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Seedrioru is a not-for-profit, volunteer-based cultural center built by Estonian Canadians and situated on the banks of the Grand River west of Elora, Ontario, Canada. Since 1955 it has been known as the "largest congregator" of Estonians in North America through its Laulupäev Song Festival, although its primary function is to operate and sustain an Estonian summer camp that promotes Estonian language, music, dance and arts. Children attending are generally from Canada and the United States, but some travel from as far away as the United Kingdom and Estonia. Seedrioru continues to be a venue for Estonian Song Festivals, fundraisers and Estonian cultural events. It was created through an association of four Southern Ontario Estonian societies located in Hamilton, London, Kitchener, and St. Catherines. The societies annually appoint eight directors at the Seedrioru Annual General Meeting to form a Juhatus, or board of directors, who volunteer to organize the yearly activities of the camp in accordance with their bylaws and regulations. Seedrioru is supported by the Estonian Foundation of Canada.


Current camp

The children's camp is over 60 years old, and the program remains relatively unchanged in many ways. It continues to service children aged 5–16 with as many as 50 children participating each week over the 4-week period during month of July annually. The main hall and 4 cabins make up the bulk of facility as well as a large pond with sauna, shooting range, outdoor theater and basketball court. The youth make use of the extensive 62-acre property by going tubing down the Grand River and camping out by its banks. A broad-based Estonian curriculum is featured that includes:

  • Eesti Laulud – Singing of traditional Estonian songs
  • Rahvatants – Estonian folk dancing
  • Sportlikud mängud – Sports games including swimming, archery and volleyball
  • Kunst ja käsitöö – Arts and Crafts projects including leathercraft and weaving
  • Ellujäämine metsas – survival in the woods skills
  • Eesti ajalugu – Estonian history including folklore
  • Eesti toit – Estonian traditional food
  • Sauna and other Estonian traditions

History of Seedrioru

The idea of establishing Seedrioru came to its founders in 1951. The Estonians belonging to the Southern Ontario Estonian Societies in Hamilton, Kitchener, London and St. Catharines, being newcomers to Canada after World War II began to sense the loss of the Estonian language, traditions and cultural identity in their new Canadian environment. Also was the threat of the loss of the Estonian culture in Estonia due to "russification" during the post-war Soviet occupation. This situation drove executives of the Societies to start organizing cultural summer camps at the request of the parents.

Earlier Camps...before the property purchase

Hamilton Estonian Society

A two-week summer camp was organized in 1952 at the Bridgeman farm property near Watertown. Twenty-five children took part with Linda Pallop as the Camp Director and Varju Reio and Alice Kullango assisting. In 1953 there was a 4-week camp in the same location with the first two weeks organized by the Hamilton Society and the last two organized by the Estonian Lutheran Church of Hamilton. Society Camp Director was Alice Kullango assisted by Heino Liblik, Raja Himmist and Anne Orunukk. There were 30-35 participants. The immediately following two weeks was run by the Estonian Lutheran church congregation with Camp Director Linda Pallop assisted by Varju Reio and Maret Müller. The number of campers was 35. In 1954 a two-week camp was run jointly by the Society and the congregation. A. Kullango was the Camp Director and there were 35 attendees.

