Ostanek still ‘King’
The ‘King of Polka’ is still top draw in the German Community. The proof is in the pudding, as the saying goes. Despite the inclement weather about 360 guests arrived at the Danube Swabian Club in Scarborough. The big hall was packed wall to wall.
All those folks that don’t do carnival appeared to have come from far and near. Walter Ostanek has a fantastic repertoire of dance music.
Dancing to the Rhythm
No wonder he is winning award after award with his showmanship and professionalism. He kept only a very few of the guests in their seats. Most of the polkas, waltzes and other tunes were reminiscent of the areas in Europe most of the audience came from, and I guess it this familiarity that made everyone so alive and mobile.
It was a happy crowd that came back for this year’s
instalment of the Polka Kings performance.
that with the excellent food and drink available at this establishment and
it is clear why so many came out on a cold winter evening.
On the Mardi Gras – or Carnival - scene
Mississauga’s Treue Husaren
On the Mardi Gras – or Carnival - scene, Mississauga’s Treue Husaren hosted their annual costume ball at the Hansa Haus. It did not seem to be as crowded as in previous years but most of the other Carnival Societies send some members to make an appearance. The weather could have something to do with that.
Some of the visitors came from the Narrenzunft in Kitchener, the BDKK, the Loreley Club in Oshawa, Treue Husaren, Toronto, Ontario Prinzengarde, KG Hansa, Narragonia, Brantford, KG Ascendia, Hamilton plus many others. The Germania Club in Hamilton is still mourning the passing of Albert Kergl and did not think it right to send a delegation so soon after the tragedy of his passing.
Dancing to the Golden Keys
The many Costumes
Some colourful and often very innovative costumes were in evidence and the winners for the best couple were the "Mice". Best male: a biblical figure type and best female was the Phillis Diller look-a-like.
The next Mardi Gras event was the costume ball at the Loreley Club in Oshawa. One thing that was immediately noticeable was the fact that there were a great many children running all over the place having a great time. Apparently this club has realized that you have to bring in the children in order for the club to survive.
Children to stay young with
Something I have been preaching for years without success. The result is that the carnival societies have been closing up for lack of younger membership. Forty and fifty years ago, when carnival was in great shape here in Ontario, thanks to some of the old-timers, everything had to be done the German way and in the language that most of the kids - born here in Canada – were not all that familiar with. After all, when in Rome…! So the parents tried to speak English and did not teach them German. So when these kids attended some of the carnival functions they quickly became disillusioned and stayed away. The ‘Garde’ dancers tried to bring their boyfriends along – to introduce them to carnival – but they only came once and then stayed away. It took a long time to switch most of Mardi Gras to English and the Germania Club in Hamilton – at the urgings of the late Albert Kergl – was one of the first societies to slowly switch to English and so gradually did some of the others. Only now it was already too late and the younger ones stayed away.
The Girl Guards
The Loreley Club turned that trend around – at least in Oshawa. They now have more "Girl-guards" – in more age groups - than even Brantford.
The Can Can
The ‘Euro Connection’ did an admirable job in keeping the dance floor full and it was great to see some wonderful costumes – in various age groups - enjoying the event to the fullest. No one seemed to mind the odd ‘youngster’ getting underfoot either!
The Costume Parade
At the costume parade, the judges picked 13 winners and they would have picked more but ran out of prizes. It was a glorious event. Kudos to the organizers, including Tom Henninger – who led us through the evening’s program as a very capable M.C.
Thanks also to the many members of other organizations that came to visit and helped to enrich everyone’s experience to the fullest.
Comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Send mail to email@example.com
questions or comments about this web site.