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Virtual Laskianen Celebration and contest

In a normal year, we would be preparing to celebrate Laskiainen with our Finnish friends and family. This year is different. We can still celebrate but in a virtual way with activities and a Laskiainen contest. We invite you to join with us by going outside and skiing, sledding, or skating. Take pictures or videos of your adventures and send them to us at [email protected] If you are in it for the food, send us your recipes, pictures or videos and we can post those as well. All entries will go into the next newsletter, on our website and on Facebook.

First prize: $100. Second prize: $50. Third Prize: $25. Deadline for entries February 28. 

Fork Lake and Juhannus 2021

Welcome to our wonderful Finnish Camp at Fork Lake, Alberta. After an unfortunate break-in and theft at Fork Lake last fall, we are now making preparations for the May Long Work Weekend and Juhannus. The barriers to the camp will be removed and the road cleared to make access to the camp. The May Long weekend will take place like usual with hauling firewood, repairing the dock and cleaning up the kitchen. And, YES, the sauna will be cleaned and OPEN for people going in their cohort groups. There will be no communal meal, so bring your own food. The Board is also planning a meeting on May 23 at 11:00 AM.

We also look forward to Juhannus this year. As people are getting the vaccinations, and restrictions continue to be lifted, we are planning the usual events with Horseshoe tournament, Mölkky tournament and of course, the Fishing Derby.

The winners for 2020 were: Fishing Derby was won by Mikko Pyykonen. Horseshoe team was won by Gordon and Samuel Otto. Mölkky tournament was won by Tanja Richter.

Kahviriryhmä - Virtual Coffee Group

Join us for a virtual coffee group, a chance to connect face to face with our Finnish family and friends via zoom. If we’ve learned anything from COVID-19, it’s that we all need to reach out to each other. Many of our members may be facing similar challenges to you and your families. This virtual coffee group gives us this opportunity to connect again.

The Virtual Coffee Group will take place on the first Saturday of the month at 10:00 AM.

Celebrations and Concerns

The Finnish Society of Edmonton would like to hear about your Celebrations and Concerns. We are a small and close knit community and we want to celebrate your milestones and be there for you when times are tough. Please let us know about the special events in your life.

Contact us at [email protected] or Brenda at (780) 465-6723 if you are celebrating a birthday, sending get well wishes, or sympathy for a lost loved one. 

Seniors Connections

There are so many seniors in the Finnish Society that have very little contact with others and may feel isolated, especially with the Covid-19 pandemic and then winter coming. There needs to be a way for people to connect with others. Thankfully, Ritva has agreed to be the contact for this program. If you are interested in reaching out to others in Finnish or English, or if you know of someone that is feeling isolated and alone, please let us know. Contact Ritva: (780) 474- 1360 or [email protected]

Virtual Fitness Classes with Zhauhara

Zhauhara Haikarainen is offering virtual fitness classes via Zoom for beginner and intermediate levels, to be held 2-3 times per week. Classes will be 45 min. to an hour and will vary from easy cardio and strength to low impact that can be done from a chair, to accommodate all ages and fitness levels.

The first two weeks of classes are offered for free, and each class will be $5 afterward. Anyone interested can contact Zhauhara at 780-995-9797 or [email protected]

Classes are currently at 6:30 PM on Monday, Tuesday and Friday.

Celebrating Holidays with a Finnish Twist

PÄÄSIÄINEN – EASTER The closer it is to Easter the more witches and wizards are seen roaming in the streets. These children in disguise are taken very seriously. On Palm Sunday the little witches ring door bells shouting their magic verses: “Virvon, varvon, tuoreeks, terveeks, tulevaks vuodeks, vitsa sulle, palkka mulle”. This is a tradition that goes way back to Finland’s pagan days, and to the agrarian society, when it was believed that enchanters ensured a good crop for the coming year. They expect a small reward; sweets, Easter eggs or coins. Easter meal includes lamb and the Finnish rye pudding mämmi that, although not visually very attractive, is worth trying with cream and sugar. Many Finns like to go skiing on their Easter holiday too – the days are usually long and sunny, with lots of pure white snow in the north of the country.

Old Kalevala 1835 - Kaarina Brooks

Kaarina Brooks is thrilled to announce the release of the first English translation of the complete runic version of Old Kalevala 185 years after its original publication. Elias Lönnrot published Old Kalevala in 1835, after which it became the first Finnish classical work to enter the international literary scene. With an introduction from Professor Emeritus Juha Pentikäinen of the University of Helsinki, this beautifully bound, hard cover edition opens new, mythologically interesting insights into these ancient runes.

'Old Kalevala 1835' is now available for purchase from Wisteria Publications or contact Kaarina Brooks at [email protected] to place your order.

Alberta Culture Days: Finnish Migration Project

The migration story videos that Ava Karvonen worked on with the Finnish Society of Edmonton and our members has been getting lots of views. Videos were shared at the Central Alberta Film Festival, the Sibelius Festival, Finnfest 2019 and 2020 (online), and have been posted on various social media platforms. For any of you who are active in the Finnish groups on Facebook, the videos and our stories have created lots of discussion and resulted in the sharing of new stories. The Finnish American reporter ran a story this summer and Ava continues to get our stories our there! If you are interested in getting your hands on a DVD copy you can purchase one from the Finnish Society of Edmonton for $20 or you can download any of the videos and share (just contact [email protected] for a link). To those of you who were interviewed for the project, thanks for sharing your stories!

"From Shadows to Light" with Vireo Karvonen

From Shadows to Light: A Whole Human Approach to Mental Health” is a powerful book with 11 authors and 11 stories of mental health journeys. Vireo’s chapter in the book is called ‘Transforming That Shame’. The reason for writing this chapter was because of her brother Ben’s mental health and suicide. For Vireo, the central theme of mental health, sexuality and suicide, was all about shame. She wants to transform the taboo around mental health and sexuality and have healthy discussions about our bodies and our minds which affects our whole lives.

Vireo believes that this book is a powerful conversation piece that should be on everyone’s coffee table so they can talk about mental health. Especially with Covid-19, so many more people are experiencing mental health issues in isolation and are not getting the supports they need. Vireo shares her own mental health breakdown and her path to a healthier place. She then goes through her 7 step system called Belief Re-patterning, which really helped her to transform all the shame and improve her mental health and all areas of her life. Vireo is a Belief Re-patterning Practitioner and Sacred Sexuality Coach.

If you wish to purchase this book, please contact Vireo at [email protected] or Pirkko at 780-689-3748. Vireo’s book is also available on Amazon.

Programs Canceled due to Covid-19

Unfortunately, due to Covid-19, many activities are temporarily canceled. These include the Sewing Circle, Children's program, Nordic Walking Scandinavian Seniors and Junior Valhalla Scandinavian Dancers. We look forward to seeing everyone again once the pandemic ends.

Finnish Lessons

The Finnish Society does not provide Finnish language courses, however there are alternative ways to learn.

Kira Pronin is providing Finnish lessons in the Whyte Avenue/Strathcona area for small groups and individuals. You can contact her at (780) 720-8092 or by email at [email protected]

There are also many other online Finnish courses available.

If you are interested in providing lessons, please contact us.

Monthly News Bulletin from the Finland Society/Suomi Seura ry

The latest information bulletin is available at under "News".

Sutinat-tiedotteemme on luettavissa Suomi-Seura ry:n Internet-sivulla kohdassa "Ajankohtaista".