Kitchener Estonian Society

A summer camp was organized in the summer of 1951 in New Hamburg that lasted three days. The Camp Director and head of boys'activities was Elmar Kägu while Klaudia Parrest was in charge of the girls. Seventeen children attended. In 1952 they were fortunate to get the free use of a first-class camp with its buildings and facilities thanks to the Waterloo businessman and music patron Charles F. Thiele. It was located in Bamberg, 12 miles from Waterloo. The organizer was Arnold Voltre and there were 26 children in attendance. The activities and food was organized by mothers in the community. The camp lasted one week and was a success. The children named the camp "Tiigiääre" (By the Pond). A camp newspaper was published called "Kaani Piuks" (Bloodsucker Squeak) in honour of the pond's bloodsuckers. The editor was teenaged Ive Patrason received an early start in news editing (in the 1980s she eventually became staff of Voice of America in Washingtonm D.C.) At this camp Arnold Voltre hit his leg with an ax for the first time while building the swimming dock. (He later had an accident with a lawnmower at Seedrioru where he lost two toes.) In 1953 another camp took place in the same location with equal success. The camp director was Lydia Aadre from New York assisted by Klaudia Parrest and Tammi Ruutopõld. There were 12 girls and 15 boys. In 1954 they were not able to use the camp since Charle F. Thiele had died and his heirs had other plans. Several outings to lake Puslinch near Preston were organized for the children. Klarissa Pajo and Aksel Nagla were in charge.

London and St. Catherines Estonian Societies did not run a summer camp but cooperated with the Hamilton Estonian Society with their children attending the Hamilton camp in 1953.

Coordination of the Southern Ontario Estonian Societies

From the minutes from the societies' and executives' meetings the Southern Ontario Estonian Societies came to realize that they could not achieve their goal of a summer camp separately either financially or organizationally. A camp with few children was relatively expensive to run and without a permanent site it was difficult to acquire, transport and store equipment over the winter.

Hamilton and Kitchener Estonian Societies had already put aside funds to acquire a property and had collected pledges from St. Catherines Society however it was not enough for what was required. The first coordinating meeting for renting a joint campsite was held on March 14, 1954. Gathered together were representatives from Hamilton, Kitchener and St. Catherines Societies. They came to realize that it was not possible to acquire a suitable permanent spot by renting. At the next meeting in April 1954 they concluded that the South-Ontario Societies should jointly purchase a suitable piece of land. The search began for a property to purchase.

The search for a property

The coordinators, after their last meeting in April 1954, did not meet again until the 22 of January, 1955 in Hamilton. Present were H. Kullango (Hamilton), A. Voltre (Kitchener) and A. Tohver (St. Catharines) It was decided to actively pursue the establishment of a children’s camp. In order to accomplish this they formed a summer camp Committee, where each Estonian Society was to be represented by two members and they also invited the London Estonian Society to participate in this committee. The committee members made several trips in early spring looking for a suitable property. The search was, to put it figuratively, a game of orienteering. When they spotted a property that appeared suitable, they asked the owner if he wanted to sell. Occasionally there was a positive response, however there wasn't serious negotiation with any of them even though they did consider three places.

Finally, they ended up at a place that Harras Kullango found in Kilbride near the Flamboro railroad. There were 50 acres of middling woods, the foundation of an old house, and a price of $4000. The landscape was suitable more for scouting activities. It seems the buyers liked it enough that on April 16 they paid a deposit of $200. Later they learned from some neighbours that the stream which they hoped to dam next summer was bone dry in the summer. The deposit was not returned, since, as the owners alleged, the claimants had arbitrarily dug into the ground with a shovel, that is, taken possession.

In May, one of the Kitchener committee members got in touch with a real estate agent. Many properties were available including the land where African Safari (a well known open air zoo in Ontario) is now located. A message arrived a few days later that something that might be suitable was for sale.

Seedrioru Property Located

It was Sunday, May 22 when Arnold Voltre and Jüri Juurand set foot on the land which is now known as Seedrioru. The land didn’t seem like anything special at first glance. Arnold left Jüri to talk to the agent and went towards the woods to explore. Their conversation died out. Almost a couple of hours later Voltre returned. He was wet to his hips, it had rained overnight and the grass was high. His chin shook a bit as he breathlessly said: "Jüri, this is the place!" From this point, things started to move fast. By June 5, the whole Summer Camp Committee was called to the property. Those who came were Harras Kullango, Albert Lepson, Kaspar Rebane, Jaak Viiklaid from Hamilton; Arnold Voltre, Jüri Juurand, Jakob Klaassen from Kitchener; Harry Pärkma from London. Everyone who wanted to come was invited to look, evaluate and give their opinion. Twenty-three people from Kitchener came by bus, two carloads came from Hamilton. The place charmed everyone and the decision was unanimous: totally suitable for developing a summer camp. Voltre and Juurand were asked to clarify the conditions of sale and then convene the committee again.

