There are about 90,000 people of Danish origin in Canada found in all walks of life and in all of Canada’s ten provinces and two territories. However, they are mainly concentrated in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia.There have been three major waves of Danish immigration to Canada: from the late 1880s to 1914; in the 1920s; and again in the 1950s and Sixties.
New Denmark, the oldest Danish settlement in Canada, was founded in New Brunswick in 1872. Situated southeast of Grand Falls, New Denmark is an agricultural area, well-know for its potatoes.
In 1897 and again in 1910, hardy Danish pioneers arrived at Hansen Lagoon near Cape Scott to settle, raise crops and to fish. Today, little remains of the Danish settlement except the names – Nels Bight, Hansen Lagoon, Frederiksen Point – and a few fragile buildings and other man-made relics.
The first Danish settlement on the Canadian Prairies was founded in Dickson, Alberta, in 1903. Some years later, settlements were established at Standard and Dalum, both in Alberta. Other Danish settlements were founded in the 1920s at Pass Lake, Ontario; Ostenfeld, Manitoba; Wallace, Nova Scotia; Redvers, Saskatchewan; Alida, Saskatchewan; and at Tilley, Alberta.
The Danes have formed social clubs, choirs, sports clubs, built churches and published newspapers. And Danes have made significant contributions to Canada in many fields, particularly the dairy industry, nurseries, the cooperative movement and gymnastics. Danes were among the first to build homes for senior citizens.
In 1981 the Federation of Danish Associations in Canada was established to co-ordinate the activities of 41 member-organizations which includes the Danish Social Club of Victoria.