top of page

Meet the Snorri West 2024 Participants!  

Are You Related?


The Snorri West Program recently announced the three Icelanders who will be participating in the 2024 trip to the “Mountain Corridor” of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Utah.  The trip to visit Western Icelanders and historic settlements in North America takes place from June 13 through July 11.  Before arriving in North America, they will interact with the North American Snorri participants in Iceland.


Icelandic Roots Database Members can use the "Relationship Calculator" to see if you are related to this year's participants by copying their "IR" numbers into the calculator.



Hildur (Hilla) Sigurbergsdóttir - Icelandic Roots # I790501



Hildur (Hilla) Sigurbergsdóttir
Hildur (Hilla) Sigurbergsdóttir

Hilla was born and grew up in Reykjavík.  She attended Kvennaskólinn (Women’s Junior College) of Reykjavík, graduating in 2021 in Social Studies, and is currently studying at Háskóli Íslands (University of Iceland), working toward her B.A. in History, planning to graduate in the spring of 2025.  “After that I think I'll go after a Master's degree, likely in a foreign country, which one I'm not sure.  I don't have a clear outline for my future, I mostly just plan on trying to enjoy life as much as I can and staying happy and healthy while doing so.”

 

Currently, Hilla works for the City of Reykjavík at Hitt Húsið, a recreation center assisting teenagers with disabilities to engage in rec center activities like painting, baking, playing games, etc.

 

Hilla enjoys weight lifting, running and music; both listening as well as playing guitar and piano.


While on the Snorri West trip she looks forward to learning new things, meeting new people, making some friends and having a good time.  She speaks both native Icelandic and advanced English. Her exposure to North America has been short trips to New York City as a teenager.




Mars Baldurs - Icelandic Roots # I790504



Mars Baldurs
Mars Baldurs

Born and raised at Saurbær near Hvammstangi on the Vatnsnes peninsula in northwest, Iceland, Mars graduated from Verkmenntaskólinn á Akureyri (Akureyri Comprehensive Junior College) in 2023 and plans to attend the University of Akureyri (Háskólinn á Akureyri) later this fall, in Modern Studies with the dream of becoming a full-time writer.  The first draft of their first novel has already been completed.

 

Mars is working as a Learning Support Assistant for ages 13 - 15, mostly in the areas of math, Icelandic, and creative writing.  “My main hobbies and interests are creative writing and literature, history, music, and drumming.”   While speaking native Icelandic, intermediate English, some German, and Danish they have never been to North America.


Mars enjoys travel, meeting people, and beautiful nature wherever it is found.  They hope the Snorri West Program will be a great opportunity to strengthen English proficiency and to learn about the people who emigrated from Iceland to North America. Mars is also excited to be able to learn about American and Canadian culture and get to know people of different cultural backgrounds, meet relatives, see interesting places - especially the communities that the Icelandic emigrants built. All of these will provide Mars with great opportunities to gain inspiration for their writing - broadening their view of the world.



Unnar Ingi Sæmundarson - Icelandic Roots # I663011


Unnar Ingi Sæmundarson
Unnar Ingi Sæmundarson

Unnar has lived in Reykjavík most of his life.  He graduated in 2018 from the city´s Menntaskólinn í Hamrahlíð (Hamrahlíð Junior College) in Natural Sciences.  He then went on to study Icelandic at Háskóli Íslands (University of Iceland), which included a study abroad semester in Madison, Wisconsin at the University of Wisconsin before graduating with his B.A in 2022.  He is currently pursuing his M.A. in Creative Writing at HÍ and expects to graduate in 2025. Future goals he is considering are additional advanced degrees, possibly in Speech Therapy, and becoming a better writer.


Unnar is working as a script writer at Náttúrufræðistofnun Íslands (Icelandic Institute of Natural History) and keeps very busy with student associations and activities.  Not surprising, he states  his interests are writing (both poetry and fiction), photography, reading, listening to music (he’s a huge Bob Dylan fan), as well as a film fanatic.


“I have been interested in Western-Icelandic language, literature, and culture since I did my exchange semester in Madison, Wisconsin and am excited to follow up on my interest in Western-Icelandic culture and literature and to find inspiration for my creative projects. I am looking forward to meeting lovely people to help me on that path (and I dream of hearing more of the Icelandic that has trickled down from those settlers).”


Languages seem to be an interest of Unnar’s as he reports he speaks native Icelandic, advanced English, intermediate Danish, and beginner level German and Dutch.  He has been to various parts of the United States at least seven times, but has not had the pleasure of visiting Canada yet.


 

The Snorri West Program is available to Icelanders ages 20 to 30 years of age and is organized and operated by volunteers of the Icelandic National League of North America (INLNA) and the Icelandic National League of the United States (INLUS), in cooperation with the Snorri Foundation in Iceland. Like its sister programs, Snorri and Snorri Plus, the primary purpose of Snorri West is to strengthen the bonds between the people of Iceland and people of Icelandic descent in North America. In North America in particular, we rely heavily on Icelandic Roots to identify and locate relatives of the participants.  In addition to genealogy research, support and information, the Snorri West participants receive three months of access to the Icelandic Roots database to assist in exploring their family relationships.

 

In 2024, the four-week Snorri West trip will be staying in five different cities around the “Mountain Corridor.”  This would not be possible without the local coordinators and supporting clubs in each location.  Your offer of assistance to each of them is welcome!


●     Calgary, Alberta - Natalie Wirth (Snorri 2008), Leif Eiriksson Icelandic Canadian Club of Calgary

●     Markerville, Alberta - Brooke Henrikson (mom to Kayli, Snorri 2012), and Pat Oxtoby, Historic Markerville and Stephan G. Stephansson Icelandic Society

●     Edmonton, Alberta - Jodine Chase (mom to Jenny, Snorri 2016 and Angus, Snorri 2019), Icelandic Canadian Club of Edmonton - Norðurljós

●     Saskatchewan - Cindy Goodman, Vatnabyggd Icelandic Club of Saskatchewan

●     Spanish Fork, Utah - Jeanne Bowen, Icelandic Association of Utah


If you can help in any of the regions, send an email to SnorriWestNA@gmail.com to get connected in your area.


Overseeing and administering the Snorri West Program are Co-Directors Blair Lockhart of Vancouver, Canada, (Snorri Plus 2014 along with her mom, Heather)  and Jody Arman-Jones of Farmington, Minnesota (Snorri Plus 2012 and mom of Erin, Snorri 2013).



Photos were supplied by each participant

Comments


Email us your questions or join the conversation on our Facebook Group.

bottom of page