On Sunday June 19 the committee was together again in the same place. Voltre and Juurand had negotiated for two weeks and had bargained the asking price of $8,200 down to $7,900, which was the seller’s final price. Up to now, the committee had acted without a "head" so to speak (without an executive). Now they elected as temporary chairman A. Voltre, secretary H. Pärkma, vice-chair and treasurer to be appointed from Hamilton and a place was reserved for a representative from St. Catharines. It was decided to purchase a 62 1/2 acre unoccupied farm, according to the records "Lot #3, Concession "C", Township of Pilkington in the County of Wellington" for $7,900 and to authorize A.Voltre to conclude the deal as trustee of the planned foundation. The starting capital was set at $5,000, divided as $3000 from Hamilton, $1000 from Kitchener, London $600 and St. Catharines $400.

The start of the buildings

It was decided to open the summer camp August 1, 1955, to renovate the farmhouse, and build two cabins for 12 children each. When the temporary executive met for the next meeting on August 14, the purchase agreement was unsigned and the summer camp unopened. The seller demanded full and immediate payment of the purchase price. Since the existing funding was insufficient, a loan was necessary. In order to borrow in the name of the foundation, it was necessary to incorporate. Despite this state of affairs, they still put together a program for 1956 deciding to build a dining hall/ kitchen, two sleeping barracks and to explore the possibilities for staging a choral song festival. This last task was left to Arnold Voltre.

By the time the temporary executive and the representatives of the Societies met on October 23, a lot of serious work had been done by Arnold Voltre and Jüri Juurand who was able, because of his command of English and his employment position, to negotiate the deal, and the news as reported in the minutes, was encouraging.The purchase agreement was signed on October 3, 1955. A. Voltre, J. Juurand, J. Klaassen had signed as trustees of the Foundation. The contract was registered October 11, 1955 at the real estate bureau and the land belonged to us. The purchase price of $7,900 was paid in cash. The loan was in the form of a $3000 mortgage from funeral home director Harry Zohr and from 18 Estonians in Kitchener who had formed and now had liquidated EMO (Eesti Majandus O/Ü - Estonian Financial Group) $1,950. The mortgages had been signed by the same three trustees.

Land Usage Agreement

Now that they were full-fledged owners, the meeting established the basic priorities of the use of the land.These were to be;

  1. the children’s summer camp,
  2. guides’ and scouts’ summer camps,
  3. summer outings for the Estonian Societies
  4. family outings
  5. rental lots on the periphery of the camp.

Encouraged by the response to the preliminary discussions, it was decided to hold the song festival on June 23, 1956.

The first meeting in 1956 of the temporary executive was held on January 15. The structure of the organization was established. It was to be a non-profit corporation without shares (osakapitalita), created by the Estonian Societies of four cities (Hamilton, Kitchener, London St. Catharines) represented at general meetings by their members in proportion to their dollar contributions (one member for each $250 contribution). The foundation’s official name became The Estonian Summer Camp Society. As the original founders, Arnold Voltre (Kitchener), Harry Pärkma (London), and Dr. Voldemar Tammemägi (St. Catherines) were authorized to sign the charter.

Legal Incorporation and Constitution

A. Kerson, a lawyer from Toronto, was asked to carry out the legal incorporation and to work out the constitution (Bylaw#1) based on the principles of the organization’s structure as determined by the executive. At the same meeting they decided to form a five-member coordinating committee for the Song Festival. A. Voltre was named chairman, the chief conductor was to be Roman Toi and committee members were Endel Arro, Eduard Rebane and Voldlemar Tammemägi. A final decision regarding the manner of construction and size of the dining hall and kitchen was made at the executive meeting on April 14 according to Harras Kullango’s plans. The coordinator of the project was to be Arnold Voltre, who also was to organize the building of the choir risers. Eduard Rebane and Kaspar Rebane took on the job of setting up the electric system.

