May is Leave a Legacy Month in Canada. There are many ways to make a meaningful gift to a cause close to our hearts, either in the near term or as part of a longer-term estate plan. Here are the answers to a few of the most commonly asked questions about leaving a legacy to support your favourite causes.
Question 1 – I’d like to leave some money for charity in my will. How do I got about doing that?
In Canada, leaving a gift to a charity in your will is a great way to support the causes you care about. Adding the charity as a beneficiary to your will is simple.
First, you need to decide how much you want to leave the charity. Is it a specific dollar amount? Or a percentage of your total estate? You can discuss the pros and cons of each method with your lawyer.
Next, you need to find the official registered name of the charity. You can ask the charity for this information, or search the Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA) list of charities on their website. For example, Lögberg-Heimskringla is registered as “Logberg-Heimskringla Incorporated.” It is also helpful if you have the registration number. For LH, that’s 103373635 RR 0001.
Once you have the names and registration numbers, you simply book an appointment with your lawyer to either draft a new will or add a codicil to your existing will. Your lawyer will let you know which approach is more appropriate for your specific situation.
Question 2 – I’ve heard I may be able to save some taxes on my estate? Is that true?
Yes, that is true. In Canada, some of the more common sources of significant taxes at death may come from realized gains on investments or properties, or the balance remaining in any registered accounts (i.e., RRSPs or RRIFs).
A charitable donation creates a donation tax credit that can be applied by your executor in the most efficient manner for your estate. A charitable donation prescribed in a will may be used to offset gains in the estate, or the last two taxation years of the deceased individual.
Question 3 – Are there any tax savings I can realize now?
Yes. In Canada, a donation made this year will result in a tax credit that can be applied to the current year’s income taxes, or carried forward up to five years to be applied to a future year’s income taxes, if that is more efficient.
Every province has a different tax credit, so if you are interested in estimating the tax benefits of making a gift today, you should discuss this with a tax advisor familiar with your jurisdiction.
Question 4 – Is it better to leave a gift in my will, or invest through my local community foundation?
It ultimately depends on your goals. You might leave a gift in your will directly to a charity or several charities. This may be a good choice is you want to leave a lump-sum to one or two charities, and you are happy with the charities receiving the full amount of your donation immediately. Any gifts made directly to charities in your will are technically considered public information. A record of any will that has passed through probate can be accessed through the court system.
One way to increase your privacy is to instead leave your funds to community foundation, such as the Winnipeg Foundation, which supports LH. You may dictate the charity or charities you wish to support, but generally only the income earned from your donation is actually provided to the charities each year. In this case, the fact that you used the foundation is still public knowledge, but the ultimate charities being supported are not. Many community foundations offer multiple options, so you should discuss your goals with the community foundation to determine if they are able to administer the funds in the way you would like.
You may also wish to consider a Donor Advised Fund (DAF) program to essentially create your own private foundation. In this case, you can dictate how the funds are to be distributed to a charity or multiples charities. There is a minimum payout that needs to be distributed each year – currently five percent of the fund balance – but you may do more if you would like. Every DAF is slightly different, so it is very important that you discuss your wishes with the provider you choose to ensure they can administer the fund the way you would like. As with the community foundation, there is a level of privacy as only the DAF provider is named in the will, but not the underlying charities being supported.
If you plan to leave a legacy, please speak with your lawyer or financial advisor. Marketing Committee Member Ian Wood, CFP®, CIM®, MFA-P, has also graciously volunteered to answer any questions you may have. You can reach Ian at Cardinal Capital Management by calling (204) 594-3667.
When Lögberg Heimskringla arrives in your mailbox in January – or lands in your inbox if you read the digital version – you will notice a new logo. It offers both an elegant new face for our publication and a touch of history at the same time.
“Lögberg-Heimskringla will be launching a new logo soon that will be used on all our advertising,” reported LH president Karen Botting at the annual general meeting on October 22. “Staff members Jodi Dunlop and Catherine McConnell worked with graphic designer Bergdís (Dísa) Sigurðardóttir to develop the logo, using the letters ‘LH’ by which the paper is affectionately known.” A small poster was displayed at the meeting showing how the logo would be used for advertisements, promotional materials, and business cards, along with four different colour schemes – blue, red, silver, and black-and-white.
