Lögberg-Heimskringla - 04.02.2000, Blaðsíða 10

Lögberg-Heimskringla - 04.02.2000, Blaðsíða 10
10 » Lögberg-Heimskringla * Millennium Edition • Friday 4 February 2000 The World’s Smallest Giant Icelandic puppet theatre visits Canada Hallveig Thorlacius entertains two children. The Pocket Theatre was founded in 1984 by one of Iceland’s leading puppeteers, Hallveig Thorlacius, with the purpose of telling old Icelandic stories she loved listening to as a child in her grandmother’s kitchen. Iceland has always been in the role of the storyteller in Europe, ever since the íirst settlers came sailing from Norway in the Viking Age. The theatre is based in Reykjavík and has travelled all oyer Iceland, to Sweden, Norway, Denmark. Finland, Greenland, the Faeroe Islands, England, Slovenia, China, and the USA. The show The World’s Smallest Giant has been selected by the Leifur Eiriksson Millennium Commission of Iceland to introduce Icelandic folklore to American and Canadian audiences. It will be per- formed in schools and libraries all over the continent in the year 2000 to remind us of another visit from Iceland a thou- sand years earlier, when Leifur Eiriksson arrived in America, and to recall the fact that the first European child to be born there was actually Icelandic. David Gislason of Canada comment- ed, “I was watching closely for the reac- John Harvard, MP for Charleswood and St. James-Assiniboia is well known in the Icelandic Canadian com- munity. For the past several years he has represented the Canadian govemment at the annual June 17 Icelandic National Day celebrations in Winnipeg and in 1994, he represented Canada at the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Icelandic Republic in Iceland. “As a Canadian with Icelandic ances- try, I feel it is my community, my family if you will. We are of the same blood and share a common heritage. Their history is my history; their values are my values,” says Harvard. As a Member of Parliament, he partic- ipates in the Icelandic-Canadian communi- ty by providing support whenever possible. tion from the children, and it was imme- diate. This woman has a real gift for story telling. She captured her audience imme- diately and held their attention through- out. Children as well as adults were On an ongoing basis, he supports the Icelandic Festival in Gimli and the Nordic House in Winnipeg. “I am also involved with issues between the Canadian and Icelandic gov- emments. Last year, I had the honour of meeting with Prime Minister Davíð Oddsson of Iceland with regard to securing financial support from his govemment for the Department of Icelandic studies at the University of Manitoba.” Mr. Harvard has also been involved with planning for Icelandic celebrations marking the new millennium, but how does he think the relationship between Iceland and Canada can be strengthened in the future? “I think a lot can be done. I believe there are opportunities for increased cul- drawn into her storytelling spell, as she introduced us to some interesting aspects of Icelandic folklore.” tural and student exchanges between the two countries,” he said. “There are also prospects for increased commercial trade, with the port of Churchill serving as a nat- ural gateway to a trade route linking Canada and Iceland.” With increased cultural and economi- cal ties between the two countries, the need for more structured political relations aris- es and the opening of an Icelandic embassy in Canada has been proposed. How does Mr. Harvard feel about that? “I am very excited about Iceland’s intention to open an embassy in Canada. That will help strengthen the linkages between the two countries. I hope that Canada will be able to do the same in the near future.” The best of Icelandic literature Readers can eook forward to three and maybe five new Icelandic titles in English on the history of the emigra- tion this year. The highly praised novel Hibyli vindanna (“Where Tlie Winds Dwell”), by Böðvar Guðmundsson, will be published by Turnstone Press in. the autumn of 2000. In 1995, Guðmundsson won the highest Icelandic literary prize for his novel which is set during the emi- gration of Icelanders to Canada at the end of the nineteenth century. The book, and more than likely the sequel. Lífsins tré (“The Tree of Life”) are due out from Turnstone Press in autumn 2000. Turnstone Press has also bought the rights to Nýja ísland (“New Iceland,” 1997) by Guðjón Árngrimsson, a non-fic- tion account of the Icelandic emigration in the years 1870-1914, with emphasis on the New Iceland settlement. The book, with hundreds of photographs, was a bestseller in Iceland. The sequel, Annað ísland, (Another Iceland) is being considered for publication. The third work on the subject is a new book, written in English by Jonas Thor, a historian who lived for many years in Manitoba. His book is being considered for publication in Manitoba by the University Press This year the Icelandic publishers, Mal og Menning, will be publishing Vinlandsgatan (Wineland Millennium) by Pall Bergthorsson. At this time it is not know whether that book will be published in Canada. Jazz trio to tour Canadian Jazz Festivals Guitar Islancio", an Icelandic swing/jazz guitar and double bass trio, will tour Western Canada this spring-summer. The trio’s members are Björn Thoroddsen (guitar), Gunnar Thorðarson (guitar), and Jón Rafnsson (double-bass), all highly talented and prolific musicians. With a repertoire of Duke Ellington, George Gershwin, origi- nal compositions and more, the musi- ciáns have proven themselves to be high- ly popular with audiences throughout Iceland. The trio will appear at several jazz festivals including: the Jazz Winnipeg Festival on June 21; the Saskatchewan Jazz Festival, Saskatoon on June 23; the Jazz City Festival in Calgary and Edmonton on June 24-25; Vancouver’s DuMaurier International Jazz Festival on June 27; and Victoria’s Jazz Fest International on June 29 through July 1. The trio may also appear at the highly acclaimed Montreal Jazz Festival, as well as other single venue performances. We are the same blood says John Harvard MP John Harvard addresses a crowd at the Manitoba Legislature on June 17, Iceland’s National Day. Photo: Jón Einars. Gustáfsson For more information, visit our website: www.iceland2000.org

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