Swedes in Canada

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED: A comprehensive history book about Swedish people in Canada

Great news! What we have been waiting for has finally happened, and my book Swedes in Canada: Invisible Immigrants is available in bookstores in Canada, the United States and Sweden! Place an order for it in your favourite bookstore if it is not already there, or ask your library to order it from University of Toronto Press. The price for a softcover copy is $35.95, and for a hard cover $80, but you may be able to find a better price on the internet. Book launches and autographings have been held in Edmonton at Audreys Books (10 September), in Winnipeg at McNally Robinson Books (16 September), in Thunder Bay at the Thunder Bay Museum (26 September) and at the Scandinavian Home Society (10 October, and in Ottawa at the Officers Mess (21 October) presented by the Canadian Nordic Society and the Embassy of Sweden. Further autographings will take place in Vancouver at the Scandinavian Centre (Swedish Christmas Fair on the weekend of 21-22 November, from 11am-4pm) and a reading will be presented the following Tuesday evening. Hope to see you there! The research material, all 29 boxes, has been accepted by University of Manitoba Archives in Winnipeg, and is now available to researchers. The collection will be online shortly.

Fascinating Facts

Did you know?

  • that the 1991 Census of Canada reported 236,660 people who claimed Swedish descent, most of them living west of Lake Superior?
  • that more than 175 place names in Canada are of Swedish origin?
  • that the first known Swedish immigrant to Canada was an Anglican minister, the Rev. Paulus Bryzelius, who came to Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, in 1767, via the United States?
  • that the Augustana Synod established the first of Canada's forty-eight Swedish Lutheran congregations at New Stockholm, Saskatchewan, in 1889?

New Stockholm Church. Click HERE to learn more.

  • that a Swedish-language weekly newspaper was published in Winnipeg from 1892 until 1970?
  • that noted Canadians of Swedish descent include broadcaster Pamela Wallin, Judge Tom Berger who headed the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline inquiry, architect Arthur Erickson who designed Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto and the Canadian Embassy in Washington, and Ralph Gustafson who won the Governor General's Award for poetry in 1974?
  • that Swedish Press, North America's only Swedish monthly magazine, is edited and printed in Vancouver?
  • that the first-ever visit of a reigning Swedish monarch to Canada was in 1988, when King Carl XVI Gustav and Queen Silvia made an official six-day tour of five Canadian cities - Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg, Victoria, and Vancouver?
  • that the most prolific contributor to Audubon was naturalist Louise de Kiriline Lawrence, a Swedish immigrant to northern Ontario?
  • that a former premier of Alberta (1968-71), Harry Strom, was of Swedish origin?
  • that some Swedish immigrants on their way to the United States traveled on the Great Western Railway via Windsor, Ontario?
  • that an immigrant who returned to Sweden during the 1930s, author Sven Delblanc, wrote a frankly autobiographical novel about his family's experiences in Manitoba?
  • that the hymn "How Great Thou Art" comes from a Swedish folk melody, and that the Swedish words were composed in 1885?