Saturday, June 02, 2007

May 2007

From the President’s desk
The Board met at the IKEA store in Schaumburg earlier this month. We had a good meeting in the Scandinavian café, with some discussion about the past and the future of our Association. We reflected on the winter celebration or Þorrablót, held earlier this year. I believe everyone agreed it was a fun evening. However, because of the financial results of the Þorrablót this year and some other challenges, the Board decided to scale down the Þorrablót 2008 to members only. This results in a more personal event in a smaller space where members can bring only two guests and their own food to share. We will keep you informed in later issues of Farsælda Frón about further decisions regarding the Þorrablót.

Once again, the Board is making an effort to clean up the membership list. This means that only those who have actually paid their membership fees will be considered members in the Association. This sounds obvious but this has not been applied in the past. By doing this we hope that the Association will be more efficient and we can do a better job of serving the Icelandic-Chicago community. Therefore, those who are interested in being members and wish to support the Icelandic Association of Chicago please pay your membership fee now. (Please see a special announcement in the Newsletter regarding the fees et cetera.) Note that the membership form will be posted on the IAC webpage ,, for your convenience within days. In conjunction with this the Board also decided that Farsælda Frón would be a member only Newsletter, with the exception of Icelandic embassies and other organizations that would benefit of receiving the Newsletter. Our aim is to make the Newsletter as much electronic as possible in the future.

Looking ahead there are two main events in the summer:

First, we will celebrate our Independence Day at Vasa Park, June 16th 2007. The park is having their mid-summer festival and we thought it would be fun to participate in that and take the opportunity to celebrate the Icelandic Independence Day at the same time. The IAC website has a link posted where you can see the schedule of events, but we plan to meet there at 4pm. Please see a special announcement about this in the Newsletter.

The third annual golf tournament will take place July 29th 2007. I wish all the participants well and know this will be a fun day together. Please view all the details in the Newsletter and on our website.

At last, I wish to congratulate our new editor, Svanfríður Arnardóttir-Gretchel and her family on her new son who was born April 24th 2007. He is perhaps the current youngest member in the association!

I wish you all a very happy summer and enjoy nature as much as possible.

Katrin Heiðar

From the Editor

Greetings to everyone.

Being that this is the first Newsletter I edit, I would like to introduce myself. My name is Svanfríður E. Arnardóttir aka Swany Getchell. I moved to Cary, Illinois, late in January of 2005 from Höfn Hornafjörður, a small fishing town on the SE coast of Iceland, surrounded by glaciers and mountains. I graduated with a BA in music and worked as a general music teacher for few years before moving out here to be with my husband. We have two boys and I enjoy every moment of my life here.

I have decided not to make any big changes with the layout of this newsletter but if you feel that something is missing or want to send in your thoughts, then feel free to contact me via e-mail;

Until later, Swany.

Association Affairs

Iceland´s Independence Day June 17th
The Annual Icelandic Independence Day celebration will be held on June 16th 2007 at Vasa Park in South Elgin, IL. We’ll celebrate a day early to coincide with mid-summer festival. Our celebration begins at 4 pm but come earlier to enjoy the mid summer festivities which will include pony-rides for the children.

Let’s use this opportunity and celebrate the Independence Day together in a group of fun loving Icelanders!

Gleðilegt sumar.

The Third Annual Greater Chicago Icelandic Open

Third time is a charm. The Greater Chicago Icelandic Open will be held for the third time on Sunday July 29th at 2PM. We plan on making this one the best so far with lots of prizes, giveaways and, most importantly, lots of fun! The tournament will be held at Indian Boundary, 8600 W. Forest Preserve Avenue, just off Cumberland Ave between Belmont and Addison Ave; very centrally located for everyone. It's the same course as last year but this time we'll be using golf carts to help keep the pace up. The good news is that the price is also the same as last year - only $35 per person including green fees and a cart. We've reserved tee-times for 24 players, which will be the maximum number of participants in order to finish the tournament in time to have some food and drinks, and, of course, the award ceremony.

The format of the play will be Texas Scramble or like some people call it Best Ball. Texas Scramble means teams of two players - we'll find you a team mate if you don't have one. Both team members tee up and then choose, which shot to use and both hit the ball from there, until it's in the hole!

We have a traveling trophy for 1st place and medals to keep for 1st, 2nd, and third place. Golf Smith is our proud sponsor donating prizes for the Longest Drive, Closest to the Pin, Longest Putt, and Straightest Drive. We'll also have a one hour lesson from PGA golf pro, a value of $100. We have to give Indian Boundary an exact number of players by July 24th so please sign up as soon as you can. You can send me an email or call me at 773.489.4621 with any questions and send your check to Larry Shaw our treasurer until we have Pay Pal on the webpage. Make the check out to The Icelandic Association of Chicago and mail it to Larry Shaw 147 N. Buckingham Drive, Sugar Grove, IL 60554

I'm looking forward to see you on the 29th - Have a great summer.

