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Title: Canada - Hungary Educational Foundation - Anniversary  •  Size: 23630  •  Last Modified: Thu, 29 Dec 2011 18:58:38 GMT
The Canada-Hungary Educational Foundation
Fondation éducative Canada-Hongrie

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This is the original website of the Canada-Hungary Educational Foundation (CHEF). It is no longer active but has been archived on the site which CHEF started in 2007 as its special informational and educational project to showcase the diversity of the Hungarian experience in a culturally diverse Canada.

Courtesy of the University of Manitoba Archives

The anniversary year 2006-7

The 50th anniversary of the arrival to Canada of some 38.000 refugees from Hungary (in 1956-57) provides a wonderful opportunity to develop educational and commemorative projects and showcase the diverse heritage of Hungarians in Canada. During this year a number of communities and institutions will be undertaking activities and the Foundation is partnering with some of these. Most of the projects attempt to highlight the contributions of Hungarians to Canadian life as well as the reception accorded to them by Canada. They help to explore Hungarian cultural identity as an integral part of Canada’s multicultural fabric; and to make a positive contribution to cultural, educational, and economic links between Canada and Hungary.

List of Projects planned for 2006-2007:

The following is a list of projects and activities being undertaken by a variety of organizations across the country. Some of the federal cultural agencies have taken a leadership role in marking the anniversary through special projects. In some of these projects the Foundation is an active partner, in some others its role is to help connect people or publicize and promote projects. Please note that the information below is constantly changing as projects develop. For details of events please contact us or the institution whose project is listed.

National Capital Region

April-May 2006: Launch of digitized material relating to Hungarians from the collection of the Canadian Museum of Civilization (CMC) as part of the “Crossroads of Culture” virtual museum project

April 25, 2006: Book launch of English translation of Pablo Urbanyi's Silver at the Library and Archives Canada

April 26, 2006: Official launch of the Canada-Hungary Educational foundation with a reception on Parliament Hill. Speaker of the House of Commons, the Hon Peter Milliken and Speaker of the Senate, the Hon Noel A Kinsella made presentations as did the ambassador of Canada to Hungary, Robert Hage, and the ambassador of Hungary to Canada, Dénes Tomaj. Judy Young Drache and Dr Gabor Csepregi spoke about the Foundation’s objectives.

April 28, 2006: Hungarian literary evening with award winning performer Judit Havas at the Dominican University College

September 29, 2006: National Gallery of Canada, Auditorium, 8 pm. Canadian première and Gala fundraiser for the Canada-Hungary Educational Foundation (CHEF) and Waterpolo Canada (WPC). Freedom’s Fury, directed by Ottawans Colin K. Gray and Megan Raney Aarons (The Sibs), and produced by Lucy Liu and Quentin Tarantino, is a feature length historical documentary on the 1956 Olympic semi-final water polo match between Hungary and the Soviet Union. Held in Australia, the match occurred just after Russian forces suppressed the Hungarian Revolution in Budapest. Narrated by Mark Spitz. Special guests at the gala will be the film’s directors, Ervin Zador of the 1956 Hungarian Olympic Water Polo team and Valeria Gyenge, Olympic champion and member of the 1956 Hungarian Olympic swim team. The screening will be followed by a question-and-answer session with the filmmakers and a reception. Event hosted by Canadian Olympian and media personality, Carolyn Waldo. Contact CHEF at 613-567-5756 for tickets and information. See also the film’s website:

October 4th, 2006, 11 am: Unveiling of a monument to commemorate the 50th anniversaryof the Hungarian Revolution and to say thank you to Canada and Canadians. This monument has been commissioned with funds raised from individuals and members of Hungarian communities across the country. The Hungarian government has also made a contribution. The monument is being erected on Maple Island in the Rideau River in collaboration with the National Capital Commission. All interested are welcome to attend the unveiling ceremony.

