Learn More About the German Canadian Heritage Plaza, aka Deutscher Platz
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For EXPO ’86, GRACE McCARTHY, the Minister of Transportion at the time, contacted all multicultural groups in Vancouver, to construct park-like areas along the new Sky Train route.
In the German-speaking community, the GERMAN-CANADIAN CONGRESS founded a working group known as the “Parkway Committee”, which pursued this idea with a great deal of initiative and enthusiasm. The next step was fundraising. Through the intense commitment of all the various committee members, we were able to collect very generous donations in BC as well as in Germany in a very short period of time. Thanks to the German-speaking population in Vancouver, associations, corporations, churches, schools and the media, this space could be created.
The Place was build after a model that adopted ideas of the design provided by landscape architect G. Edel. The GERMAN CANADIAN HERITAGE PLAZA was born. Once the construction was complete, Axel Hoyer began laying out the garden. Ebco & the Eppich brothers” made the plaques and had the donor names engraved at no charge. Goetz Lange-Michels donated the log; Mr. Hammerl from Armstrong carved the logo free of charge.
The opening ceremonies took place on June 29, 1986. Reputable representatives from public life and about 2,000 enthusiastic participants attended. The GERMAN community had created a memorial, which was seen to be the symbol of the contributions of GERMAN immigrants, with positive recognition from the CANADIAN public. The donations, to maintain and provide upkeep to the space, lasted for 6 years. With time, it fell into obscurity.
In August 1992, all of the former Committee Members were invited by Ursula and Eugen Neubert to discuss to upkeep of the space and to once raise donations for this purpose, resulting in the founding of the GERMAN CANADIAN HERITAGE PLAZA COMMITTEE. This working group is an independent, non-profit society, which, on behalf of the German-speaking public, assumes the responsibility of maintaining the space and carries out these responsibilities based on jointly established conditions in order to maintain the GERMAN CANADIAN HERITAGE PLAZA of the German-Speaking community. Every year, a different association of the Board takes over the Chairmanship, in order to keep the distribution of duties dynamic and current.