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Natalie Langmann Martin Greenwald Jozef Fajerský Marika Griehsel Deborah Solomon Louise France Renáta Jalšovská Suzane Cooper


George Velebír Kate Opatovska Jozef Studený Michelle Ditrich


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No reproduction is permitted in whole or part without the express consent of CANADA Exclusive. Opinions expressed in this magazine are those of the authors or persons interviewed and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editors of CANADA Exclusive. Registration number: EV 4786/13, ISSN: 1339-2484, Volume 8, Issue 1, Published semi-annually.



06 CARDINAL CHRISTOPH SCHÖBORN Cardinal of Catholic Church and Archbishop of Vienna

14 ELFRIEDE JELINEK A Gloom of Her Own,

Laureate of the Nobel Prize in 2004


RESTAURANT PALAIS COBURG Two Star Michelin Restaurant




President of Political Party TOP 09

One Star Michelin Restaurant

32 ALICE MUNRO Winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2013



12 44


One Star Michelin Restaurant

Renowned Austrian Artist Living and Creating in Canada

52 COUNTESS BARBARA COUDENHOVE-KALERGI Famous Austrian Journalist born in Prague


Slovak Active in World-known Circus


White Clown from Cirque du Soleil



Ambassador of The Order of Malta

85 MRAZ & SOHN One Star Michelin Restaurant


20 5





Cardinal Christoph



It is well-known that you were born in the neighbouring Bohemia, and later your family moved to Austria. Do you have a close relation to the Slavic countries? For many generations my family had been living in Bohemia. When we left the country to live in Austria I was only six month old. So my memories to this time are quite faint. Do you ever return to your places of origin? Yes, the only once I returned to my birth place in Skalken was in May 19, 2007. On the occasion of the 75th birthday of Cardinal Vlk in Prague we took also a trip to visit our old castle in Skalken and the

neighbouring town of Sutom, both placed not far from Litoměřice in northern Bohemia. In Sutom I visited the old churchyard, where my ancestors are buried. I also met even my old nurse; she has held me in her hands at the age of 3 or 4 month. The castle itself, now half a ruin, belongs to the local community and I am happy to be liberated from such properties. According to our information you come from an old German aristocratic family. Could you give us more information? This is true. But what I think is more interesting to know about my family is that there have been a number of Schönborns who also were bishops like I am.


During your studies, you were one of Jozef Ratzinger´s students. What were his lectures like? Later you also gave theology lectures. Do you still have the opportunity to be active in the academic world? Josef Ratzinger is a very intelligent and humble man. I consider myself extremely fortunate to having had the opportunity to learn from him as a student. What still impresses me is how he listens to his students and is able to get to the heart of these many questions much later. I dedicate most of my time to pastoral work. The only academic tasks I occasionally take up are the writing of books or lectures sometimes. 7


Your bishop’s slogan reads “I have called you friends“. With this statement could you characterize your path to the priesthood and devotion to God? It was on a May evening in 1991, more than 20 years ago. I had just received the message that Pope John Paul II had appointed me auxiliary bishop of Vienna. Moved, confused, full of questions, I sat on the bus to go back to my home on the outskirts of Rome. On this long bus trip a word of Jesus went through my mind again and again: „But I have called you friends“! Today, many years later, I can say: It remains for me one of the most important words spoken by Jesus. It has been very influential in my life: „I no longer call you servants... Instead, I have called you friends“. Friendship thrives in that I‘m interested in the other, that I share the joy and sorrow of my friend, that I participate on his worries. How friends stood by me in difficult times forms part of the strongest experiences of my life. Pope Francis talks about a particular day in his life, when he felt the closeness and love for God after a confession, and also the call to the priesthood. Did you too have such a decisive day in your life? I have felt the vocation to become a priest by the age of ten or eleven. I guess this was also partly because at that age because of the separation of my parents my home, my family broke apart. Thus I  found a home in faith and the Catholic Church. A pivotal experience was a few years later when I was driving by a car with my mother in the mountains of Austria. I told her that I wanted to become a monk. She was so extremely shocked that we almost had a deathly accident. That we did not die that day is a miracle. Since then she obviously is very happy with my decision.

“I have called you friends“ 8


You worked on the preparation of a Catechism of the Catholic Church. How would you recommend to simple people to work with this important summary of the truths of the Catholic Church? Every Catholic man and woman should be capable to give answer to our faith and to provide sufficient information when we are requested. We all need to know what we believe. The Catechism contains all substantial topics of the catholic faith and gives us orientation for the decisive moral and ethical questions we are confronted in our life. Therefore the Catechism should be used from all faithful in our church, from very young to old people. You are a shepherd of the Church in Vienna, to which also our country has historical bonds. Currently a lot of Slovaks go to Vienna for study or work. How do you perceive the presence of the Slovaks in Vienna? I am very glad that there are people from all over the world in Vienna.

Regarding the rather Slovak community here I am happy that there still seems to be a strong bond from the mutual history we share. The Church in Austria and in Slovakia lives in different situations. How would you characterize these differences? I think that due to the communist regime Slovakia has been ruled by for so many years the developments put forward by the 2nd Vatican Council were hardly put into practice. Therefore during the years since 1962 the Catholic Church in Slovakia was not able to devote energy to itself as much as in Austria, for example. But on the other hand the development since the fall of the iron curtain has been enormous. Today the concept a new revival (Evangelism) is frequently heard in the Church. What does this term mean for you. And what it should mean for a simple Catholic? I consider the search for the lord’s way also like an adventure. It is



also about considering the times we are living in. The times, society is constantly changing. Within this frame we have to ask ourselves: What is Jesus’ plan for us? The first prerequisite for becoming a “disciple” is a belief in Jesus as the Son of God. Second is: prayer. Third: the constant aim of becoming similar to god’s son. Fourth: We are sinners, but sin was taken from us by Jesus when he died on the cross. Fifth: We are not alone in our task of annunciating the word of god.


Does a Viennese Cardinal have time for himself and his interests? Well, as you can imagine only very little. But as monk and theologian I dedicate most of my time to god and the people. I consider it as my main task to put the time I have in those. Jozef Fajerský photo: Michelle Ditrich archive of Archdiocese of Vienna

Mr Joseph M. Burza and His Eminence Christoph Schönborn at the Archdiocese palace in Vienna 9

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History At the beginning of the 14th century, the head of the Zvolen county built - at the confluence of the rivers Belá and Váh, under the Low Tatra mountains - a gothic stone castle on a small dolomite rock. The castle was surrounded by a moat which is now only a small romantic lake. In 1341 was the first written record about the castle named Wywar, in later documents it is referred to as Novum Castrum – New Castle, or Hradek. One of its strategic roles was to control the important trade road called Via Magna. This historical road of emperors, kings and Transylvanian princes ran from central to southeastern Europe. In 1600 the castle and the property was given to Mikuláš Sándorfi. He married the young owner of the castle, Magaléna Zai, a widow of the former owner – also from the Balassa family – Žigmund, whom she married shortly before his death. Initiated by Sándorfi and his wife, a Renaissance manor house and additional buildings necessary for the estate were built around the castle from 1601 to 1603. The restored Castle and Manor house together with the surrounding area including the park is open for public as a Chateau Hotel.



Accommodation Chateau hotel GrandCastle offers luxury and affordable accommodation in its 15 majestic chambers, with four additional prestigious apartments located at the Manor House. Grandeur and elegance of the entire Castle provides guests with intimate comforts and a unique and magical affair. Wellness & Spa Reenergerize and let your senses loose in a magical atmosphere at the Castle‘s Wellness & Spa. Spoil your body and soul with various exclusive pampering treatments.

Bar&Restaurant Magdalena Zai The Castle is an ideal place for comfortable and social gatherings, where guests are invited to enjoy the fresh menu of culinary delights, or simply relax by the fireplace with a glass of wine from the extensive collection. Guided tours The Guided tours brings you into the Courtyard, shows you the Castle ruins and some of the Manor House interior. The tour includes audio-visual presentation of the history as well as of reconstruction works to current state. The guided tours are also for public guests.


Welcome to Chateau Conferences & Weddings With fully equipped conference rooms, restaurant and bars, the more than 400 years old renovated Chateau GrandCastle boasts one of the world‘s most fascinating and ideal venues for corporate and private events. The elegance of the Renaissance setting and the beauty of Gothic ruins located in the heart of the Castle, provides un unforgettable experience for all purposes.








