From the President's desk
Gleðilegt Sumar – Happy Summer
The summer in Iceland has yet to arrive and we can sense how friends and family are getting frustrated with the weather. June 2nd in Akureyri started with 32F and some snow. We send warm wishes over the ocean and hope things will improve fast as I know many in our community are visiting Iceland this summer.
We have welcomed some new members who have recently moved to the Chicago area and joined our association but we are also saying farewell to long standing members and good friends, Anna Jóels and Tom Fox, who are moving to Iceland. We will miss them dearly and wish them all the best.
23rd of May we had a successful open board meeting at the restaurant Tre Kronor who did the catering for our Þorrablót. The meeting was well attended and we covered wide varety of topics. We talked about the BIG news, the direct flight to Chciago from Iceland, recently announced by Icelandair. The meeting approved moving the Þorrablót 2016 from February to March if we could get seats on the first flight, March 16th, for musician and chef. I am happy to report that I was successful securing spots on the plane and I am excited to confirm a date for Þorrablót 2016, for the 19th of March, at the Swedish American Museum. Maybe we will have guests from Iceland attending with the new direct flight in place.
I hope to see many of you at our Independence Day picnic June 13th at the Promontory Point. The hotdogs have arrived from Iceland!
From the Editor
Summer weather is finally here in Chicago! As we get used to the hot, humid weather again, you may have heard about the massive strikes going on in Iceland. Most industries were affected. Notably, veterinarians were on strike resulting in a shortage of meat in grocery stores and healthcare was hit hard with reports of many healthcare professionals looking into jobs in Scandinavia. On a lighter note, over 1100 people are reportedly gathering on June 13th to participate in a 'Free the nipple" event, from the recently viral movement working towards gender equality.
This newsletter includes information about exciting upcoming events including the Icelandic Independence Day celebration this Saturday. It also contains a call for applications for Scholarships from IAC to learn Icelandic and an article about the Icelandic National League (INL) of North America meeting in Minneapolis that two of our members attended.
Gledilegan 17da juni! Happy June 17th!
Kolla Kristjansdottir Fass
PAST AND FUTURE EVENTS
The Thorrablot was held on February 21st at the Swedish museum and was a great success! For more pictures see: http://www.icelandchicago.org/blot2015.html
Iceland's Independence Day "17da Júni"
Icelandic Hot Dogs! All members are invited to celebrate our Independence Day at Promontory Point,locally known as ‘The Point’. Please join us for a picnic style festival and a fun afternoon by the Lake. The IAC will treat everyone to hot dogs, pylsa, from Iceland, Icelandic style – eina með öllu – which includes dried fried onion and remolade! What makes Icelandic hot dogs unique and oh so good, is that they’re made from lamb meat. Please note that other than the hot dogs, the event is a BYO, so please bring drinks, sides, salads, sweets, or other plates you'd like to eat or share. Remember to bring picnic gear: blankets, lawn chairs, sunscreen, umbrellas... And, if anyone owns flags or other 17th of June decorations, please bring it with you – takk! We’re excited to celebrate 17di júní on the 13th of June
and look forward to see you at 2 PM
. A beach with life guards is close by for those who want to bring swim suits and go for a dive in the lake. Sign up by e-mailing Einar
or call 773-489-4621. If the weather is questionable we will move the celebration to Lena and Einar’s house on Rockwell. Thus, it’s important you sign up so we can alert you of a different location.
Directions and Parking:
The Point is off 55th Street, East of Lake Shore Drive (LSD). Use 5500 S Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60637 for driving directions (Google Maps, etc.). You’ll find a metered parking lot on 55th street,by Bar Louie, or you may find free street parking. The walk to the Point takes about 6 minutes through a tunnel, which passes under Lake Shore Drive at the east end of 55th street. Upon emerging from the tunnel you’ll see a statue and a fountain. Turn right and walk south until you see our flag. We’ll try to find a spot as close to the field house as possible. For more information, photos, and the history of the Promontory Point, check out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Promontory_Point_(Chicago)
Save the date: Icelandic Open - August 30th
Registration for The Icelandic Open starts soon. It will be the same place, Hilldale Golf Club in Hoffman Estate, and same price, $35. We have sold out the last four years! Trip to Iceland for a ‘hole in one’ and lots of other goodies.
Midsommar Celebration - June 20th 2015
Once again, this event will occur in the form of a family picnic. The park will open on Saturday June 20th at 3:30 PM. A picnic dinner will begin at 6:00 PM. Meat will be furnished by Vasa Park aka Scandinavian Park in Elgin and each family is asked to bring a dish to pass. Activities will include the traditional Maypole raising, dancing, activities and crafts for children and will culminate with the bonfire lighting, traditional toast (Brenivin) and music.
A donation of $5.00 per adult is requested, but is free for Scandinavian Park members with a 2015 membership card. It is also free for children 12 and under and parking is free. The park has a policy of no pets.
