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June, 2006 - Nr. 6


The Editor
Zum Vatertag
Die gute Tat
Canadian Rhapsody
KW & Beyond
Dick reports...
Sybille reports
Against Psychiatric Drugging
Countdown to Summer!
Planet in Focus
Ben Hepner at TSO
German Shorts at WWSFF
Kyoto Agreement Belittled?
CNE 2006
Music - Music - Music
In My Travels
Heidelberg Village
Herwig Wandschneider

Spotlight on Germany…plus…

  The most obvious point on the given subject is the FIFA Soccer World Cup, which will be celebrated here as much as anywhere in the world. We have large contingents of all the world’s soccer loving countries living in Canada and we know from the past that come World Cup time old passions awake even in those of us who do not live and breath soccer on a daily basis. This will become even more of a reality since we now have our own national soccer club, recently founded and already making allies with those that are dear to us, like SOS Children’s Villages, in an effort to raise enough awareness for the need of establishing another 6 villages. SOS Canada and the Canadian Soccer Association have resolved to fund a Canada Soccer House in Rustenburg, South Africa, in eyesight of the 2010 Soccer World Cup. Villages are to be built in South Africa, Nigeria, Mexico, Brazil, Vietnam and Ukraine. This in Austria founded concept has proven to be one of the most beneficial and humane ways to help orphaned children in their native country.

Both organisations can give you more data as to their programs, needs and intentions.


The Europeans came…

Dr. Karl Schmidt, Austrian Consul & Trade Commissioner, his wife & Dr. Arpad Sölter, Director, GI Toronto…again. In its second year the opening of this Film Fest was celebrated at the fabulous Toronto Goethe Institute and everyone who is important in our culturally oriented world of diplomacy was there. The festival was a big success last year and had a bigger reception this year. It even received Television coverage. The very wonderfully located Polish Consulate in Toronto also celebrated the European Film Fest with an evening reception on the grounds of the fabulous mansion on Lakeshore Blvd. overseeing Lake Ontario and the skyline from a particularly lovely spot. Film showings chased social events and vice versa, keeping organizers and fans busy.

And by the way, the World Soccer Cup can also be viewed at the Goethe Institut on a big screen!


Diplomatic Success

Switzerland was proud to celebrate the 100th anniversary of its presence in Toronto and the 40th anniversary of the Swiss Chamber of Commerce. On May 11, 2006 this occasion was commemorated with a gathering at the Consulate General of Switzerland in Toronto with traditional music and specialties, of which there are many. One think only of the famous cheeses and chocolates!

Dr. Karl Schmidt, Austrian Consul & Trade Commissioner; Jean-Claude Hagmann, Swiss Consul General; Eva Wazda, Publisher, and Claudio Leoncavallo, Swiss Consul   [photo: Eva Wazda]

In his remarks the Consul General Jean-Claude Hagmann recounted this long history of cooperation and trust and pointed out the similarities of Canada and Switzerland in traditions and values.

For more of this history go to our website and read the notes on the event.

It should also be mentioned that Switzerland, as has Germany, a fair number of films showing in the Toronto Worldwide Short Film Festival between June13 and 18. Most of them will be shown in the Isabel Bader Theatre. Go to for more information.


Changes in the
German Business and Professional Association

After over 50 years of networking and co-operating with other business-oriented entities of German origin the GBPA is dissolving, or not quite yet. Congratulations to Jeff Kriwetz   [photo: Neue Welt]A new board of directors and a new president were elected to facilitate the process of joining the German Canadian Chamber of Trade and commerce as an entity in itself, sort of an under group, if you like. Since both organisations essentially pursue the same purposes it only makes sense to amalgamate the entities and thus become more efficient in attaining the mutual goals.

The legacy of the association will not be lost. A bursary will be created that will function as a reward to scholary efforts in the subject of something German related, much like the prestigious Bitzer Prize in Kitchener–Waterloo. This will also be a fabulous opportunity for good PR, of which one can never have enough.

It had been said that the association is no longer financially viable. This is not true if one reads the financial reports. Especially the last few years there has been a turn around in the number of memberships and successful events that left the organisation very flush. As of early in the year the surplus was over 70 thousand dollars, past president Karsten Mertens was pleased to report. Unfortunately the presidency of such an organisation requires more time than anyone has these days. Thus a merger with another likeminded organisation only makes sense, especially since the Chamber has a well working infrastructure in place.

We shall see how it all works out.

Until next time

Sybille Forster-Rentmeister


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