Monday, December 18, 2017

IAC Newsletter December 2017

From the President’s desk

New government in Iceland – What else is new?

In just over a year Iceland has its second government. Several people voted at my consular office some of who are new to Chicago and may join our association. Members from eight political parties were elected to parliament and three parties form the new government: The Independence Party (Sjálfstæðisflokkur) with five ministers, the Progressive Party (Framsóknarflokkur) with three and the Left-Green Movement with three. Iceland’s prime minister is Katrín Jakobsdóttir and only the second women to lead a government in Iceland. I’m hoping this one will last more than a year, maybe even a full term – four years! Lena and I enjoyed a good visit to Iceland over Thanksgiving weekend and were happy to see that the country is blooming on many fronts and tourists brace the unpredictable weather and dark days and travel to Iceland in record numbers for this time of the year. We especially liked the restaurant scene and the innovative cuisine although dining out in Iceland is quite pricey.

In this newsletter you will find information about Þorrablót 2018. I have invited our ambassador and his wife to be the guests of honor. He thanked us and expressed an interest but asked for few weeks to confirm if they can attend. We understand as the new government just took over as previously mentioned. Please fill out the 2018 membership form and send in with a check or renew your membership online. Same low price once again and remember you must do this to get tickets at member’s price to Þorrablót – just saying !

Merry Christmas – Gleðileg Jól.
Einar Steinsson

From the Editor

In this Newsletter we have details on several past events that IAC members participated in including Christmas around the world and The Icelandic Open. You can also renew your IAC membership and purchase tickets for Thorrablot 2018 which is always an amazing event! We also have updates from the IAC scholarship fund and finally, update on the application for non-profit status for IAC. I hope you enjoy this newsletter and as always free to contact me at with original articles for the newsletter or suggestions on topics to cover.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday season! Kids in Iceland (and Icelandic kids living abroad) are visited by 13 different Yule Lads on the 13 days preceding Christmas and they receive a small gift every morning in their shoe (or a potato if they are not being good). If kids really misbehave they risk becoming a meal for the scary Yule Cat (Jólakötturinn). Tonight the kids will receive a visit from Door-Slammer or Hurðaskellir.

Kolla Kristjansdottir Fass

Christmas around the world

The Icelandic Christmas tree was decorated once again at the Museum of Science and Industry on November 5th. Many thanks to all the helpers and special thanks to Gudrun and Karl Jonsson and their special helper, Óli Ólafsson, for making and painting new buildings for under the tree and for knitting the Christmas balls . Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light are open at Museum of Science and Industry through January 7!

Save the Date: Taking Down the Christmas Tree and Thorrablot Meeting

Saturday, January 13th at 3PM
Museum of Science and Industry
Please sign up with Lena at

The 12th Greater Chicago Icelandic Open

We had our golf tournament Sunday September 17th for the 12th time in fantastic weather at one of our favorite golf courses, Hilldale Golf Club in Hoffman Estate. 2017 Champions are Rodger Aitken and Todd Blue with a score of 35.  Second place winners were Lena Hallgrimsdottir and Einar Steinsson with a score of 36 and Kolbrún Kristjánsdóttir Fass and Tom Hoover took the third place with 37.  Indeed, a close and exciting competition.  Gunnar Thors took the Longest Drive for men and since no one made a Hole in One on the 8th hole and Gunnar was the closest to the pin,  he won the prize of $500 from Icelandair.  Guðrún Thors won the Longest Drive for women,  Hallgrímur Arason the Longest Putt and Tom Hoover Closest to the Pin on the 4th.  Everyone enjoyed a fantastic time and I look forward to see all of you next year.  Einar Steinsson.

Thorrablot 2018

ÞORRABLÓT 2018 – February 17, at 6 PM, The Swedish American Museum.

We are ready and open for business – Renew your membership and purchase tickets today.

