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Multidisciplinary cultural event Taste of Iceland brings the Land of Fire and Ice to Edmonton

By Jenna Lee Williams
Beebee and the Bluebirds will be playing the Starlite Room April 11 as part of Taste of Iceland. Photo: Giga D. Einarsdottir

Beebee and the Bluebirds will be playing the Starlite Room April 11 as part of Taste of Iceland.
Photo: Giga D. Einarsdottir

EDMONTON — An exciting multidisciplinary cultural event, Taste of Iceland (hosted by Iceland Naturally) is returning to Edmonton, following 2014’s successful weekend. This is a celebration of Icelandic culture that will take place on April 9th until April 12th featuring Icelandic cuisine, music and film.

Iceland Naturally has hosted similar events over the years in cities like Boston, Washington, DC, New York, Vancouver, Toronto, Halifax, Winnipeg and Seattle. Events like Taste of Iceland bring Edmonton and other North American cities closer to the island nation.

“Iceland Naturally (IN) was founded in 2000 and is a public/private partnership, it is a joint communication program that promotes Iceland and its tourism, services and products,” explains Iceland Naturally’s Hlynur Gudjonsson.

From the 9th through the 12th Characters Fine Dining will host a meal to remember with a specialty menu featuring a variety of traditional Icelandic dishes. Chef Viktor Örn Andrésson (head chef at Blue Lagoon’s LAVA Restaurant) and Shonn Oborowsky (chef and owner of Characters Fine Dining) teamed up to create an exquisite menu using ingredients that will be air lifted from Iceland. Characters Fine Dining can be contacted directly for reservations.

The musical and film components of Taste of Iceland are completely free of charge and admission is first come first serve.

On April 11th Starlite Room will host the Reykjavik Calling Guitarama. Björn Thorodssen curated and will be headlining the concert.

“Björn has been active on the scene in Canada with his Guitarama concert in Winnipeg and various other musical projects in Canada,” explains Gudjonsson. Fellow Icelandic artists Beebee and the Bluebirds and Jon Hilmar Karason will also take the stage that evening.

“I saw Beebee and The Bluebirds in Boston and she thrilled the crowd with her voice, songs and guitar playing,” adds Gudjonsson. Edmonton-based artists Kim Lesaca, Dean Pierno, Bobby Cameron and Clint Pelletier will also take the stage this evening.

On April 12th Metro Cinema at the Garneau will host the Icelandic Film Festival featuring various films. Reykjavik Shorts and Docs curate this event with screenings taking place from 2 until 5 p.m.

Now with the direct flight between Edmonton and Reykjavik, the two cities can become more connected.

“We are hoping to build a stronger relationship with Edmonton and Alberta… This service is key to increase business between Alberta and Iceland. We would like to see that flourish and hope to see stronger export of, for example, seafood products from Iceland to Edmonton and hope it is also an opportunity for Edmonton and Alberta companies exporting to Iceland and Europe,” finishes Gudjonsson.

Taste of Iceland happens April 9-12 throughout Edmonton.

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