Reply to events for the Swedish Club at Svenskclub17@gmail.com **

  1. Kubb – Are you interested in joining in for some Swedish Kubb games at Fraser Grove Park along the river during the summer? If you are interested please send an email to: Svenskclub17@gmail.com and indicate your preferred evening during the week Monday to Friday.
  2. Swedish Birthday Brunch: TBA – To make reservations: call (204) 774-8047 or email sccreservations@shaw.ca
  3. IKEA Crayfish Party: TBA
  4. Kongero Swedens: Wednesday, October 18, 2017. Leading female vocal quartet performing Swedish folk’appella.  Anna Wikénius says “their music has to be alive” RSVP Svenskclub17@gmail.com for tickets.
  5. Lucia Pageant: Sunday, December 10, 2017

Swedes started to arrive in Manitoba around 1870-1880 as railroad workers, miners and construction workers. A large number of American-Swedes came to Winnipeg after WWI, many settling around the Logan and Main Street area. Winnipeg reigned as Swedish Canada’s most important city until the 1940s. According to the 2006 census, there are over 13,000 individuals who claim a Swedish heritage in Winnipeg.

The Swedish Cultural Association of Manitoba or “Svenska Kulturföreningen av Manitoba” is the official name of the Swedish Club at the Scandinavian Cultural Centre. We are currently an affiliate of the Swedish Council of America. Many of our members are also members of the Strindberg Vasa Lodge – a fraternal organization with member lodges in USA, Canada, and Sweden. Our Association’s goals are to preserve, promote and celebrate Swedish culture in our community.

The activities of our Association centre around monthly Coffee Nights on the third Thursday with seasonal snacks and featured cultural programming, Swedish brunches on selected Sundays, hosting of a number of Friday night “TGIF” dinner and speaker evenings on topics of interest, Swedish language classes, the Lucia celebration in December, Swedish Flag Day, and participation in Midsummer observance with the Vasa Lodge. We also work closely with the other four clubs at the Scandinavian Centre to present larger Nordic events and fundraisers, such as the Viking Feast. We also have a summer crayfish party, road trips to historical Swedish places in Manitoba and a group trip to Sweden.

The Swedish Club also hosted the Swedish Women’s Soccer team at the FIFA World Tournament in Winnipeg and launched a book called `Swedes in Canada, the Invisible Immigrants`.

The Club is proud of its local musicians and singers who help to preserve songs, dances and music from the past, not to mention the playing of the fascinating ancient Swedish instrument, the nyckelharpa. We also welcome and host visiting Swedish performers and special events from other Swedish organizations outside Manitoba.

These and other ad hoc events (e.g. Swedish movie night, Kubb by the river) are for the benefit of both members and anyone else with an interest in Swedish culture. You don’t have to speak Swedish to enjoy our events!

The Club enjoys mutually supportive relationships with local businesses and academic institutions that share an interest in Swedish culture and we welcome opportunities to partner together. Our major partners are the other Scandinavian countries that form the Scandinavian Centre.

The Swedish Club hosted University students from Sweden and had them speak at a TGIF Dinner. The history of Sweden Immigrants is now housed in the archives at the University of Manitoba, John Dafoe Library. We have partnered with IKEA for Dala Horse Painting, Julbord at Christmas, Crayfish festival in August and the Swedish Press with articles about our activities accepted in their magazine.

Language Classes
We offer Swedish language classes based on demand, which in a normal year may serve both beginner and more advanced levels. Acquiring basic language skills is enjoyable and has several practical applications, for example, when preparing for a trip to Sweden, for reading genealogical documents or family photo notes, or for communicating with overseas relatives. Our Swedish instructors are renowned for their helpful advice to those wanting to travel to Sweden. For further details, contact any member of the board, who will in turn provide an email address for the current instructor(s).

Lucia Celebration
Lucia Day on December 13 marks the unofficial launch of the Christmas (Jul) season for Swedes. At the Scandinavian Centre, we typically present both Luciadagen and Julfest celebrations on a Sunday nearest this date. The event begins with the magical candlelit procession of children in white gowns singing the beautiful “Santa Lucia” song. They are led by an appointed “Lucia” girl wearing a crown of candles on her head, who is celebrated as a “beacon of brightness” as we near the darkest time of year. Food and beverages include the hot Christmas drink known as glögg, gingerbreads (pepparkakor) and sweet saffron buns (lussekatts). As done in Sweden, guests are invited to hold hands and dance around a Christmas tree to the tune of songs and steps from the past, and there may be the telling of the tomte story for the children. Each year may offer something a little different.

Flag Day
The Swedish National Day on June 6 is a public holiday in Sweden in commemoration of the election of Gustav Vasa as King of Sweden on this date in 1523. This is a great excuse for Swedes and friends in Winnipeg to get together for a major outdoor picnic featuring favourite Swedish foods, games such as kubb, and the singing of the national anthem.

Midsummer Celebration
The most eagerly awaited festivity in the Swedish calendar is the Midsummer (midsommar) celebration. In Sweden, events are spread out over the Saturday and the Midsummer’s Eve (Friday) between the 20 and 26 of June. The Swedish Club in Winnipeg celebrates the event on a Sunday, which is convenient for families to attend, at Vasa Lund Park in Charleswood. The day starts out with the picking of the flowers and decorating of the maypole, using local wildflowers, greenery and favourite flowers from our gardens. The parade of the maypole follows, along with singing and dancing around the maypole, displays, and a traditional picnic with games and prizes. Frying pan toss, Kubb, boot toss, balloon toss are some of the games.

This is the annual festival of nations in Winnipeg, Manitoba. This two-week long celebration showcases Canada’s diversity. The Swedish club partners with the four other Scandinavian nations to provide Ethnic entertainment and Cuisine. Each country honors their heritage by creating cultural displays about their history. Imported goods are usually available for sale.

Svenska Kulturföreningen av Manitoba Styrelse 2017 och 2018

The Swedish Cultural Association of Manitoba Executive Board 2017 and 2018

  • Sonja Lundström – Ordförande / President
  • Marilyn Ekelund – Vice ordförande / Vice President
  • Darcie von Axelstierna – Kommunikationsdirektör / Chairman of Communications
  • Joanne Gehman – Sekreterare / Secretary
  • Christine Greig – Kassör / Treasurer
  • Neil Carlson (Honorary Swedish Consul of Manitoba) – Ledamot / Member
  • Elaine Hammerback Friesen – Ledamot / Member
  • Anne Jonasson – Ledamot / Member