Why did you become a writer? Who inspired you? As is said about most writers: on the one hand all I ever did from when I was a child was read, and I was a loner, which was furthered by my parents and my upbringing. On the other hand, the more I read, the more I felt this well-known fissure between me and the world. That started very early on, and then I guess I tried to close up this fissure with something that was accessible to me, and all I had was writing. My inspiration came especially in the 1950s through the Vienna Group founded by writer H.C. Artmann. It showed me that if you want to say something, you have to let the language itself say it, because language is usually more meaningful than the mere content that one wishes to convey. My training in music and composition then led me to a kind of musical language process in which, for example, the sound of the words I play with has to expose their true meaning against their will so to speak.


Some time has now passed since the announcement that you have been awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for 2004. Do you think this will affect your future writing? I have the feeling it will influence my future writing to the extent that without any material worries I could develop a greater ease, even light heartedness, in my writing. That might be good for my language process, which as I said tends to be compositional. It could draw from a greater reservoir of freedom. The irony could develop an even greater ease.

In your opinion what is the most pressing social issue in Western society today? That is very difficult to answer. I think isolation is one of the greatest problems, an ever-growing obstacle to political solidarity. In the past we would’ve said: to the development of class consciousness. The pettybourgeoisification of society, with its hopes of climbing socially and its apprehension that a fall could come at any moment (there are no “jobs for life” anymore; everyone is at risk; jobs are becoming increasingly insecure; each individual’s survival is becoming more and more precarious, yet this doesn’t seem to lead to greater solidarity with others in a similar situation) - this all seems very dangerous to me. Eroding solidarity paradoxically makes a society more susceptible to the construction of substitute collectives and fascisms of all kinds. As a Nobel Laureate you will have the opportunity to nominate for the Nobel Literature Prize in the future. What kind of literature would you like to see awarded a Nobel Prize? Literature that keeps employing new linguistic and formal modes of expression to draft a panorama of society as a whole while at the same time exposing it, tearing the masks from its face - for me that would be deserving of an award. 16

What role has Internet had for you as a writer? Internet is exemplary for me. I do not want to have the feeling of writing “for eternity,” so to speak. The fleetingness of the Internet has therefore become very attractive to me. At some point I set up a heading on my homepage called “Notizen,” or “Notes,” in which I try to capture the fleetingness of jotting things down, similar to emails, which on the one hand acknowledges current events but on the other hand is not carved in stone. Instead it is more like something you write in wet sand with your finger. You can remove it at any time, whereas a book is more an object that “remains,” as it were, something you hold in your hand.


Why do you suppose European artists are so much more politically engaged than American ones? The smaller a group, the easier it is for more people to argue and enter into discussions. The U.S. is vast. It‘s too large. The intellectuals hide out in enclaves, in big cities or universities, like a bunch of chickens hiding from a fox.


Much of your criticism has been aimed at your native Austria and its ‚‘criminal‘‘ Nazi past. In Austria, a rather authoritarian Catholic country, the role of the social admonisher traditionally fell to artists because there were no great political thinkers. Yet your novels, like ‚‘Lust‘‘ and ‚‘Women as Lovers,‘‘ focus on sexual politics. I describe the relationship between man and woman as a Hegelian relationship between master and slave. As long as men are able to increase their sexual value through work, fame or wealth, while women are only powerful through their body, beauty and youth, nothing will change. How can you cling to such dated stereotypes when you yourself are acclaimed internationally for your intellect? A woman who becomes famous through her work reduces her erotic value. A woman is permitted to chat or babble, but speaking in public with authority is still the greatest transgression. You‘re suggesting that your achievements, like winning the Nobel Prize in Literature, detract from your overall appeal. Certainly! A woman‘s artistic output makes her monstrous to men if she does not know to make herself small at the same time and present herself as a commodity. At best people are afraid of her.

Is there any point in life when a woman grows too old to care about attracting male attention? Yes, of course. But the tragedy begins when a distinguished older woman becomes a slave to a younger man. This is the story you tell in ‚‘The Piano Teacher,‘‘ which was based on your own life. You trained as a musician and lived with your hypercritical mother in a house in Vienna. I still live in that house, but my mother died four years ago. I used to commute back and forth between Vienna, where we lived, and Munich, where my husband lives. I still do it that way. A tale of two cities.

Why doesn‘t your husband move to Vienna to be with you? Because I need to have a second home in another city. I have to be able to escape from Vienna as often as I like. That‘s why the home in Munich is almost more important to me than it is to my husband, who is fond of Munich because he grew up there. Have you ever visited the Canada? No, never. It‘s very difficult for me to travel and particularly to fly. Perhaps I‘ll take a boat. I‘m just afraid that the speed and noise would make me mad as soon as I set foot on land. Interview by Marika Griehsel and Deborah Solomon 17

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Prince Karel




Have you visited Canada, or perhaps, do you have any relatives or friends living there? I have been to Canada several times. I have a distant family living there. The first time I went, I visited Vancouver - a beautiful harbour city with excellent restaurants. The second time I visited Canada in 1990 when I was there on a state visit with Vaclav Havel. I met with representatives of a large Slovak community, and also visited the Slovak church. You are the eldest son of Karl VI. and Antonia. Does it mean that you became the manager of the Schwarzenberger‘s family estate, as is the case with Karl von Habsburg and his Habsburg House? That is something else. The Habsburgs are a monarch family who are widespread in Europe. There is substantially less of Schwarzenbergers. In the old concept, I am the head of family, and that is all. I don‘t even possess a map indicating where in the world all the Schwarzenberger family members live, like the one that Karl von Habsburg-Lothringen has.

What was or is your siblings’ occupation? I am not the eldest, my cousin is. My brother was a very successful banker in Switzerland. He has a very smart occupation. I have two sisters they are both married. The older sister married a German diplomat, who is now retired. They live in Berlin. My younger sister studied history of art. For a while she worked in a museum in Vienna, then married a Westphalian and moved there. They all still live, however, my brother is currently very ill. Why did your uncle Jindrich Schwarzenberg adopt you in your

adult age when you had your own father? Wouldn‘t changing his testament be sufficient? To simplify things, and because of the inheritance tax. You are father of two. What does your son Johanes and daughter Anna Karolina do? When I became the Minister of foreign affairs my son Johanes took over the management of our estate. My daughter married Peter Morgan, a very successful English screenplay writer, who wrote the film „The Queen“. They have five children, so she is keeping busy. They used to live in Britain, but presently they are living in Vienna.

When they talk crap I take forty winks 23

Karel Schwarzenberg at the meeting with Joseph M. Burza

When you were young what interests did you have, because you come across as a „cold fish“ who would only care about his family and his estate? Before I was adopted, I was interested in journalism, and I was considering becoming a journalist. You mentioned that there is a punk within you. Does it refer to your love of freedom, or is it more about an admiration of informality and naturalness? I always loved to swim against the current. You present yourself as a  conservative person with a Roman-Catholic religion. That is true. I am a good Catholic, but a lousy Christian. But whether or not I am conservative, that is a question. In spite of that you support the notion that homosexual couples should have the right to adopt children. Isn‘t this contradictory to your belief? No, not at all. As long as something 24

exists in terms of human relations, it must be legally taken care of. Otherwise, there will be always attempts to find gaps in the law system, and so on. They will be registered as a couple. No Catholic can deny that homosexuality exists, and therefore there must be a law for it. It has nothing to do with a belief. You are a clever strategist, who can get the most out of his shortcomings (falling asleep at meetings, mumbling). Was it always like that? That is also true, but let me tell you something. I have very sensitive eyes. The lights opposite me are usually very strong so I have to close my eyes. And I don‘t deny that many of the meetings I find uninteresting. In your curriculum vitae it states that during your life on Jacquingasse in Vienna your apartment was converted into a  social salon. Does it mean that you were an avid dancer and a witty entertainer? My mother was in fact one of the


most significant hosts in Vienna. I remember when president Kennedy came to Vienna in the 50-ties to meet with Khrushchev, and my mother would accompany him. He was actually advised by the American embassy in Vienna to see my mother. My older sister and I, we were always surrounded by young intellectuals in Vienna. That‘s true. In 1989 you received a Human Rights Award from the Council of Europe. Was this for your 6 year term chairing the International Helsinki Committee for Human Rights, or was it for a specific achievement? It was for the Federation‘s for Human Rights achievements. We were quite successful as an organization for human rights. We were the first accepted in the Soviet Union, and we were also active and successful in other countries of Eastern Europe.

