Opre Roma: Gypsies in Canada

This documentary celebrates the vibrant culture and tenacious struggle of the Canadian Gypsy and introduces a new generation of Roma who claim their roots with pride. They call themselves by their rightful name, the Roma. Almost 80,000 call Canada home. Meet Julia Lovell, a passionate defender of Roma human rights, whose father is slowly gaining the confidence to reveal his heritage; and Karen Gray Boothroyd, a flamenco dancer just beginning to reclaim her Gypsy roots.

From the playlist : Canada’s Diverse Cultures

Who are the Roma, the ones that we call Gypsies? Why have they been persecuted since the 11th century? Can Roma in Canada celebrate their culture without fear? Opre Roma: Gypsies in Canada presents a people with a tragic past but, more importantly, with passion in their hearts.

— Albert Ohayon

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Tony Papa
Tony Papa
Gillian Darling Kovanic
executive producer
Graydon McCrea
Sharon Gibbon
director of photography
Glenn Taylor
Doug Baird
Tony Papa
Rudolf Kovanic
Chris Michie
John Collins
location sound
Ken McGrath
Dwight Rhodes
Eric Davies
Blair Walters


  • romaprincess

    “a must see documentary of the culture of Roma Gypsy in Canada and the hardships they have endured for centuries” — romaprincess, 28 May 2012

  • Sevdin

    “I was told by a friend of mine to watch this documentary. Really well done documentary! My heritage is Roma, Turkish Roma. I was born in Romania. Because of the poor living conditions that the Roma live in, my biological parents decided to put me up for adoption. I was adopted into a Canadian family 1992. I am currently living in Canada. Vancouver, BC. I went to back to Romania after 17 years being adopted and reunited with my biological parents, a long with 13 siblings. The youngest sibling was born last September, the eldest is 25, and I am 22. I spent the last 6 months in Romania filming a documentary on my biological family. I would really like to get in touch Julia Lovell. I would love to discuss my story of being adopted, the reuniting with my biological family, and my documentary.” — Sevdin, 28 Jun 2011

  • Jadzia13

    “Beautifully done, captures the soul of Roma. Thank you for sharing your heart and soul...” — Jadzia13, 22 May 2011

  • Samyuktha

    “To watch this sitting in India, I miss the earthen tastes my own land used to have. I remember travelling as groups with my parents and their fellows who were all performers, singing loudly and dancing in the train bringing everyone to life. I miss that, feel stuck in my urban body. This is a beautiful documentary. I would love to visit the Romas and hope they would pass some bread and welcome me when I reach them. ” — Samyuktha, 1 Jun 2010

  • yuallthetime

    “Fantastic! Finally free to be Roma. The heart and soul in the music and culture is exhilarating.” — yuallthetime, 11 Jan 2010

  • “The documentary was excellent. NFB at its best! We have to scream loudly in utter disgust at the mean-spirited reactionary government in power who wants to desecrate and hollow-out the NFB and CBC” — , 25 Dec 2009

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