Small Ideas: $10,000

Description

Our idea is all about fusing together for culture, involvement, connections, learning and celebrating & sharing heritage – the heritage of people of German speaking background which is a big part of Canada’s culturally diverse make-up, making it available to anyone interested!
The network of existing German language schools/programs in Saskatchewan is publicly accessible and these programs are active in the cities of Estevan, Regina and Saskatoon, each with a similar mission: to teach the German language, culture and traditions to interested children and adults, regardless of age or background. The existing schools currently serve children ages 4 to 18 as well as adults of different language levels.
Small Idea funding would support the German cultural events for the school communities consisting of students and their families. Small Idea funding would also greatly help to expand the language program’s cultural events for public access.
For example, a lantern walk to commemorate the German holiday of St. Martin could involve the broader community in a public space in the following way: Participants walk in a St. Martin’s procession during the early evening, carrying self-made lanterns. The group is led by a horse and on the way children and adults sing songs and hear stories about St. Martin, who shared his cloak with a beggar during a snow storm. The event ends with a get-together around a fire-pit while sipping on hot chocolate.

Growing community
Small Idea funding would give existing language programs in Saskatchewan the opportunity to strengthen relationships by connecting with a variety of other community organizations to expand their reach for programming and cultural events that are open to the public. Access to culture fosters belonging to a community while still providing family involvement for language students.

Cultures
Small Idea funding would support different cultural events and enable public access for cross-cultural learning. Learning about cultures is enriching and helps people understanding others. Knowing about other cultures works against the negative portrayal of particular groups, creates openness in people and helps to reduce racism. For German-Canadians, participating in events of their own cultural background helps them to re-connect to their heritage, find their own identity and feel pride.

Impact of Language
Language and culture are closely connected. Students of the German language programs might have a curiosity about learning a language, some like to stay connected to their heritage, study for their travels or are planning to work overseas. While the current student bases have different backgrounds and experiences, they all learn for life! Being able to communicate in another language has not only the advantage of greater job opportunities and navigating more than one culture, but also maintaining one’s own sense of culture.

Get Involved
The language courses combined with cultural events provide an opportunity for people of any background to volunteer in the classrooms or during events. Volunteering fosters pride in people and connects them with the community at large.

Newcomers
Newcomers to Canada often feel isolated while transitioning into their new country. German language schools offer a place for newcomers of German-speaking backgrounds to connect to their own culture and providing a social network which eases integration into Canadian society.

Timely and successful execution of the idea is highly likely because all language programs already work with a strong student base, are dedicated, and have support by families. The goal is to open up programs, connect to other partners and make some events open for the broader community.


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SASKATOON, SK

Saskatchewan German Culture Assistance Fund Inc.

Location: Saskatoon