Have you been involved with the Pan-European Union? No, I never have. Even though I knew Richie Coudenhove, who was the founder very well. I know his niece Barbara CoudenhoveKalergi, who is the founder of ORF, and I also knew her parents. You attended the funeral of Otto von Habsburg. Are you close with his son Karl von Habsburg, who is an honorable member of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce? No, I am not. He is actually much younger than me, has other interests and devotes himself to different issues. We may meet maybe once a year at an official event. You are engaged in the protection of human rights. You demonstrated this by supporting Zuzana Piussi, the Slovak movie director. What other activities in this area do you work on in Slovakia?


At the moment, I don‘t have many. Sometimes I am invited to attend a conference, which I am happy to do. In regards to Zuzana Piussi, it was my duty to officialy defend her. That is what I am doing my entire life. The political scene in Czech Republic has been unstable for a long time, characterized with frequent change of government, populism and corruption. What are your political goals for the next year? The answer is clear. I will lead the opposition. In the Czech Republic it is a coalition of social democrats and populists. Against them we will lead the opposition. Interview by Martin Greenwald Photo George Velebír Archive of Karel Schwarzenberg


parfumérií na FAnn, najväčšiu sieť Navštívte parfumérie sveta vôní a jdete to najlepšie zo ná rej kto v u, sk en Slov vône svetových mérie, to sú originálne kozmetiky. FAnn parfu zm ko etika, ale aj ťová a dekoratívna značiek, kvalitná ple ň. Zoznámte sa h odborných poradký výnimočné služby našic v oblasti vôní, a najnovšími trendmi mi cia vá ino i cim rú s ho pravidelné ia pleti, líčenia. Využite van zo lad om a sti ivo starostl alebo sa potešte obľúbených prípravkov, akcie na nákup vašich azníckych výhod. niektorou z ďalších zák

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kráľovstvo vôní a krásy Na fotograi: Lenka Hluchá, poradkyňa FAnn Tesco Žilina Foto: Adrián Vavro

THE MICHELIN STAR ALCRON RESTAURANT at the Radisson Blu Alcron Hotel, Prague

Roman Paulus, the Executive Chef at the Radisson Blu Alcron Hotel since 2008, is one of only two recipients of Michelin Star in the Czech Republic for the year 2012 and 2013. He also holds a title “Chef of the Year 2009-2010”. Roman started his career in the beginning of the 90s in Austria and in 1999 he moved to the famous Savoy Hotel in London. After his London experience, he set off to travel around the world on the transoceanic ship Queen Elisabeth II. When he returned he started to work for the Hilton hotels, first in Vienna and from 2002 until 2008 in Prague. In recent years, Roman Paulus completed several professional training programs, including The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management, and internships in Michelin star restaurants – La Pergola in Rome or Maison du Boeuf in Brussels. In 2004 he was awarded the title “The Young Manager of the Year” by the National Federation of Hotels and Restaurants in the Czech Republic.

Since the opening in 1932 the Alcron Restaurant has remained the place of an exquisite cuisine collecting awards all over the world, a place of happiness and well-being during gatherings with friends and philosophical or political meditation. The layout of the restaurant was slightly changed after the reconstruction in the year of 2000 however the tradition and the saying which indicates the highest standards “This feels like in the Alcron” lives on. The interior’s intimate atmosphere, with seating for only 24 guests, original fireplace from 1930s and images of dancing couples in New York by Tamara de Lempicka, creates a perfect setting for the ultimate high-class dining experience. Guests can indulge their culinary fantasies by creating own multi-course lunch or dinner from our à la carte selection featuring fresh seafood and French entrées prepared with creativity and flair by one of the best chefs in Prague, Roman Paulus. From the gourmet cuisine to the splendid surroundings and gracious service, the Alcron promises a truly extraordinary evening. The Alcron Restaurant was awarded Michelin Star in 2012 and 2013 and regularly places among the Top 10 Best Restaurants in the Czech gourmet guide “Maurer’s Choice Grand Restaurant”. From 2003 until 2006 the Alcron Restaurant received each year the Five Star Diamond Award by the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences in New York.

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What draws you to short stories as opposed to novels? What do you find that the shorter form enables you to do that a novel perhaps would not? I seem to turn out stories that violate the discipline of the short story form and don‘t obey the rules of progression for novels. I don‘t think about a particular form, I think more about fiction, let‘s say a chunk of fiction. What do I want to do? I want to tell a story, in the old-fashioned way what happens to somebody but I want that ‚what happens‘ to be delivered with quite a bit of interruption, turnarounds, 32

and strangeness. I want the reader to feel something is astonishing not the ‚what happens‘ but the way everything happens. These long short story fictions do that best, for me. Where do you get the idea for a story or for a particular character? Sometimes I get the start of a story from a memory, an anecdote, but that gets lost and is usually unrecognizable in the final story. Suppose you have in memory a young woman stepping off a train in an outfit so elegant her family is

compelled to take her down a peg (as happened to me once), and it somehow becomes a wife who‘s been recovering from a mental breakdown, met by her husband and his mother and the mother‘s nurse whom the husband doesn‘t yet know he‘s in love with. How did that happen? I don‘t know. What are your writing habits? Do you use a computer? Do you write every day? In the morning or at night? How long does it take to complete a story? I‘ve been using a computer for a year. I‘m a late convert to every






“A story is not like a road to follow … it‘s more like a house. You go inside and stay there for a while, wandering back and forth and settling where you like and discovering how the room and corridors relate to each other, how the world outside is altered by being viewed from these windows. And you, the visitor, the reader, are altered as well by being in this enclosed space, whether it is ample and easy or full of crooked turns, or sparsely or opulently furnished. You can go back again and again, and the house, the story, always contains more than you saw the last time. It also has a sturdy sense of itself of being built out of its own necessity, not just to shelter or beguile you.” ALICE MUNRO 33

When I was young it was Eudora Welty, Carson McCullers, Katherine Anne Porter, Flannery O‘Connor, James Agee. Then Updike, Cheever, Joyce Carol Oates, Peter Taylor, and especially and forever, William Maxwell. Also William Trevor, Edna O‘Brien, Richard Ford. These I would say are influences. There are dozens of others I just like to read. My latest discovery is a Dutch writer, Cees Nooteboom. I hate doing lists like this because I‘ll be banging my head soon that I left somebody wonderful out. That‘s why I speak only of those who have influenced, not of all who have delighted me.

technological offering and still don‘t own a microwave oven but I do one or two drafts long hand before I go to the keyboard. A story might be done in two months, beginning to end, and ready to go, but that‘s rare. More likely six to eight months, many changes, some false directions, much fiddling and some despair. I  write everyday unless it‘s impossible and start writing as soon as I get up and have made coffee and try to get two to three hours in before real life hauls me away. What advice would you give to young writers? It‘s not possible to advise a young writer because every young writer is so different. You might say, „Read,“ but a writer can read too much and be paralysed. Or, „Don‘t read, don‘t think, just write,“ and the result could be a mountain of drivel. If you‘re going to be a writer you‘ll probably take a lot of wrong turns 34

and then one day just end up writing something you have to write, then getting it better and better just because you want it to be better, and even when you get old and think „There must be something else people do“ you won‘t quite be able to quit. What writers have most influenced you and who do you like to read?

Cynthia Ozick has called you „our Chekhov.“ How does that comparison make you feel? I have recently re-read much of Chekhov and it‘s a humbling experience. I don‘t even claim Chekhov as an influence because he influenced all of us. Like Shakespeare his writing shed the most perfect light there‘s no striving in it, no personality. Well, of course, wouldn‘t I love to do that! Many critics have praised you for being able to create an entire life in a page. How do you achieve such a feat? I always have to know my characters in a lot of depth what clothes they‘d choose, what they were like at


school, etc . . . And I know what happened before and what will happen after the part of their lives I‘m dealing with. I can‘t see them just now, packed into the stress of the moment. So I suppose I want to give as much of them as I can.


