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Building Calgary Communities SPEAKER SERIES

Chinook Country Historical Society (CCHS) and the Calgary Association of Lifelong Learners (CALL) are launching a new series of presentations that will highlight the contribution of the many ethnic groups that comprise our city today. Entitled “Building Calgary Communities”, the series will explore the pioneers that came to Calgary to build a new life while enriching our city with the culture of their homeland.

Our objective is to highlight the individuals from these communities that brought their pioneering spirit along with their traditions and beliefs. Why did they come here? What have they contributed to our community? How did they make it easier for others to follow in their footsteps? What imprint has this community left on our city and province?

Events will generally be held on the first Friday of each month, with the exception of January, July and August.

When:first Friday of the month
Time:1:00 - 3:00 PM
Where:cSpace, 1721-29 Ave. SW
Facilitator:Pat Hogan
Free for members, $5 charge at door for non-members. No registration required.

Friday, May 3, 1:00 - 3:00 PM

Who are the Germans from Russia?

Germans started moving to Russia beginning with the reign of Ivan the Terrible (1533-1584). The biggest influx began at the invitation of Catherine the Great in 1763.

After Catherine the Great died their circumstances drastically changed and many began looking for a better place to live

This presentation will look at how the Germans from Russia found out about the Canadian West, how and why they came to Calgary and specifically Bridgeland/Riverside. They came in large numbers during the early 1900s (approximately 188,000 between 1904 and 1914). What kinds of businesses were they involved in? How has this ethnic group positively impacted Calgary and area?

Presenter: Marlene Michel

Growing up in the community of Bridgeland with parents who were both Germans from Russia, I always knew there was a special history to this group. I began researching my roots in 1970 and my passion has continued to grow. Currently I am the President of the Calgary Chapter of the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia (AHSGR) and the village coordinator for Yagodnaya Polyana, Russia (home of my maternal grandparents). I also serve on the Board of Directors for AHSGR headquarters, Lincoln, Nebraska.

I have written and published four books: two were on the history of St John Lutheran Church once located in Bridgeland. The third book is called “Usu Leut: an historic look at the Germans from Russia living in Bridgeland/Riverside”. The fourth book is a history and compilation of photographs of people born in Yagodnaya Polyana.

image courtesy of M. Michel

Past Presentations

*To participate in most programs, you must be a member.  Exceptions are listed as Open to the Public

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