• Faithful to my Homeland, the Republic of Poland


  • NEWS

  • 23 October 2017

    Let’s gather to celebrate 99 years of Poland’s Independence. On November 11th we will bring together both Polish and Canadians to commemorate this special day when Poland regained its independence after 123 years of partitions. With Polish classical and patriotic music, we will mark restoration of Poland along with 100th anniversary of the opening of Camp Kościuszko in Niagara-On-the-Lake.

    Join us for the “As long as we live” special concert and opening of “Camp Kościuszko. The Polish Army at the Niagara Camp, 1917-1919” exhibition at the Niagara Historical Society & Museum. Come and share with us the pride and joy of Poland’s independence along with celebrating over 100 years of Polish-Canadian friendship. The “As long as we live” concert will take place on Saturday November 11th, 2017 at 7 p.m at the St. Mark’s Anglican Church, 41 Byron St. Niagara-On-the-Lake.

    The exhibition will be open to the audience of the concert from 8:30 p.m until 9:30 p.m at the Niagara Historical Society and Museum, 43 Castlereagh St., Niagara-On-the-Lake. The concert will be performed by Toronto Sinfonietta & Novi Singers Toronto, Maciej Jaskiewicz, Music Director, with Karolina Podolak, Janusz Borowiec, and Anna Kolosowski. The admission is free.

    The concert and exhibition are presented by the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Toronto, Toronto Sinfonietta Concert Association, Novi Singers Toronto, The Niagara Historical Society & Museum with the support of Senior’s Secretariat of the Ontario Ministry of Seniors Affairs, and Polish Alliance of Canada, Branch 1.


    The 100th Anniversary of the Opening of Camp Kosciuszko


    100 years ago, the first group of Polish – Canadian patriots attended a training school in Toronto, to begin outstanding military formation known in history as Camp Kosciuszko.

    With the outbreak of World War I in 1914, the Polish community in America and Canada seriously began to consider ways to help Poland gain independence through military means. In the fall of 1916 Wincenty Skarzynski and Andrzej Malkowski approached the Canadian authorities. They first met with industrialist Sir William Price of Montreal and proposed the foundation of a Polish Legion in Canada. Price was a prominent Quebec businessman and was close to Prime Minister Borden who was sufficiently interested that he had External Affairs make a lengthy and formal inquiry to London about the possibility of such a Legion. Colonial Secretary Bonar Law responded quickly that London would have ‘no objection’ as long as scrupulous concern for American sensibilities was observed. In December 1916 Polish officials met with Canadian officials including Chief of Staff, Major General Sir Willoughby Gwatkin to arrange for the training of a cadre of volunteer officers. At the end of 1916 the Canadian military authorities agreed to form a Polish officer’s training school in Canada. Lt. Colonel A.D. LePan was instructed to lead the training of Polish officers. In January 1917, 23 Poles arrived at the training school in Toronto and were met by Lt. Colonel A.D. LePan and were accepted into the School of Infantry, Military District No. 2. The Engineering Building, University of Toronto was used by the School of Infantry In the spring of 1917, when the training of Polish soldiers expanded so rapidly that most of the school was moved out of the city. On September 29, 1917, Lieut.-Col. LePan arrived from Camp Borden, along with the staff of the School of Infantry, to take command and control, together with 150 probationers, at Niagara Camp. The camp was later named after Tadeusz Kosciuszko, a prominent participant in the wars for the independence of both Poland and the US. Mrs. Elizabeth Ascher, a local newspaper columnist wrote at the time that “In a short time this little green spot in this pretty “God’s Acre” will be practically the only memento of one of the most striking, most unique episodes in Niagara’s history”. The camp also welcomed several distinguished guests during its existence, including His Royal Highness, Prince Arthur of Connaught, Ignacy Jan Paderewski, the world famous pianist and major supporter of the Polish cause, and Prince Stanisław Poniatowski from France a direct descendent of the last King of Poland. In April 1918, a burial plot in St. Vincent de Paul’s cemetery was set aside for the internment of Polish soldiers who would die while in training in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Most of them died due to the Spanish Flu epidemic which arrived at Kosciuszko Camp in September 1918. There are 26 men buried in the cemetery plot. The camp closed in February 1919 when the 73rd and last draft of a total of 22,000 Polish soldiers left Kosciuszko Camp. Modern, trained troops were transported to France. Polish Army in France called the Blue Army (the color of the uniforms) was established on the initiative of Roman Dmowski and the Polish National Committee with the help of the Entente, and commanded by General Jozef Haller. From France, well-equipped army in the strength of 80,000 soldiers has been transported by train through Germany to Poland, strengthening young Polish Army. Official visits to the camp began as soon as it opened but the very first pilgrimage occurred on Saturday evening, May 31, 1919.



    Matthew Jaskiewicz  is a graduate of the Warsaw Academy of Music, where he studied with the renowned conductor Bohdan Wodiczko.  He launched his professional career with the directorship of several prestigious ensembles in Poland and in France.They include the Academic Choir of Warsaw University, the Ars Antiqua Chamber Choir, and Les Rossignolets de Roubaix boys’ choir. While still in Warsaw, Matthew taught choral conducting at the Warsaw Music Academy and was the conductor of the Warsaw Chamber Opera for many years. Through extensive touring in Europe, Mr. Jaskiewicz has earned an international distinction and many significant awards, among them the First Prize at the International Choral Festival in Middlesborough, England. In recognition of his cultural achievements, he was awarded the prestigious Polish Order of Merit in 1996. In 2006, he was presented with the Knight’s Cross of The Order of Polonia Restituta, and in 2011, he received the Gold Medal Gloria Artis, the highest award bestowed on artists by the president of Poland.

    “Novi Singers Toronto” is his newest musical creation. Based in the Polish community of Toronto, the choir is striving to achieve the highest artistic level, and to build bridges between the Polish community and Canadian audiences at large.


    Anna Kolosowski graduated from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Music in Performance. She holds an A.R.C.T. Piano Performer's diploma, along with an A.R.C.T. Flute Performer's diploma from the Royal Conservatory of Music. She has been a repeated scholarship recipient from the University of Toronto, OMFA, and Rotary Music Festival. Anna had her first major success at the age of nine, receiving a Silver Medal for obtaining the highest annual mark in a Royal Conservatory of Music examination. Winning the Kitchener-Waterloo Concerto Competition, Anna had her first solo debut at the age of 17 with the Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Orchestra. Anna is currently working on her Master's Degree in Performance from the University of Toronto. She is also an active accompanist in RCM examinations, festivals, and The Music Studio's annual recitals. Anna has had seven years of experience in teaching piano. She has prepared many students for RCM Practical, Theory and History examinations. Her students have received high marks in RCM exams, and have won many awards in festivals such as Kiwanis, Peel and Etobicoke. Anna's curriculum provides an opportunity for all her students to develop their talent in a caring and personally attentive atmosphere. Most importantly, she places emphasis not only on skill, but also on the enjoyment and appreciation of music.


    Janusz Borowiec – cello.

    Karolina Podolak is a soprano from Mississauga, Ontario. She is very passionate about music and singing and has been doing it recreationally (pop, rock, etc) for years, though she has only been seriously training her voice classically for the past, approximately, 2 years. She sings broadway and opera pieces. When not singing, she works at Toronto radio stations 102.1 The Edge and Talk Radio AM640, and also plays guitar.






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