Wegierski: Private colleges could revive the humanities in Canada

Humanistic studies, or what are called the liberal arts (those studies, ideally speaking, that befit truly free men and women, and prepare them for a life of reflective freedom and civic responsibility) have faced an increasing crisis in current-day Canada. Philosophy, classics, literature, and history are the traditional focus of the humanities, although it is possible to carry out studies with a humanistic emphasis in other areas, such as political science, sociology, psychology, library science, and journalism. The liberal arts in Canada face a multi-pronged […]

Wegierski: Structural issues of the Polish-Canadian community

Mark Wegierski argues that the Polish-Canadian community must somehow build up significant infrastructures – or find itself fading away. Mark Wegierski argues that the Polish-Canadian community must somehow build up significant infrastructures – or find itself fading away. It has to be said at the outset, that the lack of meaningful intellectual and cultural infrastructures for the Polish-Canadian community is particularly troubling. While the work of professor Tamara Trojanowska, who taught Polish Language and Literature at the University of Toronto has been considerably helpful (such […]

Wegierski: Canadian Thanksgiving 2019 – how bountiful is Canada for most of its citizens?

Mark Wegierski argues that the extent of Canadian prosperity has been exaggerated. Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving on the second Monday in October. Canada is certainly a country which has been blessed with great material bounty. However, these new troubled times may be appropriate for some somber reflections for both Americans and Canadians. There has been a perceptible downward trend in the Canadian standard of living and quality of life, especially when compared to the United States. The weak Canadian dollar is a very visible symbol of […]

Wegierski: In Search of a Voice for the Polish-Canadian Community

Mark Wegierski describes the unhappy weakness of an attenuated European fragment-culture in current-day Canada. It can be seen today that there are no opinion journalists in any major Canadian newspapers, and very few comparatively well-known authors of books of English-language literary fiction, genre fiction, or works of social, political, or cultural commentary in Canada, who could be identified as belonging to the Polish-Canadian community. Until a few years ago, a person comparatively well-acquainted with the community could probably think only of Eva Stachniak and Irene […]

Wegierski: Creative Writing and the Polish-Canadian Community

Despite the fact that there are over a million persons of Polish descent in Canada (according to the Canada Census) the community appears to have had very little impact on the political, social, and cultural life of Canada as a whole. During May 10 — May 13, 2012, I had attended the conference “Creative Writing in the 21st Century: Research and Practice” at Humber College, Lakeshore Campus in Toronto (in Etobicoke, a western suburb of Toronto). Located among many acres of green space near Lake […]

Wegierski: Some thoughts about a more effective Polish-Canadian community

Canadian Polonia (the Polish-Canadian community) seems to have a perennial misapprehension of what constitutes “objective” cultural influence and power in today’s Canada. Indeed, some representatives of Canadian Polonia have a rather curious definition of what “culture” and “cultural activities” actually consist of. Considering persons of Polish descent in Canada are said to number close to a million, it appears the community has a comparatively minor influence in Canadian society. The Polish community in Canada seems to have a larger number of prominent artists (such as […]

Wegierski: Exploring social alternatives through eclectic media — looking back at a 1977 game about Canadian civil conflict

Canadian ‘Civil War’: Separatism vs. Federalism in Modern Canada was a board wargame published by Simulations Publications, Inc. (SPI), then the premiere gaming company, in 1977. On the game’s cover-sheet, it is called “A Political Simulation Game”, and it is said that “the time is: 15 November 1976.” This is a game with mostly political, rather than military conflict, played on an abstract map, where the four different factions struggle with each other. These are the Federalists (Red counters); the Provincial Moderates (Orange counters); the […]

Wegierski: Brian Mulroney and the failure of Canadian conservatism in the 1980’s

Brian Mulroney may be one of the most disappointing Prime Ministers Canada has ever had. As leader of the federal Progressive Conservative party, Mulroney at that time ostensibly represented the main focus of what could be called the “Centre-Right Opposition” in Canada. The use of the term “Centre-Right Opposition” is meant to suggest the perennial underdog status of that option in Canadian politics, especially after the federal election of 1963, when Liberal Lester B. Pearson defeated the staunch Tory, John Diefenbaker. As each successive decade […]

Wegierski: Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the regaining of Polish independence amidst the megapolitan world-city

Mark Wegierski shares some recent Polish experiences in Toronto. On October 24, 2018, I attended the event “Celebrating Poland” at the showcase Harbourfront Centre in downtown Toronto, as part of the 39th edition of the Toronto International Festival of Authors (TIFA). There were three young Polish writers featured: Dorota Maslowska – author of, among others, Snow White and Russian Red (originally published in Polish in 2002 when she was only nineteen) – set in the social milieu of a low-life Polish gangster; Jakub Zulczyk – […]

Wegierski: Polish language knowledge and Polish-Canadian identity

Mark Wegierski asks, can there exist a Polish-Canadian identity with declining Polish language knowledge in Canada? In the statistics of the Canada Census, over the last few decades, the percentage of persons of Polish descent who claim knowledge of the Polish language, is not particularly large (around a third). Indeed, it can be seen that knowledge of the Polish language is declining among the generations of Polish descent born in Canada. In my opinion, this places the Polish-Canadian newspapers, most of which appear almost exclusively […]