The charter of Sihtasutuse Lõuna-Ontario Eestlaste Suvekodu, known in English as The "Estonian Summer Camp Society, Inc." dated April 18, 1956 was registered with the Ontario Provincial Secretary on June 18, 1956 and lawyer A. Kerson developed the constitution based on it . On October 21, 1956 the Foundation’s first general meeting was held in the Hamilton Estonian Society’s rooms. Sixteen members ( of a possible 20) were present. The meeting ratified the constitution articles:

  • By-law #1 -aims, members, committees
  • By-law #2 debentures.

The work of the temporary executive and the financial reports were ratified. A regular executive was elected whose positions were assigned as follows:

  • Chairman- V. Tammemāgi,
  • Vice-chair - A. Voltre,
  • Secretary - H. Pārkma,
  • Treasurer - E. Arro.

The Audit committee consisted of J. Juurand, H. Karu and A. Vurma.

Seedrioru was established!!!.

Naming of the property we now know as "Seedrioru"(Cedar Valley)

Until the property was still unnamed, it was called simply Eestimaa -"Estonian Land". That’s how the Kitchener young people, who made full use of it in the summer of 1955, called it. Now it was time to find it a name. On the 22 of April the temporary executive announced a competition to find a name. The jury was made up of the executive plus a representative from each city. This historic meeting of the executive was held May 20, 1956 in the old farmhouse. There were 17 submissions in sealed envelopes. They were all of Estonian origin but the right name was not found among them.Thus the jury set out to find a name and came to an agreement, whose rationale was recorded in the minutes as follows: "Those present take as a fundamental requirement that the chosen name should represent the natural appearance of the camp. Someone who, standing near the main hall presently under construction, gazes toward the river will see the valley dominated by cedars which encircle the song festival grounds. Taking this into account they consider seriously the name "Seedrioru" (Cedar Valley) and finally they arrive at a unanimous decision to name the summer camp camp and the grounds "Seedrioru"

The June 17, 1956 general meeting of the representatives of the different societies was now held at Seedrioru. They added to the temporary executive which had been elected June 19, 1955. Arnold Voltre remained the chairman, Jaak Viiklaid (Hamilton) was named the vice-chair, Harry Pärkma stayed as secretary, Endel Arro, (Hamilton) treasurer, and member-at-large was Voldemar Tammemägi ( St. Catherines.) Also elected was the auditing committee consisting of Alfred Vurma (Hamilton), Jüri Juurand (Kitchener) and Heinrich Karu (London). The work of the temporary executive was ratified. They were ready for the first major undertaking at Seedrioru, which was the Song Festival in Canada June 30–1 July 1956.

The first summer camp at Seedrioru opened on July 8, lasting seven weeks.

Starting numbers

In 1955, there were 559 community members and 156 children of camp age (6-16).

The chairmen of the Societies were Dr. Endel Arro in Hamilton, Arnold Voltre in Kitchener, Harry Pärkma in London and Jaan Tohver in St. Catherines.

Monuments, Mälestussambad

White Monument

Vello Hubel designed the 40-tonne, 10-meter long and 10 meter high monument in the shape of a Viking ship and was sponsored by the four Southern Estonian Societies in 1959, it commemorates the fallen Estonian freedom fighters but also the thousands who drowned in the Baltic Sea, were killed in air strikes in Estonia and Germany or those who died in prison camps in Siberia. The stone has Marie Under's words from her poem "Mälestus ja tõotus", "Remembrance and Pledge ":"Mis võet' meilt, meenutagem, ja mis meile jäi..." "Remembering what was taken from us and what is left..."

