Croatian diaspora in Canada

  • Slika
  • Slika
Number of Croats in Canada and their immigration

Based on the estimate of the Embassy of the Republic of Croatia and the Consulate General of Canada, the Croatian Catholic Missions, Census, and estimates of the Croatian community - it is believed that there are about 250,000 Croatian emigrants and their descendants in Canada.
Most Croats live in the provinces of Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta, Quebec and Manitoba, and in the cities of Toronto, Mississauga, Vancouver, Montreal, Winnipeg, Calgary, etc.
According to the time and circumstances of emigration, Croatian diaspora can be divided into five generations:
The first generation of Croatian immigrants, 6,000-10,000 Croats arrived in Canada between 1890 and 1914  from the Austro-Hungarian Empire.The second generation up to 15, 000 Croats arrived in Canada in the period between the two world wars from the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. Contrary to the first generation which was geographically dispersed, the second generation preserved Croatian identity through establishing migrant associations and Croatian national homes where Croats, most of whom settled in urban areas, meet. The first home was built and opened in Hamilton in 1929. 
The third-generation Canadians of Croatian descent make the children of the second generation who were born and raised in Canada.
The fourth generation of Croatians came from the socialist Yugoslavia in the years immediately after World War II. This generation of our immigrants, having strong awareness of their roots, strengthened the Croatian identity. It was at that time that numerous Croatian  associations were established across Canada. Since the end of World War II until 1975 approximately 65,000 Croats moved to Canada.
The fifth generation is made up of children of the above mentioned immigrants and immigrants who arrived in Canada during the 90s of the 20th century. This group together with the previous one helped in the process of acculturation. That process stems from loyalty to two cultures, languages and traditions, i.e. the intention is to preserve the culture of one’s origin and at the same time adopt new elements of the culture of dominant group.

Status of Croats in Canada

Croats in Canada have the same responsibilities and privileges when applying for Canadian citizenship  as other Canadian citizens. The person must have lived in Canada for 3 years in order to apply. According to federal and regional government, Croats who acquire citizenship will be treated equally as other citizens. Canada allows dual citizenship.
Canadian Government adopted the Decision on lifting visa requirements   for all Croatian citizens. It came into effect on 29 March 2009 in the announcement made by the competent Canadian Ministry for Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism.

Croatian Associations and Catholic Missions

There are about 60 Croatian folklore groups organized independently or linked to organizations, societies and Croatian parishes. Of all countries of immigration, Croatian folklore is cherished a lot which is evident from the results that Croatian groups achieve at various competitions of ethnic folklore groups (TV shows, charity events etc). There are 19 Croatian Catholic parishes and Missions that have their church buildings purchased by Croatian immigrants. The parishes in Canada were established after the WWII, during the last 40 years.

Croatian classes and courses of the Croatian language

Croatian classes  are integrated into the primary and secondary education, and it is largely organized in the province of Ontario and the Greater Toronto Area, Mississauga, Oakville and elsewhere. Croatian Ministry of Science and Education supports the teaching by providing teaching materials and organizing seminars for teachers’ professional development in Canada or Croatia at the traditional summer seminar for teachers, members of Croatian national minority and immigrants
The University of Waterloo is the most important institution of higher education where courses in the Croatian language, literature, history and culture are held . At the Department for the Croatian language and culture of the University an extensive program of the Croatian language can be studied.  The Department was established in 1988 based on the agreement between the Croatian community and the University of Waterloo.
Institutions of higher education established several programs for Croatian language:
Centre for Croatian Studies
University of Waterloo, Ontario
Programs of Croatian Language and Literature, which are not within the competence of the   Ministry of Science and Education of the Republic of Croatia.
University of Toronto, Ontario

Publishing and Media

Journals in the Croatian language published in Canada:
  • Hrvatski glas
  • Newsletter of  HSS
  • Naša nada
  • Zajedničar
  • Oluja
  • Matica Hrvatska
Several  Croatian radio stations operate in Canada:
  • Croatian Radio Program Edmonton
  • Croatian radio program 90.0 FM
  • Croatian radio program CHIN FM 100.7
  • Radio Domobran
  • Croatian Information Radio
  • Croatian radio Vancouver, 1470 AM
  • Croatian radio program Calgary 90.9 FM
When Croatia became an independent state, the publishers and readers were not as interested in emigrant publications as before. The biggest circulation has a weekly bilingual newspaper  of Croatian Fraternal Union (HBZ)  “Zajedničar” published in 48,000 copies. This circulation covers only North America and the members of this old fraternal benefit society. Weekly parish newsletters should also be mentioned as they contain the latest news from the homeland.