"New Lives” – an exhibition of 50 portraits of Hungarian Canadians
Portraits by V. Tony Hauser commissioned by the National Arts Centre of Canada in 2006
We are pleased to present once again on our site “New Lives,” a special exhibit created by the National Arts Centre of Canada (NAC) in 2006 to mark the 50th anniversary of the arrival of about 38,000 Hungarian refugees to Canada in 1956-57. The NAC, which played a leading role in the National Capital Region in organizing celebrations for the anniversary, commissioned 50 portraits of Hungarian Canadians from diverse fields of endeavour by renowned Canadian portrait photographer V. Tony Hauser. The exhibition of the portraits, with accompanying texts written by the 50 individuals, was presented with historical panels prepared by the Library and Archives Canada (LAC), and was opened on October 4th 2006 at the NAC as the first in a series of commemorative events. The opening included a recital by Canadian pianist Mary Kenedi in front of an audience that included several of the portrait sitters. The exhibition travelled to a number of locations in 2006-7 both in Canada and abroad (including Hungary) and forms part of the permanent collection of LAC. It has also been on display at the new Canadian Immigration Museum at Pier 21 in Halifax.
The Canada-Hungary Educational Foundation (CHEF) was set up in 2005 to help mark the 50th anniversary of the arrival of the Hungarian refugees by creating public awareness for Canada’s role in taking them in and showcasing their contributions to Canadian society. During 2006 we undertook several projects in partnership with the NAC and other national cultural agencies, as well as other public and private institutions. You can find out more about some of these on our Anniversary page and elsewhere on this website.
Among longer term goals, CHEF has undertaken educational projects not only about the Hungarian experience in Canada but about immigration and refugee movements generally and the positive values associated with living in a culturally diverse society. This website is one of those educational projects. Another one is providing financial support to Hungarian students to undertake internships in Canada following their participation in an EU sponsored study tour called “Thinking Canada” – a project of the European Association for Canadian Studies.
We are grateful to Mr V. Tony Hauser, the NAC, and LAC for giving us permission to display the portraits with the texts on our website in the same format in which they were presented on the website of the NAC during 2006 and 2007. We hope you enjoy this digital version of the exhibit. For a description with images of the opening evening at the NAC, please visit this page.