We’re celebrating in our homes and hearts this year as the 131st Islendingadagurinn kicks off August 1 in Gimli and for the first time, virtually around the world! And while we not be able to gather shoulder to shoulder this year, we can Get Our Gimli On by visiting some local attractions and picking up the things that inspire our love for the culture.
Here are a few ideas to get you started.After a deep dive into Icelandic culture and settlement in the Gimli area, get lost in the carefully curated collection of gift shop goodies at the New Iceland Heritage Museum. Perhaps a crocheted beanie featuring Viking horns? Or a deliciously scently bar of soap wrapped in Icelandic wool? Take your pick from stunning pieces of jewelry featuring cultural symbols of Iceland. Then tempt your taste buds with a bar from Iceland’s chocolate maker Omnom, recently featured in Zac Efron’s Down to Earth series on Netflix.
Chef Mathew Watt of Lakeview Gimli Resort has knocked it out of the park with his pickerel cheek dip, served in The Pier Lounge inside the hotel. It starts with roasted cheeks, onions and plenty of garlic plus a savoury addition of preserved lemons. Then comes cream cheese and a four cheese blend, served with buttery warm pita bread. It’s truly fit for a Viking after a long day!
The kingpin of retail therapy in Gimli is H. P. Tergersen & Sons, housed in an historic building at Gimli’s busiest intersection. The emporium stocks fashionable finds including a wide selection of tees featuring Gimli icons (Vikings for sure). There’s also a great bookstore inside the store where stories of the great horned ones abound. Directly from Iceland, Alrun products include symbolic jewelry and the most darling wool blankets and wraps you’ve ever seen.
Since the 1970s, the Gimli Art Club has been a harbourside fixture in the town of Gimli, showcasing the visual arts of all who are inspired by the lakeside community. You’ll find treasures here, from pretty pottery and delicate paintings, to stunning jewelry and show-stopping photography. You can even pick up some black and white art cards by Irene Kuzew featuring Egil, a hero from an Icelandic saga.
Newfoundlanders may require a shot of screech to truly be considered an islander, but Icelanders have hardfiskur, or hardfish as they say in English. Think of it as the aquatic equivalent of beef jerky. Chewy, salty and just a bit fishy, it goes great with cold brews. Pick up the traditional Icelandic style dried haddock from the waters of Iceland at the Icelandic Festival of Manitoba Gift Shop, or order online. For the ultimate way to get your Gimli on, pick up a community celebration pack that includes an Iceland inspired novel, gift card to a local restaurant, coffee, a flag, lawn sign, postcard, tote bag and of course, a bag of hardfiskur!
Paid partnership with Shel Zolkewich