On exhibit May 25 to September 3, 2018

The Canada and Germany: Partners from Immigration to Innovation exhibit presents historical events over the centuries, inspiring stories of German immigrants, and innovative bilateral research projects and partnerships. This exhibit was curated by the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Canada for the purpose of celebrating the 150th anniversary of Canada, as well as the long and positive relationship between the two countries. A unique local display in the exhibit is an interactive Lunar Rover, produced for the Canadian Space Agency and NASA by Ontario Drive & Gear Limited of New Hamburg, Ontario.

Honouring the contributions of German immigrants and their descendants, the Goethe-Institut has created the German Traces in Canada app allowing users to discover Canada from a new perspective. The multimedia app is available for use on Smartphones and tablets. The app allows users to explore listed sites and take a virtual tour tracing early European settlement as well as present day migration trends across Canada. The free app is available for download at Google Play and itunes

The Canada and Germany: Partners from Immigration to Innovation exhibit honours the German-Canadian friendship, from a rich history of immigration to cultural collaborations and innovations. Engaging stories are told through three sections.

Section One: Canada: A Nation of Immigrants – The German Contribution

  • More than three million Canadians report their ethnic origin as German or of German ancestry. The exhibit looks at six major waves of immigration from Germany to Canada.
  • In the late 1700s, many German-speaking Mennonites immigrated to Canada because they were persecuted in Europe for their beliefs and values. Today more than 20 different Mennonite groups exist in Ontario alone.
  • The story of the Hessians outlines how, during the American Revolution, Britain contracted various German states to provide 30,000 auxiliary troops, with 2,400 remaining in Canada after the conflict.
  • In the 1800s, many German immigrants settled in Southern Ontario, and by 1870 Waterloo region was known as Canada’s German Capital. By the 1900s, most of the population in the Waterloo region were made up of descendants of German immigrants.
  • The peak of German immigration to Canada took place in the 50s and 60s, with more than 300,000 Germans entering Canada by way of Pier 21 in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Section Two: From Enemies to Friends

  • Anti-German sentiment reached record heights in Canada during the First World War. Learn the engaging story of how and why the city of Berlin, in Ontario, changed its name to Kitchener in 1916.
  • Read the story of a prisoner of war Kurt Gunzel, held in captivity during World War II.
  • Selected artworks created by German prisoners in captivity in Canada during World War II are represented.
  • Find out about the birth of German Unification that took place in Ottawa in 1990.

Section Three: The Inuit of Labrador and the Germans

  • In 1771, German-speaking missionaries from the Moravian Church arrived in Labrador to establish a settlement among the nomadic population of Inuit. Over time what emerged was a cultural hybrid rooted in Inuit ways of life, but influenced by indigenized European practices.
  • Find out about the little-known story of Abraham Ulrikab and eight Inuit who travelled to Europe in 1880 to introduce Inuit culture to Germany.