March 3rd & 4th – “Nordic Spirit: Early Icelandic Settlements on the West Coast”

Nordic Spirit: Early Icelandic Settlements in B.C. & Point Roberts

Saturday March 3rd: 10am – 9pm
Sunday, March 4th: 10am – 4pm

Scandinavian Community Centre
6540 Thomas Street, Burnaby

Over 200 restored and enlarged historical images together with text movingly illustrate the west coast settlements of B.C.’s Icelanders and their descendents. This gallery quality exhibition has been prepared by Robert Asgeirsson, curator, Icelandic Association of B.C.

  • Information and reception RSVP at 294-2777 or
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    Nordic Spirit: Early Icelandic Settlements on the West Coast

    On March 3rd and 4th at the Scandinavian Community Centre, the Scandinavian Cultural Society will sponsor an important exhibition of early photographs depicting the settlement of Icelandic people in British Columbia. Robert Asgeirsson, curator of the I.A.B.C., has prepared an exhibit of over 200 restored and enlarged historical images together with explanatory text. The Scandinavian Cultural Society will host the opening of this major Nordic heritage exhibit together with the Icelandic Canadian Club of B.C. The exhibition will thereafter be available in whole or in part for showings around the province and elsewhere.

    The Nordic Spirit images are beautiful as well as informative. A smaller set of the images was very well received at the Icelandic National League of North America conference in Victoria in the fall of 2006. At least one viewer there reported she was moved to tears by the poignant scenes.

    The majority of images were selected to reveal Icelandic pioneers at work and at play. You will see logging and fishing, sporting and picnicking as Icelanders worked with insight and effort to build a place for themselves within the early British Columbian context. The show also contains numerous old fashioned studio portraits of the settlers. Among them can be found the family of former B.C. Premier Byron (Boss) Johnson and others of prominence.

    Our show will need your help. Many careful hands will ensure the framed images are set up and taken down safely. While plans are preliminary, “Nordic Spirit” will be open on Saturday from 10 to 10, but a special reception will be held likely on Sunday afternoon. Try to RSVP to be sure you get in on the Icelandic reception food. Icelandic musicians and singers and older Icelandic music are needed for this reception, as well as cooks and servers, recipes, and decoration. Perhaps we might even use an Icelandic storyteller. If we had one. We also need suggestions for invited guests and dignitaries. Please get in touch.

    Finally, we need you to come. Your cultural community may wish to do something similar in the future, and with thanks to financial support from the B.C. Gaming Commission, the Scandinavian Cultural Society is ready to help. And though this first display is of Icelandic settlers, they lived and worked together with immigrants from the other Scandinavian countries. You may find a photo of Grandpa toddling in his little dress or Grandma serving a hundred loggers their lunch. Is that YOU on the bearskin rug? Hmmm. Perhaps you should volunteer immediately so you can preview these pictures and suggest changes!

    To offer your assistance or RSVP to the reception contact Carolyn Thauberger at (778) 329-6964 or, or Sonja at the Centre, (604) 294-2777