We at the Danish Lutheran Church of Vancouver, B.C., do so like visitors who can tell us a bit of news from Denmark.

The Dean

Dean Pia Sundbøll and Pastor Susanne Ivalo Rasmussen Dean Pia Sundbøll of DSUK visited our church for the installation of Pastor Susanne Ivalo Rasmussen.

Kurt Theis and Helen Ward with Janett Mowatt at the piano in the background Thank you to Kurt Theis and Helen Ward who sang at the installation service.

The Historian

Dr Barry Pointon in discussion with Dr Hilmar Pavel just before we get started As part of our celebrations in 2017 of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation we invited Dr. Hilmar Pabel of Simon Fraser University to tell us a bit about the Catholic response to the Reformation—then and now. Luther rose We had a delightful evening and learned so much that the coffee grew cold.

The Ambassador

His Excellency the Danish ambassador to Canada Niels Boel Abrahamsen at the microphone

His Excellency the Danish ambassador to Canada Niels Boel Abrahamsen visited our church on the morning of May 14th, 2014. We told the Ambassador a bit of our history, how we have always worked on the balance between Danish and English, and how we continue to adapt ourselves to the Danes (etc) who live here now.

The Ambassador told us that he after his previous assignment in Afghanistan enjoys peaceful Canada—despite the border dispute over Hans Island. We were also told that though all the major political parties in the Danish parliament are in support of allowing dual citizenship, technical complications have delayed this actually becoming law. Finally we also learned that though Canada and the European Union have agreed on a very comprehensive free-trade agreement, dairy products are excepted, so we should not get our hopes up for inexpensive Danish cheese.

Our distinguished guests at the coffee table
From left to right: The Vice Consul Vibeke Hynkemejer, the Honorary Consul John Petersen, and Ambassador Niels Boel Abrahamsen.

Habadekuk, 2013

Three brass players and a double bass by the altar

Enten var der rock i synagogen, eller også har vi fået Habadekuk i Burnaby. Med mindre end 30 timers varsel fik vi samlet 90 mennesker til en fed koncert med dans mellem kirkebænkene—og så var der kaffe og kvalitetsis i lokalbagte “danske” isvafler i undersalen bagefter.

There was dancing between the pews as Danish band Habadekuk put smiles on our faces last night. With less than 30 hours’ head-up 90 people showed up for the concert, and there was coffee and ice cream in Danish style cones afterwards. Don’t you just wish you were here?

Drum set, guitar, accordion, violin, and saxophone by the altar Dancing between the pews

The Bishop

Bishop Steen Skovsgaard installs Pastor Birgitte Saltorp Bishop Steen Skovsgaard visited our church for the installation of Birgitte Saltorp as our new pastor on September 16th, 2012.

The clergy in front of our church before the service
Left to right: Pastor Birgitte Saltorp, Pastor Morten Larsen of Granly, Pastor Willy Olesen, and Bishop Steen Skovsgaard.
The clergy enters the church The potluck after the service

The Cathedral Dean

Canadian flagDanish flag Our former pastor, Cathedral Dean Jens Arendt paid us a visit on occasion of our church’s 75th anniversary. We held a big party: catered dinner, even the volunteers got to sit down.

The Tivoli Singers perform for us We wave our flags in celebration Cathedral Dean Jens Arendt leading our service

Our visitors
Left to right: Cathedral Dean Jens Arendt, his wife Solvejg, Pastor Morten Larsen of Granly, and his wife Elisabeth who leads the Tivoli Singers

Bruce Sagan

Bruce Sagan On Mothers’ Day 2012, Bruce Sagan visited our church. He and our own Lily Yen played Beethoven’s Spring Sonata for us.

Lily Yen

The Ambassador

H.E. Erik Vilstrup Lorenzen and Mrs Lise Brandi Hansen The Danish ambassador to Canada, His Excellency Erik Vilstrup Lorenzen, and his wife, Mrs. Lise Brandi Hansen visited our church on Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012.

We took the opportunity to tell the ambassador about Danish art in Vancouver and its influence on The Group of Seven, about Danish furniture in Vancouver, and about the failed Danish settlement on Cape Scott and “Professor” C.B. Christensen. Then we played a movement from Niels W. Gade’s piano trio opus 42.

The ambassador told us that now that we can no longer apply for Danish passports at the consulate in Vancouver, the embassy plans to send a travelling passport office to Vancouver in October. We hope that this will be enough of a success to become a recurring event.

