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July, 2006 - Nr. 7


The Editor
Sound of Music
KW & Beyond
Dick announces...
Tie the Knot at CNE
Betraying Our Children
Herwig Wandschneider
Dick reports...
Sybille reports
Ham Se det jehört?
Métis Arts Festival
TSO & Detroit Symphony
COC's Complete Ring Cycle
RBC Seniors' Jubilee
Darstellung Deutschlands
Claudia Schiffer Promotes
German Historical Museum
International AIDS Conference
Werner Herzog Welcomed
Praise after World Cup
Close - but no cigar
Magic of Soccer
German-built Space Lab
Biofuels Show Promise
Easy Border Crossing

Dick reports...

Dick Altermann at his computer

Caravan Dead?

Not quite! At least not at the Danube-Swabian Club in Scarborough. The club hosted a "Mini Caravan" – complete with the mandatory Princess, Michelle Vincent - and called it Sommerfest.

The set-up was identical to previous Caravans with cake and The pastry barcoffee bar at the entrance to the hall and the food service in the northeast corner. On the menu were the traditional cabbage rolls, schnitzels and tasty sausages. The bar was open in the foyer and "Regina’s Dirndl Stube" displayed wonderful dresses and accessories upstairs.

The guest drifted in relatively slowly, but steadily and by the time the entertainment started there was a good crowd in the hall. Mike Nemeth did a great job providing background music, also for the dancers, when required.

The Danube Swabian Youth Group with Ingrid Szauter

The entertainment opened with the ‘Kindergruppe’ at the stage, singing old German folksongs, led and accompanied by their teacher – Ingrid Szauter – on the guitar.

The Juniors Dance

I want to danceThis was followed by the Junior and Senior Children groups with a number of well-rehearsed folk dances. It was heart-warming to see the fervour of the kids dancing for the guests.

Miss Danube surrounded by young dancersMike Nemeth felt the need to chastise some of the guests who demonstrated no interest in the children’s efforts and were having loud conversations during the performances. No wonder if we loose the kids to other interests. The least we could do is applaud their efforts, loudly!

The Senior Youth Group


Michelle Vincent, Miss Danube, is led onto the dance floorOn the agenda also were the ‘Heimatgruppe’ as well as the Jugendgruppe (Youth Group), who entertained with a number of breathtaking dances, including the part where the girls The broom danceare sent flying. Since there were a few members of the regular group missing, some of the old-timers from the Heimatgruppe helped out. They still remembered all the choreography! Great Save!

Flying high


Guest join in


One of the highlights was a dance performance that included people from the audience and it was amazing to see how quickly most of them adjusted to the dance routine. All were well applauded.

Peter Baumann of P.B. DuoThe Peter Baumann Duo played dance music for the balance of the evening.

A little more publicity might have filled the hall a bit more but it was a great event anyway.

You may recall that Metro Toronto International Caravan – founded by Zena Kossar in 1969 – tried unsuccessfully to stage a multicultural event at Downsview Park last year. Unfortunately they had problems with the financing and Caravan did not come off in 2005. Their website is still open at but there is no new information available from Kirk Jensen, the new president. One might say that Caravan is may be not dead, but definitely asleep.

Try Harbourfront…

…for an interesting and at times fascinating day. The Queens Quay Terminal is often the first choice of visitors to Look at the TowerHarbourfront. It is filled with some extraordinary stores and strongly recommended if you are looking for something out of the ordinary and not available in the mall where you normally shop. There are also a number of great restaurants in the area – including Captain John’s Boat, a little to the east. It is one of Toronto’s Landmarks and famous for its seafood delights.

How stuff is made will be demonstrated in the York Quay Centre, glassblowing, pottery and other interesting crafts are open for the visitor to see. This was true especially during the Canada Day Weekend.

Handicraft cornerIn the ‘Kid’s Tent children find many things to do such as making little boats, flags or hats and for the budding gourmets ‘Chocolate Making’ is on the agenda at the terrace.

Chocolaty creationThe children got to fill maple leaf molds with red and white chocolate to create a lollipop in Canada’s colors. Decorating the moldAfter a short cooling down in the on-site refrigerator, these can be packaged in plastic sleeves to take home. I am not sure that very many Mine is finishedof them made it home!