Most of your stories have not strayed very far from home your native Ontario. What makes where you live such fertile ground for so many different stories? I don‘t think of myself as being in any way an interpreter of rural Ontario, where I live. I think there‘s perhaps an advantage living here of knowing more different sorts of people than you would know in a larger community (where you‘d be shut up, mostly, in your own income or educational or professional „class“). The physical setting is perhaps „real“ to me, in a way no other is. I love the landscape, not as „scenery“ but as something intimately known. Also the weather, the villages and towns, not in their picturesque aspects but in all phases. Human experience though doesn‘t seem to me to differ, except in fairly superficial ways, no matter what the customs and surroundings. Memory plays a key role in many of your stories. What is it about the power of memory and how it shapes our lives that most intrigues you? Memory is the way we keep telling ourselves our stories and telling other people a somewhat different version of our stories. We can hardly manage our lives without a powerful ongoing narrative. And underneath all these edited, inspired, self-serving or entertaining stories there is, we suppose, some big bulging awful mysterious entity called THE TRUTH, which our

fictional stories are supposed to be poking at and grabbing pieces of. What could be more interesting as a life‘s occupation? One of the ways we do this, I think, is by trying to look at what memory does (different tricks at different stages of our lives) and at the way people‘s different memories deal with the same (shared) experience. The more disconcerting the differences are, the more the writer in me feels an odd exhilaration.

Do you have a particular story or stories that are especially close to your heart? I always like the story I‘m trying to write at the moment the best, and the stories I‘ve just published next best, In my new book, I‘m very attached to „Save the Reaper“ and „My Mother‘s Dream.“ Among the older ones, I like „Progress of Love“ and „Labor Day Dinner“ and „Carried Away“ a lot. And actually many others. Interview by Louise France


Photographer: Kate Opatovska Model: Megan Cost Make-up artist: Jane Lyne Jewellery:

Photographer: Kate Opatovska Model: Megan Cost Make-up artist: Jane Lyne


AUSTRIAN STYLE Clockwise from top: Survey Vienna’s cityscape from the rooftop terrace of The Ritz-Carlton, Vienna; the hotel’s indoor pool; an inviting suite; and the art nouveau-inspired Lobby Lounge.

A VIENNESE WELCOME Austria’s capital, undoubtedly one of the world’s most beautiful, is now home to one of the newest Ritz-Carlton properties.


The luxuriously appointed hotel is housed in a historic building composed of four 19thcentury palaces that have been designated cultural properties in Austria.


Situated on Schubertring of the city’s iconic boulevard known as Ringstrasse, the hotel is within walking distance of the Vienna State Opera, Kunsthistorisches Museum, the Viennese City Park and other important landmarks.


The historic domes and romantic streets of Vienna are easily enjoyed from hotel’s beautiful rooftop terrace and lounge.


Besides top-of-the-line treatments at the spa, The Ritz-Carlton, Vienna also features a sleek indoor steel pool with underwater music for complete relaxation.


VIENNA Schubertring 5-7, 1010 Vienna, Austria, Phone: +43 1 311 88,

Chef de cuisine: Oldřich Sahajdák Chef sommelière: Roman Novotný Restaurant manager: Tomáš Brosche


Haštalská18, Praha 1 Phone: 222 311 234 Opening times: Mon-Sun 18:00 – 24:00


Taste the remarkable Czech and continental cuisine of La Degustation Bohême Bourgeoise, served in two tasting menus. Like at the most world-renowned restaurants, the menu at La Degustation Bohême Bourgeoise offers a presentation by serving a selection from two menus consisting of tasting portions of 3 to 5 bites complemented with amuse-bouche. The first menu – Dégustation du Chef – is the menu of our chef Oldřich Sahajdák. He picks the best seasonal ingredients available on the market in the given season, processing and preparing them in a very fashionable way. His is a creatively conceived menu with an unmistakeable signature of the chef.


The second menu – Dégustation Bohême Bourgeoise – is a celebration of traditional Czech cuisine of the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, the heyday of Czech cuisine. The inspiration comes from the culinary experience of a renowned 19th century cooking personality, Mrs. Marie B. Svobodová. The individual courses are prepared as per the current offer of the market and our suppliers. Meals vary every day, with fresh seasonal ingredients always naturally granted, and sourced from Czech organic farms and small Czech growers. Our wine cellar boasting a wide range of wines from leading world-famous winemakers is looked after by three experienced sommeliers under the guidance of Roman Novotný, who devote the same degree of care to our guests. The individual courses in each menu may be accompanied with matching wines.



An interview with world renowned Austrian artist living and creating in Canada

You were born and educated in Austria, where you received a Master‘s Degree in graphic art from Vienna Academy of Applied Arts. But what was before? When did you start feeling the artist within you, and under what circumstances? What inspired you to follow the artistic path? Born after the outbreak of World War II, I was the only daughter of Professor Heinrich Tahedl (1907 – 1985), and his wife Elisabeth, I was raised and educated in Vienna, a city known for its vital role in European history, stunning beauty and vibrant culture. I recall my first 44

serious artistic efforts in my father’s art studio in 1946. Growing up in post-war conditions, was quite challenging as there were no toys, television, computers, or any of the modern-day means of entertainment for children, so my father’s studio became my playground and his brushes and paints, my favourite toys. Despite the disturbing events of the war, my childhood was spent in the harmonious and protective household. Sometimes, while my parents were out of the house, I would go into my father’s studio totally absorbed in the work on my paintings. When it was

all done I would retire, leaving my work to surprise my father. Although he offered guidance in various techniques such as drawing, painting, and printmaking, the freedom of artistic choice was left to me. Since it was not part of his philosophy to interfere with my artistic decisions, his approach was the basis for my future probing and searching for freedom of expression, which I still maintain as my credo. He instilled in me the need to choose art as my life and has been my inspiration to follow the artistic path.


After your graduation in 1961 you collaborated with your father, Professor Heinrich Tahedl. What was the subject of your collaboration? I was only fifteen when I entered the Vienna Academy of Applied Arts in 1955. I graduated with a Master’s degree in Graphic Art from the Vienna

Academy of Applied Arts and emerged into the world of the artist. My first successes were in group exhibitions in Vienna, which were extremely encouraging for me. At the same time I collaborated with my father on the design and execution of several stained glass commissions in Austria.


How was your relationship with your father, didn‘t you perceive him as an authority who had a great influence on your design and creation of stained glass? My father was and is my strongest influence in all my artistic endeavours not only in work with stained glass.

Ernestine Gustav Mahler The Song of the Earth



How is a stained glass created? Didn‘t you find glass to be a bit cold for your warm colourful tones? Did you find a satisfaction in stained glass creation? Despite certain limitations set by the materials used in the stained glass process the technique itself is an extraordinarily versatile art form, resembling the art of mosaics and champlevé enamel. The ability to change an interior wall into acoloured membrane that transmits light to the inner core of a building is incredibly rewarding and uplifting. The complex play with light passing through glass in an attempt to relate a certain spiritual narrative can be seen as a stepping-stone towards my later interest in transforming light onto my canvasses. Keeping in mind my stained glass panels it is 46

easy to recognize the inherent sense of monumentality reflected in my large canvases. Bigger stained glass projects, like some of those you did for the church in Edmonton or Toronto, would usually require technical assistance. Who participated on the project you did, for example, for the St. Peter‘s Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church in Toronto during 1990 - 1994? During my stay in Edmonton, I worked on several stained glass commissions. For most commissions I had some technical help and craftsperson’s working with me, but did most of the work myself and used subcontractors for supply and installation. For my work in glass I received the

Allied Arts Medal from the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada. My skills in stained glass were an absolute novelty in Edmonton. One of my major creations in stained glass The Sanctuary was one of the structures of the Canadian Pavilion for Expo’67 in Montreal. Expo’67 was the highlight of the Centenary celebrations in Canada that manifested in an upsurge of cultural activities. My stained glass mural received a lot of attention and critical acclaim. Following my success at Expo’67 I received a Canada Council Arts Award for one year to explore new directions in the medium of glass. St. Peters Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church in Toronto was next to Expo my largest commission.

