The Friends of the Finnish Labour Temple came together informally 2003 to organize an international conference in Thunder Bay on the theme of Karelian Fever in the 1930s. Their collaborative work continued on an informal basis until the organization was incorporated in 2015. This website was created in part to provide a space to list various contributions by members of the Friends of the Finnish Labour Temple to the culture and history of Finnish immigration to Canada.
Currently they are providing website creation and support and sponsorship for the 76th Finnish Grand Festival www.FinnFestival2016.com
The Finnish Canadian Cultural Federation in partnership with the Finlandia Association of Thunder Bay will host Finn Festival 2016 on June 24-26, 2016 at our National historic site, the Finnish Labour Temple at 314 Bay Street, home of the world famous Hoito Restaurant. Special events will also take place at the Thunder Bay Library Waverley Branch, The Prince Arthur Waterfront Hotel and Tapiola Park in Thunder Bay, Ontario.
Ron Harpelle is a former board member of the Finlandia Association of Thunder Bay and former vice-president.
Kelly Saxberg is a board member of The Finnish Canadian Cultural Federation and past treasurer of the Finlandia Association of Thunder Bay.
Michel Beaulieu is the former vice-president of the Finlandia Association of Thunder Bay.
Nathan Hatton is a former director of the board of the Finlandia Association of Thunder Bay.
Kelly Saxberg has filmed and photographed dozens of cultural events at the Finnish Labour Temple over the past 5 years.
Finlandia Heritage Days; St Urho’s Day, Finnish Independence Celebrations, Bay Street Film Festival, Theatrical presentations (Cambrian Players production of “My Favorite Year”) Pierre Schryer, Cabaret on Bay, and many more.
Kelly Saxberg on behalf of the Friends has provided Technical services for workshops and conferences held at the Finnish Labour Temple and fees generated have been donated to the Friends of the Finnish Labour Temple.
In the larger community, Friends have filmed 2 Oras Chamber Choir concerts.
Friends of the Finnish labour temple have applied for funding for both Soumi 100 Finland and Canada 150 funding programs and are collaborators with the Bay Street Film Festival on several other projects.
Kelly Saxberg and Ron Harpelle are the founders of the Bay Street Film Festival which has donated over $20,000 over a decade of activities at the Finnish Labour Temple.
While on the board of the Bay Street Film Festival – Kelly Saxberg was able to successfully obtain a $140,000 Ontario Trillium Foundation grant for the festival for the purchase of a new 24 foot screen, state-of-the-art Bose sound system, and projectors, cameras and projection booth for the Finnish Labour Temple as well as funding to hire a full time Technical coordinator for 3 years.
Kelly Saxberg, as treasurer, also authored 5 successful grant applications on behalf of the Finlandia Association raising over $70,000 in support for the association.