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Ajakaja

AjaKaja staff Karl Vollman, Dave Kiil, Eda McClung and Anne-Marie Hodes following an editorial meeting, 2002 The first issue of AjaKaja was published in May 1989, following a 10-year hiatus when the newsletter was published under the name Pajataja. Mare Maxwell, with her strong background in graphics, agreed to initiate the publication of the newsletter. The Executive of the Edmonton Estonian Society supported this effort "to heighten interest in and awareness of events and issues that are relevant to the Estonian community". Eda McClung, Society President, noted at the time that "there is much noteworthy for our local group."

Publication of the newsletter continued until the end of 1991. These were heady times, with an increase in Edmonton Estonian Society's membership, numerous events and celebrations, and the declaration of Estonian Independence in 1991. A balanced mix of bilingual articles captured the rapidly-changing political theatre in Estonia and provided newsworthy information about the resurgent Society.

With Estonian Independence secured in 1991, the Society resumed traditional celebrations including the summer solstice (Jaanipäev), Christmas and Estonian Independence Day. Publication of AjaKaja resumed in 1997 when Anne-Marie Hodes took over as Editor. The revived and expanded newsletter, with a balanced mix of articles in English and Estonian, focused on news about Alberta's Estonians and happenings in Estonia. AjaKaja continued as a publication of the Edmonton Estonian Society until the fall of 2004.

The Winter 2004 issue of AjaKaja was published by the Edmonton Estonian Society. With the formation of the Alberta Estonian Heritage Society in 2005,  AjaKaja became the official newsletterof the Society. Editors Eda McClung and Dave Kiil work with several  members of the AEHS to produce the biannual publication. With the formation of the Alberta Estonian Heritage Society in 2005, the Summer 2005 issue became the official newsletter of the provincial organization. In line with the Society's policy it is published in English. The next issue of AjaKaja, Volume 28, will be published in summer 2008. Eda McClung and Dave Kiil, assisted by a team of contributors from Alberta and elsewhere, continue to produce the highly-acclaimed publication. It is distributed to members of the Alberta Estonian Heritage Society and other interested subscribers.

AjaKaja is one of a few regularly-published newsletters by Estonian societies in Canada. Our focus is on preserving and promoting Estonian heritage such as traditional music, foods, and festivals. The production of AjaKaja is made possible by contributions from members of Alberta's small but active Estonian community.

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