When Croatian immigrants first arrived in Sault Ste. Marie at the turn of the last century, their social gatherings were commonplace. Whether in a home, at a picnic grounds or in a building, one could hear Croatian language spoken, celebrate the food, folklore and traditions, and revel in Croatian culture. In the 1970’s the community incorporated the Canadian Croatian Home Association-Sault Ste. Marie (CCHA-SSM) as a non profit culture and heritage organization and moved from Wellington St. West to a newly built home on Second Line East.
For over 100 years the Croatian community has had a presence in Sault Ste. Marie. And for most of that time there was a place for people of Croatian heritage to come together. That era came to an end when CCHA-SSM sold the Croatian Hall-Hrvatski Dom in August, 2020.
The question now being raised is — how do you create awareness and revive interest in heritage and culture when you no longer have a physical location?
Members of the CCHA-SSM have been working towards an answer to “what now?” The pandemic shut down has provided a pause in activity, and they are using that time to develop a thoughtful response. To that end, CCHA-SSM Strategic planning and development committee is undertaking a survey to understand how the organization can best serve its current and members, as well as the community of Sault Ste. Marie.
The CCHA-SSM is seeking community input to help them plan for the future of the organization. An invitation to participate is extended to persons of Croatian heritage, their partners and all people in the community who love and embrace Croatian culture.
President and committee member Rick Tomas encourages those completing the 10-minute survey to consider: “What would you like the CCHA-SSM to look like for your children and your children’s children?”
All responses are voluntary and anonymous.
The survey will be active until June 15, 2021 and the link can be found at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/RCDVGFX