Hes lived in Canada for 31 years, but
sculptor Paul Lancz, 69, says his heart remains in
Hungary. Not every immigrant feels the same way, says
Lancz apologetically. But he says many of them do, in
particular those who come here in their mid-or late-
adult years. You cant change," Lancz says.
You stay European or Hungarian or Greek. Your heart
stays there as long as you live." Since coming
to Canada, Lancz has made a name for himself through
his bronze-cast sculptures, which include the
likenesses of Cardinal Leger , Abe and Allan
Bronfman, actress Jayne Mansfield and former United
States President John F. Kennedy. The last of these,
commissioned by Henry Birks and Sons, now sits in a
park at the corner of Jeanne Mance and President
Kennedy boulevards. He says it is comforting for him
to know that the Kennedy monument is something "
lasting and beautiful he gave to the city.
Artistically and architecturally, Montreal is all too
monotonous, he says. And that, he adds, is where
North American cities are no match for the capitals
Making their living
In Europe, sculptures, monuments and great
architecture are present just about everywhere you
go, Lancz says. Here," I feel alone as an
artist" When he left Hungary, 200 people in that
country were making a living as sculptors, he says.
Here, he knows maybe 20. He left after the Hungarian
revolution , at the age of 38. He didnt want to
talk about the specific reasons he chose to leave his
homeland. He doesnt like to talk publicly about
politics, he explained. He came to Canada in January
1957 with his wife, Elizabeth, and their then -five
-year -old daughter, Annie, and with his two brothers
and their families. Lanczs other child, Peter,
31, was born in November of that year. For the first
year, the three families rented an apartment on
Querbes Ave. in Outremont. All together they were 10
people. After they had saved enough for a down
payment , the three families bought a cottage on
Durocher Ave. Lancz still lives there today. The
three families lined together in the Durocher Ave,
home for eight or ten years. Then, his two brothers,
Leslie,76, and George, 68 , and their families. ,
bought a duplex a few houses away. Its meant a
lot to Lancz to have his brothers living nearby.
Unity makes you stronger , he says.
Throughout the years, the three have run their won
picture-framing business, Hungarian Art Studio , on
St. laurrent Blvd. " If I were living in
Budapest, I would get together with other sculptors
there. I could live more of a social life.
Could have been better
"Here, I dont find the same
connections." Definitely, he says the different
environment shows up in an artists works.
" I could have been a better artist if I had
stayed there, Lancz says. " I can
imagine I would have been happier in those
surroundings" But on the other hand, maybe it
wouldnt have made any difference. "maybe
its just the memories he says.