The logo’s creator also provided a snapshot of how the publication’s mastheads (sometimes known as “nameplates” or “the flag”) evolved through the years, employing the fonts that were commonly available from the time of Heimskringla’s founding in 1886 until the present day.
“My initial thoughts were to represent the rich history of the publication,” Dísa wrote in explaining her thought processes in developing the new logo. “After having gone through all the covers of Heimskringla, Lögberg, and Lögberg-Heimskringla, the first Old English or Blackletter Calligraphy masthead of Heimskringla caught my eye and served as my inspiration. When I realized the same calligraphy was used on Lögberg a few years later, I knew I had to honour its tradition and preserve it in some way with the new logo.”
Dísa focused on the capital letters of Heimskringla’s and Lögberg’s names before they were amalgamated into a single publication. These letters are arguably the most interesting characters on the old mastheads and, after the two newspapers became one, they quickly emerged as the shorthand name of the publication, except for those who continued to cling to either one of the earlier names. “Since the logo has two capital letters in calligraphy,” she continued, “I felt it was necessary to simplify any ornamental features to balance the composition into a cohesive image. The first drafts were more exaggerated, with longer serifs, but I believe I managed to revise it without losing its unique character. I wanted the final product to come across as effortless, fluid, and unlike a cookie cutter font anyone can buy.”
Although Dísa accepted a small stipend for her efforts, most of her research and development time was donated. “I loved working on this project,” Dísa said. “Thank you for choosing me as your designer."
Author: Stefan Jonasson
Canada and Iceland are celebrating the 75th anniversary of direct diplomatic relations, which commenced when Iceland appointed Ambassador Thor Thors to serve as ambassador to Canada on September 19, 1947. He was also Iceland’s ambassador to the United States and permanent representative to the United Nations. Thor Thors continued to serve in all three roles until his death on January 11, 1965, an extraordinarily long tenure in diplomatic circles.
Canada was the eleventh country with which Iceland established formal diplomatic relations. Interestingly, Iceland established diplomatic ties with Canada before its Nordic neighbours Sweden and Finland.
“Iceland Establishes Legation in Ottawa” read a small and easily missed headline on the front page of The Winnipeg Tribune on September 27, 1947. “Iceland has established a legation in Ottawa and has appointed Thor Thors, Icelandic minister to Washington, as minister to Canada as well, Prime Minister Mackenzie King announced Friday [September 26]. While Mr. King made no mention of the possibility of a Canadian legation in Iceland, it was understood this was under discussion by the external affairs department. Mr. Thors, [who] will have dual functions in Washington and Ottawa, was appointed as Iceland’s first minister to the U.S. in 1941 after serving as consul general in New York.”
Heimskringla covered the story in its October 1 edition and Lögberg followed on October 2. While Heimskringla praised Thor Thors, noted the importance of the move to the Icelandic community in Canada, and imagined improved trade relationships, Lögberg focused more on the state-to-state relationship between the two countries and expressed its confidence that Canada would reciprocate by appointing an ambassador to Iceland.
The Tribune followed up with a bolder headline on January 21, 1948, when it announced: “Icelandic Minister Presents Credentials.” Ambassador Thor Thors, who the paper described as “a keen-eyed man in a striped suit,” had met with the Governor General of Canada, Viscount Alexander, the day before.
“We have to return to Washington at the end of this week, but we’ll be travelling back and forth as business warrants,” the new ambassador told Canadian Press. Referring to Canada as “the country of the future,” he added, “it has been my privilege to observe at many international conferences how highly appreciated is the voice of Canada, how fortunate its influence and wise its leadership on every occasion.”
“Iceland has had little to give to other nations,” he acknowledged. “It must therefore be a matter for excuse if we pride ourselves that to Canada, more than any other nation in the world, have we given what to us has meant a great sacrifice and at the same time been a source of great pride. Iceland has been giving Canada many good citizens.”
