Kaarina Brooks – Writer and Translator

Presentation: “The Challenges of Translating Kalevala”

Kaarina Brooks, a retired elementary school teacher, emigrated    from Finland with her parents and sister in 1951. Since early childhood, writing and art have played a huge part in her life. Her short stories, articles and poetry have appeared in newspapers, magazines, e-zines, literary journals and anthologies. She has written children’s books, romance novels, a cook book, a social history, a colouring book, and two bilingual books of her poetry, among other works. She also has done translations, like the Finnish folk tales—Foxy, Peikko and Bear—and The Kalevala – Tales of Magic and Adventure. A few years ago she started her own publishing business: Wisteria Publications, so now all her work can be found under one umbrella. Recently she finished translating the Old Kalevala (1835) as well as the New Kalevala (1849).

The Challenges of Translating Kalevala will outline for you the challenges she faced when doing the translations of both the Old and the New Kalevala . And she will tell you why—in her opinion—this New Kalevala is better than the previously translated works.

Liisa Kovala – Author

Liisa Kovala is a Finnish-Canadian teacher and writer living in Sudbury, Ontario with her husband and two children. A graduate of University of Toronto’s Creative Writing program, Liisa has published fiction and creative non-fiction pieces in several publications and anthologies, including 150 Years Up North and More, Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Spirit of Canada and Christmas in Canada, Along the 46th, CommuterLit, Canadian Teacher Magazine, and Creepy Capreol, Jr. Her family memoir Surviving Stutthof: My Father’s Memories Behind the Death Gate (Latitude 46, 2017) will be translated into Finnish by Docendo Publishing in Finland and will be available in September 2020. Her first novel, a historical fiction, will be released in 2021. Liisa’s work is inspired by her Finnish heritage and the northern landscape she calls home.

Jason Lepojarvi – Assistant Professor

Jason Lepojarvi, born to a Canadian mother and a Finnish father, Jason obtained a Ph.D. in Religious Studies at the University of Helsinki, Finland. His dissertation “God Is Love, but Love Is Not God” (2015) analyzed both the brilliance and the blind-spots of C. S. Lewis’s theology of love. While a research fellow at St. Benet’s Hall in Oxford, he served as the President of the Oxford University C. S. Lewis Society. Since 2018 he has been Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Thorneloe University at Laurentian, Sudbury, where he teaches a number of courses on the Inklings and the study of love in religion. He is married and has three small children.

Lori Ojala – Doctoral Student

Lori Ojala is currently a doctoral student at the University of Eastern Finland. Her research is focused on understanding the ethnic identity of Finnish-Canadians. In her spare time, you can find her on the golf course or planning her next big adventure with her husband.

Martin Neva – Finding Your Finnish Roots

Martin Neva has been a member of the Finnish Canadian Historical Society, Sudbury for 18 years, as Secretary for three years (2005-2007), Co-Treasurer in 2010 and 2011, Genealogist for the past 10 plus years and as Website Designer and Co-ordinator for the last 6 years.

He has been researching his family’s genealogy for the last 20 years. He started with the writeup his father had inserted into the family bible and gathered obituaries and stories in local newspapers and vital statistics in church records. He wanted to find records of his ancestors in Finland on the internet but needed to know the names they used and what part of Finland they came from.
That search is the subject of the lecture “Finding Your Finnish Roots”