Swords Monument

The idea of creating a global Centre of Estonian Freedom Fighters came after the death of Colonel Alfons Rebane in Germany in 1976. It was built in 1980. The idea was to symbolically celebrate all Estonian heroic freedom fighters. Two swords apart, represents the two groups hitting targets against the east (Soviets). Engraved are the names of Colonel Alfons Rebane; Lieutenant Colonel Harald Riipalu; Major Paul Maitland; Harald Nugiseks, allohv.

The monument has the battle names: Wolhov, Leningrad, Tserkassi, Karelian-heel, Narva, Blue Mountains, Tartu, Oppeln.

Suvihari Festival

Suvihari is an annual fundraising festival usually around the 3rd weekend in June to celebrate the important Estonian holiday of Jaanipäev. Traditionally the Suvihari features several aspects of Estonian culture that includes a large bonfire (Jaanituli), music, sports, food, entertainment as well as speeches by notable people from within the Estonian community. Historically it has also been the venue for elaborate open air theatre productions.

Suvihari 60, 2015

  • Tanel Padar and "The Sun"
  • Gita Kalmet, Estonian Ambassador to Canada,
  • Anne Veesaar Theatre

Suvihari 56, 2011

  • Tõnis Mägi and Kärt Johanson
  • "Fifty-Fifty" featuring Peeter Kopvillem, Rosemarie Lindau, Eric Soostar and Tõnis Tõllasepp with Leiki and Keila Kopvillem

Suvihari 53/ VI Laulupäev 2008

  • Kukerpillid
  • Urve Palo, Estonian Minister of Population and Ethnic Affairs

Suvihari 50, 2005

Notable Suvihari speakers

  • Gita Kalmet, Estonian Ambassador to Canada, 2015
  • Urve Palo, Estonian Minister of Population and Ethnic Affairs, 2008
  • Hon. Mitchell Sharp, 1972

Laulupäev – Seedrioru Song Festivals

The long history of hosting song festivals at Seedrioru started in 1956 and features choral music and traditional folk dancing from numerous participants from around the world. Currently they are held every 5 years and alternating years with the Estonian Song Festival in Estonia. It is an important cultural component in Estonia's history to sing songs with deep nationalistic meaning in order to keep the community together. A good reference movie to bring context would be The Singing Revolution produced in 2006.

VIII Laulupäev 2018

Details coming soon

VII Laulupäev 2013

Choir Directors

Kalev Lindal, Norman Reintamm, Mati Tammaru, Ingrid Silm, Charles Kipper,Heli Tenno,Rosemarie Lindau, Jaan Medri


  • Euroopa Eestlaste Koorist – European Estonian Choir (Kalev Lindal)
  • Hamiltoni Eesti Seltsi Segakoor (koorijuht Norman Reintamm),
  • Baltimore-Washingtoni Eesti Segakoor (Mati Tammaru), lauljad Detroit Michiganist,
  • Estonia Koor (Ingrid Silm),
  • Noortekoor (Heli Tenno), Euroopa Eestlaste Koor
  • T.E.A.S. Ööbik (Rosemarie Lindau) ja Toronto Eesti Meeskoor (Charles Kipper).
  • Üksikuid lauljaid esines ka Jaaniku regilaulu ansamblist, Toronto Peetri kiriku naisansamblist Helin,
  • Toronto Eesti Baptisti Koguduse Noortekoorist ja Toronto Eesti Koolide Koorist.

VI Laulupäev 2008

Choir Directors

Kalev Lindal,Norman Reintamm,Rosemarie Lindau, Charles Kipper


  • Euroopa Eestlaste Koorist – European Estonian Choir
  • Estonia Segakoor
  • Cantate Domino Segakoor
  • Hamiltoni Eesti Seltsi Segakoor
  • T.E.A.S. Ööbik
  • Toronto Eesti Meeskoor
  • ESTuudio Kammerkoor
  • TES Täienduskoolikoor

V Laulupäev 2003

Choir Directors

Charles Kipper, Margit Viia-Maiste ja Reet Lindau-Voksepp ning ansambleid Ingrid Silm, Valve Tali ja Marika Wilbiks.


