Born in 1977 in Eindhoven, Netherlands, Erwin Blatter immigrated to Canada in September 2011. Before his move, he worked for almost eight years at Eindhovens Dagblad, a regional daily, as a sports writer and editor, specialising in Formula One, cycling, motocross and speed skating. Later he went on to become a regional reporter at the same newspaper, covering politics and police stories, as well as social matters and events.
After moving to Lethbridge, Alberta, he became a contributor to The Macleod Gazette, a privately-owned weekly newspaper in southern Alberta. He also wrote for Helden Magazine, a semi-annual publication dealing with the history of cycling in the Dutch province of Brabant.
Erwin, who speaks and writes Dutch and English, was motivated to move to Canada because of its incredible spaciousness, stunning scenery and friendly people. He chose Lethbridge as his new residence because it’s close to the U.S. border, not too far from Calgary and close to the Rockies.
He fell in love with Canada in 2002 during a one-year, Immigration Canada working holiday program which took him to Toronto and Banff, Alberta.
In his spare time, Erwin is an avid guitarist, having played for the now-defunct progressive Dutch metal band Melora Rain. He also plays piano and a bit of drums.
One thing he wants to stress is that Holland is not the same as The Netherlands. Of the 12 Dutch provinces, Holland represents just two called North Holland and South Holland, respectively. Holland is historically the best known part of The Netherlands because of its economic and maritime power during the 17th century. Today, it is the most densely populated part of The Netherlands and is home to the country’s biggest cities of Amsterdam (North Holland), Rotterdam and The Hague (South Holland).
Frikadel & mayonnaise
The thing he missed most about his homeland was the Dutch snack frikadel, a typically 20-centimetre long, meat stick composed of chicken, horse and pig. He also yearned for fries with mayonnaise, which is a totally normal snack in his native country, but not in Canada – other than in Quebec.
So it should come as no surprise that he decided in mid-2012 to move back to his home country of clogs, tulips and windmills, feeling that he would have more opportunities there in his chosen field of journalism. Today he works as an editor at the daily Eindhovens Dagblad, where he had previously worked.
The only downside to moving back to Europe, Erwin says, is that he'll probably "keep missing Canada forever."