Swedes in Canada

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED: A comprehensive history book about Swedish people in Canada

Great news! What we have been waiting for has finally happened, and my book Swedes in Canada: Invisible Immigrants is available in bookstores in Canada, the United States and Sweden! Place an order for it in your favourite bookstore if it is not already there, or ask your library to order it from University of Toronto Press. The price for a softcover copy is $35.95, and for a hard cover $80, but you may be able to find a better price on the internet. Book launches and autographings have been held in Edmonton at Audreys Books (10 September), in Winnipeg at McNally Robinson Books (16 September), in Thunder Bay at the Thunder Bay Museum (26 September) and at the Scandinavian Home Society (10 October, and in Ottawa at the Officers Mess (21 October) presented by the Canadian Nordic Society and the Embassy of Sweden. Further autographings will take place in Vancouver at the Scandinavian Centre (Swedish Christmas Fair on the weekend of 21-22 November, from 11am-4pm) and a reading will be presented the following Tuesday evening. Hope to see you there! The research material, all 29 boxes, has been accepted by University of Manitoba Archives in Winnipeg, and is now available to researchers. The collection will be online shortly.

About the Researcher

Elinor Berglund Barr is a respected historian living in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Elinor had four Swedish grandparents and is familiar with the Swedish language and culture. She has visited Sweden four times, for a total residency of six months. She is knowledgeable about archives and their holdings, as well as current and past research, and has a proven track record spanning twenty-five years.

Elinor teaching her dog to dance the hambo.

Elinor teaching her dog to dance the hambo.

Among her qualifications for the project are her publications:

  • "The Jacob Fahlstrom Challenge", Swedish American Genealogist, December 2005
  • "Immigration to Canada 1923-1929: The Case of Port Arthur Ontario", Swedish-American Historical Quarterly, April 2000
  • The Scandinavian Home Society 1923-1993: A Place to Meet, A Place to Eat. Thunder Bay, Ontario: The Society, 1996
  • "Swedes at the Lakehead 1900-1930", Thunder Bay Historical Museum Society, Papers and Records, 1992
  • The Swedish Experience in Canada: A Preliminary Annotated Bibliography of Selected English Language Books and Articles. Växjö, Sweden: Emigrant Institute, 1991
  • "Swedes as Nation Builders: 'Give me Swedes and snoose and I'll build a railway to hell'", Swedish Press, December 1988

Her audiovisual works include the following:

  • Associate producer/researcher "Our Nordic Legacy", a one-hour TV tribute to the cultural contribution of Nordic people to Northwestern Ontario, co-produced by Thunder Bay Television and Jim Hyder Productions in honour of the Nordic World Ski Championships held in Thunder Bay 9-19 March 1995
  • Photograph display "Scandinavian Reflections: Glimpses of Thunder Bay's Swedish, Norwegian and Danish Heritage", sponsored by the Scandinavian Home Society and housed at Thunder Bay Art Gallery (1990)
  • Illustrated lecture "Paved with Gold" about Swedish immigrants in Canada, first performed in 1994. Funding is available for public performances under the National Public Readings Program, which covers both the author's honorarium and travel expenses, each up to $250. Contact projects@writersunion.ca.

Her papers include the following:

  • "Scandinavian Immigrants in Canada", Canada and the Nordic Countries in Times of Reorientation: Culture & Politics, (Denmark: University of Aarhus, 1998)
  • "Swedes in Canada: A Survey of Literature", 3rd triennial conference of the Nordic Association for Canadian Studies, University of Oslo, Norway, 1990
  • "Swedish Language Institutions and Activities in the Canadian Lakehead Area of Northwestern Ontario 1900-1930", Canada and the Nordic Countries: Proceedings from the Second International Conference of the Nordic Association for Canadian Studies, (Sweden: Lund University Press, 1988)

Her memberships include the following:

  • The Writers' Union of Canada
  • Nordic Association for Canadian Studies
  • Association for the Advancement of Scandinavian Studies in Canada
  • The American Swedish Institute
  • Swedish-American Historical Society