encouraged me to stay in Canada. Canada’s wild beauty and vastness encouraged to stay Canada. inspired me me and I feltinquickly that Canada’s wild beauty and vastness this land was what I searched for to inspired me and felt quickly that this feel free... InI consequence, I turned landmore was what I searched for to feel and more to landscape free... In consequence, I turned more painting. and more to landscape painting. What influenced your decision to What influenced your decision to immigrate to Canada rather than immigrate to Canada rather than to is to the USA, which as they say the USA, as they possibilities? say is a land a landwhich of unlimited of unlimited possibilities? I felt that the Canadian quality of life I feltand thatmentality the Canadian life suitedquality me veryofmuch. and Imentality me very much. found asuited generous acceptance I found a generous acceptance towards towards me by Canadian’s which me by Canadian’s made me feel made me feelwhich very much welcome veryand much welcome and at home. at home. You have received many awards, medals and prizes for your artwork



You have received many awards, medals and prizes for your throughout the years. Just few artwork throughout the ayears. toJust name, the Allied Arts Medal of a few to name, the Allied Arts the Royal Architectural Institute Medal of the Royal Architectural ofInstitute Canada ofinCanada 1966, in the1966, Queen‘s the Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002, the Queen‘s Golden Jubilee Medal „In of Women“ Longin Celebration 2002, the „In Celebration of term Achievement Award in 2004, Women“ Long-term Achievement and many more. and What do more. these Award in 2004, many acknowledgements mean to you? What do these acknowledgements Which do you appreciate the mean one to you? Which one do you most and why? appreciate the most and why? I Ifeel feelvery veryhumble humble and and grateful grateful to to have been the recipient of so many have been the recipient of so many awards, the most awards,thetheones onesI Itreasure treasure the aremost the awards given by my pears such are the awards given by my as pears the Allied ones such Arts as theMedal Alliedand ArtstheMedal bestowed on me by my new chosen and the ones bestowed on me by country, Queen Elisabeth my newthe chosen country, theGolden Queen and Diamond Jubilee Medals. Elisabeth Golden and Diamond Jubilee Medals.

Bela Bartok Concerto for Orchestra

People usually ask anyone who lives and works elsewhere than they were born, why they left? In Europe, Austria is considered to be a free and prosperous state. It became a refuge for immigrants from other countries. What was your reason to leave Austria, where you had the support of your father and everything available for your artistic creation? My decision to explore Canada for the possibility to find a new place to unfold as an artist was gradual. I left 1963 Austria at a time where this Country was just beginning to find its own identity and strength again. I first saw my journey to Canada as an adventure and not a permanent place to life in. But the spontaneous generosity and openness of Canadians towards me and my art 47

You travelled a lot. Is it because you love winter that you were seeking inspiration for your artwork in the Canadian arctic? I am very inspired by the untouched raw beauty of the landscape; it is not so much the seasons, but the wilderness of the Canadian arctic which draws me to it. What appealed to you during your travels in countries between the north and south poles, i.e. in Central America? The same reason I love to visit the Arctic, I search for a landscape which is monumental and as close to unexplored and uninhibited as possible. Taking pictures is a great advantage for an artist. By capturing images of landscapes a „portfolio of memories“ is created, which becomes a source of inspiration for a new artwork, and is further enhanced by own feelings and impressions through colour. Your artwork „Anamnesis of Landscape“ is an example of this. How was this picture created? I do not use photographs taken during my travels as “support material” for my paintings, but rather as a loose inspiration. For me these photographs have a separate identity as I search pARTners Finished Work - Tahedl-Locke

Greenfield Park, Quebec

with my camera for a personal interpretation of the subject. I explore and try to find a balance between the realistic image and the pictorial values for my paintings. What is the atmosphere in your studio like when you create? Do you prefer music in the background, or rather silence? I listen to classical music. A film about your life called „The Artist‘s Life: Ernestine Tahedl“ was produced under the direction of Michael Glassbourg for the Bravo television series. What does this documentary mean to you? Do you recall any interesting moments during the filming that stayed in your mind? It was the first time that somebody documented me during the process




in it. Over the years I have searched for this freedom in my work. I explore and try to find the balance between the realistic image and pictorial values for my paintings. The concept of multiple canvases and panels has always fascinated me. I hope that spirituality and serenity are integral to my work. Colour and light are additional factors that guide my work. Colour to me is light. For me, the resonanz Series come close to a musical experience and were painted and inspired while listening to Symphonies which are reflected in the titles of the works. I feel these paintings are a more direct, human and spiritual expression without confinement of the motif or formal restriction; yet still consist of all those elements that I have explored in my work over the years. What do you want to focus on in your artwork in the near future? Do you have any specific theme in mind? I am working on a new series of paintings inspired by the Music of Richard Wagner, in particular the RING- Cycle, which I hope will be exhibited this coming year in Canada and Austria. Interview by Renáta Jalšovská St. Timothy‘s Anglican Church, Edmonton

of painting and followed through to completion of this work.

St. Peter‘s Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church, Toronto, Ontario

From your artwork one can sense freedom and optimism, just by observing the colours and their vibrations. It is very relaxing. Your soul fills with a pleasant feeling and resonates with joy. Does this have any connection with the title of your recent exhibition „Resonanz“ in Bratislava? The resonanz - Series of paintings allows me to immerse myself into „pure“ painting without being lost 49

Silvia Lasรกk K. Portraitist, Painter, Finalist of the Miss of the Slovak Republic Exibitions:

December 2012, Vienna February 2013, Vienna November 2013, Bratislava


Pastel, Pencil, Drawing Ink

Contact: +421-949-833-292

Sold exclusively in Louis Vuitton stores. Vienna - Tel. (43) 1 533 61 51

LOUIS VUITTON Sold exclusively in Louis Vuitton stores.

Interview with renowned Austrian Journalist born in Prague A member of the Aristocratic Coudenhove family You celebrated a special birthday in January. At times like this people usually look back, evaluate, compare, feel sorry, or are satisfied with their life. Would that be your case too? Yes, I have not only looked back on my life but have also written a book about it. And I think that on the whole I have had a good and interesting life. Your family belongs to Czech aristocrats. You were born in Prague but when you were 13 you were forced to leave. Did this leave any mark on you? Yes, this has naturally influenced my education and my way of thinking. I  believe that it is possible for people to have more than one place that they call home. In my case these are Prague and Vienna. Didn‘t your parents entertain the thought to move to the United States? No, never.

Where did you settle down, and what schools did you attend? My family settled down in Austria because both my parents were born at a time when the Czech lands belonged to the AustroHungarian empire. The family had strong ties to Austria and my father was educated there. What occupation did you dream of as a young girl? Did you think of becoming a journalist then? I have always wanted to see the world, to travel and to write. How did your activity as a writer, editor and journalist evolve? When I was young it was not easy for young people to get a job. I worked in many different fields and finally drifted into journalistic work.


Coudenhove-Kalergi 52


Your uncle Richard Nicolas Coudenhove-Kalergi is a prominent personality in association with today’s Europe. Could you tell us about his activities? What is his philosophy? Richard Coudenhove-Kalergi was one of the many people who had lived through the first world war and after it ended believed that a new world order had to evolve. In the 1920 he said: either the European countries can unite or else we will have another world war within twenty years. He was proved right. As a consequence of this idea he founded the Paneuropean union.

Did you have a good relationship with your uncle? Was he supportive of our occupation? My uncle emigrated to France and later to the United States when the Nazis took power. I met him only after the war and never knew him well. You worked as a publicist for the ORF station. Your series of radio documentaries about East European countries were very popular. What was the main topic of these series and what was the source of your information? I was first a radio and then


a television reporter for that station and from the seventies on concentrated on reporting from Eastern Europe. I was present at the founding of the solidarity movement in Poland, at the velvet revolution in Czechoslovakia and the fall of the Berlin wall and also reported from Hungary and Slovakia. After 1989 I was ORF correspondent in Prague. During the communist regimes my sources of information were mainly local independent intellectuals and also the materials of Radio Free Europe.


In 2001 you received an Order of T.G. Masaryk from Vaclav Havel for your support of democracy and human rights. This special award was in the past presented to prominent personalities like Karel Capek, Frantisek Halas and Henry A. Kissinger. It must have been gratifying for you, or perhaps something more? How did your community and the society react to it? I was proud and honoured to receive this medal at the hands of president Václav Havel. So were my friends and family.

