Early Summer 2014
Volume 1, Issue 6
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The online newsletter for  
The Icelandic Club of Greater Seattle

Message from our President:

We are moving forward in the community and hopefully, they will realize the Icelandic Club of Greater Seattle is a viable presence.

We recently entertained three Icelanders from the University of Iceland who interviewed 5 people from our area who learned Icelandic from their parents who were immigrants many years ago. They were Irene Olason, Eleanor Biliske, Sibbie Kristjanson, Svava Sigmar and Audrey Steinberg. Rick Thomasson and myself were interviewed.  Even if we didnʼt speak the language. It was a delightful experience.

We marched in the Norwegian Parade on Saturday, May 17th, thanks to the leadership of Gisli Olafsson and Henry Bjornsson. Our Princess, Jenny Bjarnason rode in the back of Jon Palmasonʼs beautiful convertible. They were followed by marchers of all ages. We purchased candy for them to hand out along the way.

Our next event will be the June 17th Celebration at the Nordic Heritage Museum. Hopefully you all  received a postcard reminder in mail in the past week or so.

We have had much discussion on the reason for being a member of the Club. I realize some of you feel you need to “get more” for your money. I would like to ask you to think about the benefits. We supply the Geysir online and will be more diligent on getting a paper copy to you who do not have e-mail. We try and get a directory out every two or three years which costs us in printing and mailing. A directory keeps us in touch with one another!! (We will have a new current directory printed in mid June) We offer opportunities to be a Fjallkona or Princess to represent our club.  We have a Scholarship award to graduating seniors from high school who apply. The cost of membership is very small compared to other clubs. Outside of these costs, we cannot offer much more. If you would like to see us raise the dues, please let us know. I am proud of my Icelandic Heritage, therefore, I am happy to pay the dues and I know I can participate in all of the events due to the volunteer efforts of so many. I thank the volunteers who want to keep the Icelandic Club of Greater Seattle alive and well.

We will keep you informed when the next few month's events will happen, so check the website, our Facebook page, and your email. If you have any information to pass on, any comments or want to volunteer with events, please let us know. You can reach me by phone: (206) 713-0716 or by email:

Thank you.

Emily Kristjanson


Syttende Mai, Norwegian Independence Day Parade, May 17th, 2014
The Icelandic Club participated in the 17th of May parade in Ballard this years as it has done in many previous years.  Our lovely princess was there in her traditional costume and rode in a convertible and we had a good group of club members, young and old, walking along and proudly displaying Icelandic and American flags.  The parade was on a Saturday this year and it had more than 80 entries.  The weather was beautiful and much fun was had socializing as we waited for our turn to walk.  We thank all who had time to come and participate in the walk.

Julie's amazing new adventure!

Julie Summers at the top of Drangey Island July, 2012

Some words from ICGS member Julie Summers on her Fullbright Scholarship:

Three years ago, I was only marginally aware of my Icelandic heritage,
and I had never heard of the Snorri Program. Two years ago, I was eagerly preparing for my Snorri experience.
One year ago, I was homesick for Iceland, getting more and more involved in various Icelandic projects in North America, and determined to return to Iceland sooner rather than later. Two months ago, I found out I will be moving to Iceland in August!

I am happy to share that I have been selected for a grant to enroll in the Icelandic as a Second Language program at the University of Iceland. The grant is co­funded by the Fulbright Program and the Icelandic Ministry of Education (administrated by the Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies).

 My goal in studying Icelandic is twofold: first, to study, research, and help preserve the experience of 19th­ and 20th­century Icelandic immigrants to North America; second, to create, promote and strengthen ties between Iceland and the U.S. through cultural exchange opportunities and the
teaching of Icelandic language and literature.

I am humbled by this honor and excited about the opportunities it will afford me, both during my time in Iceland and throughout the rest of my life.

Although I have never actually lived in Seattle, I have strong Icelandic family roots in the area, and the Icelandic Club of Greater Seattle has been an integral part of my journey the last couple years.
The club's generosity in offering me a grant toward the cost of the Snorri Program helped make it possible for me to go; the outstanding INL Convention the club hosted last year helped me forge even more connections with the greater Icelandic ­North American community; and the support and friendship of club members like David Johnson, my fellow 2012 Snorri Amanda Allen, my cousin Audrey Steinberg, and others has been invaluable.

To all my ICGS friends, thank you for all you're doing to keep Icelandic culture and traditions thriving in Seattle. I hope you will get in touch if you find yourself visiting Reykjavík in the next couple years; I'd love to see some Seattle friends in Iceland!
-Julie Summers, Vancouver, WA


Washington has another Snorri!

Following in the proud footsteps of Axel Bjornsson in 1999, Dwight Jonsson in 2003, Nonni Daviðsson in 2009, then Amanda Allen and Julie Summers in 2012, the Snorri Program yet again has a NW Washingtonian along for the adventure of a lifetime in 2014!
Crystaline Brown, who grew up in Woodinville and currently lives in Renton will be embarking on her 2014 Snorri Program experience on June 14th.
Her Icelandic lineage is on her Mother's side. Crys's great great grandparents, Jakob Johnson and Ingibjorg Thorsteinsdottir. emigrated to Manitoba from Iceland in the late 1800's.
Crys is very grateful for two generous scholarships from the Icelandic Club of Greater Seattle and the Guttormson family of Duluth, Minnesota and can't wait to join the club when she gets back. During the 3 week home stay period of the program Crystaline will be living with relatives in Borganes, and working in a garden supply store. 

Crystaline (R) and friend Annea (L) enjoying Hakarl at ICGS´s 2014 Þorrablót celebration

Upcoming events to keep in mind:

Lecture: Iceland & Latvia: The Financial and Human Crisis

Tuesday, June 10, 7:00 p.m. Nordic Heritage Museum, Ballard


Visiting UW scholar Hilmar Þór Hilmarsson, Ph.D., speaks on how the global economic and financial crisis hit hard in Iceland and Latvia. Economic developments prior to the crisis, as well as response to the crisis were, however, different in these two countries, yielding different results. Both countries received assistance from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) during the crisis and the IMF has labeled their reform programs as success stories. In this lecture, Hilmarsson reviews and evaluates the post crisis situation in Iceland and Latvia both in terms economic performance as well as social progress. He also discusses how other countries, as well a multilateral institutions, may have influenced the reform programs in Iceland and Latvia. RSVP here!

Tuesday June 17th ~ Icelandic Independence Day 

 7pm  Nordic Heritage Museum, Ballard, WA

Come celebrate Independence Day in Icelandic style! With Kaffi, Kleinurs, and Pylsnur!
Meet our Icelandic Princess, scholarship recipients, and enjoy the singing of Stennvör Ágústdóttir, a recent student of opera in Reykjavik. 
CostIicgs: $5 for paid members, $10 for all others at the door. 

July 12th and 13th - 40th Annual Ballard Seafood Fest
Check out the awesome lineup for this year here!

Stay up to date with news and current events in Iceland!


Your Geysir online newsletter is designed and produced by ICGS board member Amanda Allen. Please contact her with any questions, comments, obituaries or content suggestions at

Amanda at the top of Mt. Esja outside Reykjavik June 2012