Lögberg-Heimskringla - 04.02.2000, Blaðsíða 1

Lögberg-Heimskringla - 04.02.2000, Blaðsíða 1
HeimsKringia The lcelandic Weekly Lögberg Stofnað 14. januar 1888 Heimskringla Stofnaö 9. september 1886 Millennium Edition ICELAND IN Canada 2000 Editors: Svavar Gestsson, Jón Einars. Gustafsson Layout: David Jón Fuller A salute to Icelandic Canadians Adrienne Clarkson Governor General of Canada Ottawa, ON For the people of Iceland and of Canada, this millennium year has a special meaning unique to the his- tory of our two countries. The year 2000 marks the first millennium since the arrival of Icelandic Vikings on Canadian shores. Historians and archaeologists such as Canadian W.A. Munn and D. Kristjan Eldjarn of Iceland have con- firmed that the Baffin Islands, Newfoundland and Labrador were among the lands in the North Atlantic visited by these Icelandic explorers 1000 years ago. The presence of the Icelandic com- munity in modern Canada has a more recent history. In the early days of the Canadian Federation, Icelanders estab- lished a settlement in Gimli, Manitoba and vicinity known as “New Iceland”. Today, the descendants of that communi- ty are an important part of the Canadian mosaic, and their presence is having an increasing impact all across the country. Later this year all Canadians, and those of Icelandic descent in particular, can witness with pride the spectacular year-long 100-event celebration of the voyages of Leif Eiriksson to North America. These festivities taking place throughout Canada are all the more meaningful because they are also a toast to the 125th anniversary of the New Iceland settlement. As Governor General, I salute the Icelandic community in this millennium year, and I encourage Canadians every- where to take part in the special events underscoring the historical and cultural significance of Canada’s heritage. Be our guest Svavar Gestsson Consul General of lceland in Winnipeg and Speciai Envoy for Millennium Affairs PREPARE FOR a friendly inva- sion. This year, a foreign nation is staging over a hundred cultural events in Canada. There will be jazz concerts, puppet the- atres, choirs, stage plays, movies and a symphony orchestra. This nation is also giving one million dollars to a Canadian university this year and many of it’s polit- ical leaders as well as it’s president will visit Canada. As if this isn’t enough, this nation has also opened a Consulate in Canada, and will be opening an embassy in the year 2001. Is this a nation of 3 million people or 30 million? No, not even 300 thousand. This small giant is Iceland, a great European island, who’s people wrote the Sagas, where you find the first ever men- tioning of Canadian events in writing. This millennium issue of Lögberg- Heimskringla is your program for the Icelandic celebrations in Canada in the year 2000. Dear Canadian! Please enjoy this offering of the best of Icelandic culture. uThe reality will far surpass my dreams” Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson President of lceland Reykjavík, Iceland In the year 2000 Iceland and Canada will celebrate the lOOOth anniversary of our joint heritage, of the historic landmark when Icelandic Vikings linked Canada to Europe for the first time. The Icelandic discoverers came from the unique democratic commonwealth founded in 930 when the Icelandic parlia- ment, the Althing, became the first national democratic legislative assembly in the world. Thus the Icelandic- Canadian heritage is rooted in the oldest democratic tradition in Europe, a tradi- tion which 900 years later became the backbone of the Icelandic Settlement at New Iceland founded 1875 in Manitoba by the Icelandic immigrants. In modem times these common back- grounds have made Iceland and Canada natural partners in the North Atlantic Alliance and various other intemational organizations and in recent years joint initiators of closer cooperation in the Northem Regions. Our partnership in the 21st century is therefore built on strong historical roots and important modem endeavours and visions. When I launched the proposals for joint Icelandic-Canadian and Icelandic- American celebrations in the year 2000 in my inaugural speech on August lst 1996, and then discussed them with President Clinton in the White House and with var- ious Canadian officials in the summer of 1997, I had high hopes of a positive response. The reality, however, will far surpass my brightest dreams. It has given me great pleasure since assuming the presidential office to see how our joint heritage will be celebrated by a great number of important events. During my visit to Alberta and Saskatchewan last summer and to Manitoba in 1997 I was profoundly impressed by the determination within the Icelandic-Canadian community to make these unique historical celebrations a great success and thus strengthen the bonds between our countries in the 21st century. The President of Iceland has been invited to attend the Icelandic program in Winnipeg and Gimli at the beginning of August, a few days after a new presiden- tial term begins. It will undoubtedly be with deep commitment that the holder of the office will make a visit to Canada the highlight of the opening of a new presi- dential tenn. A new century lifts the spirit and brings new visions and excitement and I sense great expectations all around me in Iceland. The Icelanders entered the 20th century as a poor nation of farmers and fishermen without any sovereign rights among nations. Now we enjoy one of the highest living standards in the world and have become respected partners in inter- national institutions and global coopera- tion, bringing our culture and knowledge to enrich mankind’s experience. It bas been a privilege to participate during my lifetime in this great journey and I am grateful to witness now, at the opening of the new century, that new gen- erations of Icelanders are determined to continue in splendid style the tradition of discovery and exploration created by our forebears. What is in the PAPER...? 1: From the Heads of State 2: The Prime Ministers oflceland and Canada 3: The Foreign Ministers of Iceland and Canada and the One Million Dollar Donation to the University of Manitoba 4: The Icelandic Bishop, the Senator, the Honourary Consul in Bristish Colombia and the Leifur Eiriksson Commission 5-8: The Calendar: more than one hundred events 9: Icelandic dignitaries visit Canada, The Consul General for Iceland in Gimli 10. The Member of Parliament, Icelandic Literature, and the Puppet Theatre 11. The Return of the Icelander, The Best of Icelandic Theatre, and the Partnership. 12. The Great Canadian Travel Company For more information, visit our website: www.iceland2000.org



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