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May 2007 - Nr.


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GS Hospitality Connections



The Editor
My Mother
Was ist eine Mutter?
At Least One Chicken...
Germanica 2007
KW & Beyond
For the Youngster...
Two Very Special Concerts
Nine New "Chevaliers"
Dick reports...
Sybille reports
Ham Se det jehört?
John G. Diefenbaker-Preis
Canadian Stage Company
German Films in San Francisco
Goethe Institutes in Canada
EU Poetry in Motion
Bee's Knees Performance
Berlin Philharmonics 125th
Ontario Girls Honoured
Liquid Assets
Physicist Von Weizsäcker Died
Powerhouse in Solar
Solar by Germany to Korea
Wind Energy Grows Fast
Brighter Future for Germans
Bunker Attraction

Letter from the Editor

Sybille Forster-Rentmeister  

Dear Reader

It is with great pleasure that I work today. As I write this the sun is shining, the birds are singing, some of them are of quite an exotic variety. They still come around remembering the winter-feeding station, which I keep going, just not as frequently.

Forsythia bushes exploded within days into their finest chrome yellow blossom costume and Magnolia trees are budding, even if they are not as showy yet as the one on the front page. This shot was taken in our neighbourhood last year at the same time, actually a bit earlier.

Lunch in the garden is a pleasant change from sitting inside. We feel as though we have been freed from a dungeon, running around in shorts and new summer galoshes.

Folks walk dogs and smile a lot, stop for a chat, and admire the flowers in the front yards, where daffodils and early mini tulips compete for attention with pansies in a variety of colours turning their colourful faces towards the sun. Carpets of blue emerge on juicy green grass as crocuses fade away. Soon the lawn will want its first mowing.

Spring arrived late in our regions this year, but it has arrived in all its glory just in time for children to pick flowers for their mom and dad on their special days; at least I hope they still do it as we did, and do not just run to the next store with money from the other parent.

Perhaps I am a hopeless romantic and old fashioned, but I sincerely do wish that some of our old customs are being preserved for a very long time.

With the promise of spring also arrived a flurry of activities in our community’s venues and in the art scene. We covered a cross-section for you to raise your appetite for more.

Please expect a major survey soon and send it in filled out. The results will determine how we will proceed from here. Our community is arriving at a crossroad and to remain viable more data is needed to serve this community in support of its own efforts to survive.

Goethe Institute News

Franziska Steiger, Dr. Arpad Sölter & Sabine RehbergOne fine day in April the director of the local Goethe Institut, Dr. Arpad Sölter, called a press conference over breakfast to unveil a new strategy. Of the very lengthy list of media contacts (mainstream and ethnic) that had been invited only two had turned up: Dr. Arpad Sölter embraces the Canadian German media: Sybille Forster-Rentmeister, Echo Germanica, & Eva Wazda, Das EchoDas Echo, Montreal, had sent Eva Wazda and Echo Germanica, Toronto, was represented by myself. This made for a very intimate setting for discussion as to why ‘the powers that are’ in Berlin had decided to follow another strategy in forwarding German culture abroad. Instead of maintaining costly premises for occasional exhibits and receptions, for film projections of a variety of formats - older and new- and instead of quite an extensive library space the idea forwarded is to find even more partners than before and sponsor and participate in outside venues. This is of course not a new idea. We know that the most successful events for a broad Canadian public were held in the past not in the Goethe Institut but in locations such as Harbour Front, the Distillery District, art galleries of all descriptions, the artsy Gladstone Hotel and a variety of theatres and other venues. The institute will of course maintain its German Language school mandate at the same address, but with an entrance around the corner at University Ave. The money saved on the extremely high rent in downtown Toronto can instead be spend on more events that forward German culture.

This format has been very successful in the past, especially with the cooperation of other European countries playing together an important role in forwarding a more united Europe. We noticed this format during film festivals for instance.

No doubt there is an effort to not spend dollars on a lot of expensive real estate when it can be put to use in a better and more productive way.

Thus the later cries of woe, especially in the Globe and Mail, predicting doom for the institute, are not only a bit too early, they are probably also very wrong. Dr. Sölter has done an amazing job of promoting German culture in Canada. Adapting a North American approach to financing artistic and cultural venues is an expected step for Germany in a global village atmosphere. To ask for local participation on a bigger scale, and to download some of the inevitable cost to the guest countries that have not contributed their fair share, as is the case with Canada, is simply a way of redistributing the responsibilities of shouldering cultural interchange between nations. Dr. Sölter has done an excellent job of ensuring the future for more of German culture events in Canada by having prepared for it during the last few years. Cooperation and integration are the secrets to the success of ventures of an international scope. There is no reason for this to change now.

Having said that I wish to remind you of the many wonderful opportunities to experience German culture wherever you may look for it. You will find it almost everywhere.

Have a fantastic month of May!

Sybille Forster-Rentmeister


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