ONTARIO Berlin Saengerfest 1886 Leroux 1635, Charlton EONC-3 31mm white metal medal 13.2 grams
Die Axis: Medal ⇈
Obverse: BERLIN SAENGERFEST AUG 11th, 12th & 13th 1886
Reverse: PHILHARMONIC & CONCORDIA MAENNERCHOR/ BERLIN / CANADA / 1886
Sängerfeste (singers' festivals). Occasions organized to perpetuate German singing and social traditions. In Canada the gatherings have been centred mainly in communities of southern and western Ontario. The German cultural heritage of Waterloo County, Ont, was firmly established by immigration patterns of the 19th century (see Germany). Not content to exercise their love of singing only in the home, church, or school, settlers in these smaller urban communities had founded male and/or mixed choirs by the 1860s. Athletic clubs (Turnvereine), modelled on those in Germany, organized festivals of gymnastics, theatre, choral music, and dance. Emphasis on song soon lessened the importance of the other events.
The Concordia Club of Berlin (founded in 1873) was a focus for the life of German song in North America. It was host for three of the most spectacular of the Sängerfeste. In 1875 the largest festival of its kind to that time lasted three days and attracted 15 choirs - from Montreal, Toronto, London, Detroit, Chicago, Rochester, Buffalo, and elsewhere - and 10,000 visitors to the city. At the 1879 festival, 500 choristers entertained 12,000 people; English-Canadian choirs also appeared. The 1886 festival was deemed to be one of the most impressive ever held in North America. In three days five full concerts were given, among them a performance of The Creation.