Barbara Coudenhove-Kalergi was born in Prague to a German speaking family and at the age of thirteen, like all Germans, forced to leave her home in 1945. She was educated in Austria and became a journalist, working for several Viennese daily newspapers, for radio and television. As a reporter focussing on Eastern Europe she covered the rise of the solidarity movement in Poland, the velvet revolution in Prague and the fall of the Berlin wall. After 1989 she headed the ORF bureau in Prague. At present she is living in Vienna, writing a column for the daily newspaper Der Standard and teaching the German language to asylum seekers. Her book of memoirs „Zuhause ist überall“ (home is everywhere) was published in 2012.

Your grandfather Heinrich von CoudenhoveKalergi was an Ambassador in Japan. He spoke 18 languages, which is very rare. How many languages do you speak? I speak German and English, some Czech and some French. You wrote and edited many publications. Presentation of your book “Everywhere is home” in the Austrian cultural centre in Bratislava had a great success. Could you briefly introduce this book to our readers? The book is a personal history but it also offers some insights into the history of Central Europe. I belong to the last generation who remembers the time when Czechs and Germans lived together in the Czech lands, the German occupation and the war, the expulsion of the German minority, the postwar period in Austria, the upheavals in Eastern and Western Europe during the 1968 student movement and the Prague spring and finally the events of 1989.

I think that there are plenty of fine reporters around who would like nothing better than write the truth about international events. The trouble seems to be that most of the media are in financial difficulties and do not like to spend money on international reporting. They find it both cheaper and less controversial to concentrate on other topics.

During the cold war you were a very successful reporter, who wasn’t afraid to write the truth. Don’t you think that we would these days need more reporters of your calibre?

Good times and bad, darkness and light, religion and politics, exile and repatriation: the memoirs of the grande dame of Austrian journalism are an unique record of a vanished Central European society. 54

There is a noticeable difference between your publications, but what is your association to one of your first titles ‘Die Herren Lipizzaner’ written in 1963? „Die Herren Lipizzaner“ was a small book about the white horses of Vienna, who are now viewed primarily as a tourist attraction but really are the remnants of a  very ancient and noble tradition of horsemanship and imperial glory.

the present generation and the civil society on our continent. You are first of all an aristocrat of soul, but how do you feel about being a real aristocrat by your family? Aristocratic titles do not exist in Austria since 1918. But certain traditions, habits, lifestyles and eccentricities have survived. They are not taken too seriously but contribute to the colourful pattern of society.



Coudenhove family coat-of-arms

Since the soft revolution two decades ago people in eastern countries feel disappointment, distrust and frustration. There are no more of your white horses - Lipizzaner, but of “white horses” in criminal actions. People are losing security, the most vulnerable get their belts tighten, billions get pilfered and nobody is prosecuted, the justice is deaf and blind. Wouldn’t this be a source of inspiration for you as a journalist or reporter? What in your opinion would remedy this situation? The situation you describe applies not only to eastern but also to many western countries. Overcoming the economic crisis and creating a more just and democratic society is the task of

Do you have a family coat-ofarms? What symbols are on it? The Coudenhove family originally comes from the Netherlands. Our coat-of-arms shows a red river in a yellow field. What would you do differently in your life, if you had the chance? Nothing. What are you currently involved in? I am now involved in work with non-European immigrants to Austria. I conduct a German language course for asylum seekers. Interview by Renáta Jalšovská


‘’Zahoďte starosti a nechajte sa uniesť božskou krásou v nádhernej kotline v lokalite Malej Fatry vo Valčianskej doline v hoteli Impozant


Hotel Va l č i a n s k a d o l i n a Novovybudovaný štvorhviezdičkový hotel v centre čarovnej prírody Malá Fatra Vám ponúka oázu harmónie, kľudu a relaxu v objatí rodinnej atmosféry. Hotel je určený pre všetky vekové kategórie, nakoľko tu nájdete kľudné prostredie hôr, zábavu v podobe športového vyžitia a oddych vo wellnesse. Ochutnajte v našej reštaurácii kulinárske špeciality a vyberte si zo širokej ponuky slovenských alebo zahraničných vín. Nechajte starosti na nás a vy si zatiaľ oddýchnite v našom wellness, kde si môžete vybrať zo štyroch druhov sauny, osviežiť sa ľadopádom, ponoriť sa do ochladzovacieho kúpeľa, opáliť sa na našej „Slnečnej lúke“, či

Stredisko Snowland návštevníkom ponúka

v zime: - 6 zjazdoviek s celkovou dĺžkou 4700 m - 4-sedačkovú lanovku s dĺžkou 1320 m a prevýšením 330 m - 5 lyžiarskych vlekov - bežecké trate - večerné lyžovanie - prírodné klzisko - minivlek s lyžiarskou alebo snowboardovou školou v lete: - 3 tenisové kurty - dráhu pre kolieskové korčule - cyklotrasy - paintbalové ihrisko - golfovú akadémiu - vodnú nádrž

Hotel Impozant Snowland Valčianska Dolina, SK 038 35 Valča Telefón: +421 43 324 10 14, +421 914 130 130 E-mail: Web:

vychutnať si pohár šampanského vo vírivkách. Zverte sa do rúk našich masérov, ktorí Vám zaručene vrátia stratenú energiu a odbúrajú stres. Zrelaxujte sa a  spravte niečo pre svoju pleť a telo – nechajte sa skrášliť našou profesionálnou kozmetičkou, ktorá Vám zaručene uberie zopár rokov a dodá sebavedomie. Nasadnite na bicykel a spoznajte krásu Malej Fatry priamo z jej srdca. Po dni plnom zážitkov si môžete vychutnať pohárik kvalitného koňaku v bowlingovom bare so štyrmi profesionálnymi dráhami, kde sa môžete zabávať do skorých ranných hodín. Veríme, že u nás prežijete nezabudnuteľné chvíle. Sme tu len pre Vás.

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Cirque du Soleil



A FEW STATISTICS • In 1984, 73 people worked for Cirque du Soleil. Today, the business has 5,000 employees worldwide, including more than 1,300 artists. • At the Montréal International Headquarters alone, there are close to 2,000 employees. • The company’s employees and artists represent close to 50 nationalities and speak 25 different languages.


• More than 100 types of occupations can be found at Cirque. • More than 100 million spectators have seen a Cirque du Soleil show since 1984. • Close to 15 million people will see a Cirque du Soleil show in 2013. • Cirque du Soleil hasn’t received any grants from the public or private sectors since 1992.


Where do you come from? I come from Bratislava, from the city quarter Petržalka. How did you get into doing this kind of art and how did you end up in Cirque du Soleil? I was a member of the Slovak national gymnastics team and a member of the gymnastics club Slavia UK Bratislava. At the World Cham62

pionships in Anaheim‘03 I was seen competing by the Cirque du Soleil‘s talent scouts and invited to Montreal for the General Training Formation in 2004. It all started over there. How do you perceive the atmosphere / life at Cirque du Soleil? In the shows of CDS there are so many artists of many different na-

tionalities and cultures, that have to learn to cooperate and respect each other which is truly very interesting, exciting and also challenging. It‘s a “teamwork”, but everyone is unique. Reaction of the audience is what gives us energy and a meaning to our hard and dangerous, but beautiful work. I have to say that having a chance in my life to be a part of the world‘s most famous


Cirque du Soleil and share the stage with so many talented people is something indescribable. I take it as a privilege and a  result of the hard work from the years of gymnastics and a great opportunity to continue developing my skills, staying in a good physical shape, meeting interesting people and representing our country in the world. This way I‘d like to express my gratitude to my long-time coaches Martin Zvalo and Jozef Konecny and to my parents for their care and support.


Where and in what programs you performed? At first I was training and getting ready for the aquatic show called ”O” (Las Vegas), but later I was touring around North America (USA, Canada) with the production of Saltimbanco. Before CDS I worked also in a traditional circus in Japan.

Ján Petrovič SLOVAK ACTIVE IN THE FAMOUS CIRCUS The accident happen in such a perfect body like Cirque du Soleil. How did you feel about this event? It‘s a horrible tragedy that has touched the whole circus world and that just reminds us how fragile our health and life is, that everything we do, brings some amount of risk. What happened is very very sad.

