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Our Story

The Estonian Foundation of Canada is dedicated to ensuring the legacy of Estonian Canadians and their vibrant community through broad spectrum charitable support. Through financial support, the EFC enables the Canadian Estonian community to embrace and enrich Canadian society, while maintaining its unique culture, traditions and institutions.

 

Mission Statement

The Estonian Foundation of Canada was founded in 1974 as a registered charity supporting Estonian cultural and heritage initiatives across Canada. We connect with and support a network of institutions, organizations and people who believe in an Estonian future in Canada.

Children and partents at Toronto Estonian House

 

Our Founders

Thanks to the foresight and determination of our Founders, the Estonian Foundation of Canada has been helping the Canadian Estonian community for over 40 years.

Artur Ekbaum, Ilmar Heinsoo, John Hans Lupp, Rev. Andres Taul and Roman Toi incorporated the Foundation in 1974, when the Soviet Union still illegally occupied Estonia. They wanted to ensure that all donations remained here to support and sustain a democratically focussed and growing and vibrant Estonian community in Canada.

Our History

The first Estonian settlement was established in Alberta in the year 1899 at Sylvan Lake in central Alberta. Other (bigger) Estonian settlements were established in 1902 (Medicine Valley), 1903 (Stettler/Big Valley) and 1904 (Barons).

The Estonian communities in Eastern Canada and on the West Coast were founded primarily by war refugees who came to Canada in the early 1950's. Tens of thousands of refugees fled the illegal occupation of Estonia by the Soviet Union which was marked by mass deportations, widespread targeted executions and the focused repression of the Estonian people. During the years of illegal occupation, the preservation of the Estonian language and the continuation of its folklore and traditions here in Canada was a critical, difficult yet vitally important task. Numerous organizations and groups were formed.

The Estonian Foundation of Canada was founded in 1974 as a registered charity supporting Estonian cultural and heritage initiatives across Canada. We connect with and support a network of institutions, organizations and people who believe in an Estonian future in Canada.

The Foundation evolved to simplify the choices for donors and to keep all donations in Canada to support the Estonian community here. We continue to provide the financial support to keep Estonian institutions and initiatives thriving in Canada, and include and educate future generations of Canadians about Estonia. It is essential to encourage youth to participate in their heritage community. The Foundation supports activities and programs that develop and preserve our national heritage, teach and develop the Estonian language and music, and strengthen our community. Growth can only happen if we work together!

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EFC

The Estonian Foundation of Canada is a registered charity that supports Estonian cultural and heritage initiatives across Canada.

Charitable No. 891452575 RR 0001

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