Many Canadians never think about how and why our ancestors came here.
My father’s ancestors emigrated to North America from Alsace in the early 1800s. Although no one knows why they came, it may have been that they were German at a time Alsace was in French hands, but it was probably economic. They entered the US at Batavia New York and wandered around a lot before setting roots in the vicinity of Walkerton, ON.
In the early 20th Century—as a very young woman—my paternal grandmother emigrated to Canada all on her own. She left Germany at the height of the post WWI runaway inflation, so economic chaos may have been part of the reason she came, there’s also a story about an unsuitable romance her family wanted to break up.
And my mother and her brother were the only children in her family to be born here after her family fled the Russian Revolution. So my forbears certainly include refugees.
All three of these stories fuels my interest in history, and stirs my curiosity. There are many reasons for migration.
I just discovered the Waterloo Region Immigration Partnership is hosting a Global Migration Film Festival that will run through December. I’ve already missed a few films I would very much have liked to see, but the remaining lineup of documentary films looks pretty spectacular.
Lately some extremist politicians have made some negative pronouncements on recent global migration. When we meet people from other cultures, when we see them as the real live living breathing human beings they are, it becomes much more difficult to dehumanize them. Waterloo Region owes a lot of its success to the fact it has long been a destination for Canadian Immigrants.
Come see the films and listen to the stories. Get to know something about some of the people who have come—or will come—here. And bring a friend or several!
Friday, December 7th, 2018
Bushfallers – A Journey of Chasing Dreams
6 p.m. at the Queen Street Commons Café
43 Queen Street South, Kitchener, ON
Thursday, December 13th, 2018
A Thousand Girls Like Me
7 p.m. at the Cambridge Centre for the Arts
60 Dickson Street, Cambridge,ON
Friday, December 14th, 2018
I Am Rohingya: A Genocide in Four Acts
6 p.m. at the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery
101 Queen St N, Kitchener
Tuesday, December 18th, 2018
6 p.m. at the Kitchener City Hall Rotunda
200 King St W, Kitchener, ON
Salaam B’y – A Story of a Muslim Newfoundlander
7 p.m. at the Kitchener City Hall Rotunda
Kitchener City Hall Rotunda