The Canadian Polish Research Institute

Kanadyjsko-Polski Instytut Badawczy

Est. 1956


The founder of  the Canadian Polish Research Institute was Dr. Wiktor Turek. A first meeting organized upon the initiative of the Toronto Branch of the Canadian Polish Congress was held in Toronto on September 12, 1956. Mr. A. Janicki, the president of Toronto Branch of the Canadian Polish Congress was the chairman of the meeting. Thirteen persons took part in the meeting. Those 13 were well entitled to voice their opinions about the organization of the Research Institute because of their personal involvement, qualifications and experience in this matter. They were: B. Boreysza, B. Heydenkorn, A. Janicki, P. Jordan, G. Kaczanowski, T. Lubaczewski, A. Lagowski, J. Lopuszański, B. Makowski, A. Malatyński, T. Sawaszkiewicz, P. Staniszewski and W. Turek.

“There was a profound need, felt for a long time amidst Canadian Polonia” – explained the chairman, “for calling to life a research body that would be responsible for the study of problems connected with the development of a Polish ethnic group in Canada, which is one of the component groups of Canadian population and one of the contributing forces in the creation of a common Canadian culture”.

Until his untimely death in 1964, Dr. Turek was president of the Institute. Dr. Tadeusz Krychowski, also a lawyer, replaced him until 1972, when he resigned due to poor health. Members of the Institute elected Mr. Rudolf K. Kogler, an economist, to head the Institute. Dr. Edward Soltys, a sociologist, replaced him in 1995. Dr. Soltys was president of the Institute untill 2011 when he resigned due to health problems. In the annual meeting in January 2011, Dr. Joanna Lustanski was elected a new president of the Canadian Polish Research Institute.

In 1986 the Institute celebrated the 30th anniversary of its existence. It was celebrated by a symposium “Protecting the Polish Cultural Heritage”. Participants, both Polish and Canadian, were interested in the history and development of ethnic groups, as well as preservation of cultural heritage by these groups. Myron Momryk represented the Public Archives; Eugene Martel represented Ontario Archives and Krzysztof Gebhard was from the Saskatchewan Archives. Also present was Mary Stevens, director of the East European and Slavic section of the University of Toronto Library.

The Canadian Polish Research Institute is one of the many Polish cultural centres established by post-World War II immigrants. It has survived for more than 55 years. There is hope, then, that it will continue its work for many more years.

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