The Canadian Polish Research Institute

Kanadyjsko-Polski Instytut Badawczy

Est. 1956

4th Edition of the Memoir Competition

Memoir Competition


Did you arrive in Canada after 1988? Tell your story!

Why did you emigrate from Poland? How did your life in Canada begin?
What happened after? How did you and your family settle in a new country?

We strongly encourage young Polish people to tell their stories of life in Canada. Authenticity of stories is essential. Selected memoirs will be published in a book and on the Canadian Polish Research Institute website.

Guidelines [also available in the PDF format]:


If you would like to listen to fragments of past memoirs, click here.

❦ If you would like to buy memoirs published by the Institute, submit the form:


History of memoir publishing at the Institute

From 1971 to 1990, the Canadian Polish Research Institute published six books of memoirs, thereby recording the stories of Polish immigrants in Canada since the 1920s. The last volume contains the memoirs of Poles who immigrated before 1981. The Institute deems the collection of memoirs essential to the preservation of the Polish diaspora in Canada and will continue this tradition.

United by the experience of leaving Poland and then starting their lives in Canada, the writers of the memoirs had different reasons for emigrating and had various life experiences. Their level of education varied and they represented different socio-economic groups. Their memoirs are candid – they describe the daily struggles and successes immigrants and their families faced. Some authors had very basic writing skills; their memoirs present a record of non-standard and rare forms of the written language. Upon review of the memoirs, it is clear these people all faced a new reality which they adapted to and eventually identified with.


Canada 150


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