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.

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