Harbourfront Centre offers diverse and delicious cuisine from across the globe! You can taste and test hundreds of dishes so that you can get the best international treats. Every weekend, you’ll have a chance to try food from different regions - examples include Africa, East Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America, the Mediterranean, the Middle East, South Asia, the West Indies, as well as other regions and fusion. Get your taste buds ready for action!

Just like the festivals, the International Marketplace gives you easy access to the world! You will find wild silks, sterling jewellery, handmade carvings and much more from Africa, Australia, East Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and South Asia. Every weekend, different vendors will be at Harbourfront Centre – go on down and see what’s in store!

If you have had enough of music, boats and seagulls, drift over to the Toronto Music Garden that starts at the foot of Spadina Avenue and winds itself to the west along the waterfront. You may still have the seagull, duck and swans, but as of now you will have guided tours taking place to September, Wednesdays, 11 a.m.; pre-concert tours on Thursdays at 5:30 p.m.; free 45-minute walking tours led by the Toronto Botanical Garden volunteer guides, or 70-minute self-guided audio tours hosted by Yo-Yo Ma and Garden Designer Julie Moir Messervy.

The self-guided hand-held audio players can be picked up daily (from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.) at the Marina Quay West office, just south west of the Garden for a rental fee of $5. Group tours can be booked through the Toronto Botanical Garden directly at 416-397-1366. Please call them for complete information.

For information on the Toronto Music Garden and its programmes, or to receive information on upcoming events, call the Harbourfront Centre Info line at 416-973-4000. For information on other City of Toronto parks and gardens, call Access Toronto at 416-338-0338, or visit for the Toronto Music Garden website.

The Toronto Music Garden is wheelchair-accessible. All concerts are free, but will be cancelled in the event of rain.

But no matter when you go, there is always something going on, something to see or music to listen to.


Canada Day

Queen's Park on Canada Day

Trumpet soloOne of the most important events this year of Canada’s 139th birthday was the citizenship ceremony at Queens Park with Mélanye Boissonnault from CBC Radio as Master of Ceremonies, expertly guiding the event that a Trumpet Trio from Soundstream Canada initiated on this sweltering day.

Citizenship Judge Sarkis Assadourian led about 30 immigrants from 18 countries as they swore allegiance to Canada and the Queen. This solemn ceremony was held on a large stage in front of the stately Parliament Building. This Judge Sarnis Assadovrian hands out certificateswas the first time that this ceremony was ever held outdoors and the whole ceremony was ‘signed’ by an interpreter for the deaf.

The judge praised the participants in the ceremony for their perseverance, faith and courage and that many of them had travelled "a long and difficult road" to get here. "We are glad that road brought you to us," he also said.

Across Canada, about 2,300 people swore their oath of citizenship on Canada’s Birthday.

Charmingly CanadianHere at Queens Park the many visitors were entertained by a variety of specialties. A small Midway with blow-up displays, Face Painting, Magician, Clowns, Arts and Craft area, a ‘Touch Table’ from the Toronto Zoo gave visitors a chance Dennis Fraser's exhibitto touch pelts and furs of animals they could not very likely ever touch in the wild, such as tigers, ocelots, cheetahs and others. Dennis Fraser tirelessly explained and demonstrated the displays to the fascinated – mostly young – visitors.

 A young artistFinishing a creation





Yes, there was a BBQ set up for the hungry and ‘Water on Wheels’ for the thirsty.

Old Fort York

A Canada Day salute at Fort York

Of course Canada’s Army demonstrated the firing of their cannon and muskets and some close order drill at Old Fort York on Canada Day.

In the kitchenOther demos included baking in the Officer’s Mess – great for the little soldiers among the visitors. Snacks and refreshments were available in the Canteen.


Loyalistsand soldiers





Demonstrating the old rifleI felt sorry for the young soldiers in their heavy Fife and drumuniforms who had to march in 30 degree temperatures for the visitors or play Fife and Drum for them. Just think, this was normal way back then!

Unfortunately most of the demonstrations were scheduled so that visitors had to face south, into the sun – which made it very difficult to take photographs.

Past admires the presence

There were many other celebrations scheduled for this day all over the city, too many to list them all here. It demonstrates however that people are glad to be here and celebrate Canada and all it offers.

Remember: Only the Inuit and People of the First Nations, referred to by us, as Indians are native to this land. All others just adopted it, including our community!

Happy Birthday Canada!

Dick Altermann


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