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News Archives



Events from January 2008 - June 2008



World Refugee Day, June 20th


Public Events to mark World Refugee Day 2008


OTTAWA, 19 June 2008 - Under the theme of "Protecting Refugees: Rebuilding Lives in Safety and Dignity", UNHCR, Citizenship and Immigration Canada and local aid organizations will come together to commemorate World Refugee Day on June 20, 2008.


World Refugee Day is celebrated around the world and is an occasion to extend encouragement, support and respect to refugees.

In Canada, events are organized in several cities including Vancouver, Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal.




United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Gisèle Nyembwe 613-232-0909 ext 225




Hungarian Studies Association of Canada conference at UBC, May 31-June 1


The 23rd annual conference of the Hungarian Studies Association of Canada (HSAC) is taking place at the University of British Columbia as part of the annual Congress of Humanities and Social Sciences of Canada organized by the Federation of Humanities and Social Sciences of Canada. This year’s HSAC conference covers a wide range of topics related to Hungary or Hungarian Studies by Canadian academics, journalists, private scholars, and graduate students. The organizing committee consists of Professor George Bisztray, Dr Andor Tari, and local organizer, Eva Kossuth of Vancouver. The program can be downloaded here. Those interested in attending will need to be registered either through the HSAC or get in touch with the Congress office at UBC:  It is possible for interested (unaffiliated) individuals to attend any part of the congress’s programs for a daily fee of $15.00.


 For more information about the HSAC, see a brief history of the association or look on their website.




Research Fellowships at University of Alberta for Hungarian doctoral students


The Wirth Institute for Austrian and Central European Studies at the University of Alberta is seeking advanced students in Hungary to apply for a Hungarian Doctoral Research Fellowship.


The fellowship is tenable in the 2008-2009 academic year (Sept. 1, 2008 to Aug. 31, 2009) at the Wirth Institute in Edmonton. It is valued at $24,000 (CDN) and will be paid in equal monthly installments.


Young scholars from any discipline in the Humanities, Social Sciences or Fine Arts are invited to apply. Candidates should be Hungarian citizens at Ph.D. (all-but-dissertation) level and have an excellent command of spoken and written English as well as a sound reading knowledge of either a Slavic language or German. A proven research record (ideally in the form of publications), would be an asset.


Applicants should submit a short English-language description (maximum 500 words) of their research project, a full curriculum vitae, and the names of two references. Application should be submitted both in e-mail to: and in hard copy to the Wirth Institute for Austrian and Central European Studies, 300 Arts Building, University of Alberta, Edmonton AB, Canada T6G 2E6.





Hungarian students prepare for 1,000-kilometre Canadian bike tour


Randy Ray cyclists-on-the-road


Csaba Borsai, a secondary school teacher at Regnum Marianum High School in Budapest plans to take his students on a 1,000-kilometre bike tour of central Canada in July.


Entitled A Bridge between the Danube and  the Saint Lawrence, the Catholic school's tour aims to introduce the students to the Canadian landscape and serves as a type of protest against global warming. Read more...




Ivan Fellegi retires as Canada's longtime chief statistician


After a career devoted to statistics, Ivan Fellegi will step down on June 16 to spend at least some of his retirement time dabbling in poetry, his first love.


"I still have a love of poetry," he told the Ottawa Citizen in mid-February after announcing his retirement, recalling how as a young man in Hungary he was "a budding poet."Read more...




Discussion on the dilemmas of Jewish identity in Hungary today


On Sunday May 18th at 5.30 pm. a moderated roundtable discussion will take place at the Dominican University College of Canada, 96 Empress Ave, Ottawa on “The dilemmas of Jewish identity in Hungary today.” This topic will be discussed within the framework of issues of diversity, otherness and discrimination in Hungary today. Three Hungarian scholars of distinction: Professors Ferenc Eros, Miklos Hadas, and Victor Karady will lead the discussion. See flyer for details.



