The German Canadian Association of Nova Scotia (hereon referred to as GCA) is the only official larger representative body of the German-speaking community (including Germans, Swiss and Austrians) and its respective heritage in Nova Scotia. While the GCA has fluctuated in size, it has persisted since its inception in 1972 – a testament to the valuable service it provides to its stakeholders. The GCA is most known for its annual organization of cultural events, where the GCA celebrates and promotes the German-speaking heritage in Nova Scotia, including most prominently the Oktoberfest (now in its 5th year), Sommerfest or Karneval. Other activities where the GCA has been able to clearly demonstrate the successful fulfillment of its mandate include the ’20 Jahre Mauerfall’ event together with the German Consular General Montreal, the Federal Government of Germany and Saint Mary’s University, and its continued representation at the Multicultural Festival in Halifax.
Besides its various events, the GCA is also a body that represents the interests of its community with government, business and academia. To date it has done this on a more ad hoc basis, however it in the future it intends on formalizing its partnerships with organizations like the German Canadian Chamber of Commerce or the Goethe Institute. It is also looking to expand its own ‘Business Network’ which has seen positive early uptake.
The GCA has a healthy mix of members that reflect the diversity of its community both in heritage as well as age. The organization relies on its members to raise operational funds and enjoys a positive freedom to operate and pursue activities it sees as valuable. At its core, it is the unbridled enthusiasm and passion of its board and membership at large that make the organization a success. A more recent influx of a younger generation at the board level has provided a positive momentum, which the organization hopes to continue over the next few years.