October 5 -22, 2006: Presented as part of the National Arts Centre's Hungarian 50th Celebrations, a specially commissioned photo exhibit on the creative diversity of the Hungarian presence in Canada at the NAC in collaboration with the Library and Archives Canada (LAC). The opening (by invitation) will take place on October 4th. The exhibition will then be presented at the Munk Centre from October 26-28, BCE Place in November and Pier 21 in Halifax in November-December. Portraits by well-known Canadian photographer V. Tony Hauser. Exhibit will travel subsequently to other locations in Canada and Hungary. For more information on this and other events at the NAC and partners see:

October 12-14, 2006: An international academic conference at the Institute of Canadian Studies of the University of Ottawa, co-sponsored by the University, the Hungarian Studies Association of Canada and the Canada-Hungary Educational Foundation (with participation of specialists from Hungary, and ancillary cultural and literary events). For conference program, see Conference Page and the University of Ottawa's Website.

October 14/15 and 21, 2006: Four Hungarian films presented by the Canadian Film Institute in cooperation with the Hungarian Embassy at the Library and Archives Canada. For details see: Films to tour across the country to other cinemateques.

October 17th, 2006, 7.30 pm: special gala presentation of Istvan Szabo’s Sunshine at the Canadian Museum of Civilization with producer Robert Lantos present to discuss the film.

October 16/17 and October 18/19, 2006: Presented as part of the National Arts Centre’s Hungarian 50th Anniversary Celebrations, two chamber music concerts with Bartok’s string quartets by the Orion Quartet and two subscription concerts with the young Hungarian violinist Barnabás Kelemen and the National Arts Centre Orchestra under the baton of Franz Paul Decker. Program includes Concerto for Orchestra by Bartók, Psalmus Hungaricus by Kodály, and Brahms Hungarian Dances.

Canada Post is unveiling a special commemorative envelope on October 12th in Ottawa

A CBC documentary film “The 56-ers” (executive producers Sue Dando and Mark Starowicz) on the arrival of refugees in 1956-57, to air on October 26th 2006.

Across Canada (in approximate chronological order starting in early 2006)

  • Concert and reception by the Budapest Festival Orchestra on January 22nd, 2006 at Roy Thomson Hall, Toronto

  • The Stewart Hall Art Gallery, Pointe-Claire (Montreal), Quebec presented an exhibition of Canadian-Hungarian visual artists March 18th- April 30th 2006. Reflections: Canada – Hungary, is to travel across the country in 2006-7 and possibly to Hungary as well.

  • Hungarian Helicon Society, Toronto presents Bartok evening with Judit Havas performer and Mari Kenedi, pianist at Remenyi House of Music on April 27th 2006
  • Multidisciplinary conference on aspects of the 1956 refugee movement to Canada was held May 27-28, 2006 at York University, Toronto by the Hungarian Studies Association of Canada (at the Congress of Humanities and Social Sciences). For program please contact Professor George Bisztray at

  • An oral history project, "Hungarian Exodus", managed by Dr Susan Papp-Aykler in partnership with the Multicultural History Society of Ontario (MHSO) and the Rakoczi Foundation of Canada, leading to a travelling exhibit, book and a documentary film funded by Omni Television. The exhibit, which is under the distinguished patronage of Her Excellency, the Right Honourable Michaelle Jean, Governor General of Canada, will be launched at the Munk Centre, University of Toronto, on September 27th, 2006, the first day of a conference on the 1956 Hungarian Revolution and the Suez Crisis. In October the exhibit will travel to other cities across Canada, including to Ottawa for the University of Ottawa conference on 1956 - see above, and the Canadian Museum of Civilization. Then it will travel to Budapest, where, in cooperation with the Canadian Embassy, it will be on display at the Palace of the Arts. See:

  • An academic conference organized by the Munk Centre at the University of Toronto, September 27-30 on the Hungarian Revolution and the Suez Crisis. See

  • The grand opening of the George Faludy Place was held on Tuesday, October 3, 2006, 25 St. Mary Street. George Faludy Place a is cooperative effort of the City of Toronto, Toronto Legacy Project, Heritage Toronto, and University of Toronto. George Faludy was one of Hungarian's greatest poets who immigrated to Canada and has just passed away a few weeks ago.

