As the name suggests, the focus of the Alberta Estonian Heritage Society (AEHS) is on people, places and events in the province of Alberta. However, the AEHS is also becoming known and receiving praise in points beyond, including eastern Canada, the U.S. and Estonia. Following is a summary of recent AEHS outreach activities. Undoubtedly, there will be many more to come.

Los Angeles, Seattle and Toronto

Alberta visitors to the West Coast Estonian Days in Seattle, Washington on a boat cruise. L to R: Stephanie and Astrid Ustina, Dave Kiil, Helgi and Peter Leesment, Eda McClung, Helle and Jiiri Kraav, Jan and Rein Paasuke and Laura Bakken. When the AEHS was invited to make a presentation about Alberta's Estonian pioneers at the 2007 West Coast Estonian Days in Los Angeles, a decision was made to produce a 30-minute documentary DVD entitled Alberta's Estonians as well as a play called "Thrice Pioneers," written by Lillian Munz and performed by Helgi Leesment, Martha Munz Gue and Dave Kiil. The DVD made its premiere in Los Angeles (with the seemingly inevitable heart-stopping technical problems). Eda McClung and Dave Kiil participated in the showing of the DVD at the 2007 Estdocs Film Festival in Toronto - the only Canadian film on the program.

About a dozen AEHS members attended the two West Coast Estonian Days mentioned above, where they shared information and exchanged ideas with other North Americans of Estonian heritage.

Dave Kiil made a PowerPoint presentation about Alberta Estonian history at the Seattle conference.


At the Baltic Heritage Network Conference 2009 in Tartu, Estonia, AEHS Communications Convener Dave Kiil gave a presentation with PowerPoint illustrations. The presentation was entitled "Alberta's Estonian Heritage: Development of a digital archive."

In 2007 newly-appointed AEHS President Bob Kingsep visited Estonia with his family to locate the boyhood farmstead of his grandfather Hendrik Kingsep and his brother Kristjan, the first Estonian settlers to register a homestead in Alberta. During an extraordinary evening involving members and international friends of the AEHS, Bob presided over the first-ever AEHS board meeting outside Alberta.

Members of the Alberta Estonian Heritage Society Board of Directors meet in the Golden Piglet Pub in Tallinn, Estonia in 2007. L to R: Eda McClung, Jüri Kraav, Helgi Leesment, Dave Kiil and Bob Kingsep during the first meeting of the Board outside North America. Left to right: Dave Kiil, Astrid Ustina, Helve and Juri Kraav, Seattle, USA, 2009 Left to right: Dave Kiil, Vello Püss, Piret Noorhani and Tim Douglas pictured at Kääriku Leisure and Sports Centre, Estonia, June 2011. The Summer School, fourth in a series of similar gatherings, was organized by the Baltic Heritage network at Kääriku Leisure and Sports Centre near Tartu, Estonia in June, 2011. Presentation materials and discussion focussed on collection and availability of cultural heritage materials. Dave Kiil attended on behalf of AEHS.

The World

The digital heritage archive/website, is of course now available to anyone, anywhere in the world.

Alberta's Estonian Heritage