To Echoworld Homepage

To Echo Germanica Homepage
December, 2006 - Nr. 12

Click to view the Front Page


The Editor
Reason for the Season
Friedliche Weihnacht
Christbaum für alle
A Christmas Dream
An den Christbaum
Die Weihnachtsbäume
10th Christkindl Market Kitchener
Opera York's 10th
K-W & Beyond
Neuer Pastor...
Mozart Celebrations
Der November Vortrag
Remembrance Day in Kitchener
Martini Tanz
Carnival is Back
Dick reports...
Sybille reports
Ham Se det jehört?
Hausmann's New Film
Films Germans are watching
Deutsche Kultur...
National Ballet of Canada
Canada's Postal Elves
Private Schools in Germany
Cardiovascular Disease
Fuel Cells by VW
Mexico Honors Beckenbauer
Klinsmann Not Coaching
Blackout Baby Boom
Identity Theft
Ontario Human Rights
Ontario Benefits from Skills

Letter from the Editor

GS Hospitality Connections

Sybille Forster-Rentmeister  

Dear Reader

This is our Christmas issue and the final one for the year 2006. The German cultural arena in Canada has much to look back on. I have said it before and I will say it again until everyone has really understood it: It is a great time to be German-Canadian, or Canadian-German, or however else you would like to describe it. Everywhere we look the signs of our culture are prominently on display.

Just take the Christmas tree, which is making a big comeback at Toronto City Hall! The last 8 years or so- during the Lastman years- it was simply a metal construction with some electric lights on it. Of course it was not called a Christmas tree; how could it?

Scene from Danube Swabian Club

Now, that a 4o foot real tree is back the city has proclaimed that it is OK to have and say Christmas Tree. In fact, City Hall sent out a fact sheet discussing this evergreen wonder, which even included mentioning of the first occurrence of this custom in Sorel, Quebec, in 1781. The only thing that was not mentioned is the fact that it was the German General von Riedesel’s (also German) wife, who is said to have had it put it up at the barracks as much for herself and her family as for the troupes her husband was commandeering. (There is a Website "Christmas Traditions in France and Canada", which also attests to this.)

So in Toronto City Hall it is ok to use the word Christmas tree, but at Queens Park, I was advised, it is still a NO-NO, something we must work on to have changed.

Now we live in a time when German Christmas Markets are making a strong case for such seasonal customs that are commonplace in our past homeland. Case in point is illustrated on our front page, announcing the 10th Anniversary of the Kitchener Christkindl Market, which was architected by Toni Bergmeier.

Unfortunately, attempts to duplicate such a wonderful event in Toronto failed and we must ask the question if it was the same municipal institution that would not allow the Cavalcade of Lights to have a real Christmas Tree, but a metal contraption. It was well supported by provincial politics, especially the ministry responsible for tourism. Frank Klees, then minister for such affairs, was only too happy to take the initiative to further this lovely custom, which is so very successful elsewhere, including in Chicago.

You can read more about this multi award winning community event in Kitchener inside this publication.

It must be said that not all such markets are created equal. The ones that take place in ethnic clubs and venues are sometimes quite successful, but many are also showing weaker visitor numbers than in years past.

Rainer & Heidi of George JewellersThe Danube Swabian Market in Scarborough also showed less numbers but sales were up nevertheless, we were told. (I must go there to point out to the best of all husbands what to acquire from Georges Jewellers for my jewellery box, which gets expanded every Christmas as a family tradition) There are some old loyalties involved when visiting a club fair. Food and toys, crafts and traditional Christmas items can easily be found there all under one roof, which is very convenient.

The Christkindl Market in Kitchener however is still a growing proposition, attracting even many visitors form outside the country and we hope that it makes many more friends in the years to come.

Until we all meet again in the New Year we at Echo Germanica wish all our readers, clients and friends a very merry Christmas!

Sybille Forster-Rentmeister


Comments to:

To Top of Page

Send mail to  with questions or comments about this web site.
For information about Echoworld Communications and its services send mail to .

Copyright ©2010 Echoworld Communications