How is your present life and the goals you want to achieve? Since 2009 I work in Franco Dragone‘s aquatic show in Macao (China) called “The House of Dancing Water” and I participated on its creation. Franco Dragone is the same person that created many CDS shows like for example Alegria and Saltimbanco... Besides performing on stage I am holding a position of artist-coach which means to me little by little a transition from performing to coaching. After all, it‘s what I studied. So let‘s see! :) Suzane Cooper photo: George Velebír, archive of Cirque de Soleil








The family hotel right on the bank of Štrbské pleso.

Your home in High Tatras! Pri jazere 4046/1, Štrbské Pleso tel.: +421 52 4262800 fax: +421 52 4262801 email:,


How many Slovaks are, or have been, actually working for Cirque du Soleil? As far as I know, there are two Slovaks directly involved in the administrative work for Cirque - Maria and Juraj Slovak. In the internal database of associated artists, there can be found three other names of Slovaks who have been participating in Cirque’s projects as artists: Alexandra Apjarová, Ján Petrovič, and Juraj Benčík. Also Ms Daniela Arendášová, former competitor in gymnastics for Slovakia, has a close connection to Cirque du Soleil, as she is currently a Director of Studies at the National Circus School in Montreal, where she also teaches Contortion.

Juraj Benčík Where do you come from? For a long time I have felt as a Central Slovak, because I have grown up in Banska Bystrica and I have had a permanent residence in Martin for twenty-two years (both Central Slovakia towns), but after fifteen years of travelling and after two years spent with Cirque du Soleil, and with respect to my Austrio-Hungarian ancestry as well, I have to say that I feel to be more of a Central European today. How did you get into doing this kind of art and how did you end up in Cirque du Soleil? I have been doing both sports and arts since early childhood. The arts have eventually taken over. I have 66

What is the atmosphere and life in such an environment? Similar to the one we see in Sci-Fi movies about interplanetary flights of the great cosmic vessels. Everyone has the same goal, the organisation is very strict, there is a single work language – English – and in private, everyone is using his native language and conforming to his own

WHITE CLOWN MAIN CHARACTER IN CORTEO SHOW been drawing, dancing, playing the flute and the guitar; however, theatre enticed me most. I have graduated at a drama school, became a professional actor, and I have gradually become more and more involved with dramatic arts dominantly based in expressive media other than spoken word – puppetry, dance, mime – at last, I have ended up in a circus as a clown.

cultural traditions; everyone must conform to very strict rules and be widely tolerant in the end. The main engine for everybody is performance. In marketing the financial one, in acting the artistic one. One can say that only the performance of the highest quality is accepted and it is of no importance to anybody who comes from where, has what education, or previous experience. In


this regard, it is the most just and most effective working atmosphere I have ever worked in in my whole life. However, the life itself is very difficult. Especially when you have a family and are working in a travelling show. Incessant shifts of location, culture, or language are actually creating a permanent stress that is hard to sustain over a longer time period than a few months. Where have you been performing at? I have begun with a two-months training in Montreal, then I have entered the Corteo show in St Petersburg, and continued into Kazan and into Moscow. There, my family have joined me and we travelled together out of Russia into Europe and have visited Brussels, Vienna, Madrid, Valencia, Alicante, and Seville. Finally, we have spent a quarter of a year in Paris.


Dreamer Clown

What is the artist’s pay in Cirque? In fact, I have been given the same amount of money for a single show which is given to the freelance actors in Slovak theatres; however, I had many more other benefits: accommodation, travel and lunches,

very fine health insurance for myself and for the whole family, and an English school for my children, all free; Cirque has been paying for all this. Most importantly, I have had guaranteed a pay for forty performances a month.

White Clown


Which shows have you been performing in? I have played the White Clown character eight times a week for eighteen months and I have performed twice a week as the Dreamer Clown character back-up in a Corteo show. Altogether, I have been part of six hundred reprises of this two and half an hour long production. How can one join Cirque du Soleil? One has to show one’s interest through Cirque’s web pages. Cirque gets about 10 000 such applications from artist all over the world per year. Circa 500 of these are annually invited to a few-days-long audition organised two to four times a year in Paris, London, Montreal, Buenos Aires, and occasionally elsewhere. Around 50 auditioned artists become “potential corporates.” These are registered as artists, which meet the requirements for collaboration with Cirque. There are around 3000 of such potential corporates in Cirque’s database and they are regularly invited to castings for particular roles in particular shows, according to Cirque’s current needs. In such a “videocasting,” which is usually conducted via Internet, there participate around two to five artists and the chosen one gets a contract which is usually for two years. After six months of successful performing (since not everybody is able to bear such stress), an artist is allowed to use a title “The Artist of Cirque du Soleil” for the rest of his life. My contract has been twenty months long and as of now, I am already back in Slovakia. Your present life and the goals you want to achieve. I want to teach. I accept invitations. Recently, I have led workshops at the University of Saint Constantine the Philosopher in Nitra, where also a mime textbook that I have written 68

has been conceived and internally published there. I am also beginning a search for another publisher, so that the general public could be acquainted with the publication. I have also led various workshops for both amateur and professional

theatre practitioners in Slovakia and Czech Republic. And in August I have led a workshop at an international festival of theatre in Monaco. I am prepared to teach at conservatoires and universities, if there is a university or a project, which approaches me with an offer, that would be interesting for me. Meanwhile, I am dedicating my time to what is most important in Slovakia – education of children. I have an endorsed project of a performance/ workshop for children and their parents eager to act: Captain Pantho and a Parrot Mimo that I have successfully presented at an internatio-

nal festival Eurokids in Washington DC and my career in the circus has inspired me to do a similar acted workshop about circus techniques, aimed again at children, which I present under the name Circus School. I have also a project about non-verbal communication for high schools and universities named Pantomimarium and I participate in the organisation of an important and internationally acclaimed educatory project for pupils and students of primary, secondary and high schools: SUPERTRIEDA /SUPERCLASS, ninth year of which I am preparing with its authors Lubos Zatko and Martina Bodnarova just now. I am eagerly looking forward to collaborate with the first new circus school in Slovakia, recently established Cirkus-Kus, which is active from October in Karlova Ves in Bratislava and I have also entered into collaboration with the department of mime at Academy of Music Arts in Prague. I am of the opinion that education is the only way to achieve the goal of better, wiser, nicer and happier world. Suzane Cooper photo: George Velebír, archive of Cirque de Soleil





WWW.ONEROOMHOTEL.CZ WWW.ONEROOMHOTEL.CZ WWW.ONEROOMHOTEL.CZ WWW.ONEROOMHOTEL.CZ Mahlerovy Mahlerovy sady sady 1 1 Mahlerovy Mahlerovy sady sady 130 130 0000 Prague Prague 31 31 130 1300000 Prague Prague 3 3

Kanadská obchodná komora Canadian Chamber of Commerce Chambre de Commerce de Canada

info info info info @210 @210 +420 +420 320 320 081 081 +420 +420 210 210 320 320 081 081

Prize of Culture of Canadian Chamber of Commerce International Prize of Culture of Canadian Chamber of Commerce for the year of 2012 was granted on 9 October 2013 to a significant Canadian painter and graphic designer Frank Jalšovský. The Prize was given by former Ambassador of Slovak Republic in Ottawa and vice president of Paneuropean Union Anton Hykisch (left) and also a successful model Angelica Stim.


MIRBACH PALACE Permanent exhibition: Central European Baroque Painting and Sculpture Current exhibitions of Slovak and international contemporary art and art of old masters


Bratislava City Gallery

PALFFY PALACE Permanent exhibitions: Traces of Celtic Bratislava. In the Light of Archaeological Discoveries Gothic Panel Painting and Sculpture Central European Painting and Sculpture 1800-1918 STORIES and PHENOMENA – Slovak Fine Art of the 20th Century Current exhibitions of Slovak and international contemporary art and art of old

Contact details

GMB, Mirbachov palác (seat)

Františkánske nám. 11, 815 35 Bratislava phone: +421 2/5443 1556 – 8 central office: +421 2/5443 5102 fax: +421 2/5443 2611

GMB, Pálffyho palác

Panská 19, 815 35 Bratislava

Open daily except Mondays from 11 a. m. to 6 p. m.

