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Exploring Vancouver the Swedish Way
Swedish Cultural Society Arctic Bath Wallenberg Day in Vancouver
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Sw eden in 2018
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Swedish Press is the world’s leading magazine on all good things Swedish. An authority on design, business, culture and travel since 1929, Swedish Press delivers insightful news and commentary in a visually striking format. With a nod to the past, and a peek to the future, Swedish Press is your go-to source for updates and inspiration from Sweden. SWEDISH PRESS (ISSN 0839-2323) is published ten times per year (Feb, Mar, Apr, May, June, July/Aug, Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec/Jan) by Swedish Press Inc, 862 Peace Portal Drive, Suite #101, Blaine WA 98230 for $39 per year. Periodical postage paid at Blaine, WA 98230-9998 (No. USPS 005544). US POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Swedish Press, PO Box 420404, San Diego, CA 92142-0404 OFFICE: 9040 Shaughnessy Street, Vancouver, BC V6P 6E5 Canada US MAILING ADDRESS: PO Box 420404, San Diego, CA 92142-0404 WEBSITE www.swedishpress.com E-MAIL email@example.com TEL +1 360 450 5858 TOLL FREE +1 866 882 0088 PUBLISHER Claes Fredriksson Claes@swedishpress.com
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NEXT ISSUE DEADLINE: JANUARY 10
Lifestyle 18 Top Sju 19 Music: Tyler Duncan – A Canadian Baritone with a Scandinavian Connection
Business 9 Business News 10 Company File: Sagaform The Arctic Bath in Härad. Photo © Arctic Bath AB
Hemma Hos 20 Design: Arctic Bath – Lapland’s Floating Spa and Hotel 21 Treats à l’Ellen Petersson
ART DIRECTOR Joan Law Joan@swedishpress.com
ADVISORY COMMITTEE Björn Bayley, Peter Ladner, Brian Antonson, Christer Garell, Anders & Hamida Neumuller
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CONTENTS ( December 2017 | January 2018 )
EDITOR Peter Berlin Peter@swedishpress.com
REPRESENTATIVES Calgary: Carin Pihl +1 403 931 0370 Thunder Bay: Elinor Barr +1 807 344 8355 Toronto: Gunilla Sjölin +1 905 751 5297 Winnipeg: Laurel Anderson-McCallum +1 204 255 5224 Los Angeles: Birgitta Lauren +1 310 201 0079 New York: Timothy Lyons +1 732 685 3747 San Diego: Sue Eidson +1 858 541 0207
Photo © Sagaform
Heritage 11 Celebrating Heritage with the Swedish Community of Vancouver Feature 12 Vancouver’s Vibrant Swedish Community Interview 14 Monica Olofsson and Carina Spencer – Swedes of Vancouver 16 Christmas Greetings
Swedish Press Connects 22 SCA – Swedish Council of America 23 SACC – Swedish-American Chambers of Commerce 24 SVIV – Svenskar i Världen 25 SWEA – Swedish Women’s Educational Association International 26 MIG Talks – Migrationsverket In the Loop 28 Calendar and Events 29 Ads and Info 30 Sista Ordet Wallenberg Day in Vancouver Cover image: Clockwise from top left: Stanley Park Totem Poles © Tourism Vancouver | 2017 Lucia candidate Annika (Petersson) Knight © Chris & Annika Photography | Midsummer flag ceremony © Chris & Annika Photography | Beluga whale © chbaum | Family snowshoeing at Sea to Sky Gondola © Tourism Vancouver | Skyline of Vancouver in the evening © Edwin Verin Left: Stanley Park © Tourism Vancouver
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Clean Design That Enhances Your Home, Rather Than Overtaking It
make excellent gifts. Piccadilly is a line created in cooperation with Pernilla Wahlgren and Ann-Carin Wictorsson. The line features great bake and serving pieces for gettogethers and include recipes from Pernilla with each piece. Our whole line is perfect for all gift occasions.
By Peter Berlin
ngerid Mohn is the President of Sagaform Inc., the North American Division of the renowned Swedish brand that aims to be the obvious gift choice for a Saturday night dinner host, the new neighbours you welcome to your community, or when you want to brighten up your day at home. Swedish Press spoke to Ingerid at her home in Minneapolis, MN.
