The three-part Russlaender Centenary Tour will re-enact the historic migration of 21,000 Mennonites from Russia to Canada beginning in 1923. With the help of established Mennonites, the refugees found new homes in Canada in the aftermath of the Russian Revolution—a time of civil war, famine, and epidemic. This tour celebrates the faith of these newcomers, memorializes the challenges of resettlement, acknowledges race and displacement in Canadian history. The tour is a collaborative effort among Canadian Mennonite historians and heritage enthusiasts. Tour leaders Henry Paetkau and Ingrid Mohleman, along with other historic resource people, will share informative talks during the tour.
Cross Canada Russlaender Centenary Tour
At A Glance
- Part 1: June 30 – July 6, 2023 (7 days)
- Part 2: July 6-13, 2023 (8 days)
- Part 3: July 13-17, 2023 (6 days)
Tour 1: Quebec City to Kitchener, ON, June 30 to July 6, 2023 (7-day tour)
Tour participants meet in Quebec City for a welcome dinner and tour overview. Visit the Russlaender landing site at Gross Isle and take a walking tour of the old city. In Montreal, see the Canadian Pacific Railway headquarters and hear about CPR’s involvement with the migration, also tour the old city. In Kitchener-Waterloo, enjoy an evening Sängerfest. Also, see the homes of former prime minister W. L. Mackenzie King and industrialist AR Kaufman, Conrad Grebel University College, MCC Ontario headquarters, Erb St Mennonite Church, and other significant locations.
Tour 1: Quebec City to Kitchener, ON, June 30 to July 6, 2023 (7-day tour) From $2500 – 2800 CAD; $1900 – 2200 USD* (+10% tithe of 250 CAD/person*)
Tour 2: Toronto, ON to Saskatoon, SK, July 6-13, 2023 (8-day tour)
On the train between Toronto and Winnipeg, enjoy onboard lectures, hymn sings, and other interactions with fellow Russlaenders and enthusiasts. In Winnipeg, attend a 1-day academic conference about the Russian Mennonite migration. Take a day trip to the Mennonite Heritage Village in Steinbach. Enjoy a Sängerfest at Centennial Concert Hall. Tour the city, see the CPR Station, The Forks, the Human Rights Museum and the Mennonite Heritage Archives at Canadian Mennonite University. Take an overnight train from Winnipeg to Saskatoon. In Saskatoon, attend a theatre production with Russlaender. Ride by bus to Rosthern, SK, for a one-day tour. At the Station Arts Centre, participate in a commemorative platform arrival ceremony and recreate a famous arrival photograph. Visit the Anabaptist Centre and the grave of David Toews. See Fort Carleton. Acknowledge that Russlaenders moved into treaty territory.
Tour 2: Toronto, ON to Saskatoon, SK, July 6-13, 2023 (8-day tour) From $4500 – 5000 CAD; $3365 – 3800 USD* (+10% tithe of $450 CAD/person)
Tour 3: Saskatoon, SK to Abbotsford, BC July 13-17, 2023 (6-day tour)
Take the train from Saskatoon to Edmonton. After checking in to your hotel, enjoy Faspa with local Mennonites. On the scenic train ride from Edmonton to Abbotsford, enjoy more lectures, singing, and conversations. In Abbotsford, explore truth and reconciliation as you learn about the lake draining in 1923 or 24 that made Mennonite settlement possible and negatively impacted local First Nations. Visit a Russlaender village and its museum in Yarrow. Also, visit Hausbarn. Finish the tour with one last Sängerfest at an MB church.
Tour 3: Saskatoon, SK to Abbotsford, BC July 13-17, 2023 (6-day tour) From $3200 – 3800 CAD; $2400 – 2850 USD* (+10% tithe of $320 CAD/ person)
*A 10% tithe of tour fares will be “paid forward” to help displaced persons through Mennonite Central Committee.