The centenary logo, designed by Janet Matiisen of Calgary, Alberta was burned into souvenir wooden plate by Dave Kiil. Over time, the small Baltic nation has made impressive strides both economically and socially. The early 1990s had brought unprecedented promise to the country of Estonia. Russia had finally lost its grip over the small nation and Estonian Albertans were sure to celebrate Estonian Independence Day. Within Alberta, the small Estonian community remains vigilant in maintaining traditions and customs that have been a part of Alberta's history for over a century. Centennial celebrations have occurred in various towns. Communities commemorating Estonian pioneers have included Stettler (1999), Medicine Valley (2001), and Barons (2004). Honouring important individuals, sampling Estonian cuisine, and experiencing Estonian song and dance have been part of these celebrations and helped capture the spirit and legacy of Alberta's Estonian heritage. A visit to Alberta in 2000 by Estonian President Lennart Meri provided new impetus for the Estonian community to preserve and promote Estonian culture and traditions.

Participants at Jaanipäev celebration in the picturesque North Saskatchewan river valley, waiting for the roast pig to be carved. With so many Estonians dispersed across the province, maintaining a sense of collective identity has become the largest challenge facing Alberta's Estonians today. In light of this predicament, the Alberta Estonian Heritage Society was formed with the specific intent to promote Estonian heritage and culture throughout Alberta. In doing so, AEHS organizes social events and advances knowledge. Annual events like Jaanipäev (midsummer solstice celebration) reaffirm the commitment to preserving Estonian heritage in Alberta. The web site will promote and preserve Estonian heritage by facilitating the availability of Estonian history, culture, traditions and achievements online. Finally, the creation of an online resource available worldwide provides an invaluable tool accessible to Estonian descendents living throughout Alberta, North America and, beyond.

Alberta's Estonian Heritage