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Holiday greetings from KESKUS

Updated: Dec 20, 2023

Update # 201

Heartfelt holiday greetings from the KESKUS team!

Artwork of silhouetted tree on a moonlit sky
"Kawagama Lake, Long Island, Ontario 1980" by Margus Lee, Viru Vanemad donor to KESKUS

The KESKUS team, that includes the boards of International Estonian Centre Inc., Estonian Arts Centre, Estonian House in Toronto Limited, and EAC Eesti MTÜ, and advisors, committee members, managers, consultants gathered to share some holiday cheer and invited the leadership of Tartu College, Northern Birch Credit Union Limited, Estonian Foundation of Canada and Estonian Museum of Canada to join in as well.

Special thanks goes to Tom Koger, David Kalm and Ellen Valter who donated the food and drink for the gathering and to Tartu College for providing the space and supplies. Karin Ivand, pictured top right, penned the below poem and recited it at the gathering:

A KESKUS Limerick


There once was a dream called KESKUS

That got off to a challenging start

There was blood, sweat and tears

And sure, there were fears

But there was always plenty of heart


When I think about why we need KESKUS

I think of my taat and my memm

I think of the children yet to be born 

We are really doing it for them


And the other thing I am thinking

Is that I really want to be there

I want to hear music, to dance and to sing

I want to see everyone, and do everything


I want to help independence

And freedom of thought

To support what we hold dear

To link with Estonians all over the world

And I’d like to make something else perfectly clear


When the day arrives that the dream comes true

And we’re finally able to walk through that front door

I say look look out Toronto, and look out world

Because there’ll be this almighty roar


You’ll be able to hear it up to the stars

Across the ocean, and in lands afar

In homes and in churches and out on the street

It’ll have a kind of uncanny beat


Elagu Eesti, Elagu KESKUS! Is what we will shout

We can hardly wait to get the words out

We’ll stampede to the grand hall, the kohvik, the shhhh….saun…

The rooftop garden, the library

It will all be our own


And as long as there’s kringel, and plenty of cheer

And yeah, OK, a truckload of beer

We will stay mighty, mighty and strong

And the spaces will fill with throng after throng

New friends will find us, their eyes open wide

Because there’ll be nothing better than gathering inside


-        Karin Ivand, December 2023

Häid pühi /// happy holidays !

KESKUS International Estonian Centre in downtown Toronto will open in the spring of 2025 and will be a dynamic hub showcasing our rich heritage and promoting Estonian innovation. It will be a vibrant gathering place for Estonians of all generations and backgrounds to connect, celebrate, and share our culture and achievements with each other and the world.

Read more about the project by signing up for the newsletter here. /// Pane end kirja uudiskirja saajaks siin.


Get involved and help support our future

Please join our growing list of capital campaign donors to help bring this extraordinary project to completion. KESKUS leadership donors are recognized here.

To donate, please call +1.647.250.7136 or email Last day for donations of securities is December 27Donations may be made as a family gift, or in honour of an individual or family. All donations are issued a tax receipt, in Canada via Estonian Arts Centre, US tax receipts via KBFUS and Estonian tax receipts via Eesti Rahvuskultuuri Fond. Donations by credit card may be made here.

Let’s keep in touch

  • Visit the KESKUS website for all the latest news

  • Sign up for the KESKUS monthly email newsletter

  • Follow us on Facebook @EestiKeskus, Twitter @keskus, Instagram @keskus.iec


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