Reservations are required by June 17, 2015 (so that they can be sure there is enough beef for all)
Call 630-665-7866 or email email@example.com
For further information see http://www.vasaparkil.com/rentals.html
Scandinavian Day - September 13th
"Enjoy a late summer day with traditional food, crafts, gifts and entertainment representing the five Nordic Cultures as we celebrate the 62nd year of Vasa Park in South Elgin Illinois Honor the founders for the vision, labors and resources that built and preserved this beautiful Fox River Valley venue. Scandinavian Day at Vasa Park is enjoyed by the thousands who return each year to this tradition on the Sunday after Labor Day (September 13th from 10AM-6PM). A great day of food , fellowship and fun bringing together friends and family with pride for 36 years. Select your favorites,and feast on a variety of Scandinavian and American food. Visit the many craft and gift vendors for that special memory of the five Nordic countries. Bring the family for a full day of fun and enjoy the tradition of music, dance and a relaxed day in the park."
Once again, we ask for your help in selling our wonderful Icelandic Glacial Water during the day, Sunday September 13th. We are grateful to Icelandic Glacial Water for donating many cases to benefit our Scholarship Fund. We are the only vendor of water at the park on Scandinavian Day and we sold out last year. And it was good to be among friends enjoying the spirit of the occasion.
For further information see http://www.vasaparkil.com/rentals.html
Call for Applications: Icelandic Association of Chicago Scholarship Program
Before announcing current Icelandic Association of Chicago [IAC] Scholarship Program opportunities, kudos are appropriate for the following three individuals who made unexpected and much-appreciated gifts at our þorrablót-2015, which were immediately auctioned-off for benefit of our IAC Scholarship Fund: Dr. Leifur Bjornson, Melissa Findley-Thompson, and our IAC President and Honorary Icelandic Vice-Consul in Chicago, Einar Steinsson. Leifur donated a 1975-vintage bottle of Brennivin. Its purchaser, Melissa, instead of taking it home for preservation and aging for another forty years or personally enjoying same with friends and family, immediately auctioned off shots --- the entire bottle! Einar donated one of his signature-ties with the Icelandic flag prominently displayed. The ensuing enthusiastic bidding netted approximately $ 300.00 which brings our current IAC Scholarship Fund balance to just under $ 4,000.00 after having awarded four stipends in the past two years. Thank you to all who supported this novel addition to our funding!
At our most recent open IAC Board Meeting on Saturday, 23-May-2015, at Tre Kronor, the Swedish Bistro which catered our recent þorrablót, it was agreed that the following stipends will be available: Up to two  awards at USD $ 375.00 to support any bonafide Icelandic-language study [course work, on-line, language-camp, etc.] and up to two  awards at USD $ 750.00 to support any bonafide Icelandic-related studies under the auspices of any recognized cultural or academic institution in the United States, Canada, or Iceland OR participation in either the traditional six-week total Icelandic-immersion Snorri program for young adults [approximately 18 to 30 years of age] or the more recent similar two-week Snorri-Plus program for mature adults or retirees. Further details, including guidelines and application forms, will be posted on our IAC website: www.IcelandChicago.org. As of going-to-press-time, we currently have at least two promising pending applications and more applications are very much welcome!
Currently, most of our IAC Scholarship funding comes from beverage sales [assorted soda-pop and donated IcelandicGlacialWater] at Vasa Park [South Elgin, IL] during Scandinavian Day and Mid-Sommar Day under the auspices of the Park’s trustee, The Not-for-Profit 501(c) Scandinavian Park, Inc., on whose Board our IAC is represented by Joni Shaw and as alternates, Larry O. Shaw and John H. Hofteig. Please see Joni’s article above on both of these events, inviting all to come and enjoy Vasa Park, celebrate Scandinavian Heritage, purchase IcelandicGlacialWater, and perhaps even help us at our booth on Saturday afternoon, 20-June-2015, and nearly all-day on Sunday, 13-September-2015. John H. Hofteig
A Report from the INLofNA Convention
The 96th Annual Convention was held in Minneapolis, Minnesota May 14-17, 2015 at the Hilton MSP Airport/Mall of America Hotel. The theme of the convention was "Icelandic Connections: The Sagas Continue". John Hofteig and I, Joni Shaw, were attendees from Chicago. We were reminded of the journeys our ancestors made in the hope of starting a new life in a new land. How their children and the following generations spread across the North American continent and the stories have continued. The programs presented highlighted some of those families and their stories. We met old friends and made new ones - relatives? As we say - "What is more joyful than a gathering of good friends".
Honored guests were: Former President Vigdis Finnbogadottir, Iceland's Ambassador to the Us, Geir Harde and Canada's Ambassador, Sturla Sigurjonsson. The keynote speaker for the Saturday evening banquet was Madame Vigdis Finnbogadottir, Former President of Iceland and current UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador of Languages of the World - as she was introduced in the program.
Friday was a full day with many interesting sessions. It was divided into three time divisions, each containing sessions regarding Research, Education, Heritage and a Workshop. My cousin, Alicyn Goodman, and I, Joni Shaw, participated in the second session of Heritage topics, presenting information regarding the INLofNA International Visits Program (Sharing Talents with Clubs Here and Across the Ocean). This year, in October, North America will be hosting a very prominent man in fisheries through this program - Dr Grimur Valdimarsson, an international expert on world fisheries. A man who has, worldwide, made significant advances in his area of expertise.
There were about 150 in attendance. Saturday brought us more sessions, the AGM and the Banquet with the delightful Madame Vigdis and dancing.
Next year the Convention will be held in Vancouver, Canada. For further information see inlofna.org/2015-Convention