely derailed my career when theatres went dark. I had been strictly doing live comedy by that point, so it was really depressing to have suddenly lost that creative outlet. It felt like a major part of my identity had gone missing. In order to cope, I did what many did and started making online content. Little by little, I learned and grew and developed my comedic voice for Instagram and TikTok. Luckily, it seems to have worked out! Due to my online presence, I was able to quit my day-job and I now do comedy and content full-time. It’s pretty crazy how things turned out. 9. What are some future plans? After my new special, FRANCES, opens on August 11th in Toronto, I plan to do a mini-tour through Montreal, Vancouver, and Victoria this fall. I am also working on a European tour for the summer of 2023. Other than that, just keep making videos! 10. Please let our readers know how to locate you online or any upcoming performances they might be interested in. My new comedy special, FRANCES, runs from August 11-13, 8pm nightly, plus 10pm on August 12 at the Alumnae Theatre, 70 Berkeley St., in Toronto. Tickets: https://www.lauraramoso.com/tour You can find me on Instagram and TikTok at @lau_ramoso, or on my website www.lauraramoso.com. 11. Bonus question: Are you ever planning to come to Vancouver? Hopefully this October! Stay tuned! [...]

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