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Marta Kivik

Calgary Estonian Society members celebrate Estonian Independence Dayin 1989. This quartet includes, l-r: Marta Kivik, Pärja Tiislar, Laila Soide, and Christine Robertson. Marta Kivik moved to Calgary from Toronto with her family in 1988. Having been active in the Toronto Estonian community, Marta was quickly recruited into the executive of the Calgary Estonian Society and was president from December 1988 to March 1990.

Those were heady years for Estonian communities throughout the world. Glasnost and Perestroika were introduced in the Soviet Union. Consequently, Estonians experienced greater civil liberties and were permitted to travel abroad. Estonian musicians and sports teams visited Calgary to showcase their skills and see another part of the world. Calgary's Estonian Society welcomed their guests with open hearts as Marta organized receptions for her Estonian visitors.

A Soviet basketball team played against the Calgary 88's in the Saddledome. The players' names were nearly all Estonian. With only a few hours to organize, Marta arranged a reception and dinner for them at the Ranchman's Restaurant on MacLeod Trail.

Marta handled other visiting groups with equal aplomb including the return of the basketball players the following year, the rock group Ultima Thule, and the greatest challenge of all, 120 members of a boys' choir accompanied by a chamber orchestra.

Marta's daughters both attended the Calgary Estonian Supplementary School where Marta also volunteered as a parent. The Kivik family returned to Toronto in 1990. Marta continues to be active in the Estonian community.

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