Estonian Music Week and Tech Conference Latitude44 in Toronto

November 20, 2019

One of the biggest events for VEMU this year was the second Estonian Music Week, which took place November 14-17. It brought contemporary music stars both from Estonia and Canada to Toronto. This year the programme was geared toward modern classical, tech, pop/jazz, and folk music.

On Thursday, October 14, Ensemble U: (EE) gave three exclusive concerts with a Virtual Reality (VR) program, “Raba.” Sixty people had the chance to listen to modern classical music with VR images of an Estonian bog.

The same evening, we had the EMW opening party at Archeo in the Distillery District with live jazz music by August Riik and Andrew Marzotto (TOR) and Vaiko Eplik (EE) as DJ later that night.

On Friday, October 15, we had a fun evening with post-folk band Puuluup (EE), local smoky soul-pop singer Kaili Kinnon (Canada), and the extravagant Mari Sild Band from Montreal. Radio host Jaymz Bee hosted the evening.

Puuluup with other performers and team members after a successful concert at Artscape Sandbox

On Saturday, October 16, the Estonian indie pop icon NOËP made a club full of people dance to his popular songs. The festival finished with the EMW closing party “Wrap it up!” on Sunday, October 17 at Tartu College. Tiina Kiik (TOR) and Vaiko Eplik (EE) performed and formed a great connection with their audience.

The Estonian Music Week Culture Club also organised three concerts this fall. On September 17, Curly Strings drew 220 people to dance and sing at Tartu College. On November 29, in Hamilton and on November 30, in Toronto, two multiple award-winning singer-songwriters from opposite sides of the world, Canada’s Laila Biali and Estonia’s Kadri Voorand, joined forces for two amazing evenings of music.

In conjunction with Estonian Music Week, the Estonian Studies Centre/VEMU organized Latitude44 – a tech conference featuring Estonian tech, e-Governance, and start-ups. The conference brought together 160 tech-minded people at WE Global Learning Centre in Toronto on November 14-15. The programme featured high-level speakers from both Estonia and Canada. Feedback from the event was highly positive.

The panel on cybersecurity: How to Take Cover. From the left: moderator Josh Gold, MP John McKay (Canada) and Siim Alatalu from the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (Estonia)

Events were supported by the Estonian Studies Centre, Tartu College, the Estonian Credit Union, the Estonian Foundation of Canada, the Estonian Ministry of Culture, the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Integration Foundation (Estonia), Startup Estonia, Nortal, Superangel, Deloitte and patrons Toomas Koger, Vaike Külvet, Anita Genua, and Trina McCrae.

Photos: P. Põldre & E. Jaansoo