Helicon Society presents Dr Alan Walker on Liszt, May 7th


Franz LisztThe Hungarian Helicon Society is sponsoring a lecture entitled “Liszt and His Pupils” by internationally acclaimed Liszt specialist, Dr Alan Walker, Professor Emeritus of McMaster University at the Arts and Letters Club of Toronto, 14 Elm St, Toronto on May 7th 2008 at 7 pm. Franz Liszt was not only a virtuoso pianist and composer but a charismatic piano teacher. Professor Walker will talk about some of the many students and Liszt’s influence on piano playing and teaching. Professor Walker recent prize-winning three volume biography of Liszt published by Alfred Knopf, has won great acclaim and the Pro cultura hungarica medal from the State of Hungary. See poster .








Toronto Exhibition: HUVAC Invites Toronto and Montreal Artists to the Hungarian Canadian Cultural Centre


From May 3 to 10 Hungarian artists from Montreal and Toronto will have the opportunity to jointly display their work at the Hungarian Cultural Centre in Toronto.


It’s an opportunity for the artists’ organizations in the two centres to develop ties and friendships and discuss future collaborations. Sixty per cent of the sale price of their work will be returned to the artists. Read more...




Conference on legacy of Austro-Hungary, University of Ottawa


An international conference entitled entitled “Gender and Modernity in Central Europe: The Austro-Hungarian Monarchy and its Legacy” is taking place at the University of Ottawa, May 16-18th. There are some very good speakers from around the world including 5 from Hungary. A broad range of topics will be discussed from early psychoanalysis to modernity in the arts, minorities and interpreting the history of empire. You can find the detailed conference program at: The Canada-Hungary Educational Foundation is one of several sponsors of the conference.


Special lecture on World War II history and remembrance


On Tuesday May 20th at 3.30pm. a special lecture entitled: “Gendering conflicting Memories of World War II in Hungary; History and Remembrance” is to be given by Professor Andrea Petõ of the Central European University, Budapest at Carleton University’s Paterson Hall, Room 303. The talk is sponsored by the Institute for European Russian and Eurasian Studies and the Max and Tessie Zelikovitz Centre for Jewish Studies of Carleton University, as well as the University of Ottawa and the Canada-Hungary Educational Foundation. Drawing on oral history interviews, the contemporary press, and original documents, Prof. Petö’s talk will explore the ways in which the official memory of the Holocaust under Communist rule retains a particular legacy for the post-Communist era. She will also discuss the formation of collective memories of World War II in Hungary today.

Details of the event can be found in the poster.




Oliver Botar’s Moholy-Nagy exhibit opens in Budapest


An exhibition of Moholy-Nagy’s early work opened on April 24th at the National Gallery of Hungary and will run till August. The exhibition, entitled “Technical Detours; the Early Moholy-Nagy Reconsidered,” has been curated by University of Manitoba art historian, Professor Oliver Botar, who discovered a previously unknown early painting by Moholy-Nagy on the back of a well-known Constructivist painting, Architektur I. The exhibition has already been presented, in cooperation with the Salgo Educational Trust, at the Zimmerli Museum of Rutger’s University and from December 2007 until now it was on view at the Janus Pannonius Museum in Pecs, southern Hungary. The National Gallery exhibition is an enlarged version of the previous ones and is accompanied by a beautiful 200 page catalogue, also prepared by Professor Botar and now translated and published in Hungarian as well. The exhibition features works by Moholy-Nagy between 1916-1923 and some works by other artists such as Bela Uitz, Lajos Kassak, Kurt Schwitters, Kokoschka and other contemporaries. We congratulate Professor Botar on this exciting project which is receiving great acclaim and extensive media coverage everywhere. Canadian ambassador Pierre Guimond participated at the opening. Oliver Botar is a member of the  Advisory Board of our Foundation.

For more information about the exhibit visitors may wish to see the following sites in English:


and the following reviews of the Pecs and Budapest shows in Hungarian:



Andrew Benedek wins international award


Andrew Benedek, who left Hungary for Canada at age 13 in 1956 and who founded one of the world's most successful water filtration companies, has been named the inaugural winner of an international award.






