Alberta Estonian Heritage Society Annual General Meeting 2009
Archived Articles 05 Jun 2009 Helgi LeesmentEWR
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The Alberta Estonian Heritage Society annual general meeting was held on April 18, 2009 in Red Deer, Alberta. It was a positive event chaired by President Bob Kingsep: a review of another highly active year, finances in great shape and clear plans for the near future.

Before the meeting, those present helped prepare mailing envelopes with material about the forthcoming Jaanipäev celebration to take place Saturday June 20 at Linda Hall, Stettler, Alberta. The Jaanipäev planning committee under the direction of Ron Hennel, gave their report. The Jaanipäev program will include traditional Alberta Estonian pioneer games, hayride, sit-down dinner, stage show and bonfire sing-song with fireworks. Admission ticket includes the dinner and musical after-dinner performance by Shadow Productions, a professional theatre group directed by local Estonian pioneer descendant Hal Kerbes.

Advance registration is required for Jaanipäev, $18.00 per adult. Online registration forms are available at (scroll down a little on the home page), or phone Ron Hennel 403-742-3980 or Deane Kerbes 403-742-3527. All are welcome.

Other reports covered AEHS activities over the past year, including executive, board and Jaanipäev planning committee meetings plus some meetings with Rasmus Lumi, Estonian Chargé d’Affaires from Ottawa. We had excellent feedback on the previous two issues of the AEHS magazine AjaKaja, with the section by and about the younger generation being especially well received. A spontaneous and successful Great Estonian Stone Exchange with guests from Estonia took place at the old Raabis cemetery, followed by potluck dinner and presentations. In addition, smaller local events were held: Jaanipäev in Calgary, a reception for Estonian symphony orchestra director Anu Tali in Edmonton and receptions for the Estonian biathletes at the World Junior Championships held in Canmore, Alberta. We have sent 10 copies of our DVD Alberta’s Estonians to various relevant libraries, archives and government departments in Estonia. We currently have approximately 200 members. As an organization, we are receiving communication from places beyond Alberta, meaning we are gaining acknowledgement and recognition as an entity with drive, foresight, purpose and integrity.

Treasurer Toomas Pääsuke reported that AEHS finances are balanced, with past and future general expenses as well as special project expenses all under control, within budget.

Dave Kiil’s talent at attracting grant funds for our historical and archive projects is keeping various board members very busy writing, editing, working with photos and liaising with the Heritage Community Foundation, developers of the AEHS heritage website, and various archives staff. Our Phase 3 contract with the Heritage Community Foundation terminates May 31, 2009, meaning that an updated and enlarged version of the “Alberta’s Estonian Heritage” website will be launched on or about June 1, 2009. The AEHS has been awarded a grant from the government of Estonia to continue our collecting, documenting and archiving projects into 2010.

Dave Kiil will make a presentation about Alberta Estonians at the Baltic Heritage Network Conference in Tartu, Estonia in July. As a result, the AEHS will take out formal membership in that organization. Dave is making a similar presentation at the West Coast Estonian Days festival in Seattle, Washington in August.

The previous Alberta Estonian Heritage Society executive and board were unanimously voted back into office for the next year: President - Bob Kingsep, Vice-President - Helgi Leesment, Secretary - Jüri Kraav, Treasurer - Toomas Pääsuke. Other board members: Peter Asmus, Dave Kiil, Eda McClung, Lorne Hennel, Liia Herman, Jaak Pallo, Barbara Gullickson, Martha Munz Gue, Astrid Ustina, Allan Posti, Deane Kerbes.
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