A Busy Spring of Visitors at VEMU

May 20, 2016

This spring VEMU has had a number of researchers come visit the archives. Each one has had a different project to work on; some of them are collaborative projects with VEMU. Jarmo Kauge came to us from the Estonian Architecture Museum in Tallinn. He is in Toronto working on an exhibition dedicated to the Estonian architects in Toronto, which will be finished in time for Canada’s 150th birthday. This is Jarmo’s second trip to Canada. The exhibition will be opened in the fall of 2017 in Toronto. In 2018, it will travel on to Estonia as a joint gift from the Estonian Architecture Museum and VEMU for Estonia’s 100th birthday.

Around the same time of Jarmo’s arrival, two dance researchers, Karl Toepfer from the US and Heili Einasto from Estonia arrived at VEMU. Professor Toepfer was visiting VEMU’s archives for the second time. This time he was still interested in the dancer Ella Ilbak. Heili Einasto, who defended her PhD this spring, focused on Estonian ballet masters, ballet pedagogy and the dancer Rahel Olbrei’s archive.

Liisi Rohumäe came as the ambassador of the Rakvere Theatre to interview Toronto-Estonians and do research in the archives. The final product of this research will be another joint gift for Estonia’s 100th birthday, a play about CanadianEstonians and their relationships with the homeland. The play will be performed in both Estonia and North America in 2018. Ülle Kraft and Kristi Leps from the Estonian War Museum also came to visit VEMU. The visitors arrived via the USA where they had been visiting the Lakewood Estonian archives. Their project involves the Aleks Kurgvel catalogue. In Toronto, Ülle and Kristi were searching for correspondence with the Estonian Officers Corporation in the USA. They also took note of other important material in the VEMU archives for potential research projects in the future.

Triinu Ojamaa from Estonian Literary Museum in Tartu arrived in Toronto at the end of the May. Triinu will be lecturing at the symposium “The Grand Old Man of Estonian Music: Roman Toi 100” held at VEMU on 17 June. Prior to the symposium, Triinu will be researching for material and memoirs of Juhan Aavik who was living in Sweden after World War Two. In addition, Triinu will be researching the Estonian Days event that took place in North America in 1957, which was a precursor to ESTO.

Piret Noorhani