The following day, The Tribune carried a large picture of the ambassador with his wife, Jóhanna Ágústa Ingólfsdóttir, and their daughter Margrét. The caption noted that while Jóhanna had been to Quebec and Manitoba, it was Margrét’s first visit to Canada. “'We have been in Winnipeg two or three times,” said the ambassador. “Many Icelanders are there, and I hope to pay another visit in the not too distant future.”
On April 8, 1948, Canadian Press reported: “Establishment of Canadian legations in Finland and Iceland was announced today by the external affairs department but without any enlargement of ministerial representation. … Edward J. Garland, minister to Norway since 1947, will also be minister to Iceland.” However, it took nearly a year before Garland was officially appointed as “Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary” to Iceland on March 16, 1949, and he presented his credentials to President of Iceland Sveinn Björnsson on August 11 that year. He continued to serve in this post until August 19, 1952.
Early in his tenure, Ambassador Thor Thors attended the 30th annual convention of the Icelandic National League, which was held in Winnipeg in February 1949. Following the convention, a banquet was held in his honour at the Royal Alexandra Hotel, which was attended by many of the community’s leading figures, including Lieutenant Governor R.F. McWilliams, Premier Douglas L. Campbell, Mayor Garnet Coulter, and Dr. A.H.S. Gillson, president of the University of Manitoba. It wasn’t often that an ambassador came to the city in those days.
“The ideals of democracy are equally dear to Canada and Iceland,” the ambassador said in his address at the banquet. Declaring that Iceland’s entry into the United Nations “marked the last step in a long struggle to have Iceland’s independence and sovereignty recognized by the nations of the world,” he observed that Canada and Iceland had come to work closely together in that forum and that, even without prior consultation, they had “always been in agreement and voted together.”
In future issues, Lögberg-Heimskringla will chronicle the evolution of relations between Canada and Iceland and profile some of the key figures since the two countries established direct diplomatic relations 75 years ago.
#22 November 15, 2022
Author: Stefan Jonasson
“The Winnipeg Falcons’ Olympic win is a much-loved hockey story,” declared Cathie Eliasson in launching her new book, Falcons Forever: The Saga of the 1920 Olympic Gold Medal Hockey Team, at McNally Robinson Booksellers in Winnipeg on November 4. “The Falcons’ story is brought to life chronologically and actual quotes are used from the players and journalists, with the language of the day, to help set the tone,” she said in describing the book. “Hopefully, readers will feel the excitement of the Winnipeg Falcons saga as they conquered their hometown opponents and made their way from Winnipeg, east to Toronto and then to Europe, garnering enthusiastic fans and amazing experiences all along the way as they achieved what most people thought was an impossible dream!”
A robust number of descendants of the Falcons players were in the audience, including one of the four surviving children of the original team members – Kathy Nicholson, the daughter of Huck Woodman, the only member of the Falcons who wasn’t Icelandic. There were even a few people in the crowd wearing Falcons jerseys.
Cathie herself is the granddaughter of Falcons defenseman Konrad (Konnie) Johannesson. She grew up watching the game and both of her daughters were university-level hockey players. The family’s passion for hockey now spans six generations. Cathie is a member of the Society for International Hockey Research (SIHR).
On the surface, the Falcons “appear to be the standard, universal-type hockey team – they’re a group of young men who love the game and grew up playing hockey together on the river and backyard rinks; they were friendly, respectable, fun-loving guys off the ice and hard-hitting, tough players on the ice,” according to Cathie. “Eventually, they formed teams and played against other teams, chasing the dream of winning a championship. Sounds like most teams over the last hundred years, right? So why do we still remember the Winnipeg Falcons today?” Winning the first gold medal in Olympic hockey doesn’t fully explain the romance of the Falcons. It’s their underlying story that makes them memorable today.
