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heinä 25, 2012

FinnFunn Weekend 2012 – Program for All Tastes

The 20th anniversary FinnFunn Weekend will draw attendees from throughout the Northeast and beyond to the spectacular Villa Roma Resort in Callicoon, New York, in the beautiful Catskills.  Will you be joining us on the weekend of November 9-11 to celebrate togetherness in the spirit of Finnish culture and heritage?  This promises to be a memorable weekend, celebrating 20 years of strengthening Finnish-American ties in the Northeast, and the seventh Weekend hosted by the Finnish American Heritage Society of Canterbury, CT.

Guests will enjoy a first-class resort, a full weekend of top-notch entertainment, delectable foods, and the companionship of friends who share a common interest in all things Finnish.  Headlining the entertainment will be the Finlandia Foundation National (FFN) Performer of the Year (POY) Maria Kizirian of Los Angeles, California, and FFN Lecturer of the Year (LOY) Glenda Goss of Helsinki, Finland. Both have traveled extensively throughout the United States during 2012, representing FFN and delighting audiences. 

 POY Maria Kizirian is a singer/songwriter and a multi-instrumentalist originally from Finland and will be performing in both Finnish and English.  LOY Glenda Goss is a prominent Sibelius scholar, having recently published a book on Sibelius entitled Sibelius:  A Composer’s Life and the Awakening of Finland (2009).  She teaches at the prestigious Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. 

The 2008 FFN POY duo Bert Stromholm and Brent Buswell will be giving a performance on Saturday afternoon and will also be playing for dancing on both Friday and Saturday evenings.  Also bringing Finnish music to the program will be 2005 FFN POY Richard Koski with his button accordion. 

Additionally, Executive Director Paula Selenius of Suomi Seura/Finland Society, of Helsinki, Finland, will speak about the uniqueness of this organization, which provides support for expatriate Finns throughout the world; Patti Folsom will share her expertise on genealogical research; Anja and Mauno Laurila will speak about the research for their new book, Memories of Finnish Harlem, 1888-1955; Donal Carbaugh will entertain his audience as he has at prior FinnFunn Weekends with his presentation “Finns and Americans In Conversation--Silence Matters”;  Anita Smiley will present her PowerPoint travelogue on Finland, with photos and commentary on the joys of traveling in Finland; Sean Tate’s presentation on the educational system in Finland will include the CD “Finland Phenomenon”; Matti and Marcia Huhta will get group members on their feet as they lead dance instruction for Finnish dances.As always, there will be a Tori/Open Market, and vendors and crafters are invited to reserve a table by contacting Matti Huhta at

The Villa Roma has reserved all rooms in the main building for FinnFunn Weekend participants until September 9, at which time they will be opened to the general public. 

Rooms are plentiful at the resort, but being located in the main building is an advantage for ease in getting around.  This is an ideal location for families with children, with an abundance of activities.  Reservations are made directly with the Villa Roma at 1-800-727-8455; and the registration form for the weekend, with a $20 fee (check made payable to FAHS), is sent to treasurer Michael Kuja at 94 Kenwood Estates, Griswold, CT 06351.  Information on both is available at or at and the link to FinnFunn Weekend.  Any questions can be directed to Anita and Jack Smiley, FinnFunn Weekend co-chairs, at

By Anita Smiley