Author: Malgorzata P. Bonikowska

For the last few months Canada has been discussed all over the world. This time not because of its beautiful nature, openness to immigrants, progressive law or polite people. Unfortunately, the uncovering of hundreds of unmarked graves on several residential school grounds brought back horrid stories of the infamous forced assimilation system organized by the government and run by churches –  residential schools for indigenous children, which existed for 150 years. We, Canadians, have known –  or at least should have known –  about it since at least 2015, when the Truth and Reconciliation Commission finished its 6 years of…

Read More

 POLcast is happy to inform you that on May 15th it has reached 100,000 downloads: And if you want to know what English language media write about Poland every day, visit POLcast Facebook page daily. Lots of interesting information. ••• In this episode you will hear my interview with Ilona Kowalik Urbaniak, a mathematician and musician, born in Poland, living in Canada and now working in Cracow, Poland.  Ilona has a PhD in applied mathematics and specializes in AI (Artificial Intelligence). She now works in Poland –  at Cracow University of Technology and NASK (National Research Institute). But Ilona has…

Read More

In this episode you will hear my interview with Sabina Baral, who wrote an extremely successful book in Polish “Zapiski z wygnania” (Notes from Exile). The book talks about her family’s experience of being made to leave Poland in March 1968, as a result of the ruling communist party’s anti-Semitic purge. About 20,000 Jews were forced to leave the country between 1968  and 1972. Only between 5,000 and 10,000 Jews were left in Poland.  Those forced to leave were made stateless and were subjected to humiliating exit procedures. Sabina left Poland with her parents, parting with her Polish boyfriend. This was the end of…

Read More

In this episode you will hear my three interviews with: • Ewa Henry- Dawson, head of the Canada Team of the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity, about this year’s 29th annual campaign in Canada, pandemic-style.  WOŚP Kanada (in Polish) In Polish: • WOŚP Kanada 2021 – edycja pandemiczna (cz. 1) • Pandemiczna WOŚP Kanada 2021 – rewelacyjny wynik $$$ + rozmowa z szefową sztabu Ewą Henry-Dawson ••• • Irene Tomaszewski, a Canadian writer, editor and translator of Polish descent living in Ottawa, for many years the editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan Review, an online English-language magazine on Polish culture, established in 2008. We…

Read More

In this episode you will hear my conversations with two guests. One is Joanna Ciapka-Sangster, a Polish Canadian violinist from Edmonton, Alberta, who appeared on the previous episode of POLcast, Episode 78. We talked about Polish Christmas music and announced that we were going to continue and in this episode you will hear part two. My second guest is special to me – for years I tried to convince him to agree to an interview and every time I heard: “No, you are my Mom”. I’ve wanted to speak to Bart Bonikowski not because he is my son, but because…

Read More

Wesołych Świąt i Szczęśliwego Nowego Roku! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! I hope that while listening to this POLcast episode you will forget about the pandemic and this weird Christmas 2020. This episode #78 celebrates the beauty of Christmas through music. You will learn a lot about Polish carols and other Christmas traditions. In this special Christmas episode I interview Joanna Ciapka-Sangster, a Polish Canadian violinist from Edmonton, Alberta. A native of Poland, Joanna received her Master’s degree in Music Performance (1989) from Academy of Music in Poznan where she studied violin with Bartosz Bryla. After graduation Joanna toured…

Read More

POLcast has always been politics free but now… it’s impossible to stick to this rule. So much is happening in Poland with daily protests on the streets, both in big cities and in small towns. Referred to as STRAJK KOBIET (Women’s strike), it did start as a protest against making already very strict abortion law in Poland even stricter, but has since developed into a lot more than that – it’s an unprecedented movement for human rights, respect for the rule of law, and against the populist Polish government.  ‘A backlash against a patriarchal culture’: How Polish protests go beyond…

Read More

This story is featured in Episode 76 – YOU CAN LISTEN TO IT HERE B’nai Brith Canada is Canada’s oldest Jewish advocacy organization, with roots going back to 1875, tracking antisemitism trends in Canada for decades.  On August 6th B’nai Brith revealed (“COVID-19 Created by “Organized Jewry,” Toronto Newspaper Claims”) that “Głos”, a Toronto-based Polish-language newspaper, published an article “Coronavirus, or the Fake Pandemic,” blaming COVID-19 on an imagined Jewish conspiracy. The text contained numerous instances of strongly antisemitic content. In fact, the article appeared twice in two issues of the paper – in March and April. B’nai Brith filed a criminal complaint…

Read More

In Episode 76 we are talking about antisemitism in two Polish language newspapers published in Canada. You will hear three interviews with: • Michael Mostyn, the Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith Canada, • Matthew Samulewski, an activist in the Polish Canadian community, mostly its younger generation, • Thomas Lukaszuk, a Polish-born Canadian politician and former Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, who served in the provincial cabinet and was the Deputy Premier of Alberta. See: Legality, morality, and freedom(s) – antisemitism in Polish language newspapers

Read More

This story is featured in Episode 75 Quo Vadis Conferences Canada and the Polish Students’ Association (PSA) at the University of Toronto have teamed up to co-host an online conference just for students! • Connect with all Polish student clubs across Canada • Learn about available internships and scholarships during your studies • Get inspired to get involved with Polish clubs at your post-secondary institution • Learn about travel and study opportunities in Poland Saturday, June 27 1pm – 4pm (EST) Location: Zoom Check out the event here! https://www.facebook.com/events/1143527579345020/ POLcast is happy to be the event’s media patron. Listen to…

Read More