Join US! SCCHC has been planning this project since 1994 and has been negotiating with a partner in Slovakia to invite their participation and assistance on this monumental project. In the meantime, SCCHC has undertaken to organize support for this project here, at home, and to work with all interested Slovak Canadian organizations towards its realization. To date, there are already 43 organizations supporting this project - we strongly believe that other Slovak Canadian organizations will become involved, to help make “Slovaks in Canada” a reality. This idea had been strongly endorsed at the two founding meetings that were held in Toronto in the first two months of 2001. Further meetings are in the works to spread the word about this project and all those interested are encouraged to attend. Other media, such as newspaper articles and the WEB, are being deployed to reach as many Slovak Canadians as possible. We invite you to participate and to share news about “Slovaks in Canada” with others.
- to document and visually present the near 120 year history of Slovaks in Canada
- to proudly display, in both Canada and Slovakia, our Slovak Canadian achievements
- to promote awareness of our Slovak nation within Canada
- to discuss the current state of the Slovak community in Canada and to foster new directions for Slovaks in Canada in the new millennium
The 120th anniversary marking the arrival of the first Slovak immigrants to Canada is an important milestone in the Slovak contribution to the building of Canada. In addition, the Slovaks in Canada never forgot their compatriots in Slovakia and kept their identity and culture alive for more than 50 years during the iron grip of communism in their homeland. The hard work of Slovak immigrants has allowed their children to be integrated into the very fabric of Canada. As Canadians of Slovak descent, we have very much to be proud of, both, when reflecting on our parents, and grandparents achievements, and the opportunities that our Slovak heritage has offered each and every one of us. The nearly 120,000 Slovaks living in Canada today are part of the history of Canada.
Slovakia, as a country, and Slovaks as its people, are not aware of the capabilities, history, and pride of the over 2.5 million people of Slovak origin living around the world that reside outside of their country's borders. Specifically, the Canadian Slovaks have much to show the current Slovak citizens, relating to how we have kept our heritage alive over 120 years. Through the use of multi-media, videos, Internet, photography exhibits, works of art, books, manuscripts, records, and films will be able to raise the awareness of the achievements of Slovak Canadians, our parents and our grandparents. An exhibit in Slovakia, of Slovak Canadian Achievements, will do much to foster a better understanding of the history of Slovaks living in Canada and other parts of the world.
In Other Countries
The news of a major exhibit on Slovaks in Canada has been received very positively by Slovak organizations in other parts of the world, where there are sizeable Slovak communities. The largest such community is in the United States. Already, several groups, museums and organizations have expressed an interest in exhibiting portions of our exhibit in various cities in the U.S.A.
In order for the exhibit to be a success, the Slovak Canadian Organizations, Clubs and Churches need to work together, to make this exhibit truly represent their achievements and their history. Every effort is being made to contact current and past organizations, their leaders and individual members.
These Churches and Organizations have committed themselves to work on this project. We expect many more organizations will join us in this monumental undertaking in the very near future.
- Sts. Cyril & Methodius Church (Mississauga, Ontario)
- Sts. Cyril & Methodius Church (Windsor, Ontario)
- St. Mathew's Lutheran Church (Smithville, Ontario)
- St. Paul's Lutheran Church (Toronto, Ontario)
- Nativity Lutheran Church (Windsor, Ontario)
- Slovak Canadian Cultural and Heritage Centre (Toronto)
- Canadian Slovak League Head Office (Toronto, Ontario)
- Canadian Slovak League First District Assembly
- Canadian Slovak League Branch 7 (Toronto, Ontario)
- Canadian Slovak League Branch 23 (Welland, Ontario)
- Canadian Slovak League Branch 31 (St. Catharines, Ont.)
