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Alberta Online Encyclopedia

Polish - page 3
World War II and After

With the onset of World War II and subsequent changes to Canada's immigration policies, the make-up of Alberta's Polish community again underwent a substantial change as a third wave of immigration brought people that represented a wide spectrum of social strata and occupations. Primarily refugees from war-torn Europe, the decades following World War II witnessed the arrival of peasants and aristocrats, war-veterans, professionals and world-renowned artists alike. These new immigrants predominantly settled in cities, where they felt they could better realize their professional, cultural and intellectual pursuits.

Although this group of immigrants represented a range of motivations, experiences and ambitions not witnessed before, they, like the earlier Polish immigrants, took time to adjust, integrate and establish themselves. However, also like their predecessors, their dedication and diligence paid off, and by the 1070s Polish-owned businesses and Polish professionals had markedly increased and were well integrated into the larger Alberta community.

The postwar immigrants continued the tradition of supporting cultural organizations-they created new institutions, built halls and rejuvenated many existing groups. Much of this occurred, however, with the support and input of the long-standing Polish community, once again reminding us of the importance of each generation of Polish Albertans in the development of the province.

Recommended Source: Joanna Matejko. "The Polish Experience in Alberta" in Peoples of Alberta ed. Howard and Tamara Palmer, Saskatoon: Western Producer Books, 1985.
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