“They really epitomized what a hockey team could be,” adhering to a strict health regimen during the hockey season. For instance, none of the players smoked or drank during the season, which brought chuckles to the audience. But it was perhaps their patriotism and bravery as soldiers during the Great War, losing two of their teammates, that endeared them to their fans. Other teams didn’t take them too seriously, so they were viewed as underdogs. “They were the little engine that could. They never quit. They were determined, and always persevered to get the win. Each man worked for the team, not themselves for personal glory.” They exhibited great harmony as a team.
Cathie read an excerpt from the second chapter, describing the opening of the 1919-1920 season, ending the passage with the praise they received in the Free Press. “So that’s how their season began. To find out how it ended, you might want to pick up a book,” she winked – and the crowd roared with laughter. The host for the evening was Cathie’s daughter, Dr. Cara Hedley, who played three seasons with the University of Manitoba Bison women’s hockey team. Cara is the author of the novel Twenty Miles, the story of a young woman whose father was a hockey legend as she seeks to find her own place in hockey.
“I’ve watched my mom, Cathie, work tirelessly on this book over the course of the past two years,” Cara observed while going on to talk about the scrapbook of the Falcons’ exploits kept by Cathie’s amma, Freda, when she was the teenaged girlfriend of Konrad Johannesson. This scrapbook proved to be “an incredible archive” with more than 200 articles and mementoes, “but this was more than just a collection of paper. … Imagine the pride and excitement that young Freda must have felt as she clipped out those articles and carefully assembled them in that scrapbook.” The scrapbook is now displayed at the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame.
“It’s not just a history of the Winnipeg Falcons hockey team,” Cara said of her mother’s book, “it’s a legacy project, a continuation of the labour of love initiated in Freda’s scrapbook, then taken up by Freda and Konrad’s son, Brian Johannesson, an original and diligent chronicler of Falcons history, who digitized the scrapbook’s contents, and the flame of pride, celebration, and remembrance that’s now carried by my mom, who’s witnessed firsthand how the Winnipeg Falcons’ story has established its place both in Canadian history and our family history, resonating now through generations.”
Falcons Forever is available from McNally Robinson Booksellers in Winnipeg, Tergesen’s in Gimli, direct from Friesen Press, or from Amazon. Lögberg-Heimskringla encourages its readers to patronize local bookstores whenever possible because bookstores build community. A video of the book launch, including the question and answer period that followed, can be viewed at the McNally Robinson YouTube channel.
#22, November 15, 2022
Author: Karen Botting, Winnipeg, MB
Twenty-two young men and women – seventeen from Canada and five from the United States –ventured off to Iceland this past summer as a part of the Snorri Program. This larger than usual group included those whose trips were cancelled in 2020 and 2021 because of the pandemic.
“The Snorri Program is a unique summer program in Iceland for Canadians and Americans of Icelandic descent between the ages of 20 and 30. Participants learn, grow, build relationships, and have unforgettable experiences over the course of five weeks. This includes 2 weeks of cultural and language education in Reykjavik, a 2-week homestay with a family and a volunteer work placement, as well as a one-week adventure tour seeing the best Iceland has to offer.” This description can be found on the Snorri website.
As Elva Simundsson, chair of the Canada Iceland Foundation, says: “In my opinion, the Snorri Program is one of the best opportunities our Icelandic Canadian community has to energize our young adults. Virtually every Snorri alumni we speak to tells us what a life-changing experience it was and how they come back with a new sense of who they are. This is the life blood of our future leaders in our communities.”
The Canada Iceland Foundation Incorporated (CIFI) started a designated “Snorri Fund” last year within its holdings with two nice donations. CIFI would like to build that fund and it is accepting donations. The cost of the Snorri Program is high, especially for our young people who are trying to save for university or just starting out in their careers. Monetary help may make the difference for those who may not be able to afford the costs. Elva continues: “We need these enthusiastic young people back in our clubs, chapters, and cultural events.”
Those who attended the Snorri Program were invited to send photos and write about their Icelandic adventure in Lögberg-Heimskringla. Each also received an online subscription to L-H.
Our first writer is Owen Roberts of Arnes, Manitoba. He has also shared a link to a 5-minute profile of the Snorri Program during their visit to the Westfjords that appeared on the RÚV television program Sumarlandabrot. Check it out!