|Photo courtesy of Karen Johannsson||Judy Bradley, Winnipeg, MB
Karen Johannsson is a quiet person who is not given to talking about herself or her achievements.
People may know Karen for being the person who made Eaton’s windows so memorable, or for Mrs. Lipton’s Restaurant, for her Lipton Street Studio, for her art. They may not know she is a person with great resolve who applies herself when met with challenges, or who chooses to be challenged in order to move forward in life.
Ingibjörg Karen Skúladóttir was born in Reykjavík and this was her world with the exception of twice visiting aunt Magga at Ísafjörður in North West Iceland. On Ingibjörg’s second visit with aunt Magga, in August 1955, she received a call from her parents to return home. They believed it was time to explore opportunities and to follow the path of other Icelanders who had settled in Manitoba. The three of them then departed for Canada. Imagine you are 11 years old and your last memory of Iceland is being at the summer cottage at Ísafjörður. And, imagine arriving in a new country just a week prior to your twelfth birthday. Although just a child, she still remembers the New York, Toronto, and Winnipeg airports, finally to be met by people at about 5:00 a.m.