Immigrant Stories / Immigrant Stories


The “British Columbia and Canada through Arriving Eyes” research project conducted several interviews with German speaking immigrants from Germany & Austria, living in Canada. The stories depict the vast variety of immigrant experiences, perspectives and impressions they encountered living in British Columbia and Western Canada. The immigrant collection entails oral history interviews, transcripts, photographs, letters, original travel documents, etc. Please explore the different immigrant stories below & click on “See More” for further information.



Hans & Barbara Milewski
The Milewskis immigrated in the 1950’s from Germany to Canada. For their first year in Canada they lived in Niagara Falls, ON & Hans found work as a painter. After one year, they moved to Toronto, ON & then to Fort William, ON (now Thunder Bay, ON). In the 1960’s they moved to Vancouver, BC in hopes of better job opportunities. Currently, they reside in Maple Ridge, BC. / See More 



Evelin McCarvill
Evelin grew up in a small town called Weitensfeld in Austria in the region of Kärnten. While traveling through Europe she met her Canadian husband Rob on the metro in Paris. In 1975, she visited him in Victoria, BC. A year later they got married in Austria & she moved permanently to Victoria, BC to live with him & raise a family together. / See More 



Jack Ploesser
Jack was born in Frankfurt a. M. in Germany and immigrated with his parents to Canada when he was four. They settled in Vancouver, BC and lived for the first year on Granville Street & later even opened up a restaurant on “Robsonstrasse”. Jack went on to become a taxi driver, bush plane pilot, etc. Presently, he works as a potter and resides in Robert’s Creek, BC. / See More 



Guenther & Antje Schrack
Guenther immigrated to Canada with his mother & sister when he was 20 years old. After graduating from UBC he decided to pursue his PhD in Zurich, Switzerland. Here, he met his wife Antje who was studying for a year abroad. They got married and returned to Vancouver, BC, where Guenther received a professor position at the UBC & Antje became a lawyer. / See More 



Vanessa Wiebel
Vanessa was born in 1969 in Hamburg Eppendorf, Germany and after finishing high school in 1988, she visited Canada for the first time for one year. After,she decided to immigrate to Canada & in 1994, she finally received her permanent residency. Vanessa practiced for several years as a physiotherapist & is currently working as a consultant. / See More