The German-Canadian Society e. V. ( DKG ) was founded in 1951. The association promotes bilateral relations between Germany and Canada and strengthens the exchange between the two countries. The DKG is one of the oldest bilateral organizations in the Federal Republic of Germany.
The DKG was founded in 1951 with the aim of establishing contacts between the Canadian soldiers stationed in Hanover and German families. A few years later, the then DKG President Theanolte Bähnisch initiated the working student program, or WSP for short. In 1965, 26 German students traveled to Canada for the first time. 143 Canadian students came to Germany last year to work for two months and to explore the country for a month.
Goals and way of working
One focus of the work of the DKG is the promotion of young people. In cooperation with the Canadian Embassy in Berlin and partners in Canada, the German-Canadian Society has been organizing a Work & Travel program (WSP) for German students since 1964, with a sole focus on Canada.
Since it was founded, almost 3,000 students have successfully participated in the WSP program and have been able to gain their first international experience in various summer jobs, mostly in the service area or as a helping hand on farms.
In addition, the company organizes an internship program that offers students with particularly suitable certificates the opportunity to gain academic work experience as part of a qualified internship abroad in Canada. To this end, the DKG works with well-known Canadian-based industrial companies. Canadian students are also helped to a certain extent in Germany when looking for a job and apartment, in order to get to know and cope with everyday life in Germany.
Support of bilateral economic relations
As a second focus, the DKG offers companies and organizations various opportunities for networking within the German-Canadian business world. The interdisciplinary conference Forum @ Canada House Berlin, which takes place every spring and examines current German-Canadian issues from different perspectives, deserves special mention. In addition, companies operating in Canada are regularly invited to report on their activities in Canada and the general economic conditions there. Conversely, the DKG enables Canadian companies active in Germany to introduce themselves and present their experiences with the German market in comparison with Canada.
A third building block of society is active participation in shaping Canadian cultural life in Germany. The DKG initiates and promotes concerts, theater performances, exhibitions, lecture series and discussion events on the topic of Canada in close cooperation with the embassy and consulates of Canada as well as the provincial representations, as well as individual cultural organizations and artists.
Promote interpersonal relationships
At the beginning of the DKG there were friendly connections to members of the armed forces stationed in Germany. This tradition of maintaining interpersonal relationships will remain a major concern of society in the future. Round tables, barbecues, Thanksgiving dinners, Christmas parties, beer garden get-togethers and joint participation in sporting events are therefore part of the club's standard program.
Get to know Canada friends nationwide
Once a year, the German-Canadian Society invites you to a festive annual event at different locations. This event brings members and friends of the DKG and Canada together nationwide. The Ambassador of Canada to Germany also enriches this event every year.
Structure of the association
President: Michael Siebold, Toronto, Frankfurt
Vice President: Georg Schmitz, Munich
- Karl-Ludwig Barths, Kronberg (Taunus)
- Ulrich Bleyer, Teltow
- Andreas Hagedorn
- Lori Moores-Hagedorn
- Gerhard Hess, Bad Hersfeld
- Wolfgang Klooss, Trier
- Michael Nussbaum, Ahrensburg
- Heidrun Richter, Berlin
- Norbert Strohschen, Cologne
- Udo Voigtländer, Berlin
The board of directors
Chairman of the board: Stefan Rizor, Chairman and DKG lawyer, Osborne Clarke
- Bernd Brummermann, Secretary and Director Student Exchange Program, DKG division manager, Sparkasse Lemgo
- Martin Gutsch, Treasurer
- Hannes Weiland, Director Social Media and Digital Communications, CANEU Trade Consulting
- Ulrike Rausch, Director Marketing and Communications, DKG, Adconcise
The DKG has ten regional groups:
- Berlin & Brandenburg
- Central Germany
- Lower Saxony
- Upper Bavaria
The regional groups hold regular Canadian-related meetings.
Exchange programs of the DKG
Work and Travel (WSP)
For German students from all departments who are enrolled at German or foreign universities, colleges and technical colleges as well as for school graduates with at least a technical diploma, the DKG has been running a work and travel program every year in the summer semester break since 1965 in cooperation with the German and Canadian government ( previously known as WSP - working student program) in Canada.
Every year during the summer semester break, this program offers participants practical work experience for 6–8 weeks, mostly in hotels, restaurants, lodges, cafés, mobile home rentals, in the office or on farms.
The working student program was carried out for the 50th time in 2014. Since the program was set up, around 3,000 German students have taken the opportunity to experience Canada in a special way.
In cooperation with the Embassy of Canada in Berlin, the DKG arranges for German students in business and political subjects as well as prospective engineers and lawyers also study-related internships in Canada. Legal trainees are given the opportunity to gain practical legal experience at renowned commercial law firms in Canada as part of the elective station.
To this end, the DKG works with Canadian and German companies, consulting firms and institutions based in Canada that are interested in getting to know students in practice.
The DKG arranges the internship positions and, as a talent scout, makes a pre-selection from among the applicants. The DKG supports the interns or legal trainees in applying for a visa, work permit and social security number.
The DKG-Journal appears as part of the "360 ° -Kanada Magazin", a publication of the 360 ° Medien in Mettmann, quarterly, with an edition of 7,500 copies, with the.
The DKG sends out the so-called Maple News every month, a newsletter for association members and interested parties, with around 1400 readers. The newsletter contains culture and event tips as well as information about Canada in Germany.