News 2000

The Year in Review 2000

Once again a warm hello to our friends… you
are reading the fifth annual newsletter of the Bavarian Schuhplattlers
of Edmonton!


Our first major event of the year,
as usual, was Heimatabend 2000. The special theme this year was
“An Evening of Grimm’s Fairy Tales”, where we retold some of the
Grimms’ brothers classic tales… with a Schuhplattler twist! The
two stories of the night were “Schuhwittchen and the seven Dwarfplattlers”,
and “Little Red Dirndl”. A special thanks to former member Rainer
Hartl, for providing yodel instruction to the dwarfplattlers! The
group travelled not once, but twice, to beautiful British Columbia
this year! First, we returned to Kimberley, BC on the Labour Day
long weekend for the annual International Folk Dance Festival. Organized
by our own former member Erika Kirrmaier, the event had representation
from 10 cultures. We also had the chance to visit with our Honorary
President for Life, Rudy Kirrmaier, and his wife Hilde, and we saw
the wonderful home thay have built for themselves in Kimberley!
The second BC trip was in late September, when we drove to Kelowna
for the first annual Oktoberfest, in the Grand Okanagan Hotel! With
over 850 people in attendance, this event, organized by Ramona Schuster,
was a great success. Since we were so close, we were fortunate enough
to have been contacted by Marlies Gerlach, President of the Vernon
German Society, who invited us to attend their Oktoberfest the next
night. Bernd Kallenbach had the good fortune to be billetted with
none other than the former Braumeister (brew master) of Okanagan
Springs beer; Bernd was already quite “cheerful” by the time we
started our first performance that evening! Another gemütlich evening
ensued, and on Sunday we made the long trip back to Edmonton. However,
we found time to stop in nearby Kamloops and visit with former member
Tony Klingbeil, and his then-fiancée Lisa… Tony and Lisa were
married one week later! Other activities this year included the
Alberta Winter Games in Sherwood Park in February, Club Austria’s
Grand Heurigen wine tasting in November, as well as their members’
gathering in April, German Days in June and an AIESEC U of A Christmas
event in December. We performed at various Oktoberfests for the
GCCA, Pattison Advertising, the Boysdale Camp executive, Wetaskiwin,
and even Lloydminster! We also performed for a few school and seniors’
events during the year.


Our most recent participants are
Robert & Lisa Friedl, who saw us perform at the Club Austria Heurigen
in November of this year, and have been coming regularly to check
our the group and practice ever since. Leaving us this year are
Diahanna Hantel-Hilscher and Jason Edwards. Jason in particular
has been with the group for several years, and we appreciate the
contribution he has made. Karin Konkin, after returning to us on
a part-time basis, has left us again now that she is expecting a
second child! We are happy that James Konkin continues to dance
with us. Also expecting a second child are Marvin Schaaf and wife
Janina. Brandi Pagee (formerly Brandi Day) is also now married,
and has a baby boy. Longtime member Marta Laube is currently on
leave, as she is studying for a graduate degree in the state of
Washington, USA. We hope to have her back periodically during the
coming year! Our present membership is Kathryn Calder, Frank & Loretta
Friesacher, Ronny Fritz, Bernd Kallenbach, Sylvia Kiel, James Konkin,
George Lauf, Joe Niederleitner, Brandi Pagee, Marvin Schaaf, Charlene
Schmidt, Eric Seneka and Sylvia Unterieser. We are always happy
when our former accordion player Ralph Garneau & friend Jürgen Ellendt
are able to join us. Speaking of former accordion players, we were
also pleased to have Otto Augustine visit on a couple of practices,
and welcome him and others to return on Thursday nights to say hello!

Die Alpenspatzen

The Bavarian Schuhplattlers have decided
to take an active role in raising the next generation of Schuhplattler
boys and girls. Die Alpenspatzen (the Alpine Sparrows) started practicing
in September 2000, and have already performed several times during
the Oktoberfest and Christmas seasons. Currently composed of two
boys and six girls all ages 8-12, die Alpenspatzen is instructed
and managed by Bernd Kallenbach, with the assistance of Sylvia Unterieser,
Charlene Schmidt and Loretta Friesacher. The kids currently perform
such traditional dances as the Siebenschritt and the Bayrisch Guck,
and play tunes on the cowbells.

Upcoming Events

Heimatabend 2001 is already booked for April 21,
2001, and we promise not to disappoint you in our efforts to amuse
and entertain! Come out and support us with your friends and family!
As well, this year we will be back at the Heritage festival for
more hot summer entertainment. The 2001 Gaufest, at the Nevele resort
in New York’s Catskill Mountains, promises to be the event of the
century! We continue to look at possible membership in the Gau,
and are investigating new Tracht as well as Dirndls for the girls.
Several of our members were involved this year in volunteering as
soldiers for the Blauen Funken Mardi Gras event, the Prinzen Proklamation!
We will continue to assist the Blauen Funken in the New Year as
they host the Western Canadian Mardi Gras Association here in Edmonton
January 26-27, 2001. That’s it for the 2000 report of the Bavarian
Schuhplattlers. Please feel free to contact us with your stories,
or visit us at practices or performances. Happy New Year!