Tell me about your background and what brought you to the United States. I grew up in Halden, Norway, on the border with Sweden. At age 14 I started working at the Svinesund area which is on the Swedish side of the border. I worked there weekends and vacations until I left for College in the US at age 21. I attended the American College of Norway (ACN) in Moss for one year before transferring to the University of North Dakota (UND) in Grand Forks. In 1999 I graduated with a degree in Marketing and started working
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for a Swedish kitchen distributor. I stayed there until 2008 when I joined a French tabletop company. In early 2011, I heard about the opportunity to work for Sagaform. I was very excited as I had enjoyed seeing the line at trade shows and was fortunate to start working with them in February of 2011. As you can see, I have spent most my life working for Swedish companies and at this point call myself an honorary Swede! What is it about the Sagaform product line that appeals to Americans? Scandinavian design offers something unique on the North American market. It features clean design that enhances a room, rather than overtaking it. Sagaform’s products are excellent examples of great Scandinavian design. Our pieces are very functional, generally fit in everyone’s home, and are beautiful to look at. Sagaform first appeared on the US market in 2006. Since then the line has evolved and become a beacon of beautiful design. We brand ourselves as a Scandinavian Lifestyle collection with categories such as Nature, Bar and Piccadilly. Our Nature line is well known for its sleek design and addition of natural materials. We are also known for fun Bar products that
Who designs Sagaform articles, and where are they made? We work with independent designers – Swedish designers mainly – that either we reach out to, or they reach out to us. I think a lot of Swedes are familiar with some of them, like Ann-Carin Wiktorsson. We also work with Pernilla Wahlgren, the Swedish singer, actress and presenter who I think every Swede knows from when she competed successfully in Melodifestivalen. Our products are made in Italy and Turkey, and also in the Far East.
You are based in Minnesota, the focus of Swedish emigration in the 19th century. Is it still the hub of Swedishness? There are a lot of Swedish influences here, for example the American Swedish Institute housed in a gorgeous building on Park Avenue here in Minneapolis, and they have a lot of activities. Minnesota is still the big hub for Swedish culture – not to say that Seattle isn’t a close second!
H E RI TAG E
“Hulda Linquist hosted Sammy Davis Jr...” Celebrating Heritage with the Swedish Community of Vancouver By Marie Low
ancouver has been shaped by Swedes for over one hundred years. The first wave of Scandinavian immigration to Canada came at the end of the 19th century. During this period, there were a number of key factors causing Scandinavians to pack their belongings for the long journey across the world. Firstly, the Swedish government increased the duration of conscription. This forced young men to leave their families for long periods, making it nearly impossible to maintain their farms. A dip in the economy, a spike in the population, and the resulting famine motivated emigration. In 1898 the Canadian government passed the Hamlet Clause of the Lands Act. Homesteading
Swedish Press, formerly known as Nya Svenska Pressen, was founded in Vancouver in 1929.
families would now be allowed to settle together and support each other. This greatly improved the conditions for the homesteaders, as they were previously forced to settle their land in isolation from each other. Today, the number of Swedish descendants in Vancouver can only be estimated. The Scandinavian borders have changed throughout history, making it hard to define who the “true” Swedish emigrants were. Canadian records kept track of immigrants’ countries of origin; this is unhelpful as Swedes generally travelled to Canada via the UK or US. Also, the culture of “lagom” resulted in Swedish homesteaders keeping a low profile. Despite this cultural conformity, there are some Swedes in Vancouver’s history who stand out. Hulda Linquist, for instance, was the owner of the Lotus Hotel on Pender and Abbott Street. She hosted big names such as Sammy Davis Jr. and Roy Rogers in the 1920s. Rudolph Verne is another noteworthy Swede who brought skiing to Vancouver. In the early 1920s, Verne opened a ski camp on Hollywood Ridge and a ski store near Stanley Park. Throughout the 20th century, the Swedish community in Vancouver
grew more prominent. The Swedish Augustana Lutheran church opened in 1905. In 1929, the Swedish Press was founded in Vancouver by two Finnish-Swedes. The Swedish Cultural Society of Vancouver was established at the beginning of the 1950s with the goal of preserving the Swedish language and traditions. This was particularly timely as a number of other Swedish societies in Vancouver were transitioning into using only English. Interest in acquiring a community center for Scandinavians began in the 1990s, led by the Finnish-Swedes and Norwegians in Vancouver. In 1996, the Scandinavian Community Centre was inaugurated, with ownership shared between the five Nordic countries: Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, and Iceland. The ceremony captured the spirit of cooperation and comradery between these countries. SwedishCanadians have been integrated into the history of Vancouver for over one hundred years. The Scandinavian presence on Canada’s west coast is undeniable. For more information, check out Christina Reid’s guided tour with the Trethewey House (www. tretheweyhouse.ca) in Abbotsford, and Irene Howard’s book “Vancouver’s Svenskar.” Special thanks to Irene Olijum and Laila Axén.
