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March 2011 - Nr. 3

Toronto, Ontario: We do not have to go far for our ethnically diversified experiences; as a matter of fact we rely on them to do some good and important work, as Tony Ruprecht, M.P.P. Toronto Davenport, only recently confirmed again. The 5th edition of “Toronto’s Many Faces” was recently released, and while our publication is mentioned in there as one of the German-Canadian contributors to the diversity, there are over 70 other ethnic communities that make up our mosaic.

The Polish celebration with what we call "Alphorns"
The Polish celebration with what we call "Alphorns"

Copies of this book were presented publically at Queens Park to honour 10 of the many individuals, all renowned as cultural leaders of their specific communities. In fact, this was one of the largest non partisan gatherings of multicultural leaders, foreign dignitaries and government officials in the history of this province, with over 500 of them in attendance.

Tony Ruprecht, M.P.P. (c.) with 10 honoured, influencial inviduals of ethnic communities
Tony Ruprecht, M.P.P. (c.) with 10 honoured ethnic community leaders

The speaker of the Ontario Legislature, the Honourable Steve Peters, along with 26 Federal and Provinvial Ministers and M.P.P’s were honouring 10 individuals who have shown real leadership in cementing Canada’s relationship with Quebec - especially during the period of 2 referenda, 1980 and 1993, when Canada was teetering on the brink of breaking up.

Tony Ruprecht, who organized the event, told the packed audience: “We came within a whisker of avoiding a great calamity - the break-up of our country. Once again as we move closer to a referendum it is my opinion that Canada’s ethno-cultural connection is destined to preserve Canadian unity.”

South Africa: About a year and a half ago we had wonderful visitors from Austria in our region. The members of the Kaerntner Doppelsextett, under the baton of conductor Dr. Margit Heissenberger, were ideal ambassadors of culture for their country and much appreciated not only by our local Austrian expatriates, but other people of German language heritage. Since then the group has been to China representing their country and now we can report that they had a successful and much appreciated visit in South Africa.

The Kaerntner Doppelsextett on a visit to South AfricaDuring this trip the group flew over 22 thousand miles over 8 flights and also took part in a bus-tour of the famous garden route. This was all planned out by Fanie Smit Music Tours and was sold out via Radio announcements prior to the trip.

Already on the day of their arrival in Johannesburg they gave their first concert in the local Austrian club. From there they traveled to Kapstadt were they gave concerts in Belleville and Stellenbosch, and where the Austrian Ambassador gave them a reception.

The Kaerntner Doppelsextett on a visit to South AfricaAlong the Garden Route they visited Hermanus, Albertina, Mossel, Bay, George and Roodepoort. The finale of their concerts took place in South Africa’s biggest universities in Pretoria. A special treat were two songs in Africans studied and rehearsed much in advance to this trip in honour of the country that hosted them.

The Kaerntner Doppelsextett on a visit to South AfricaEverywhere the Doppelsextett performed the applause was overwhelmingly enthusiastic, proving without a doubt that Austrian music is much loved in that country.

Dr. Margit Heissenberger said: “It is a special honour to travel as Austria’s ambassadors of folk music. The language of music opens hearts and builds bridges between people of different countries, leading to a better understanding of each other.”

Until next time

Sybille Forster-Rentmeister

Sybille reports as a German-Canadian about culture, arts, entertainment, community events from her unique perspective as an artist.

Email to Sybille Forster-Rentmeister
SybilleForster-Rentmeister, Kaerntner Doppelsextett, Kärntner Doppelsextett, Doppelsextett, Tony Ruprecht, culture, arts, entertainment, community events, events, artists, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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