History of the Canadian Polish Congress is divided into two periods. In the first period our Polish-Canadian umbrella organization in Canada was named the Federation of Polish Societies in Canada. The Federation was granted federal status on February 7, 1933. The change of the name of our organization came into effect during the General Meeting held in Toronto, through the 2nd-4th of September 1944.
The Canadian Polish Congress (KPK) is an umbrella organization established to coordinate the activities and to articulate the concerns of approximately milion Canadians of Polish heritage. One of its aims is to promote Polish culture, language, tradition and knowledge of Polish contribution within Canada not only to people who have immigrated from Poland but to all Canadians in order to foster a better understanding and spirit of multiculturalism.
There are 16 Branches across Canada and more than 240 organizations which belong to the Canadian Polish Congress. British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba and Quebec have a provincial branch which co-ordinates the entire province. Ontario is broken up into 12 regions Hamilton, Kitchener, London, Mississauga, Niagara, Oshawa, Ottawa, Peterborough, Sudbury, Thunder Bay, Toronto and Windsor.
One of Congress Branches which holds the highest number of young Polonia is KPK Mississauga Branch. Our first Meeting was held at Tatry in Mississauga on January 16th, 2000. The representatives that formed the Meeting included: Polish Alliance of Canada Group 95 (creators of Congress in Mississauga), Polish Teacher’s Association, Association for helping children “Promyk”, Association of Polish Engineers, Polonia for the Future, Polish Canadian Women’s Federation No.15. First General Meeting was held on the 13th of February 2000.
Today, CPC Mississauga has 13 organizations and more are joining. We are thrilled that the most recent additions are by the young genereation who wish to uphold their polish roots and further broader their knowledge within the Polish community which encompass Polish traditions, culture and language.
According to the 2006 Canadian Census, Canada is home to almost one million people of Polish decent. Half of this population resides in Ontario, where Mississauga and Toronto have the largest volume. More than 13 thousand families call St. Maximilan Kolbe Parish their church, around 3000 students flock to the halls of 16 Polish schools including elementary and secondary aged students. More and more teens are becoming involved in the Scouting Association in Missisauga. Around 250 kids and teens belong to two divisions Wigry and Wieliczka. New organizations are forming and existing ones would like to come aboard to the Canadian Polish Congress in Mississauga. One can easily say about the strenght and dynamic of our Branch and look forward to the future. We are constatnly busy and embarking on new challenges. Our newest embarkment is the Patriot’s Monument in front of the Polish Cultural Centre, which saw the day of light thanks to the countless Polonia members. Other Polish institutions also played a role in this monument inlcuding the Polish Senate and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Poland. Of course this was not all possible without the countless hours spent on this project by the Polish Canadian Organizations.