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German immigrants and their descendents from the former Tsarist Russian Empire and from the former Soviet Union are being invited to a Festival in Medicine Hat on September 5, 6, and 7th, 2003.

Germans from Russia were one of the largest ethnic groups among the pioneer homesteaders in Southeastern Alberta and Southwest Saskatchewan. Some migrations of the group to this region of Canada began before the establishment of the Provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. The major migrations, however, were between 1905 and 1914. During the Collectivization and Great Purge periods in the Soviet Union more people of German extraction fled to Canada. Again, after World War II, another small wave of Germans from Russia displaced by war, famine and oppression found their sanctuary in this region of Canada.

Today, estimates suggest that approximately 40% of Medicine Hatters are either first generation Germans from Russia or their descendents.

The purpose of the Festival is to share the story of a people’s migration that began in various German principalities, continued with the colonization of various Russian and Soviet regions, and came to a rewarding conclusion in Canada.

This gathering will include immigrants from the Volga, Polish and Ukrainian Volhynia, the Black Sea region, the Caucasus, Siberia, Crimea, Bessarabia, Romania, and many others, some of whom came here after a brief settlement in the U.S.A., especially in the Dakotas.

The weekend Festival, to be held in the Cypress Centre, includes plenary and breakout sessions that will cover genealogical information, sociological and historical backgrounders, personal experiences, entertainment and an interdenominational church service. The Keynote Speaker will be The Right Honourable Edward Schreyer, former Premier of Manitoba; Governor General of Canada; and Canadian High Commissioner to Australia.

The sessions are designed for both experienced and novice students of their ethnic history. It will be an opportunity to hear and see the fascinating story of their forbearers.

A registration form is included. Please print a copy, complete the required information, and forward payment to the address noted on the form.

The costs for the festival are as follows:

All inclusive - Friday to Sunday (up to August 15) $50. *

(after August 15) $60.

Saturday Banquet and Social only $25.

*Includes Friday evening gathering event, Saturday Banquet, Sunday breakfast/brunch and coffee/lunch breaks.


Festival for Germans From Russia - Contact List

Phone No./ Email

Honourary Chairman: Otto Gross 403-545-6945

President: Sol Ruff 403-526-7834 / solruff@telus.net

Vice President: A.J. (Tony) Giesinger 403-527-4866 / thegoose@telusplanet.net

Treasurer: Norm Emann 403-526-5720

Secretary: Teresa Parasynchuk 403-527-3678 / pchuk@telusplanet.net

Promotion: Ted Grimm 403-527-5645

Steering Committee: Lorna Veenstra 403-529-9327

Adolf Seiler 403-527-7841 / aseiler@telusplanet.net


Registration Information

Tentative Agenda Friday