We’re excited to welcome back Bjössi Greifi (Count Bjössi) as our musical entertainer but some of you know Björn Grétar Sveinbjörnsson as a member of the famous and popular Icelandic band, Greifarnir (The Counts) and many more from our previous Þorrablót.  We’re also happy to celebrate at the Swedish American Museum and to have Master Chef Ari Hallgrímsson back and in charge of the food and on hand to answer all your questions about Icelandic traditions, old or new.  We’ll open the house at 6 PM with a welcome cocktail, homemade gravlax, double smoked leg of lamb, Brennivin, and rotten shark. On the dinner table you’ll find standards such as pickled rams’ testicles, sheared sheep heads, dried haddock, blood pudding, liver pudding, hangikjöt, rye and flat bread, and other delicacies you’ve been craving… For dessert we’ll have a traditional ‘Kaffihlaðborð’ with pönnukökur, kleinur, marengstertur, Siggi’s skyr, and other goodies prepared by members. We’ll treat you to the best Glacial water in the world BUT for other drinks, this is a BYOB event.

We’ll have our famous and ever popular raffle where you can win a ticket from Icelandair to the Old Country plus many more prizes, Icelandic music, design wool product, chocolates, art work, and more.

Þorrablót is a fun filled night a la Icelanders’ style where ´maðr er manns gaman´.  We look forward to see you all and sing and dance the night away.


The small print...

Ticket prices 2018
Members: $65
Guests: $80
70 and older: $55
11-17 and Students: $55
10 and younger: Free

The deadline to purchase tickets is February 7th. We will not sell tickets or accept payments at the door. We have sold out for the past several Þorrablót. You can click on the links below to pay membership fees and buy tickets or visit our webpage If you are unable to buy your tickets online, please mail your check to:

Erik Johnson
2220 W North Ave, Apt 3
Chicago, IL, 60647

Click here to pay membership fees ($20 for family; $10 for individuals and students), and fill out the census form

Click here to purchase Þorrablót tickets for members

 Click here to purchase Þorrablót tickets for non-members

The smaller print...

No refund of tickets after February 7th, as we will have committed to all expenses. If you mail in a check it must be postmarked by 2/7/18.Out of respect to everyone please comply to deadlines.

The Swedish American Museum
5211 N. Clark Street

Designated parking lot for 14 cars, first come first served at the North East corner of Foster Ave and Ashland Ave. Street parking available.

IAC Scholarship Program-2017 Updates

At our recent combined Icelandic Association of Chicago [IAC] AGM and open Board Meeting, 5-Nov-2017, in Hyde Park, the following information regarding our IAC Scholarship Program and Academic Liaison was discussed: For the ninth consecutive year, we received a very generous allotment of IcelandicGlacialWater, donated by the vendor, for our annual beverage sales at Scandinavian Day [10-Sep-2017], at Vasa Park, South Elgin, IL, which with the help of many much-appreciated volunteers, we sold, along with assorted soda pop, for our Scholarship Fund, which now stands at approximately USD $ 4,400.00.
It was agreed that we would allocate approximately one-third of these funds for current applications for the following scholarship assistance:
At least one award at up to USD $ 750.00 to support any bona fide, Icelandic-related study at any relevant American, Canadian, or Icelandic cultural or academic institution OR participation in either the traditional six-week Snorri “total-Icelandic-immersion program” for young adults OR the two-week-long Snorri-Plus program for mature adults or retirees under the auspices of the Reykjavík-based Snorri Foundation [], for enrollment in 2018, 2019, or 2020.
And up to two awards, each, at up to USD $ 375.00 to support any bona fide Icelandic-language study program [preference given to younger applicants], for enrollment in 2018, 2019, or 2020.  Substitutions within these eligible study options may be made, depending on the pool of qualified applicants.
Application forms, including the current IAC Scholarship Program Guidelines, will be posted on our website: and will be circulated to known potential applicants.  Review of all applications will be completed as they are received, with a goal of announcing approved applications at the February, 2018 Þorrablót or at our June, 2018 Icelandic Independence Day Picnic.

The current committee members of our IAC Scholarship Program remain: Tryggvi Emilsson, Haukur Guðmundsson, Sonja Johnson, Joni Shaw, and the undersigned.  Anyone interested in working on or with our Committee and/or assisting with our fund-raising, currently primarily at the annual Scandinavian Day [next on Sunday, 9-Sep-2018] is encouraged to liaise with the undersigned.
Inquires, suggestions, and applications are always welcome, by email to: or the undersigned [].    J.H.H.

