The Bulgarian-Canadian Society was founded on March 7, 1957, in Toronto, Ontario
How it came to Existence
In the previous year, a group of Bulgarian-Canadians began a lively exchange of opinions with some follow expatriate countrymen, concrning the necessity of creating an organization for Bulgarians in Canada, based on the principles of national unity, political neutrality, devotion to the Canadian ideas of democracy, culture and education.
As a result, arrangements were made to hold a formal, representative forum to discuss these ideas. In the late fall, a meeting was convened and attended by board cross-section of Bulgarians from all walks of life. Following a wide ranging discussion, a five member committee was established and charged with the task of drafting a constitution.
Subsequently, two lengthy conferences took place on October 18, 1956, and November 14, 1956, and the proposed constitution of the newly formed organization was drafted, to be presented by the Committee selected for this purpose.
The Constituent Assembly met on March 7, 1957, and after a short discussion, voted unanimously for the Constitution of the Bulgarian-Canadian Society. Immediately following, the first Executive Committee was elected, with Mr. John Grudeff, Q.C. as President.
For many years thereafter, enthusiasm and unanimity dominated the activities of the Society through the untiring efforts of the founders of the Society.
Firmly and undeviatingly led by the principle, “loyalty to Canada and united together” the members of the Bulgarian-Canadian Society believe “good Bulgarians make good Canadians”.
The Society was registered as a charitable and cultural organization with the Ontario Government and obtained its charter on July 20, 1968.
What has been Accomplished
From March 7, 1657, to present date, the Bulgarian Canadian Society remains the authoritative representative of our people in Canada.
Conferences, meetings, social functions, Children’s Christmas Parties, picnics, cultural festivities, meeting with the assisting expatriate countrymen, awarding scholarship to students and presentation of plaques in recognition of community work, will remain the aim of the generous and humanitarian activities of the Bulgarian Canadian Society.
The Bulgarian-Canadian Society will continue to cultivate and promote the Bulgarian language, traditions and culture within its ranks. As Bulgarian-Canadians in the great democracy, it is our hope that the Bulgarian nation will one day enjoy the freedom of religion, the expression of ideas, the carrying on of free enterprise, and participation in democratic election.
Contribution of the Bulgarian Ethnic Group to the Development of Canada
The Bulgarian Ethnic Group in Canada is of relatively resent formation. Except for isolated cases, it has come into existence during the second half of Canada’s 100 years, beginning at the time of the Balkan (1912-13) and First World War (1914-18). These events resulted in repeated and substantial changes of the political boundaries of the Balkan Peninsula in South Eastern Europe. These changes and upheavals affected most strongly the region Macedonia, situated in the centre of the Balkans. They resulted in massive population movements within and away from Macedonia, and also in a substantial emigration to the “New World”, including Canada. This period marked the beginning of a compact Bulgarian Ethnic Group in Canada.
The end of the Second World War brought to Canada a new wave of immigrants of Bulgarian origin, the great majority of whom were motivated not by economical considerations, but by their love of freedom and disapproval of the dictatorial regime established in Bulgaria.
Regardless of the motives which led them to Canada, the Bulgarian immigrants brought with them their most characteristic virtues: their capacity of hard work, their appreciation of the importance of education, their attachment to the religion and traditions of their homeland and a deep sense of gratitude and involvement in the future of the new country of their choice.
They have always appreciated and have been very grateful for the opportunity which Canada has afforded to them and their families to live and prosper in security and freedom, and have responded by giving their best to Canada.