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November 28, 2005
4th annual ‘Sharing our Traditions’ events at Spadina Museum celebrate Iceland’s culture
Spadina Museum: Historic House & Gardens presents the ‘4th Annual Sharing our
Traditions: Cultural Holidays in Toronto’ Sunday, December 4, 11 and 18 from
noon to 5 p.m. ‘Sharing our Traditions’ is a program that allows visitors to
experience the seasonal celebrations of one of Toronto’s vibrant cultural
communities alongside those of turn of the century, 1900 Toronto. In the past,
through our community partnerships, we have explored the holiday traditions of
Mexico, China, and the Ukraine. This year, Spadina Museum has partnered with
the Consulate of Iceland and the Icelandic Canadian Club of Toronto to present
an opportunity to learn about the Christmas traditions of Iceland, 100 years
ago. These Family Sunday events will explore such themes as holiday foods,
seasonal crafts, furniture and national costumes.

Each Sunday afternoon, visitors will learn about the decorations and foods
associated with traditional Icelandic celebrations and delight in a room
specially transformed by the Icelandic Canadian Club of Toronto into the
Iceland of 100 years ago. The historic kitchen will present cultural cooking
demonstrations with holiday favourites including leaf bread. Sweet treats will
be available for sampling and hands-on holiday season crafts from both cultures
will entertain the children, though adults are welcome to join in.

Visitors will see a seasonally decorated baðstofa, as well as demonstrations of
making laufabrauð. Each Sunday will feature the story of the Christmas lads
(jolasveinar) as performed or told by various performers. Visitors will also be
treated to instrumental music each weekend. Don’t miss taking part in the
Icelandic tradition of dancing around the Christmas tree.

In addition to the abovementioned on-going activities, the individual Sundays
will feature the following entertainment:

• December 4 Enjoy Icelandic Christmas Songs with Maja Ardal and Sigga
Fridriksdottir. Be enchanted by a Jolasveinar Story with Hildy Stollery.
Edwardian Christmas music will be provided by the Taffanel Ensemble
• December 11 Icelandic Christmas Songs will be performed by Ann Helga Denny
This week’s Jolasveinar Story will be told by Brenda Bjarnason.
Edwardian Christmas music with the Taffanel Ensemble will return.
• December 18 This week a Jolasveinar Play will be performed by Brenda
Bjarnason and the Bifröst Little Folk Theatre Group. Ingunn Benediktsson will
perform Icelandic instrumental music.
Don’t miss Edwardian Christmas tales with storyteller David

Evolving from a Victorian country estate into an Edwardian city mansion,
Spadina Museum: Historic House & Gardens chronicles four generations of the
Austin family. The museum’s six acres of parkland include one of Toronto’s
finest restored Victorian gardens. Exquisite furniture and décor reflect the
Toronto art scene of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Spadina Museum,
one of ten historic museums operated by the City of Toronto’s Culture Division,
offers engaging and enriching public education and special event programming.

Festive activities at Toronto’s Historic Museums run throughout the month of
December and most extend until the first week in January. For a complete
listing of Christmas event hours and holiday admission fees, visit or call the information hotline at 416-338-3888.
Hours of operation vary at each museum. Please call ahead to make sure the
museum is open when you plan to visit.

Media contact:
Kim Corby, Museums & Heritage Services, 416-338-0497



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