  • EELK Peetri Koguduse Segakoor "Candate Domino" ja ansambel "Helin",
  • Estonia Koor,
  • Hamiltoni Eesti Seltsi Naisansambel,
  • Vanemgaidide–juhtide Lõkkering "Leek",
  • Toronto Eesti Akadeemiline Segakoor "Ööbik",
  • Toronto Eesti Baptisti Koguduse Ansambel,
  • Toronto Eesti Meeskoor,
  • Vana-Andrese Koguduse Segakoor,
  • Toronto Eesti Seltsi Täienduskoolide Koor ning Toronto Eesti Gaid- ja Skautmalevate Orkester.

IV Eesti Laulupäev Kanadas 1966

  • 14 Choirs, 500 participants
  • 5000 spectators


  • Albany-Schenectady Ühingu Segakoor (Hanns Sukk)
  • Boston Eesti Seltsi Segakoor, (Leo Virkhaus)
  • Buffalo Eesti Segakoor (Peeter-Paul Lüdig)
  • Cantante Domino (Leida Pilt)
  • Chicago Eesti Segakoor (Heinz Loop)
  • Cleveland Eesti Segakoor (Erich Allik)
  • EELK Connecticut Koguduse Segakoor, (Ants Laan)
  • Hamilton Eesti Seltsi Segakoor, (Oskar Aser)
  • Lakewood Eesti Ühingu Segakoor, (Valdeko Loidu)
  • Philadelphia Eesti Segakoor, (Victor Mandvere)
  • põhja-Illinois Eestate Koondise Segakoor,(Marga Tammark)
  • Port Arthur Eesti Segakoor, (Kaja Kent)
  • Toronto Eesti Segakoor, (Roman Toi)
  • Montreal Eesti Naiskoor, (Olaf Kopvillem)

III Eesti Laulupäev Kanadas 1962

  • 13 Choirs
  • 400 participants


Roman Toi

Choir Directors

Peeter-Paul Lüdig, Eerik Purje, Heintz Koop, Arvi Sinka, Oskar Aser, Eva Kokla, Valdeko Loigu, Paul Rohunurm, Meta Tahk, Elmar Saage, Marga Tammark, Evald Abner, Roman Toi


  • Buffalo Eesti Segakoor
  • Cantante Domino (Toronto)
  • Chicago Eesti Segakoor
  • Cleveland Eesti Segakoor
  • Hamilton Eesti Seltsi Segakoor
  • Kitchener Eesti Seltsi Segakoor
  • Lakewood Ühingu Segakoor
  • London Eesti Seltsi Segakoor
  • Minnesota Eesti Seltsi Segakoor
  • Port Arthur Eesti Segakoor
  • St Chatherines Eesti Seltsi Segakoor
  • põhja-Illinois Eestate Koondise Segakoor
  • Toronto Eesti Segakoor

II Eesti Laulupäev Kanadas 1958


Roman Toi

Choir Directors

Toivo Kaldma, Erich Allik, Oskar Aser, Jakob Klaassen, Ailli Susi, Evald Abner, Roman Toi

7 Choirs, 240 participants

  • Buffalo Eesti Segakoor
  • Cleveland Eesti Segakoor
  • Hamilton Eesti Seltsi Segakoor
  • Kitchener Eesti Seltsi Segakoor
  • London Eesti Seltsi Segakoor
  • St Chatherines Eesti Seltsi Segakoor
  • Toronto Eesti Segakoor

Eesti Laulupäev Kanadas 1956

  • 6 Choirs
  • 180 participants


Roman Toi

Choir Directors

  • Toivo Kaldma, Oskar Aser, Jakob Klaassen, Illmar Suurorg, Evald Abner, Eduard Tombreluts


