PHOTO | Leah Hennel

About the Society


Tere! Hello!

The Alberta Estonian Heritage Society (AEHS) was established in April 2005 in order to have a single encompassing focal point for activities related to the members’ common heritage from the northern European nation of Estonia.

Like other ethnic groups who sought land in the New World, the first Estonian pioneers in Alberta created communities and organized societies in the very early 1900s to assist one another with the challenges of establishing a new life in the harsh, remote and undeveloped farmland in the Canadian Prairies. Currently up to seven generations of Albertans can look back to their Estonian pioneer roots. Some Estonians left their homeland in the middle of the 19th Century, living elsewhere until finding a place for permanent settlement in Alberta.

The European conflicts that occurred in the mid-1900s encouraged those fleeing persecution and loss of property to seek opportunities elsewhere in the world. Many Estonians came to Canada. A number of those settled in the province of Alberta.

These new immigrants found refuge in the societies and communities originated by the early pioneers and in turn, contributed to the continuation of those societies. They also created new urban based organizations. Over time, the assimilation of Estonian-born descendants into the general population diminished membership in the societies to the point that only the Edmonton organization remained in formal operation.Some others continued functioning informally as communities.

It was at this stage the Edmonton Estonian Society and former members of other Alberta organizations came together to establish the Alberta Estonian Heritage Society. Motivation for this act is partly due to encouragement from Lennart Meri, former president of the Estonian Republic, during his July 2000 visit to Alberta.

A third, smaller wave of arrivals to Alberta, consists of emigrants who arrived after Estonia regained independence in 1991.

AEHS is now an organization composed of members from all three waves of immigration and their descendants. The organization has evolved to one that celebrates the rich Estonian cultural heritage. In keeping with the Estonian tradition of song, dance and festivities, this kinship provides limitless opportunities for celebration.



Recent NewsletterS


Looking forward to seeing all you Alberta Estonian or Estonian-curious BIRDS to flock together! Please register here for the supper and to help us plan… Food! Fun! Film! Friends! Prizes! Dancing! Stories! Games! ... See MoreSee Less
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There was a recent poetry festival in Tartu and here is one of the notable poems: THE CAT WHO WOULD GO TO ESTONIA (2002)Translation of encrypted email sent by A.non decoded by Ann Stanesby, the reknowned south London subversiveIs there anyone there who can read this conundrum?I’m a cat with a problem who is stuck in south LondonI urgently wish to visit EstoniaFor my aunt Mimi Tibbins is ill with pneumoniaI went to a station and waited in vain.They’d put in new toilets but there wasn’t a train.I picked up my bag and I gave a great mew.And I took to the rooftops, what else could I do?I got to the airport with minutes to spareThey would not let me through, though I’d paid for my fare“You must let me go, for my dearest Aunt Mimi,My Aunt Mimi Tibbins is waiting to see me.”“Mimi Tibbins!” they shouted, ”The terrorist cat!As soon as we saw you we smelt a big rat.You’re going to join her to learn how to fight.You have no respect for our way of life.We’ll put an end to your fanatical missionWe’ll take you away and we’ll put you in prison”I hissed and I spat, “I shall go to Estonia”And I sprayed all their faces with cat pee ammonia.I fled from their clutches but too late for the plane.Will I ever see Aunt Mimi Tibbins again ?And now I’m marooned in the cold of south LondonCan you help me at all, who have read this conundrum?Forwarded by a.friend@yumouse.hotpaws.ukHow stirring to read of your sterling resistanceI think I can offer some timely assistance.The first thing to do is to use all your skillAnd locate the place humans call Forest HillYou must not delay, you must be very nifty,And find Trilby Rd, the number is fifty.As soon as you get there you must infiltrateYou won’t find that hard, it’s a cat friendly place.The owner is packing to go to TallinnSo choose a nice suitcase and snuggle right in,Make sure you’ve some munchies and a taped paws sinfoniaFor you are the cat who would go to Estonia.GOOD MEWS !Sent by a.non@mogosoft.con.eeHere’s a tale which ends wellFull of hope and tranquility,A heart warming triumph over rampant stupidity.The Cat Who Would Go to Estonia wentIn the trunk of a chum she was willingly sentShe sits now with Mimi beside the calm seaDrinking cold amber beer washed down with weak tea*The message is clear for those with weak hearts –Don’t give up the ghost when you meet silly farts.* Old Estonian drinking custom to prevent excessive inebriation. Seldom successful. ... See MoreSee Less
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Eesti mullamustrid. Mängud maaga võivad taas alata. Eesti mustrite lõputust seeriast. ... See MoreSee Less
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  • Descendants of up to seven generations of Estonians who homesteaded in Alberta, since 1899.
  • Estonian born Canadians who arrived here with our parents.
  • Estonians who for economic or political reasons have elected to call Canada home.
  • Assimilated individuals who appreciate the circumstances and efforts made by those who came before us.



  • To provide for the recreation of the members and to promote and afford opportunity for friendly and social activities.
  • Promote and preserve Estonian heritage and culture in Alberta
  • Facilitate contact and current awareness among persons with an interest in Estonian heritage and culture in Canada, Estonia and elsewhere.