- Canadian Slovak League Branch 34 (Kitchener, Ontario)
- Kanadsky Slovak (Toronto, Ontario)
- Slovak Canadian National Council (Toronto, Ontario)
- Canadian Slovak Benefit Society (Toronto, Ontario)
- Vychodna Slovak Dancers (Mississauga, Ontario)
- Bratislava Dancers (Welland, Ontario)
- First Catholic Slovak Union - Jednota (Toronto, Ont.)
- St. Peter's Slovak Catholic Church (Thunder Bay, Ont.)
- Slovak Centennial Committee (Thunder Bay, Ontario)
- Royal Canadian Legion Slovak Branch 129 (Thunder Bay)
- Ladies Auxiliary Slovak Legion Branch 129 (Thunder Bay)
- Canadian Slovak League Branch 10 (Thunder Bay)
- First Catholic Slovak Union Branch 638 (Thunder Bay)
- First Catholic Slovak Union Branch 402 (Thunder Bay)
- St. Peter’s Catholic Women’s League (Thunder Bay)
- Slovak Club Vojvodina (Windsor, Ontario)
- Slovak Domovina Dancers (Windsor, Ontario)
- Rozmarin Dancers (Windsor, Ontario)
- Toronto Slovak Dancers (Toronto, Ontario)
- Toronto Slovak Singers (Toronto, Ontario)
- Sts. Cyril & Methodius Roman Catholic (Montreal, Quebec)
- First Catholic Slovak Union, Jednota (Montreal, Quebec)
- Br. 784 and Junior Br
- Br. 810 and Junior Br.
- Canadian Slovak League (Montreal, Quebec):
- Men's Branch 2
- Ladies Branch 4 and Junior Branch 1
- Slovak Athletic Club Krivan
- Slovak Theatre Group Slovensko
- III District Assembly
- "Lipa" Canadian Slovak Folk Ensemble
- Sirava Slovak Folk Ensemble
- Slovak Gardens
- Canadian Slovak Cultural Centre Inc. (Montreal, Quebec)
- Canadian Slovak Professional & Business Assoc. (Montreal)
- Eparchy of Sts. Cyril & Methodius:
- St. Mary's Catholic Church (Toronto, Ontario)
- The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Hamilton)
- St. Michael's Catholic Church (Windsor, Ontario)
- Slovak Cathedral of the Transfiguration (Markham, Ont.)
- Holy Ghost Parish (Welland, Ontario)
- Ascension of Our Lord Slovak G.C. Parish (Montreal)
- Protector of Mother of God (Oshawa, Ontario)
For additional information on the "Slovaks in Canada" Project, please contact: Ondrej Mihal at Slovak Canadian Cultural and Heritage Centre, at 416-939-3111 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org . You may also contact the Leaders of any organization listed above.
Want to know more about "Slovaks in Canada"?
Some Historical Background
Because Slovak immigration to Canada is composed of numerous waves, it is very difficult to treat the Slovak community as homogeneous. The first immigrants came to the Canadian Prairies in the 1880's because of economic hardships in their homeland. The end of World War I and the closing of the USA borders to new immigrants brought a new wave of Slovaks; though not their first choice, they nevertheless made Canada their new home. Then, the end of World War II and the political upheaval in Eastern Europe once again brought another wave of Slovaks. Finally, the 1968 invasion of Czecho-Slovakia brought the last major wave of new immigrants. The past thirty years has seen a much smaller influx of Slovak immigrants, but with their recent independence, there is a renewed interest in Slovakia for people to come to Canada and seek a better economic future for their families. This influx of new immigrants over the years, though sporadic, has built on and added to the existing foundation of organizations that were created by previous generations, helping to preserve and keep our Slovak identity within today's Multicultural Canadian mosaic.
What is the Project?
The "Slovaks in Canada" project will revolve around a "major" exhibit in Slovakia and will present the various histories of each wave of Slovak immigrants, their fight to preserve their culture and heritage and, for some, their total integration into Canadian society.