  • Multimedia, interactive website “The Hungarian Presence in Canada; Sharing the Present, Remembering the Past and Shaping the Future” to be developed by the Canada-Hungary Educational Foundation in cooperation with the Nadasdy Foundation and other partners from across the country, and with funding from the Canadian Culture Online program of Canadian Heritage. Pilot version to be up by March 2007.

  • Special events to be organized during 2006 by the Société de developpement du boulevard Saint-Laurent of Montreal to draw attention to the Hungarian Revolution and the business and cultural contributions of Hungarians who settled in Montreal. For information on the association see: and

  • Concerts by 4 Hungarian visiting artists on October 18, 20, 21 in Edmonton, Calgary and in Lethbridge respectively. In addition, Jeno Jando pianist and Zsolt Hamar conductor are performing with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra on Oct 20/21. All are available for other venues in Canada through

  • New Hungarian Voice in Vancouver is undertaking a number of events to mark the anniversary. "Reviving the Revolutionary Spirit" is an exhibition of Hungarian revolutionary artefacts, photographs, and other material at the Vancouver Public Library, October 1-31, 2006. "An Orchestral Tribute to the Hungarian Revolution" will be a concert of music by Liszt, Bartok, Kodaly at Christ Church Cathedral, 690 Burrard St, on October 20th, 2006. "An Evening of Commemoration" will present speakers and multimedia presentations at the Vancouver Public Library on October 23rd, 2006. (see: )

  • Hungarian Splendour: Masterpieces from the National Gallery of Hungary is a major exhibition of works by 19th century Hungarian artists to open at the the Art Gallery of Hamilton on September 23rd, 2006. Complementing the exhibition will be some works by Hungarian Canadian artists from the permanent collection of the Gallery: fabric works by Anna Torma, sculptures and drawings by Clarissa Schmidt-Inglis, and photographs by David Horvath. The Gallery is looking for sponsors to help produce a special publication about the artists covered in the exhibition. There will be special tours arranged for schools and ancillary events to coincide with the show. For more information contact Shirley Madill, Vice-President and C.O.O., 905/ 527-6610, ex. 235

  • The newly formed Montreal Hungarian Historical Society (MHHS) is organizing an exhibit entitled "Celebrating Montreal's Hungarians - A Reflection of our Community" at the Montreal City Hall, from November 15 to November 24. For more information on the project, please go to:

  • Publication of “Bridging the Divide”, a bi-or trilingual illustrated book based on interviews with refugees who came to Canada and with their family members left behind. Project led by Andrew Princz of Budapest and Montreal . For more information, please visit the following website:

  • Research by graduate students at a number of Canadian universities on topics related to 1956 and Hungarian immigration to Canada

  • Wirth Institute for Austrian and Central European Studies at the University of Alberta special program in 2006 (including Hungarian music with visiting soloists)

  • York University special programs organized by Professor Richard Teleky, Head of the Creative Writing Program

  • Release or special screenings of new and recent films related to the 1956 Revolution (such as Agnes Pap’s “No Appeal Permitted” and Robert Schultz’s “7 Days of Happiness”)

  • University of British Columbia – University of Sopron joint commemorative projects during 2006 and in the spring of 2007 re the Faculty of Forestry which was incorporated into UBC in 1957

Other Projects

  • Publication of book by Professor Peter Hidas (formerly of Dawson College and McGill University, Montreal) “Canada and the Hungarian refugees, 1956-57”

  • Research resulting in a book by Professor Nandor Dreisziger of the Royal Military College on the reception of the 1956 Hungarian refugees by the Ontario government, media, municipal authorities, and the general public

Further projects planned or under consideration include: possible retrospective of Hungarian related films (or produced by Hungarian Canadian film-makers) of the NFB; Special statistical and historical publications by Statistics Canada, Foreign Affairs, and Citizenship and Immigration Canada; Feature article(s) in national newspapers, Maclean’s and other publications.

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