March 27, 2018

Spring! Woo Hoo!
We’re halfway to the Midsummer Festival (June 23 & 24), and halfway through our program of dinner events before the Summer break. Time flies when you’re having fun!
We were honoured to have Mr. Gunn Kim, Consul General of the Republic of Korea (South Korea) in Vancouver, as our speaker at the March 14th event. He was joined by Consul Kang Jun Lee, and we are grateful that two of our own Scandinavian Consuls were able to attend, Ann-Britt Everett, Honorary Consul of Denmark, and Glenn Sigurdson, Honorary Consul of Iceland.
We had an engaged audience of about 40, hear Consul General Kim recount some interesting facts relating to the trade relationship between Canada and South Korea. We also heard some enlightening insight about how the situation with North Korea has arrived at this point in time.
If you want to learn more about the various presentations given by the speakers at our monthly dinner events, you will need to come out and hear for yourself. The social and networking hour before dinner is active with many people engaging in various discussions with their fellow attendees and our featured guests. These continue to the dinner tables, and you know people pay attention to the presentations as their great questions and discussions in the Q&A afterwards (okay, maybe not always so great, but all is good and the more people that come out, the better experience for everyone).
That being said, now you won’t want to miss our April 11th event! Susan Cartwright-Coates, of Cartwright Jewelers in New Westminster, will talk to us about being a third-generation business owner. Cartwright Jewelers is celebrating 85 years in business and going onto a fourth generation of family ownership. It is said that getting to five years is tough for a small business, and few make it that far, how do you survive 85 years, sustaining the business, evolving with the times, maintaining it in the family? All good questions and I’m sure we’ll get insight to many more.
For the April event we are going to try doing a reminder with a general last-minute email to all on our distribution list (same as the newsletter), on the Monday (April 9th) just to say that the Early Bird rate is expiring that evening and to register if you haven’t yet done so. We were asked about doing a last-minute reminder, so let us know your thoughts after seeing this one, is it helpful, not helpful, continue or do something else.
Our May and June events do not yet have confirmed presenters, but we are close and will advise as soon as possible, look to our website for these to be posted when we have the details.
As many of you are well aware, the country Houses at the Scandinavian Community Centre (SCC) have been holding their AGM’s in preparation for the SCC AGM on April 19th. Remember, if you are a member of the SBC (in good standing as of the record date end of January), then you are eligible to attend and participate in the SCC AGM (you will have received notice if eligible). I know many of you participate in our Scandinavian community, and it would be great to see even more contribute to the engagement and sustaining of the same.
Have an awesome April!

Anders Nurmi
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February 25, 2018

Snow fun! End of February and Winter wants to remind us that it’s not over! Makes one wish for tropical destinations!
That has to be the best AGM I’ve attended! Hope you made it out on Feb. 14th for our combination AGM and Jokester Evening dinner event, a lot of people did as we had 50 in attendance! Our very own, Steve Bottomley, organized the evening of comedians, and what a line-up! I don’t know how he managed it, but we had 9 comedians perform, not all hit the mark with our audience, but that’s the way it goes. It was a fabulous, funny night, topped off with headliner Simon King, you have to check out his stuff on his website and You Tube videos. Somehow Steve managed to snare him to come out to our little event, way to go Steve! I would be remiss to not mention the few brave souls from our audience, who got up to tell a few jokes during open mic (I won’t embarrass them by name).
I don’t know how we’ll top this for our AGM next year, but we’re thinking of trying this concept again with a few tweaks, and maybe it will turn into the annual Scandinavian Business Club Comedy Festival? Let us know your thoughts and suggestions.
So, what happened at the AGM? Well, if you’re a paid-up member you will receive the minutes and attachments, but here are the highlights:

  • We had 22 of 29 members in good-standing in attendance, easily surpassing quorum.
  • 2017 financial statements were presented by Michell Madsen, Treasurer, and were adopted unanimously.
  • Elections for Directors to the Board resulted in a Steve Bottomley, Michelle Madsen, and Solvi Stokholm being re-elected to two-year terms (by acclimation as we have more openings than candidates). There were no other nominations received for director positions. Directors with a year remaining in their terms are Paul Andreassen, Tom Klausen, Henrik Laursen and Anders Nurmi.
  • Anders Nordin resigned from the Board with one year remaining in his term, due to other commitments, namely being President of the Swedish Canadian Rest Home Association. We wish Anders success in his role.

I have to send a shout out to Kate and her team, as they did a fabulous job of making and serving us delicious asparagus soup and Danish open-face sandwiches (incl. herring, of course)!
So, what’s next you ask? Well, if you haven’t heard, our March 14th event will feature the Consul General of South Korea, in Vancouver, Mr. Gunn Kim. This is an honour and great opportunity for us, with all that’s happening over on the Korean peninsula, the Olympics, North Korean tensions, some surface thawing during the Olympics, and with Mr. Kim’s background of diplomatic postings, including having been Director-General and Ambassador for North Korean Nuclear Affairs. We expect this event to be very well attended, and we hope that all of our own Scandinavian Consuls are able to make it out.
In April we have lined up Susan Cartwright-Coates as our presenter. Susan is the third generation to lead family-owned and operated Cartwright Jewelers in New Westminster, which was founded in 1933 by her grandfather, James Daniel Cartwright. She will talk to us about the challenges of keeping a small business current and relevant through the decades and renewing and growing the business. This will be of interest to anyone owning, running, or thinking about, a small business.
Our events for May and June aren’t solidified yet, but we’re in discussions with Ballard Power Systems, Bard on the Beach, Christopher Gaze, and MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates, amongst others, we’ll keep you posted.
Final thoughts, while we had a good quorum turnout at the AGM with 22 of 29 members in good standing, what gets me is that we only had 29 members in good standing as of the 14th of February! Where are all the other past members who I would have expected to renew their memberships by now? We need your support!
See you soon!

