Marja-Leena Rathje
Home ::: BC's Finnish settlers

BC's Finnish settlers


Nordic Spirit: Early Finnish Settlements in B.C.

A gallery presentation of over 100 moving historical images depicting the life
and times of the early Finnish settlers on the West Coast

Clinton Hall
Finn Slough
Webster's Corner
and others

Saturday, March 29, & Sunday March 30, 2008
11 to 4 p.m.

Scandinavian Community Centre
6540 Thomas Street, Burnaby, B.C.

Sponsored by:
Finnish Heritage Society
Scandinavian Cultural Society
Finland House Society

As an immigrant myself, I'm looking forward to seeing this exhibition. (Links are mine, plus I've added a couple more below for any interested readers.) I've been doing casual study of Finnish emigration over the years. As some readers know, in the 1950's I came to Winnipeg, Manitoba as a child with my family. Though there were struggles, they were relatively easier times than that experienced by the large numbers of early pioneers from Europe in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

More links:
The Finnish Connection in Gibsons

Finland - A Land of Emigrants

Addendum April 14, 2008: Please read about the story of one Finnish family's experience immigrating and settling here!

Marja-Leena | 25/03/2008 | 7 comments
themes: Canada and BC, Finland, Estonia & Finno-Ugric, History


Ah, links to things Finnish
Thank you

and here's another, from the Seattle Times magazine, isn't the internet wonderful?

Mouse, thanks for the link! I know there are a lot of Scandinavians and Finns over the border from us. Did you know that the highest concentration of Finns in the US is in Michigan? In Canada they are mostly in Ontario: Thunder Bay, Toronto with other small cities.

A common error in that article is 'Danish pastries' - they are actually Viennese pastries. My mother made them often and called them 'viinerit'. Our Danish friends, visiting here, wondered what 'their' pastries were, having never heard of them. The mass produced ones in the stores and fast-food restaurants are an embarrassment to them.

We're going out to see the exhibition some time this weekend. Maybe I'll write a few more words on this...

Hi Marja-Leena, Just want to let you know how much I love your blog. I try to read it everyday. Why, you ask. Well for many reasons, because I am Finnish-Canadian as well as an artist and Finnish prehistory is a passion of mine too! My name is Katja Maki and I live in Thunder Bay, Ontario amongst a strong Finnish community. I also wanted to let you know that regarding Finn Slough, there is a Finnish-Canadian artist, Ingrid Koivukangas, who was mentioned in one of the articles in the link you provided. Anyways, her environmental art project on Finn Slough is great! here's the link if you want to check it out,

Hi Katja! What a pleasure to read your words, thank you so much, and to meet another Finnish-Canadian artist. We used to visit Thunder Bay when I was a child in Winnipeg as my parents knew some Finns plus a cousin living there. It's been a LONG time since I've been there! I know of Ingrid Koivukangas and her work, having read about it, I missed that show though, thanks for the link. What kind of work do you do?

As a German-Canadian, also emigrated as a child in the 1950s, I'm interested in the history of all immigrants to Canada, and glad to learn about the Finns. What a rich mixture Canadian culture is -- now this kind of input is happening in the UK (where I now live), in waves as the EU enlarges as well as through immigration from the Commonwealth. On public transport you hear so many languages, and the (non-mainstream) artistic outpouring is varied and rich.

Hi Margaret and welcome! My husband is German-Canadian and immigrated in the 1950s as well - another of those waves, this time after WW II.
Yes, Canada is very multicultural, and continues to grow with immigrants coming mostly from Asia now. Interesting to see how Europe is handling these changes. The UK has had immigrants for quite a while, but for many countries like Finland it's a new experience. The world is so much smaller today than it was 60 years ago, don't you think?