On Day 18 of our Advent Calendar, the video feature of the day is Kitchener's Art Walk guided by Warren Stauch and sponsored by Downtown Kitchener Business Improvement Area, in partnership with the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery. As you venture outside to shop, dine or stroll, we hope you find joy in these installations. Download a PDF, "flip" through the gorgeous 90-page guidebook – or better yet, let Warren be your video guide to some of the destinations. Links to all three are below.
Today's concert features Klaus and Marion Beyer, direct from Berlin, a brother and sister duo who made a special visit to the Kitchener for Christkindl Market in 2019.
In case you missed it, we've added the complete Historical Walking Tour Video, guided by Warren (see the bottom of this page).
Have you started a new tradition this year? Or have you created new memories on a downtown walking tour? Share your new Christmas memories, stories, pictures, and traditions with us.
Ah, the memories... Your nose tingles with the smells of schnitzel, potato pancakes and mulled wine.
Voices singing Silent Night rise and fall. You are entranced and transported.
You are here in 2021, and you are there, 700 years ago, when Christkindl Markets first began in Germany.
You take a selfie with Christkindl and Knecht Ruprecht at the sleigh surrounded by magical woodland characters and lighted trees.
Wide-eyed wee ones delight at picking up Christmas keepsakes from artisans in the wooden huts. Kids twirl to the live music as the family selects the right Christmas tree to take home.
In four short days, Christkindl Market is over, but the joy continues until the big day.
Christmas is about memories – family members who have passed, seeing grandchildren for the first time, proposing marriage to a loved one, and this year, again sadly, celebrating the season with family and friends in a slightly different way. For several centuries, German-speaking immigrants have come to Canada. Settler communities, such as the Germans, often leave families and friends behind with little or no expectation of ever seeing them again – of never sharing a Christmas meal, or wishing them Fröliche Weihnachten.
In 1951, the Schlechta Family left war-ravaged Germany for their new home in Canada.* Their ship arrived in Halifax on a rainy Christmas Eve. The rain turned to snow overnight – “It was Christmas morning in a strange, cold land” recalls then ten-year-old Christine.
“For breakfast, I received a bowl of some strange stuff called Corn Flakes. From the staff at the hostel I received a colouring book and wax crayons. I had never seen wax crayons before, as I was used to pencil crayons. I found it was difficult to colour with them and stay inside the lines, but the colouring book kept me occupied for many days. That evening we had our first-ever turkey dinner with stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and gravy.” In January 1952, the Schlechta Family arrived via train in Kitchener, Ontario to begin their new life in Canada. Christmas is about memories – some happy, some sad – but always hopeful for a new beginning. *With thanks to the Schlechta Family for sharing their memories with the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21.
Want to know more about German immigration to Waterloo Region? Ask your local library to borrow:
Little Paradise: The Saga of the German Canadians of Waterloo County, Ontario, 1800-1975, written by Gottlieb Leibbrandt, published by Allprint in 1980.
Art in a snowy winter’s night – what a wonderful delight!
New to the Christkindl Market in 2019, The Beyers visited our market direct from Berlin, Germany. The charming duo, Marion and Klaus, sang holiday favourites in both German and English.
Enjoy listening and singing along to the 2019 Christmas show by Marion & Klaus Beyer in Today's Concert.
Downtown Kitchener Business Improvement Area, in partnership with the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery, has reignited a passion for Downtown with an outdoor museum of art, murals and outdoor pieces on buildings. As you venture out to shop, dine, or stroll, we hope you find joy in these installations.
Let the attractive book, published by Downtown Kitchener BIA, guide you to the art features throughout our beautiful city. Or, better yet, let Warren be your video guide to some of the destinations (click play> to watch the video).
HALLS LANE Nº 3
Artist: Bruno Smoky (@brunosmoky)
Location: 61 Halls Lane (behind DNA Screen Printing)
Medium: Mixed media mural and spray paint
Have you started a new tradition this year? Or have you created new memories on a downtown walking tour? Join our online community on Facebook and Instagram and share your new Christmas memories, stories, pictures, and traditions with us.
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Join Warren Stauch, a well-known retired Geography teacher, historian and creator of shunpiking tours, as he takes us on a guided video tour in Kitchener. Take two hours to do it all, or break it up into shorter walks throughout the winter. Warren's step-by-step video tells you all the great stories hidden behind each landmark. View the video above.
Take a walk in downtown and follow the Downtown Heritage Walking Tour.
The Downtown Stroll begins at Victoria Park and continues in a clockwise direction to City Hall, the Civic District and King Street East before returning to the downtown core.
Follow the Victoria Park Historical Walking Tour takes you through Victoria Park using the pathways designed to afford scenic views.
Learn more about exploring downtown the Downtown Kitchener website.