The Best Romantic Historic Hotel of Europe 2013

SK-943 53 Belรก, Belรก 1, Slovakia Phone: +421-36-7577-600, Fax: +421-36-7577-697 E-mail:, Web:





Ottokarl Florian Finsterwalder INTERVIEW WITH THE AMBASSADOR TO THE SLOVAK REPUBLIC What is the Order of Malta

The Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta, better known as the Sovereign Order of Malta, has a two-fold nature. It is one of the most ancient Catholic Religious Orders, founded in Jerusalem in around 1048. At the same time it has always been recognised by nations as an independent subject of international law. The Order’s mission is summed up in its motto “Tuitio Fidei et Obsequium Pauperum”: nurturing, witnessing and protecting the faith (tuitio fidei) and of serving the poor and the sick representing the Lord (obsequium pauperum). 73

How did the influence of parents affect your childhood and upbringing? In childhood all of us had our dreams. Some wanted to be an astronaut, or a doctor or simply a hero. Both my parents were practising Roman-Catholics. They brought us, myself and my 6 brothers and sisters, up in that spirit. This was a very strong influence on us. On this background I developed my leaning on a certain amount of spirituality early on. Have the dreams from your childhood come true? You studied Law you are also from first postwar generation (baby-boomers). The dreams of my childhood to the extent that I re-collect them did come true. Yes, I studied law and always stayed in this environment. I managed to become a banker and saw myself satisfied when I was appointed to the Board of Managing Directors of the bank. How do you see the current development of the global economy in connection to the ever worsening living situations of people who are dependent on help, either social or medical? Today you hold a significant function in the services of the Order of Malta

The Ambassador visiting a Roma settlement at Orechov dvor (close to Nitra), where one of the Roma projects, supported by the Order of Malta in Slovakia, has been implemented.

in the Slovak Republic. A lot of people do not know much about this organization. I realize that we live in a world of economic crisis. But in Central Europe we are only vaguely affected by this dead determined problems. I am not really worried about the current global economic situation. Many of the Central European countries are very prudently acting economically. Who are the Knights of Malta? Who are its members? The Order of Malta is one of the few Orders created in the Middle Ages and still active today. It is

The Ambassador visiting the Hospice at Bernadette in Nitra, which is also supported by the Order of Malta in Slovakia


also the only one that is at the same time religious and sovereign. This is due to the fact that most of the other Orders of chivalry lacked the hospitaller function which characterises the Order of Malta, so they disappeared as soon as the military purposes that represented the reasons for their existence ceased. The knighthood nature explains and justifies the maintenance of the noble nature of the Order, as most of its Religious Knights came from chivalrous and noble Christian families. Today the majority of Knights of Malta belong to all classes of society. The members of the Order may be defined as Catholics enlivened by altruistic nobleness of spirit and behaviour. All Knights of Malta must meet the traditional requirement for the bestowing of knighthood: distinguish themselves for special virtues. The knighthood nature of the Order has kept its moral value, characterised by the spirit of service, sacrifice and discipline of today’s Knights of Malta. Battles are no longer fought with swords, but with the peaceful tools of the fight against disease, poverty, social isolation and intolerance, as well as witnessing and protecting the faith.


Can anybody become a Knight today? If yes, how? One can become a member of the Order of Malta only by invitation.


How can one become a member of the Order of Malta? Only persons of undoubted Catholic morality and practice, who have acquired merit with regard to the Sovereign Order, its institutions and its works are eligible for admission. The relevant Grand Priory or National Association is responsible for proposals of admission. What conditions should a person fulfill in order to serve in the missions of the Order of Malta? All the 13,500 Knights and Dames of the Order of Malta shall conduct themselves so as to give Christian example in their private and public lives, thus putting into effect the tradition of the Order. It is incumbent on them to collaborate effectively in its hospitaller and social works. What are the activities of the Order of Malta in the Slovakia? Volunteers Corps is the Order of Malta’s relief organization operating in Slovakia. Its legal status is an NGO. It carries out charitable activities in Bratislava, Nitra, Trenčín, Košice, Kežmarok and elsewhere in Slovakia, under the auspices of the Embassy of the Order of Malta in Slovakia. Its activities vary, depending on the particular regional needs. The special target group in Slovakia is the Roma community. The Order of Malta supports the pre-school education of Roma children in order to effectively integrate them into the school system. There are currently two such Roma projects running – in Olejnikov and Orechov dvor. Other activities include material or financial support for hospitals, hospices, social and pastoral

H.E. Ottokarl F. Finstrevalder became a Honorary member of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. In the photo with Joseph M. Burza - President of the Chamber.

centres or individuals as well as volunteer social work for those in need such as the homeless or the imprisoned one. In Nitra, the Order recently purchased a new rescue tent in order to begin its new activity - providing medical care at big public events. In Bratislava for instance, the Order

of Malta provides basic medical care in a mobile ambulance. Every year, the Order of Malta organizes a pilgrimage to Lourdes, for old and sick, mentally and physically disabled persons. Interview by Martin Greenwald Photo George Velebir archive of the Order of Malta

The Ambassador with the Nitra group of the Volunteers Corps of the Order of Malta at a reception of the Embassy of the Order of Malta in Slovakia, held on 20 June 2013 in Bratislava


Photographer: Kate Opatovska Model: Megan Cost Make-up artist: Jane Lyne



Jazyková škola



Celoročné kurzy cudzích jazykov navštevuje každý rok viac ako 5 tisíc poslucháčov, štátne jazykové skúšky vykoná ročne v priemere 800 ľudí a medzinárodné licenčné skúšky nemeckého a anglického jazyka úspešne absolvuje temer 150 záujemcov.

Vykonávame: • • • •

štátne jazykové skúšky skúšky na osvedčenie o stupni jazykovej spôsobilosti medzinárodné licenčné skúšky z nemeckého a anglického jazyka vzdelávanie v celoročných jazykových kurzoch:

angličtina taliančina japončina arabčina latinčina

nemčina dánčina ruština hebrejčina švédština

kórejčina čínština španielčina francúština slovenčina pre cudzincov

kvalita tradícia prestíž Riaditeľka Jazykovej školy, PhDr. Sidónia Horváthová hovorí: “Učiť sa cudzie jazyky nie je nikdy neskoro. Jazyková škola na Palisádach v Bratislave má s vyučovaním cudzích jazykov už 60-ročné skúsenosti a jej poslucháčmi sú prevažne dospelí ľudia, ktorí si dopĺňajú jazykové zručnosti popri zamestnaní. Do školy ich privádzajú profesionálne alebo kultúrne záujmy.“

Kontakt: Palisády 38, 811 06 Bratislava, tel.: 02/5443 2437, Fax: 02/5441 0648, e-mail:, 83






Markus Mraz was born in Vienna 1968, after he finished the college of hotel management Modul, he startet his own business together with his father, the restaurant „Mraz & Sohn“. Markus Mraz is a autodidact, the restaurant wich startet as a ordinary austrian eatery he developed to a 1 Star Michelin restaurant where you can find since many years the most creative cuisine. He enlarge his culinary knowledge and ideas by travelling through the whole world to construe new fascinating dishes, often based on austrian cuisine, when he gets home. Mraz & Sohn had always been a family business and this is part of the philosophy and the strenght of this house. Defacto Peggy Strobel chairs the service with hart and takes fondly care of the guests. Wallensteinstrasse 59, A-1200 Wien Phone:+43 1 330 45 94 Opening times: Mon-Fri 18:00 – 24:00



Both sons Manuel and Lukas Mraz are skilled and very dedicated cooks. Manuel is as well making music and he is drawing all the pictures in our restaurant. The sommelier Pascal Kopetzki supportes the guest very professional by selecting the right wine from a choise of almost 1000 different wines. For us is the most important thing, that people who share our passion for good food and wine come in our restaurant to enjoy and feel comfortable as in there own livingroom.



Mercedes-Benz Pop Up Store in Cannes La Rena Brand and fashion designer Mrs. Renata Kliska participated on exclusive fashion show from April 18-21, 2014. The famous brand with the star Mercedes-Benz celebrated luxury, fashion and design at the Mercedes-Benz Pop Up store in Cannes for a double car launch. La Rena – Luxurious Fur Salon, Tomášikova 5/a, 821 01 Bratislava, La Rena – Showroom, 45 La Croisette, 06400 Cannes, France

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