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September 2002 - Nr. 9


The Editor
Antje berichtet
Alpine Fest
KW and Beyond
Hier O.K. Berlin!
Siegfried & Roy
Minister David Turnbull
Dick reports...
Sybille reports
Tourists safe
Rent a Bike
In the Flood's Wake
Automarkt Stabil
Fast 1000 Tote
Cook with Sun


An Alpine Fest
to remember

No producer could have arranged it better; it was a perfect day in more ways than one! Even the heavens played along and allowed for moderate temperatures, occasional light cloud cover and only a very brief sprinkling of refreshing wetness, which did not even make it necessary to open an umbrella.

A kiss for Onkel Hans or Opening Scene

The team: Sybille Forster-Rentmeister & Gaby SchickProducer Gabi Schick, of Hospitality Connections, and M.C. Sybille Forster-Rentmeister, of Echo Germanica, led a parade through the CNE grounds to signal an inviting beginning to the second annual festival of its kind.

Flag bearers, Bruinswick infantry, costumes, and more at the CNEThe colourful historical costumes of the Brunswick infantry soldiers added a time spanning context to the proceedings and reminded that Germans have been in this country for hundreds of years.

Leading the parade

A smaller version of this kind of activity existed a few years back at the CNE’s Community Stage next to the Food building. This is where the corner Master of Ceremonies: Sybillestones for a bigger venue were laid. And just like then each year brings bigger crowds to the CNE. Sybille already was the master of ceremonies then and helped to build the event to extraordinary proportions for a few years in a row.

A meeting place for generationsLast year the German Showcase was a great success performance wise and had a good but moderately large crowd. This year all expectations were exceeded and the venue burst at the seams. Lein’s Delikatessen reported triple sales of food this year and ran out of supplies hours before the end of the show. The beer garden, which had remained largely empty last year, was packed most of the time. And outside of the sponsorship beer of Blue light a few European imports could be had too. During break time Dieter Kahl played his accordion for an animated crowd.

Enjoying the showThroughout the performance packed program on the big stage of the band shell, which was sponsored by the Toronto Star and toronto.com, Sybille wandered through the crowd at ground zero and distributed most of 2900 granola bars in various delicious flavours, sponsored by Sunny Crunch, among the ever changing and enthusiastic crowd. During the entire afternoon the audience consisted mostly of people with a German language background from Germany, Austria and Switzerland, as well as other German based cultures, such as the Danube Swabians; at night however more and more non-German elements appeared and mingled with the crowd. A few folks had amazing stamina and stuck around from noon to the very end at after 10pm.

Dancing in the isle

f.l.t.r.: Tony Baumann, Danube Swabians; Karl Schmidt, Consul Trade Commissioner of Austria; Marianne Bath, Deputy Consul General of Germany; Karl Hagmann, Deputy Consul General of Switzerland; & Gaby SchickThe program was a unique blend of music, song and dance and consisted of just over 300 performers. To start the day officially Sybille Forster-Rentmeister introduced Mrs. Marianne Barth, Deputy Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany, Mr Karl Schmidt, Vice Consul and Trade Commissioner for Austria, Mr. Karl Hagmann, Vice Consul of Switzerland, and Mr. Toni Baumann, the President of the umbrella organisation of all Canadian Danube Swabians and President of one of its clubs in Scarborough. All of these representatives had a few wonderful words to say about this important cultural celebration. "We deserve a day at the CNE!" This statement by Toni Baumann was echoed by the crowd with much applause.

Always a favourite: the Forget-me-not clanAfter presenting these guests of honour with a special, framed memento the entertainment could begin. The popular Forget-Me-Nots, consisting of nearly 30 family members and a few very close friends, put on a memorable show in the Austrian tradition that showed but a part of their amazing versatility.

Seen from afar, yet listened to everywhere: the Harmonie Brass Showband

Swiss Alphorns by the Harmonie Brass ShowbandThis was followed by everyone’s favourite big band with the big sound, the Harmonie Brass. A medley of popular and recognisable tunes got the crowd into an even better mood. Three of the band members had brought their Alphorn to pay homage to our Swiss friends. Awesome!

The Willi Platzer TrioAustria was featured with the Willi Platzer Altsteirer Trio. The brilliant 30-minute performance ended with a jodler that knocked everyone’s socks off.


Now it was time for the Blue Danube Dancers and the Heimat Gruppe to perform in their pretty dirndls the so familiar dances with amazing panache.

Danube Swabians

...a swinging youth group

Just as swinging...

...the Danube Swabian Heimatgruppe


Classic heritage lookThere was no time to recuperate for the audience. A fashion show put on by Regina’s Dirndls from Kitchener followed and featured real people, like last year, modelling popular heritage fashions created by Regina herself. Gabi and Sybille both sported various dresses created for them, each one a very pretty masterpiece.