Latest film by Tamás Wormser opens at Cinema du Parc in Montreal


Wormser - Travelling Light ImageCinema du Parc is opening the theatrical run of the latest film by Tamás Wormser. TRAVELLING LIGHT: Artists on the Move follows 5 nomadic artists on their quest to live life as an art form. Filmed in 11 countries, this road-documentary explores the relationship between creativity and travel. Crossing borders of all types, our roaming protagonists take on the world, providing tonic insight into contemporary life.

"...fascinating and profound, it may be the best depiction of the relationship between artists and their creation that I have ever seen." - Kevin McMahon


"Using the camera like a paintbrush – with large or small brush strokes caressing the canvas of life – Wormser's film celebrate man's ability to be creative and keep searching for beauty and love... in a world with all the wrong priorities." - Paul Cox


April 4-10, 9:30 PM Cinema du Parc


For an article about Tamas Wormser, please see our Film and New Media section.


Visit the trailer on youtoube.


For more information on Tamas Wormser, see his website at



Anna Porter wins Writers' Trust award


Anna Porter was among authors honoured in Toronto on April 1 at the annual Writers' Trust Awards.


The Toronto-based writer was awarded the $15,000 non-fiction prize for her latest book, Kasztner's Train: The True Story of Rezso Kasztner, Unknown Hero of the Holocaust. Read more...




Hungarian Canadian entrepreneur working on new book about cancer survivors


Ottawa entrepreneur Mr. Frank Hegyi, a native of Nyõgér, Hungary, is pulling together a new book that will help people with cancer face the challenge of living and beating the disease.


Challenges of Living With Cancer is to be published in June and will feature the stories of 30 people who have survived cancer, including CTV Ottawa broadcaster Max Keeping, former Ottawa major Jacquelin Holzman and Mr. Hegyi, who was diagnosed with prostate cancer about two years ago. Read more...





Accredited Hungarian language exams in Toronto, April 26th, 2008


Language ExamThe Hungarian Helicon Society of Toronto has become the first accredited exam site for Hungarian language exams in North America. The Centre for Foreign Languages, an affiliated institution of the Eotvos Lorand University of Budapest has been developing standardized testing of the Hungarian language in Hungary and abroad. The Hungarian government has officially recognized and accredited three levels of their tests. These can now be taken in Toronto under the auspices of the Helicon Society. The date of this year’s exam is April 26th.



For details and registration information, please see the website of the Helicon Society at:

English Version pdf ; Hungarian Version pdf


Anne Renaud's new children's book about immigrants


Montreal based children’s author, Anne Renaud, has recently completed a new book about immigrants, including Hungarians in 56/57, who landed at Pier 21 in Halifax. The book, Pier 21: Stories from Near and Far, is being published by Lobster Press in Montreal in April. Anne describes the book in this way:


From 1928 to 1971, a cavernous shed-like building stood at the ready in Halifax harbour to welcome more than one million newcomers to Canada, and to send close to 500,000 Canadian service personnel of to battle during World War II. Pier 21: Stories from Near and Far is a chronicle of the immigration shed and of some of the people whose voices resonated within its walls. Among these are Hungarian refugees, also known as the 56ers, who, following the defeat of their country's revolution in November of 1956, chose to rebuild their lives in Canada. A section of the book recounts this page of our history. See Page 21.


To find out more about Anne, read her bio here renauda.html.


Here is a the publisher's fact sheet about the book: Pier 21

View the front cover of the book.



Ottawa Youth Orchestra's Concert on March 30


The Ottawa Youth Orchestra (OYO) visited Hungary during its recent European tour.  While in Budapest, the OYO presented a joint concert with the Youth Wind Orchestra of the Lajtha Laszlo Music School on March 13, 2008 in the Csili Muvelodesihaz, Pesterzsebet.


The Canada-Hungary Educational Foundation supported the Ottawa Youth Orchestra (OYO) tour to Central Europe, including Hungary. Details of the tour can be found here. The Foundation announced its upcoming essay and video competition at the concert.


See the poster for concert here.


Read the daily blog of the orchestra while on tour in Budapest and Vienna.





