The Finnish Club- Suomi Kerho

The Finnish Club in Ottawa

Finnish Club in Ottawa was originally a book club. It was started on February 7th of 1972 as a networking opportunity for Finnish people living in Ottawa. The meetings were first held at members’ homes until the amount of books was exceedingly large and a permanent space was needed. Mrs. Pirkko Kates, one of the four founding members, offered the space in her home for the books. Soon all the meetings were held at Pirkko’s house as well.

The main focus of the club was to practise speaking Finnish and to share information about Finland and about events of interest happening in Ottawa and in Canada. Other than that the club has hosted Finnish authors, lectures and courses (making Karelian pies and sowing traditional Finnish dresses) and picnics in the summer time. Finnish holidays are always celebrated with appropriate songs, poems and stories. Individual members have received flowers or other tokens in their joys and/ or sorrows. The club meets on the first Friday of the month between October and June, except in January. The amount of members is typically about thirty.

The club’s Finnish library holds hundreds of copies of Finnish literature, some of which were received through a membership to the Finnish Foundation and some as donations from past or current members. The library is open for lending during the meetings or at other times per agreement. Finnish magazines are also available.

Since 2009 the meetings have been held at Mrs. Raija Hilska’s home.

Everyone is welcome to the meetings; the more the merrier. It is customary to bring something to share for the coffee table; salty or sweet. The host Raija will set the table and offer coffee. Also a donation of $2 is expected for attending the meeting. The funds will go towards running the club, the yearly subscription to the Finnish Foundation and the occasional flowers sent for special occasions.

For more information and the address please feel free to contact Raija Hilska at

Suomi kerho members during Christmas sing-along in 2017