Anders Nurmi
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Ahhh, Christmas memories… the sun is up, morning run in Honolulu!

January 25, 2018

Great start to 2018 with our first event of the year!
On January 10th we hosted Allan de la Plante who gave us an enlightening and engaging presentation on his career, focusing on his photographic work on the Formula 1 racing circuit, but touching on many aspects. He loosely called his presentation “Opening Doors” and explained the opportunities that came along that he was able to pursue that were door opening moments. Many of these could be a whole presentation on their own, i.e. photographing and producing the official book of the 1984 papal tour of Canada by Pope John Paul II.

Allan began his presentation at the beginning, his upbringing in North Bay, Ontario, his father, his mother, and how this shaped and evolved him into his career. He explained that attending his first race at Mosport (racing circuit in Ontario) peeked his interest in photographing racing (his interest was performance cars). He saw journalists with a press pass getting access close to the action and behind the scenes, so he went and made his own ‘press pass’, and this worked for two years before he was discovered, but now he had experience and a door was opened. Allan kept us engaged and entertained for nearly an hour, which is long for our group, but it didn’t feel long at all, and we didn’t lose anyone (a testament to Allan’s storytelling and speaking skills, he is, after all, a Distinguished Toastmaster). BTW, his wife Angela Louie, is a very accomplished public speaker, having been awarded the silver medal at a World Championship of Public Speaking, and has achieved the very rare distinction of being an Accredited Speaker with Toastmasters (maybe a future presenter to the SBC?).
Allan talked about how he created and developed the innovative style of photographs he became well known for, superimposing a portrait of the athlete with a photo of them in action, be it a skier racing downhill, or driver and their race car. He shared some moments of his friend Gilles Villeneuve, talked about taking the most iconic photograph in Formula 1, and I could go on and on about Allan’s presentation, but you get the idea, super interesting and you had to be there, if you weren’t, too bad, we missed you and you missed another good event.
What’s coming up? Our Annual General Meeting (AGM) for our members, is on February 14th at 7 – 7:30pm; you must be a paid-up member to vote (if you’re not sure, ask). Right after the AGM will be our Jokesters dinner event with a whole slate of professional, semi-professional, and up and coming comedians from the Vancouver comic scene, featuring headliner Simon King! If you like a laugh, you will not want to miss this event! A huge thank you goes out to our very own funny guy, Steve Bottomley, for organizing this event and getting these amazing comedians to come out! We will also have an open mic for anybody who wants to get up and tell a joke, Scandinavian flavoured jokes are preferred (did I tell you the one about Ole and Lars…?).
You should make every effort to come out to our monthly dinner events! The good food, great presentations, extremely reasonable price, are all reasons to attend these events, but you will also want to come out to support and recognize all the hard work and effort that goes into each and every event by your SBC board of directors and speaker committee.
Getting down from my soapbox, I will now continue to highlight the upcoming programs. March will feature the Consul General for South Korea in Vancouver, Gunn Kim. We are honoured and privileged to have him speak to us with so many important world events happening on the Korean peninsula (good and not so good). While we don’t have April, May or June confirmed yet, we can tease you with who we are talking to, Ballard Power Systems, MDA (MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates), Jysk, a Canadian astronaut, Rocky Mountaineer, IKEA, and numerous others, just to give you an idea that there is a lot of work in the background to line up just one event, let alone the nine that we present every year (back on the soapbox).

Hope to see you soon!

Anders Nurmi
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Wow, now where did that year go?!
I hope you have all enjoyed a Merry Christmas with family and friends!

Looking back, we hosted 8 regular monthly Dinner and Speaker events, our Annual General Meeting, the Annual Christmas Party, and had our booth at the Scandinavian Midsummer Festival! Your board of directors has been busy and working hard on your behalf. It takes a lot of work to plan and organize these events and I want to thank the board for all their dedication and diligence to make these things happen, please take a moment to thank them when you get a chance.

Just a few short weeks ago we had our fabulous annual Christmas Party at the Scandinavian Community Centre. Everyone attending seemed to enjoy the great smorgasbord by Kate Praegel and her team, I know I did and everyone I talked with expressed their praise. I want to especially thank Paul Andreassen, on behalf of the board and members, for all his efforts in organizing and hosting another successful event. While the event is a tradition that is expected and loved by many, it is one that we have to consider changing. We have been experiencing declining attendance over many years and struggle to approach break even. For this reason we think the time has come to do something different and will be exploring all options. Any input from the membership will be welcome and we will actually be seeking input and opinions. All ideas will be considered, date, day of the week, time of day, venue, entertainment, food, etc.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m getting excited for 2018!

We have a great program planned for the coming months, beginning January 10th with Alan de la Plante talking about his experiences photographing and traveling the Formula 1 racing circuit! I promise you that you will not want to miss this event!

February we have our Annual General Meeting. This year we are combining it with our Joke Telling event and plan to run through the formalities efficiently. Nominations are open for the board of directors as there are some openings. Terms are two years and open to qualified individuals, contact the board for more information.

March we tentatively have the Consul General for South Korea, Gunn Kim, as our speaker, an event that should be very interesting and we are very much looking forward to.

April, May and June, we are still planning, but have some exciting possibilities.

Hoping to see you all soon.
Have a safe and happy New Years! Wishing everyone health and prosperity in 2018 and beyond!


Anders Nurmi

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