Thursday, January 12, 2023

Join us Sunday Feb 5th to celebrate Runeberg Day!


Canadian Friends of Finland

invites you to join us for a



An afternoon of Runeberg’s songs featuring the Runeberg Chorus with soloists Austin Doyle and Kaoru Henry.

Piano duet: Janet Mowatt & Austin Doyle performing Tapiola by Sibelius.

Enjoy coffee, tea and the Runeberg torte or Runebergintorttu.

Everyone in the lower mainland of Vancouver is invited!


Why Finland celebrates Runeberg Day:

Johan Ludvig Runeberg (Feb 5, 1804-May 6, 1877) was a Finnish poet who wrote in Swedish. He wrote the lyrics to a song, Our Land, which was adopted as the national anthem. His literary achievements led him to be considered the National Poet of Finland. He wrote many hymns for the Virsikirja. He was also a language teacher at a number of establishments.


Scandinavian Community Centre

6540 Thomas St

Burnaby, BC V5B 4P9



Monday, May 30, 2022

Searching for Finnish-Canadian publications, films and music

Dr. Veli Niinimaa, Ph.D., was born in Revonlahti, Finland and immigrated to Toronto with his family at the age of 14 in 1964. After completing his high school education, he graduated from the University of Toronto with a BPHE (‘73), M.Sc. ('76) and Ph.D. ('79) in exercise physiology. He taught at the Universities of New Brunswick and Calgary for four years. Veli's sport career began in 1973 when he joined the University of Toronto cross-country ski team and coached it for the following five years. His organizational skills were tested when the home team hosted the annual inter-university competitions in Midland, ON. He arranged the race details, coached the team, raced, and even won a medal a few times. In 1978 Veli started in biathlon at a race at the Kitchener Pioneer Range.

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Notice of Annual General Meeting - Friday, Dec 17, 2021



Notice of Annual General Meeting

TAKE NOTICE: The Annual General Meeting of Canadian Friends of Finland will take place at the Scandinavian Community Centre 6540 Thomas Street, Burnaby on Friday December 17, 2021 at 2:00pm to:

1)    Consider the Reports of the Directors to the members.

2)    Consider the Financial Statement for the fiscal year ended 14th of June 2021.

3)    Elect Directors for the coming year

4)    Transact such other business as may properly come before the meeting.

Masks and proof of vaccination required to attend CFF AGM

Dated 10th November 2021  

By the order of the Board of Directors of CFF.                                  

Dianne Kilback, President

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Maple Ridge Museum, Searching for Finnish Heritage in Websters Corners By Dianne Kilback

Thanks to the covid-19 pandemic I had time on my hands to do some research on the history of Finnish Immigrants to British Columbia.  Searching the internet, I discovered the website for the Maple Ridge Museum.  I was happy to learn the museum had the history of Websters Corners in their archives.   Websters Corners was settled by Finnish people who left Sointula in the early 1900’s after a disastrous fire and differences of opinion in the community.  A group from Sointula founded a community in Websters Corners.  I was pleased to discover there was a book Maple Ridge: A History of Settlement at the Museum.  I contacted Val Patenaude, Director of the Museum and decided to buy some copies of the book.  The Museum has been closed due to Covid-19, but I was able to go and pick up the books through the door of the Museum.  There is a chapter on the Finnish People of Websters Corners.   

Here is a quote from that chapter that made me feel proud of my Finnish Heritage.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Operation Ankka - This is a story about a duck. By Geoff Ballance

This first appeared in print in the Canadian Friends of Finland Spring 2020 Newsletter    

 As is often the case with duck stories, it begins on a cool, misty summer morning by a lake in Finland.  My partner Christina and I had been staying at her cousin Tapani's kesämöki, exploring the lake and surrounding countryside.  Perched at the end of a small peninsula, the cottage is situated in the ideal location to enjoy the unavoidable peace and tranquility of rural eastern Finland.  But alas, our time here had come to an end.  It was time to head back to Canada.

I grabbed our bags, threw on my jacket and stepped outside. The faded wooden deck was slowly being painted a polka-dot motif as light rain began to fall. I filled my lungs with cool pine-scented air that crept up from the lake and across the moss-covered forest floor. 

Biography: Hulda Wilhelmina Gröhn (Lindgren)

By Dianne Kilback                                                                                                                        

Hulda Wilhelmina Lindgren was born March 30, 1892 in a village called Myllymäki in Finland.  The village was on the shore of a small lake.  She was the second oldest of ten children.  Shortly after she was born, the family moved to a place called Salmi, about 50 kilometres from Helsinki.  The Lindgren family made their living farming and fishing. 

Hulda, being one of the older children, helped her father mend and make nets for fishing and sold fish from a market stall in Helsinki.  When the oldest son left for America at age seventeen, she also helped with shoeing the horses, a chore her brother normally performed.

Back from the dead: World's oldest Saimaa ringed seal sighted after 28 years

Canadian Friends of Finland Spring 2020 Newsletter

News from Finland Source: Yle-Uutiset                                                                                                                                               

Bottom of For

Venla was first sighted at the end of April and again in May

A rare Saimaa ringed seal long thought to be dead has been sighted in the southern Saimaa region in southeast Finland. According to WWF Finland regional head Ismo MarttinenVenla was photographed in the area in late April 2020.

"When Venla was transferred to southern Saimaa, she was estimated to be at least five years old. That means she is now at least 33 years old. That makes Venla the oldest surviving Saimaa ringed seal," Marttinen said.

Venla’s habitat is now part of the Taipalsaari municipality. She was also sighted after May Day and the most recent photos of her are from May. She has given birth to many pups during the 28 years she spent in southern Saimaa and still seems to be full of life.

Conservationists suspected that Venla may have left the area or died when no confirmed sightings of her were reported for some time.

"It’s known that seals do live long. The default for a Saimaa seal is more than 30 years," Marttinen observed.