  • Buffalo Eesti Segakoor
  • Hamilton Eesti Seltsi Segakoor
  • Kitchener Eesti Seltsi Segakoor
  • London Eesti Seltsi Segakoor
  • St Chatherines Eesti Seltsi Segakoor
  • Toronto Eesti Segakoor

Seedrioru Estonian National Theatre Canada Productions

Seedrioru completed work on an outdoor amphitheater in 1960 and produced many large and elaborate sets featuring hundreds of actors over the years.

Year Play and Author Producer
1960 Maa vabaduse eest, Henrik Visnapuu Rudolph Lipp
1961 Hundimõrsja, Aino Kallas Rudolph Lipp
1963 Hamlet, William Shakespeare Rudolph Lipp/ Riina Reinik
1964 Kadunud päike, August Mälk Rudolph Lipp/ Riina Reinik
1968 Nimed marmortahvlil, Albert Kivitas Kaarel Söödor/Ain Söödor
1969 Parvepoisid, Teuvo Pakkala Kaarel Söödor
1971 Jurilöö, Kaarel Söödor

Cultural Events

Poistekoor, June 2016

Estonia National Opera Boys Choir performed at Seerioru during one evening in the hall as they made their way from Roman Toi's 100th Birthday celebration during a tour of North America. The choir master was the highly respected, Hirvo Surva.

Estonian World Festival 1972

1972 marked the official opening of the first Estonian World Festival. The opening ceremonies were hosted at Seedrioru and was attended by the Hon.Mitchell Sharp.

Leased Properties

There are 80 lots with over 38 cottages that surround the property on the north and south side roads located on Tallinn, Tartu, Sindi and Pärnu Streets. The intent of the leased parcels is to generate guaranteed annual income and allow for volunteers to commit their time and energy towards the sustainment of the property, camps and events while enjoying the natural and social setting. Several of the cottages where built around 1960 and are still occupied by the founding families that helped create Seedrioru.

Skautlus Seedrioru - Scouting and Guiding at Seedrioru

Recent Activities

  • Toronto Skautid ja Gaidid Salgavõistlus, April 2016

Estonian Scout and Guide Jamborees

Seedrioru was host to several Estonian Scout and Guide camps with Troops coming from Hamilton, Kitchener, London, St.Catherines and Buffalo

Year Camp Name # of Participants
1964 Seedrituka I 115
1965 Seedrituka II 90
1968 Seedrituka III 80
1970 Seedrituka IV 60
1971 Seedrituka V 60

Previous Camp Leaders

  • Skaut - C. Aarlaht, A. Himma, E.Tutsu
  • Gaid - I.Kink, E.Lindaja, E. Lepp, R. Toomsalu

Camp Treasurer

  • Maks Pertens

Seedrioru in Cinema - Legendi Loojad

A Canadian film "Legendi loojad" (Creators of the Legend), directed by Evald Mägi was about the Estonian Forest Brothers and filmed partially at Seedrioru and released in 1963. The film was funded by donations from Estonians in exile. It starred Arvo Vabamäe, Oudi Kalm, Heino Vellne, Endla Komi, Märt Liinvee, Eino Halling, Jaan Kivisild and August Tomband.

Seedrioru Literature

  • Seedrioru Serenaad, Published 1991, 40 pages, by Aimla, Priit
  • Seedrioru 1955–1980, Published 1980, 141 pages, Oma Press Ltd, Editorial board: Karl Aun, Harry Pärkma, Vello Hubel, Jüri Juurand, Voldemar Tammemägi.
  • IV Eesti laulupäev Kanadas, Published 1966, 44 pages, published by Lõuna-Ontario Eestlaste Suvekodu Kirjastus,

Significant Challenges

Seedrioru has over the years been faced with challenges generated by government projects and environmental policies.