New Book by Agatha Schwartz


Professor Agatha Schwartz, Associate Professor of German and Chair of the Modern Languages and Literatures Department of the University of Ottawa (also Vice-President of the Hungarian Studies Association of Canada, and a friend of CHEF), has just published her latest book: Shifting Voices. Feminist Thought and Women's Writing in Fin-de-siècle Austria and Hungary. The book is available from McGill Queens University Press.


Agatha, who was born in Serbia to Hungarian parents, has recently published a volume of East European women's writing in translation: The Third Shore. That book was published by Northwestern University Press. For more information click here.


Art Gallery of Hamilton’s double Hungarian display


The Art Gallery of Hamilton is putting on display its famous “Christ Before Pilate” by one of Hungary’s best-known painters, Mihály Munkácsy. This painting (measuring 4m by 6m) is part of a triptych on Christ’s Passion, the other parts of which are in the Dery Museum in Debrecen, Hungary. The Hamilton work was donated to the Gallery by Joey and Toby Tanenbaum in 2002 and was on loan to the Debrecen gallery for the last few years. Christ Before Pilate will be on display between February 16th and April 27th with a special public lecture on February 28th. Read more...




The Hungarian Exodus in Winnipeg


The Hungarian Exodus Exhibit was on display at the University of Manitoba between the 10th and 19th of March 2008.


Read on ...





Beverly McLachlinHuman Rights Protection in Canada: Past Achievements, Current Challenges


Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin, Chief Justice of Canada will give a lecture on Thursday, March 13 2008, at 7:30 pm at the Dominican University College 96, Empress Avenue, Ottawa.


For more information call 613 233-5696.




Hungarian government scholarships for students


The Balassi Institute of Hungary, in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Culture of Hungary, is once again announcing its annual competition for foreign students to study Hungarian language and culture for the academic year 2008/9 in Hungary. The Institute  provides free tuition and accommodation and a monthly stipend to those whose applications are accepted. To find out about this program go to the Balassi Institute site:  (in Hungarian only, though there is general information on the site in English)


Or for more information write to Dr Judit Kesseru Nemethy in New York at  (in English or Hungarian)


Freedom’s Fury now available on DVD!


Click on image to see poster

Freedom's Fury DVD

Long awaited by water polo enthusiasts and partners of the Canada-Hungary Educational Foundation (CHEF), the feature documentary Freedom’s Fury is now available on DVD as we hear from “theSibs”, Canadian directors of the documentary. CHEF, in partnership with Water Polo Canada and the National Gallery of Canada / Musée des beaux-arts du Canada, premiered the film in September 2006. (Read about the event here.) Since then, many people have approached us asking if they could buy copies. Here is the information recently received from Colin and Megan of the Freedom’s Fury team. Enjoy!

Critically acclaimed feature documentary, FREEDOM'S FURY, is now available on DVD!! ThisCollectors Edition DVD with several exciting Special Features isbeing released through independent online distributorFilm Baby.


This powerful documentary about the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 and the "Blood in the Water Match" is now available for purchase. Narrated by Mark Spitz and Executive produced by Lucy Liu and Quentin Tarantino, Special Features include Director's & Editor's Audio Commentary from The Sibs & Michael Rogers, plus a "Making of Freedom's Fury" documentary with behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with the filmmakers & Lucy Liu.


To purchase Freedom's Fury click here:



The Hungarian Exodus Exhibition visits Hamilton


Exodus GraphicA moving collection of photos, documents, & artifacts commemorating the lives, struggles and achievements of more than 40,000 Hungarian refugees who immigrated to and settled in Canada following the Hungarian Revolution of 1956.


This exhibit has traveled the world heralding much acclaim, and will now make a two-week stop in Hamilton at St. Joseph’s Healthcare.


Monday, January 21st, 2008 at 6:30 p.m.

Frank Charles Miller Academic Centre & Amphitheatre
Second Floor, Juravinski Innovation Tower
St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton
50 Charlton Avenue East, Hamilton
6:30 p.m. Exhibit Launch & Introductory Lecture
7:00 p.m. Cocktail & Hors d’Oeuvres Reception
& Exhibit Viewing


To read the article in the Hamilton Spectator of January 24th 2008 click here...

For more information on the Exhibition click here.




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