 Update on Nonprofit Status for IAC

Dear all,

 As previously reported Mayer Brown is working pro bono for IAC to be a nonprofit organization.  They‘ve done a great job but the process involves many steps and filings with various departments, e.g., the IRS, Department of Revenu, State of IL, etc.  IAC has to present records dating back 3 to 6 years and pay filing fees, late fees and registration fees.  The predicted cost will most likely be within our $1000 budget or lower.  At the moment no one knows when this will be completed as we’re dealing with government agencies.  I’m optimistic and hope to share good news early 2018.

Wish us luck :)
Einar Steinsson, president.

Copyright © 2016 Icelandic Association Chicago, All rights reserved.

Friday, June 02, 2017

IAC Newsletter June 2017

From the President’s desk

Gleðilegt Sumar

We called a Special General Meeting for May 13th with great success.  We accepted revised bylaws, planned and reviewed Þorrablót, started planning our 17th of June celebration (more on that elsewhere in the newsletter), approved one Sholarship grant of $750 and discussed many other things. Indeed a productive and fun meeting hosted by Lena who prepered a yummy breakfast enjoyed by all.

It’s worth noting that at the moment the only income for our Scholarship fund is selling Icelandic water at Scandinavian Day in Vasa Park.  We need volunteers to help us with the booth as Joni and Larry Shaw have retired.  They, along with John Hofteig, have organized and done most of the work for many years with some help from members.  We hope to see recipients of the grant and families and many more this year at Vasa Park Sunday September 10th.

We’re looking for a replacement for our Webmaster Marc Johnson. Marc has done a fantastic job with our webpage and we’re sad to see him leave but also excited that he’s launching his own business and wish him all the best.  Anyone with interest and skills, please contact us.

The 12th Greater Chicago Icelandic Open will take place at Hilldale Golf Club in Hoffman Estate on the 17th of September.  I’ll let you know once registration is open.  Ólafur Ólafsson and Marvin Ray are the 2016 Icelandic Open Champions.  Like Þorrablót, the Icelandic Open has sold out for the last four years!

Enjoy Chicago summer and the Icelandic summer if you’re visiting.  I hope to see you at some or all of our events in 2017.

Einar Steinsson

From the Editor

In this Newsletter we have details on several IAC events including 17da Juni Celebration and The Icelandic Open. As always, we welcome original articles for the newsletter. If you don't want to write an article you can send suggestions on topics to cover. Feel free to contact me at

I hope you have a wonderful summer! We are enjoying fabulous weather in Chicago and I look forward to visits from family and friends taking advantage of the direct flights from Icelandair to O'Hare airport. For those of you traveling to Iceland, enjoy the long days to explore the beautiful countryside, take a dip in the outdoor heated swimming pools and natural hot springs or to party in the streets of Reykjavik. Today in Reykjavik the sun rose at 3:22am and sets at 11:30pm.

Kolla Kristjansdottir Fass

Sautjándi júní - 17th of June Celebration 2017

How cool to celebrate SAUTJÁNDI JÚNÍ on the same day as in Iceland and on the actual date our country got its full independence from Denmark in 1944.  Our Honorary Members, Joni and Larry Shaw will be this year’s hosts of the association’s annual hot dog picnic – pylsupartý.   We’ll enjoy their beautiful, spacious, peaceful garden and deck and in case of a typical Icelandic Seventeenth of June weather, their warm house.  IAC treats everyone to hot dogs (pylsa), Icelandic style, or as we say it ‘eina með öllu’, which for an Icelander means ketchup, SS Pylsusinnep (mustard), raw and dried fried onion, and remoulade! What makes Icelandic hot dogs unique and oh so good, is that they’re made from lamb meat. Please note that other than the hot dogs, the event is a BYO, so please bring drinks, sides, salads, sweets, or other plates you'd like to eat or share.  We’ll give you the exact address when you sign up but so you have an idea, the Shaw’s residence is in Sugar Grove and the party starts at 2 PM.