  • West Montrose Dam Project, 1971. The Grand River Valley Conservation Authority (GRCA) had announced a proposal to create a water control dam downstream of the Seedrioru property. It would have involved the flooding of over 4500 acres of valuable agricultural land, relocation of over 68 local families including two thirds of the entire Seedrioru property. Thankfully due to the lobbying efforts of the local population including representatives from Seedrioru, the dam project was rejected at the Ontario Municipal Board level, however it still restricts future building considerations within the proposed "top of dam" waterline that crosses the Seedrioru property.

Significant Financial Contributors

Estonian Foundation of Canada- Eesti Sihtkapital Kanadas continues to contribute extensively annually towards the numerous cultural events held at Seedrioru including sponsoring $200 per child per week in order to make the camp affordable for everyone.

Over the years, many individuals have contributed financially towards Seedrioru. These are only some of them.

  • Arnold Pau, On March 6, 1966 Seedrioru received a bequest from a generous man whose heart was close to Estonian youth. He set up in his will a bequest for $24,750 that made Seedrioru overnight debt free. (debt was approximately $16,000) The remainder was spent on the sports field development and the development and building the third cabin of his namesake "Pautare" in 1967. He was born on 15 July 1911 in Viljandi, Estonia where he became a well-known businessman and sportsman (lühimaajooksud). He came to Canada after the second world war and was living and working in Niagara Falls, Ont. He was a modest but wealthy person who visited events at Seedrioru frequently. His last visit was July 3, 1965, the 10th anniversary celebration. His will expressed he had found Estonian brotherhood, service, well thought appreciation in the upbringing of children at Seedrioru. He passed away shortly thereafter.
  • Henry and Linda Tark, On March 22, 2015 Seedrioru received a very special gift – a million dollar bequest from Henry Tark. Henry and his wife Linda, whom some may remember taught crafts at Seedrioru during camp in the 60's and 70's, resided in Burlington, Ontario. Linda was also a well-known weaver and made Estonian folk costumes. While they had no family of their own, children always held a special place in their hearts.

Associated organizations

  • Estonian Foundation of Canada
  • Eesti Võitlejate Ühing – Estonian Veterans Association
  • Toronto Estonian Rifle and Pistol Club

Auliikmed – Honorary Members

Members of the Canadian Estonian community that were recognized as an integral part of the formation and sustainment of Seedrioru.

Name Year
Arnold Voltre 1965
Jüri Juurand 1970
Heino Paluveer 1970
Harry Parkma 1970
Voldemar Tammemägi 1970
Eduard Rebane 1970
Edgar Kink 1972
Leo Juhani 1975
Vello Hubel 1980
Juhan Jõesaar 1980
Heinrich Karu 1980
Maks Pertens 1980
Roman Toi 1980
Magda Mälberg 1985
Armilde Tammer 1985
Kalju Varangu 1985
Lydia Vohu-Viksten 1985
Raimond Vist 1987
Ott Jürisson 1987
Villem Tammer 1988
Edgar Tiilen 1988
August Jurs 1990
Ferdinand Koger 1990
Kalju Loone 1990
Rein Voltre 1990
Hugo Allisma 1991
Merike Koger 1994
Ilmar Heinsoo 1998
Udo Petersoo 1998
Ene Billings-Rebane 1999
Bernhard Jostman 1999
Allan Pertens 1999
Mihkel Salusoo 1999
Härnald Toomsalu 1999
Valdur Aasa 2001
Tarmo Koger 2001
Esko Luksepp 2002
Endel Arro 2002
Milvi Amolins 2003
Valter Tera 2005
Tammi Ruutopõld 2005
Lembit Nieländer 2005
Leonhard Saar 2006
Laas Leivat 2011
Jaan Eichenbaum 2011
Linda Paluveer 2012
Peeter Käärid 2012
Luule Tiilen 2015
Kadri Nõmmik - Munro 2016


External links