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  • March to November +

    NORDIC KNITTERS 2nd and 4th Thursday Each Month Winnipeg, MB: Read More
  • Þorrablót +

    Þorrablót Saturday 18 March Arborg, MB: 37th annual Þorrablót dinner Read More
  • 2017 INLNA Annual Convention +

    4 to 7 May Grand Forks, ND: The Icelandic Communities Read More
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LA Philharmonic hosts Reykjavík Festival

 Photo: Michael J. Fromholtz / Creative Commons


Iceland will dominate the schedule of the Los Angeles Philharmonic for seventeen days in April when the orchestra hosts its Reykjavík Festival at the Walt Disney Concert Hall.
Fittingly enough, the first concert in the series, on Saturday, April 1, will feature Iceland’s answer to Mickey Mouse, namely Maximus Musicus, the creation of Hallfríður Ólafsdóttir, who has charmed audiences all over the world – in Europe, Asia, Australia, and the Americas – and delighted children, their parents, and grandparents wherever he goes. Reykjavík-born conductor Daníel Bjarnason will conduct this program, which features nine pieces from various composers that are sure to captivate younger audiences. This performance will be reprised on Saturday, April 8.  . . .


Þorrablót of memories

 Photo: W.D. Valgardson

 Author: W.D. Valgardson, Victoria, BC

The Icelanders of Victoria held their Þorrablót March 4. What a great event! Big change in the format. In past years, we always had music and dancing afterwards but, shortly after the music would start, people would start leaving. Music today is played so loud that it is impossible to have a conversation. Most of us were there for visiting and conversation. Plus, I have to admit it, we’re an older crowd. There always is a sprinkling of younger people but there’s a lot of white hair and no hair.
Þorrablót, at one time, was all about food. Traditional Icelandic food that was to remind us of our ethnic past. We still have that. Great skyr with a massive bowl of fresh strawberries. The skyr is Icelandic but strawberries are Canadian. There were no strawberries in Iceland in 1875.  . . .


Winnipeg during our immigration Part 2: 1876 to 1877


Author: W.D. Valgardson, Victoria, BC 

During the smallpox epidemic, Dr. W. Baldwin reports that he visited several houses of the Icelandic immigrants and he says, “the houses were of the worst description. I had to stoop to go into nearly every house. There were some doors so low I had to go on my hands and knees to get in and such filth. I cannot describe it. … The houses are all one room, and in some there would be 18 or 19 in them, all huddled together.”
While the settlers had been making their painful way to New Iceland, in Winnipeg the “Ariel Club” was formed for the purpose of having a series of “hops” during the winter months. There must have been quite a bit of “hopping” going on as a temperance lodge was organized in February. A piano was purchased for City Hall.  . . .




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