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Calgary Finlandia Cultural Association

The Finns at Trochu, Alberta

img_1491CFCA is proud to promote The Finns at Trochu: a book written by CFCA member Shirley Adam.

The book tells of the Finnish Community that once prospered between Trochu and Three Hills (North East of Calgary).  In 1905 six Finnish Homesteaders came to settle in the area followed by many more of their countrymen.  As more Finns arrived in the area to settle they chose land in close proximity to each other resulting in a strong, lively community.

The book gives a background look into Finnish history, reasons for leaving their country, immigration to North America, and Finnish cultural notes.  Points of interest in the local community are discussed, and stories and pictures of the Finnish families that lived in the area are included.

You can read more about the book in the upcoming CFCA members’ newsletter (Dec/Jan), and the book can be purchased from the author (call 403-443-2175) for $20 plus shipping and handling.

 

 

Choirs, Baking, Cycling, and Sibelius

The last couple weeks have been quite busy for CFCA members.

On October 16 we had the first of two baking classes, where members learned to make pulla and jelly rolls. We had an exceptional turn out for the event, both older and younger (and much younger) members, which pleased our instructors immensely. The new oven at the Scan Centre is amazing, and we completed many quadruple braided loaves of pulla, and many strawberry and raspberry jelly rolls. In between baking, many members also tried their hand at making various Christmas crafts, including Christmas gnomes (tonttu).

The following Tuesday we were treated to a choir event put on by the Sävelvakka Finnish singing group. It was a beautiful night of song, flowers, and delicious candies from Finland (yum!).

On Friday, the 21st of October, many CFCA members attended the talk by Ken Myhre, hosted by the Scandinavian Cultural Society. Ken talked about his two most recent trips to Iceland — one a biking trip around the country, and the other a hiking trip into the interior. Ken’s exquisite photography brought his tales to life, and we are now all planning our own trips to Iceland.

img_1392Finally, on Sunday, Oct. 23rd, our long-planned Evening with Sibelius finally took place. Tom Watrous and Suzanne McKegney, former members of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, came to share with us their love of the great Finnish composer, Jean Sibelius. They were accompanied by visiting Finnish Opera Singer, Kirsi Tiihonen http://www.opera-connection.com/artists/kirsi-tiihonen/ and Pianist/Composer Mark Limacher http://www.marklimacher.com/about. You can read more about this event in our Winter (December/January) members’ newsletter.

 

Sauna Culture

This recent article from The Globe and Mail discusses the culture of cleansing around the world, including the Finnish sauna. It examines the past, present, and future roles of public baths in our communities.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/home-and-garden/design/a-new-sauna-culture-reimagining-the-bathhouse-as-a-community-space/article32333172/?click=sf_globefb

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Waiting for the savusauna to heat. Northern Savonia, Finland. (Photo by M. Peuramäki, 2014.)

Fall 2016 at CFCA

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September in Lapland. Photo by Harri Kettunen, 2015.

With the arrival of fall, we now reflect on what has been an amazing spring and summer in Calgary. The highlight of our CFCA Spring/Summer program was another successful Midsummer celebration at Edworthy Park. Despite some rain, many of our members came out to celebrate, enjoy delicious food, and play some games. We were so happy to see how many young families joined us. Thank you so much to all who attended, and especially to those who volunteered their time and energy to plan and put on this special annual event.

 

We have another wonderful line-up of events planned for this fall, which you can see listed under the “events” tab on this website. Members will have received a newsletter outlining these events, but please check the website regularly for any updates/corrections. We hope to see you all this fall for baking, movies, concerts, plays, and much more! Welcome!

 

Finnish Albertans featured in magazine

The annual edition of Athabasca University’s “Open” magazine features two articles about Finnish Albertans. The first article is about Dr. Meaghan Peuramäki-Brown’s (CFCA secretary) archaeological research in Central America (cover, p.12-13). The second article is about filmmakers Albert and Pirkko Karvonen’s most recent film, The Forest is Calling, which CFCA featured for one of their movie nights in fall 2015 (p.17).

You can read the magazine by clicking on the following link

 

Happy Easter Weekend 2016!

Want to know a little more (or a refresher) on Easter traditions in Finland? Check out this great blog entry:

Wandering witches welcome Finnish Easter

 

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Fazer eggs (Photo from 9GAG.com)

 

CPO Nordic Masters – Saturday, March 19, 2016

Last night, many members of the CFCA attended the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra’s (CPO) Nordic Masters concert at the Jack Singer. CFCA was proudly recognized as one of the event supporters.
The evening started with a pre-concert discussion with guest conductor Rune Bergmann, who graduated from the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. You can read more about him at http://imgartists.com/artist/rune_bergmann
The concert began at 8pm and consisted of three pieces:
1. Sibelius’ Finlandia
2. Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A Minor, featuring the talented, 21-year old Conrad Tao on the piano (read more about this impressive young man at http://conradtao.com/ )
3. Nielsen’s Symphony No. 4 “The Inextinguishable”
Following the concert, a post-event conversation occurred with members of the orchestra concerning the featured pieces.
Overall, the event was a great success and our members had a lovely time.
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Inside the Jack Singer Concert Hall, just prior to the start of the concert.

Happy St. Urho’s Day! 16 March 2016

Happy St. Urho’s Day to all! Make sure to celebrate this truly Finnish-Canadian/Finnish-American holiday today.

If you are unsure as to what St. Urho’s day consists of, visit http://www.sainturho.com/

If you are looking for somewhere to celebrate, you can join some of us at the new Unicorn Pub (formerly Below Deck) on Stephen Ave. (Calgary), starting at 6:30pm this evening. Remember to wear purple and green!

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Kalevala Day – 28 February

Well, better late than never. Happy belated Kalevala Day, which was officially on February 28th. In honour of this day, I thought I would share a book that I just read. It is JRR Tolkien’s (of “The Hobbit” and “Lord of the Rings” fame) short story “The Story of Kullervo”. We have long known that Tolkien was fascinated by the Finnish language and culture, but it has only recently come to light that he actually wrote a short story based on the Kalevala.

http://www.amazon.ca/Story-Kullervo-J-Tolkien-2015-08-27/dp/B0184WDNU4/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1457011305&sr=8-2&keywords=story+of+kullervo

This book, released in 2015, includes the short story (never published in Tolkien’s lifetime), along with essays, written by Tolkien and the editor, about the Kalevala. It is a wonderful, quick read, and I definitely recommend it to everyone.

Enjoy!

Meaghan Peuramäki-Brown

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