The "Slovaks in Canada" project has both tangible and intangible aspects that are very important to the overall scheme of this project. The intangible benefits are: raised awareness, good will, pride and joy and respect regarding the achievements of our ancestors in Canada during the past 120 years. The tangible aspects are what most people will be able to see, feel and touch during the 18-month duration of this Project. such as the large murals, text, photos, artifacts, artwork, handicrafts, films, and other multi-media presentations.
About the Exhibit:
In order to present our complex history to those living in Slovakia, the "Slovaks in Canada" exhibit will be broken down into "themes" such as:
- The Historical overview of Slovaks in Canada.
- The Organizational history of various institutions, organizations, churches and clubs in Canada
- The Artistic celebration of Slovaks in Canada
- The Multimedia presentation of Slovaks in Canada
- The Literary achievements of Slovaks in Canada
- A Photo exhibit "Reflections in the Mirror"
- The Contribution of Sports to Slovak Canadian identity
- The Politics and Political objectives of Slovaks in Canada
These themes will be incorporated into a graphic and exciting multi-media presentation with the use of: murals, text, photos, artifacts, artwork, handicrafts, films, and other multi-media presentation techniques.
What We Hope To Accomplish:
- multiple Canadian Slovak organizations working together for one common goal
- a checkpoint of almost 120 years of Slovak Canadian achievements and activities
- numerous exhibits in Canada of part of the whole exhibit
- a one-time exhibit in Bratislava, Slovakia
- travelling sub-exhibit in other cities in Slovakia
- a video - "Slovaks in Canada - Past and Present" in both the Slovak and English languages
- a book "Slovaks in Canada" approx. 200 pages
- virtual exhibit at www.SlovaksinCanada.ca
- a symposium on "Slovaks in Canada" in Bratislava, Slovakia
- published book & video will be donated to all interested Canadian Libraries as well as Libraries in Slovakia
- portions will be permanently housed, after the Exhibit, at these potential sites
- Slovak House in Toronto, or Slovak Studies in Ottawa, Canada
- appropriate Slovak organizations in the Slovak Republic
It is very difficult to calculate the costs for such a large project, especially when the parameters have not been fully defined. Some financial support in Canada is going to come from Slovakia but the rest of the cost would have to be shared by participating organizations and generous individuals. Some organizations with a valuable history no longer exist and/or do not have much money to contribute, and will be relying on the generosity and resourcefulness of others to have their story told.
The planned Canadian exhibit will commence in various locations in Canada in the late fall of 2001 and continue throughout early 2002. The Slovak exhibit in Bratislava will be in the summer of 2002. This is subject to change as more organizations come on board; as well as the final agreement with a partner in Slovakia. We have to be realistic that this project would be done by volunteers and with the generous financial contributions that will need to be raised in the next 18 months.
Valuable materials in Canadian libraries and archives are minimal, so we are appealing to organizations and individuals, who may or may not be aware that they have a very crucial piece of history regarding Slovaks in Canada, within their possession.
We are in need of the following: photos, films (such as home movies, 8mm films), slides and negatives, home audio recordings of Slovaks in various activities (work, play, recreation, sport, culture, travel, etc), old Slovak newspapers, magazines, books by Slovak Canadian authors, Year-books or calendars, old family diaries of their lives in Canada, recorded music or plays, artwork, paintings, graphics and any other material that could exhibit the life of Slovaks in Canada.
Please check for these in your homes, cottages, garages, attics, shoeboxes or trunks. Ask your relatives and friends of Slovak heritage. All items will be returned to owners (unless other arrangements are agreed upon).
We need your help to make this a success!
We need both your financial and material help to make this project a success! Your generous contribution will be noted in the special Exhibit Catalog in Slovakia, as well as in the Kanadsky Slovak newspaper. In addition, we are inviting artists, sculptors, writers, photographers and those in other fields of interest to come forward and work together on this project. We are also looking for volunteers with various organizational and production skills.
Please make your cheque payable to:
Slovaks in Canada
c/o Slovak Canadian Cultural & Heritage Centre
12 Birch Avenue
Toronto, ON M4V 1C8