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Helgi Leesment

Helgi Leesment served as president of the Calgary Estonian Society from 2003 until 2006.

Helgi Leesment, director of 1990 Canadian National Gymnaestrada which had many Canadian Estonian gymnasts and coaches among participants, plus a guest coach from Tartu, Estonia. Helgi's family moved to the west coast of British Columbia in 1951, having previously lived in Sweden. The Leesments traveled throughout Canada rather extensively having spent time in southern Ontario, greater Vancouver and Calgary. After obtaining a Bachelor of Arts degree she later returned to school for another degree in Library Studies. She has worked at three universities and has spent time as a freelance library consultant.

Helgi has contributed to Alberta's Estonian community in a number of ways. Her articles on Estonian heritage have been featured in AjaKaja on numerous occasions. Over the years, several dozen articles and photos have appeared in several Estonian publications in Toronto.

While living in Calgary Helgi was the Citizenship Council representative for the Calgary Estonian Society. She organized the Estonian cultural displays and refreshment tables at the annual Food Fairs. She helped modernize the organization by transferring the membership list and other important documents from typewriter to computer.

Helgi played a pivotal role in the development of non-competitive rhythmic gymnastics in Alberta, serving on the provincial board for ten years. The rhythmic gymnastics club she co-founded in 1979 is now functioning in its 29th year with Helgi serving as the ladies coach.

Upon returning to Calgary after another stint on the west coast, Helgi helped established a small Estonian supplementary school. The school operated for three memorable years. Helgi was instrumental in organizing the visit by Estonian President Lennart Meri in 2004 and the Barons Centennial celebration in 2004.

Helgi is one of the founders of the Alberta Estonian Heritage Society and served as its first Vice-President. She is recognized as a major contributor to historical projects documenting the efforts and contributions of Estonian pioneers in Alberta.

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