Einar Steinsson

Review of Þorrablót 2007

This year’s Þorrablot was a success. It was held at the Cheshire Clubhouse in Prestbury, Sugar Grove, Aurora. Seventy people attended and enjoyed themselves eating authentic Icelandic food and dancing the night away with the Icelandic band, the Mama’s boys.

Membership and the Newsletter

Dear Reader,
We hope you are enjoying receiving and reading our Newsletter and we would want nothing more that for you to keep doing so. However, after careful discussion at our last Board meeting, we came to the conclusion that moving forward we could only send out the Newsletter to those who have paid their membership fees. As a reminder, the membership for this year - $25 for a family; $15 for an individual – was due last November. So, do not procrastinate, take out the checking book and send in the membership fee today. In short, this could be the last Farsælda Frón you receive, which of course we hope it will not be. Another change we would like to see is to limit the number of hard copies we mail out. Thus, unless you instruct us otherwise and given we have your e-mail address, you will from now on only receive and electronic copy of Farsælda Frón.
Letter to the Association

1000 Years of Icelandic Popular Music

We have recently acquired and released in the US the award winning documentary film about Icelandic music culture - "Screaming Masterpiece: 1000 Years of Icelandic Popular Music".

The film captures all the energy of the world's hottest independent music scene in Iceland's capital city of Reykjavik. It journeys through Iceland's breathtaking landscape and back down the centuries to Viking times in search of an answer to the question: Why is this music so popular?

We are trying to get the word out and create awareness about this wonderful film. It would of course help if you could spread the word by mentioning it in your newsletter, or organizing a screening at your organization. I would be happy to send you a screener of the film. I'm also open to other suggestions, please don't hesitate to send them my way.

With the help of Icelandair and Airwaves, we are also organizing a contest where the winner and one guest will be invited to the Airwaves Music Festival in Reykjavik next October.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Kindest regards,

Stefan Karrer
Milan Entertainment, Inc.
3500 West Olive Avenue, Suite 750
Burbank, CA 91505
tel: (818) 953-7809
fax: (818) 953-7801

Save the Viking

I write to you concerning the 1982 Norwegian-built Viking ship, now dry-docked in Geneva, that sailed to Chicago for the World's Columbian Exposition in 1893. I am concerned to learn that its state of repair is now at a critical point and that the ship has been placed on the ten most endangered places list in Illinois.

I have been observing the situation with the Viking for so long and would like to see this ship, with its World heritage values, restored and in a good home. Urgent action is now needed to save the first Viking ship replica in the World, a tradition that has now reached amazing precision in the Roskilde Viking ship replicas in Denmark. Would you like to participate in a campaign to Save the Viking?

I have undertaken research into the story of the Viking and included this in my article, along with a few suggestions on how to help Save the Viking on

I have been wondering if there would be scope for a living aspect to the home of the Viking, such as the building of a new Gokstad Vikingship, to the standard now set at the Roskilde Viking Ship Museum in Denmark. The new Viking ship could then be sailed on the Lakes. Perhaps this might be the key to saving the Viking, making it a more exciting project overall. This approach may also hold more appeal for the younger generations. What do you think?

This link is a recent news film-clip of the Viking:

I am now making a monster outreach, to find out what is happening with the ship and see who in the World would also like to see the Viking restored and in a good home. Many good-hearted efforts have, amazingly, come to naught to date and the decay clock on the timbers of the ship are ticking away in Chicago's severe weather. Perhaps everything is wrapped up now and if this is the case, great, but I feel we should not take any more chances with the fate of this important ship with World heritage values.

I have $10 sitting in my model of the Gokstad. If a million people would also put $10 on the table, this will be the swiftest way to restore the ship, ensure that it is in a good home and provide funds for interpretation and education, which could include Viking culture and Scandinavian traditions. If a million people are prepared to speak up for the Viking, such numbers will ensure that the ship is safe.

Could this work?

I will be looking for an appropriate organisation that will put up a dedicated website for the campaign to Save the Viking, which can receive donations, including my $10.

I have included a few simple thoughts for the campaign in the article and have many more to offer should a campaign get up and running. I would be prepared to go to Chicago to help drive the campaign, should it come to that.

It would be great to hear your views on the matter and what you think should and can be done to Save the Viking!

Yours sincerely,

Kim Peart ~ Tasmania