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Vancouver’s Vibrant Swedish Community By Marie Low
ancouver is more than just a beautiful city; it has a vibrant Swedish community of traditions, celebrations, and a deep sense of belonging amongst Swedish-Canadians of all ages. A quintessential example of such traditions is the annual Lucia celebration. Luciatåget first took place in Vancouver 52 years ago, and has become a huge event since then. Every year, approximately 300 people attend Lucia at Vancouver’s Scandinavian Community Centre. Those who attend the afternoon performance will enjoy fika and a rendition of Swedish Christmas songs by the Swedish School. The evening performance is complete with a Swedish julbord and glögg. Guests will be invited to enjoy allsång and traditional dancing around the Christmas tree. “I have never in my life celebrated Lucia as much as I have here in Vancouver, and I lived in Sweden for 30 years!” says Kee FranzenKimmel, long-time member and librarian for the Swedish Cultural Society. On December 9th, 2017, Annika (Petersson) Knight 2017 Lucia candidate Annika will wear the luciakronan, (Petersson) Knight. Photo: Chris & don the white gown and red Annika Photography sash, and lead the procession. The darkened room will be filled with candlelight as the procession enters, singing the hauntingly beautiful melody of “Santa Lucia.” This year there will be about 20 girls and boys in the luciatåget, ranging in age from as young as seven to 22 years old. The young girls are patiently awaiting their turn to wear the Lucia crown, as Annika has done since the age of seven. “I am very thankful to belong to a culture that has so many traditions,” says Annika, adding that the Swedish community has helped her feel connected to her roots. “The events are incredible and the people remind me of
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some of my family members in Sweden.” There certainly is an impressive range of events hosted year-round by Vancouver’s Swedish community. In November, holiday cheer is spread at the annual Swedish Christmas Fair. The fair boasts 35 ven- Annual Swedish Christmas Fair. Photo: Chris & Annika Photography dors, ranging from leather crafts to silver jewelry and delicious baked goods. Children can get creative at the craft station while watching the Kalle Anka Christmas special on TV. In January 2018, the 13th annual Wallenberg Day will be hosted by the Wallenberg-Sugihara Civil Courage Society. The Swedish and Jewish communities collaborate to pay tribute to Raoul Wallenberg, a Swedish diplomat who rescued close to 100,000 Jews from Nazi-occupied Hungary during WWII. As winter melts into spring, Valborg is celebrated with singing and a bonfire at Ambleside Beach in West Vancouver. In May, Sweden is represented at the European Festival. This fun-filled weekend opens with a flag-bearing parade, followed by cultural exhibitions and cuisine from over 30 countries. The people of Sweden love summer, and SwedishCanadians are no exception. In 2018, the Scandinavian Midsummer Festival will be hosted in Vancouver for the 32nd time. During June 22 – 24, the long summer days will be celebrated by all five Scandinavian House societies together: Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, and Iceland. Among other festivities, the midsommarstång will be raised with traditional singing and dancing. The Swedish Cultural Society (SCS) of Vancouver is the driving force behind many of these events. Their mission is to preserve the Swedish language and traditions with art, culture, music and
dance. There are currently 330 members. The SCS falls under the umbrella of the Sweden House Society, which co-owns the Scandinavian Community Centre alongside the other four Nordic house societies. “I want to preserve some Kicking off midsummer festivities of the Swedish culture and with the flag ceremony. Photo: Chris language here,” says Carina & Annika Photography Spencer, President of the Scandinavian Community Centre Board, “because I feel that my soul is still yellow and blue.” The Scandinavian Community Centre houses the SCS library. This collection holds close to 800 books by Swedish authors and 65 DVDs. The selection consists mainly of fiction ranging from classics to new releases, as well as some poetry and non-fiction. Book lovers can bond through the two Swedish book clubs, which meet on a monthly basis to discuss current Swedish literature. The Swedish Cultural Society also supports the Swedish School of Vancouver. In the 2017 – 2018 academic year, 65 children aged 3 – 15 years are registered. The goal is to raise a bilingual generation of SwedishCanadians, as the students generally have at least one Swedish parent. “It’s fun, and I get to Kasper Cheung, one of the students learn Swedish,” says Kasper of the Swedish School of Vancouver. Cheung, a 10-year-old stuPhoto: Sandra Benholm-Cheung dent at the Swedish School. “The best part of Swedish School is Evans Lake, the camp we do in May.” The Swedish School has been functioning for over 25 years. Since then, the SCS has also introduced four levels of language classes for adults.
Another important organization is the Swedish Women’s Educational Association. SWEA provides support and networking opportunities for over 60 members who have immigrated to Vancouver. The association supports Swedish-Canadians with scholarships. SWEA also hosts much-anticipated social events such as kräftskivan and sillsexan. Religion adds another element to the community. Twice annually, a Swedish minister visits Vancouver to hold a Swedish church service. The service is held at one of the Danish churches in Burnaby near the Scandinavian Community Centre. Vancouver is also the home of the Swedish Canadian Village, a non-profit organization offering affordable senior housing. It is culturally oriented to residents of Swedish descent, but other cultures and ethnicities are also welcome. Since opening in 1949, it has expanded to a new location with over 200 units. The Swedish presence Scandinavian Community Center. in Vancouver extends to Photo: Amanda Wood royalty as well. In 2010, King Carl XVI Gustaf, Queen Silvia and Prince Carl Philip attended the Winter Olympics to support Team Sweden. Hockey, of course, is important to Sweden and Canada alike. The Sedin twins recently promised hockey fans that they would finish their career as Vancouver Canucks. “We are Swedes, but this is our home,” wrote Henrik Sedin in an open letter to Vancouver on September 7, 2017. The Swedish community in Vancouver works diligently to preserve traditions and build a sense of belonging. There is fun for all ages, all year round! At the heart of it is a group of incredible people celebrating their heritage.
Photo : Songquan Deng
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Published on Nov 23, 2017
Published on Nov 23, 2017
Swedish Press is the world’s leading magazine on all good things Swedish. An authority on design, business, culture and travel since 1929, S...