IAC welcomes all members in good standing and their guests.  Please sign up with Lena by June 12th at or call 773-489-4621.

Hæ, hó og jibbíjey and we look forward to see you on the 17th.

If you’ve yet to renew your membership or are a new member, please do through our webpage

IAC Scholarship Program-2017 Updates

IAC Scholarship Awardee: Sigríður Helga Ólafsson:
Congratulations to our newest USD $ 750.00 IAC Scholarship awardee, Sigríður Helga Ólafsson, the daughter of very active, long time IAC members, Ásgeir Ólafsson and Anna Kardal. For the past academic year and continuing until next autumn, Sigga has been taking an essentially full-time academic load at the highly-respected Menntaskólinn in Reykjavík, Ásgeir’s alma mater. Her academic program includes
Icelandic literature, history, mathematics, science, and gymnasium. Her academic program at the Menntaskólinn is equivalent to enrollment at an American junior college. Virtually all of her instruction, including text books, is in Icelandic, so she is using this wonderful opportunity to greatly increase her fluency in Icelandic, fluency which she had already begun with her parents’ speaking Icelandic in their home and on family vacations to Iceland. Her principal goal is to increase her spoken-, reading-, and written- Icelandic fluency to the point that she will be able to return to Iceland very well-prepared to enroll in a full- time, academic degree program at the University of Iceland. We look forward to her triumphant return, later this year, from her exciting year of total-immersion in Icelandic. We commend her courage and commitment to take on this academic challenge at the Menntaskólinn!

Remaining IAC Scholarship Opportunity(ies):
The IAC Scholarship Program and Academic Liaison still has scholarship or stipend funds available for at least one additional current award at up to USD $ 750.00 for any Icelandic-related academic program at any bona fide academic, cultural, or scientific institution in the United States, Canada, or Iceland OR up to two stipend awards at each up to USD $ 375.00 to support any Icelandic-language study program under the auspices of any bona fide correspondence, on-line, or residential Icelandic language program in the United States, Canada, or Iceland, including Icelandic-language camps, such as the current Icelandic Language Camp in Gimli, Manitoba, a successor to the original Icelandic Language Camp begun by the old, now dissolved, Icelandic Lutheran Synod. The larger stipend award at up to USD $ 750.00 may also be used to partially support enrollment in either the traditional six-week total Icelandic-immersion program for North American young adults going to Iceland under the auspices of the Snorri Foundation in Reykjavík [] or the similar two-week Snorri-Plus program for mature adults or retirees. [Please note: Applications to the Snorri programs should be submitted by January preceding the anticipated summer of
enrollment.] Copies of the current IAC Scholarship Guidelines and an Application Form may be obtained from or from the undersigned. The current members of the IAC Scholarship Committee include: Sonja Johnson, Joni Shaw, Haukur Guðmundsson, and Tryggvi Emilsson. Anyone interested in joining our committee and/or helping with our annual fundraiser, selling IcelandicGlacial Water and assorted soda beverages at Scandinavian Day, Vasa Park, 35W217 Route 31, South Elgin, IL 60177 on Sunday, 10-September- 2017, should contact the undersigned. Any help at Scandinavian Day will be very much appreciated! John H. Hofteig, 847-331-9473,

Vasa Park Events
Midsommar Celebration on June 17th and Scandinavian Day on September 10th. For more information see:

North Park University's Center for Scandinavian Studies
For several years, North Park College, now North Park University  [] , has had a very active Center for Scandinavian Studies, which includes representation from all five Nordic countries, including our IAC, for whom John continues as our representative. During the past year, the Center for Scandinavian Studies has engaged a new Project Manager, Greta Rosenberger, and has received renewed commitments from the University’s Provost, Dr. Michael Pensack, and it’s continuing long-time Executive
Director and Academic Dean Emeritus of the College, Dr. Charles Peterson. Programs planned for the next academic year will be announced later. Please stay tuned and know that the Center very much welcomes participation by our IAC and the entire Icelandic-American Community in the Chicago area!

Copyright © 2016 Icelandic Association Chicago, All rights reserved.