Jewel toned dirndlsIt is truly astounding how feminine and flattering these dresses are. Whether they are created in traditional bold colours or in jewel tones with embroidery and silverware as adornments, or whether they are meant for a casual Oktoberfest look or a traditional gala evening, Regina’s dirndls uphold European standard with quality in workmanship and fabric and are unique in their design. The show itself was choreographed by Regina’s daughter Barbara, who is herself a fine dancer and has a dancing school in Niagara Falls; she participated with some of her friends with dance routines she created especially for the show to much applause.

Regina dreams of "that certain man"

Fashion show......Finale

...in a fairy tale dressRegina, the singing star from AustriaThe finale was especially wonderful because the other Regina, the guest star from Vienna, appeared in a fairytale kind of a dress and sang her first song of the day as a surprise.

Male Mass ChoirBut this was by no means the end of the afternoon happenings. Enter a mass male choir consisting of the man from the Harfentöne, Lorelei Singers, The Hansa Choir, and the Austrian Choir Edelweiss, later in the evening program joined by their female counterparts to make up a mixed choir of gargantuan proportions for a fabulous sing- along with the Harmonie Brass Show Band.

 The Mixed Mass Choir conducted by George Zaduban

I got rhythm... ReginaAnd just when everyone thought it was time for a breather the audience was treated to lovely Regina from Vienna, with her intimate songs and fresh voice, charming and warm and caring.

Regina accompanied by Matt Lebar

Regina with Michael WallSinging while holding hands with a young fan - she met Michael Wall when she was here 3 years ago and singing hit songs made famous by other singers - it became clear that her own songs will be a memorable addition to the European song scene. Lucky for us her songs were premiered right here in Toronto together with the release of her new CD.

Dieter & Sybille in the beer gardenAfter this tour de force a break was needed and everyone disbanded to Lein’s Delicatessen or the beer garden, where Dieter Kahl played the accordion, for much needed sustenance and refreshments, while Regina signed lots of "autogramme".

Big crowd from Kitchener

Hot stuff: the Mexico Amigos & the Harmonie Brass ShowbandAfter the supper break the Harmonie Brass was back, but not alone. This time they helped back up the Mexico Amigos with hot tunes from the southern hemisphere to demonstrate how we all contribute to our cultures in harmony.

The Mexican parallelThe MC had a few historic notes about Maximilian II, who reigned over Mexico for 2 years before finding an untimely end. This was a great crowd pleaser!

Afterwards they got everyone to sing along with the 140 voice strong mass choir. After all that inflowing of fabulous music the audience participated vigorously.

Crowd pleaser: The Forget-me-nots and Szauter Family

Once again the Forget-Me-Nots performed and then the Oktoberfest Gang from Kitchener Waterloo came by to teach Gabi and Sybille how to bring out the barrel and tap it properly. Dangerous business! Mascot Onkel Hans was there earlier to remind all to come to Oktoberfest in Kitchener, the 2nd largest Oktoberfest in the world!

Tapping the keg...


"Ein Prosit"

The S.T.V. Weiss-Blau Bayern dancers

Cowbell SymphonyThe dancers of S.T.V. Weiss-Blau Bayern performed and gave the proceedings the correct Schuhplattler flavour and let the cowbells ring in symphony.

Backup for ReginaThere was more dancing by the Blue Danube Youth Group and the Heimat Dancers, another set of songs by Regina from Vienna, and there was even a much too short moment for "Falling in Love again"  by Sybille - MarleneSybille to resurrect the spirit of Marlene before the evening was ended with a fitting finale, where Gabi Schick showed her appreciation for all the fine efforts that went into this day, which was month in preparation.

The Austrian Airlines ticket drawSomewhere in between this packed entertainment program the prizes were drawn. All, except the Hummel figurine, went to people that had left already. The flight for two on Austrian Air to Vienna went to a lady from Richmond Hill, who had been there all day, until her daughter’s upset stomach forced her to go home. IThe winner of a Hummel figurinemagine peoples surprise when they receive their fabulous prize in the mail, such as the flights to Vienna and a trip in a luxury stretch-limo or a stay in an Ontario Resort. Too bad that there cannot be a camera crew to catch the moment.

Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Adieu

Behind the crowds was ample space for exhibits. There one could admire Markham First Choice Limousine’s newest luxury stretch limo and also the yellow bug from Reha Enterprises with the pretty logo of Herbacin products. Austrian Airlines and the German Tourist Office were there to give information on their services. KW Oktoberfest, The Moll Berczy House, The Mecklenburg Upper Canada Society, European Sound and Ombra had booths housed in attractive tents. At the press table information on Switzerland and Ontario Resorts, Hummel collections and other things could be found to round out the event.


It must be said that this was another fabulous instalment of a German-Canadian-Austrian-Swiss-Celebration, worthy of these great communities. Organizers deserve to be congratulated. Perhaps the future will bring even more co-operation to such events from businesses and especially by the various media, other than Ulli Jeschke and Helmut Gschösser who are always supportive. Renate Klein.  

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