A Scattering of Seeds: The Creation of Canada
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General History

LEGACY

The 1996 census reported a total Lithuanian population of 35,835 in Canada, with nearly two-thirds living in Ontario.

While Lithuanians have now integrated easily into Canadian society, many t have maintained a strong sense of their cultural identity through a variety of clubs and singing and dancing groups. They have preserved many folk-song traditions such as sutartine (describe) and still use musical instruments such as skudicani and kankles. (Describe) All Lithuanian Canadians are considered members of the Lithuanian Canadian Community which has 20 chapters maintaining links with the Lithuanian World Federation. They publish the biweekly newspaper Independent Lithuania (Quebec) and the weekly Lights of Homeland (Ontario). The community holds Saturday classes across Canada in Lithuanian language, history, religion and folklore. There are still 12 active Lithuanian churches throughout Canada as well as numerous church groups and organizations. 12

The Lithuanian Museum and Archives of Canada was established in 1989 in Mississauga, Ontario, to collect, preserve and display documentation of Lithuanian-Canadian community life and activities. The museum also collects the family heirlooms of Lithuanian Canadians and documents associated with Lithuania's transition to independence. 13

SYNOPSIS Elena Kudaba, a promising professional actress, immigrated to Canada in 1914, one of more than 20,000 Lithuanian wartime refugees who made a similar journey around this time. Unable to return to a homeland occupied by the Russian Soviets, she settled in Hamilton, Ontario, and immediately establish Aukuras ((Eternal Flame) Theatre, an amateur drama troupe. Putting aside many of her own professional ambitions, Elena produced plays with Aukuras for more than 50 years. Throughout this time, Elena introduced generation after generation to Lithuanian theatre, elevating a simple stage to a sacred place, where education and entertainment play together harmoniously. Although her health is failing, Elena continues to perform both in mainstream productions and with Aukuras. This year, Elena's daughter will direct a theatrical production to mark Aukuras' 50th anniversary. Once again, Elena will take the stage; once again, she will offer her considerable talent and cultural heritage to an audience of Lithuanians and Canadians alike.

Endnotes
1,2,3,4 The Canadian and World Encyclopedia, Mclelland and Stewart, 2000
5,6,7,8,9,10,11 Danys, Milda, Lithuanian Parishes in Toronto, POLYPHONY, Toronto's People, Spring/Summer 1984 Vol. 6 No. 1
12,13 Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Online

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