The Brass Band

Allen Vizzutti October 18th, 2011, saw a concert with the Danish National Youth Brass Band, Dansk Amatør Orkesters Ungdoms Brass Band featuring soloist Allen Vizzutti playing in our church. This concert was funded in part by the Danish Canadian Community Centre of British Columbia.

The Danish National Youth Brass Band playing in our church

Den Kongelige Livgardes Tambourkorps

The two members of the Royal Danish Guards' Marching Band playing in the Church Hall Nicoline Jørgensen and Mikkel Kejser played for us at the service on Sunday, April 10th, 2011. Nicoline and Mikkel were in town on occasion of the Pacific Northwest Garderforening’s birthday bash for H.M. Queen Margrethe of Denmark.

The two members of the Royal Danish Guards' Marching Band posing with Vera

Aarhus Pigekor

The choir girls in the aisles singing for the congregation in the pews Aarhus Girls’ Choir gave a concert in our church in conjunction with their participation in the 2010 International Choir Ḵathaumixw in Powel River.

The Olympics

happy fans After the service on the last Sunday during the 2010 Vancouver Olympics we rather spontaneously decided to watch the gold medal ice hockey game together. Canada won—of course.


The Great Granddaughter

Cynthia Chidley On Sunday January 24th, 2010, Cynthia Chidley visited our church and told us a bit about her great grandfather, Professor C.B. Christensen, who was instrumental in establishing our church back in the 1930’ies.

The Organist and her Daughter

Anne Sørensen at our organ On July 12th, 2009, we enjoyed a concert with organist organist Anne Sørensen from Næsby Church in Odense and her daughter, Ida, who plays the cello.

Isa Sørensen with her cello

The Circus

Walking on a ball at the Circus Service The FlikFlak Children’s Circus performed at a street party at the parsonage and at a service in our church as part of their 2009 tour to Canada.

We enjoyed our more than fifty visitors, managed organising the events, and got a sermon on keeping balance and several balls in the air.

Five kids on unicycles The circus on Burnfield Crescent The circus band

Hauka Mannskor

The Hauka Men's Choir in our church The Hauka Men’s Choir from Sør-Trønderlag in Norway gave a very nice concert on June 21st, 2009, as part of their North American tour. We enjoyed the singing, of course, as well as fiddle playing and some very exciting piano.

Den Kongelige Livgardes Tambourkorps

The two members of the Royal Danish Guards' Marching Band with a group of people from our church Morten Larsen and Claes Jensen played for us at the service on Sunday, April 19th, 2009. Morten and Claes were in town on occasion of the Pacific Northwest Garderforening’s birthday bash for H.M. Queen Margrethe of Denmark.

The Gymnasts

The troupe lined up to begin The gymnasts from Gymnastikhøjskolen i Ollerup included us in their North American tour. After their impressive performance—pictures, unfortunately, do not do justice to this very dynamic art form—four members of the audience introduced themselves as former students at Ollerup, spanning more than half a century.

A few guys balancing on much too few arms Swirling round and round

The Painter

Rita Lund in front of her paintings The Danish painter Rita Lund visited our church with a small exhibition of her work on September 13th (Men’s Dinner) and 14th, 2008. She told us about working on Ærø, about transporting an art exhibition in a suitcase, and about the insanity of artists in general.

The Copenhagen Camerata Choir

The Camerata Choir performing in our church

The Camerata Choir and their conductor, Martin Nagashima Toft, gave an outstanding concert on July 6th as part of their cross Canada tour.

The Folk Dancers

The folk dancers from Svendborg The folk dancers from Svendborg

The Bishop

Bishop Steen Skovsgaard and his wife Bishop Steen Skovsgaard and his wife, Susanne, visited our church for a pot-luck lunch on Victoria Day 2007. The bishop talked to us about living for a couple of years as an outsider on the Faroe Islands, about coming back to Denmark and feeling like an outsider in his old parish that through immigration suddenly had more Muslims than Christians, about being elected bishop, and about transplanting a yucca palm to Lolland.

Bishop Steen Skovsgaard tells us about being elected bishop We listen to the bishop

Just before the installation of Pastor Bodil Toftdahl
Pastor Bodil Toftdahl, Pastor Anne-Sophie Christiansen of Granly, and the Reverend Willy Olesen.

The Installation

Pastor Bodil Toftdahl was installed on August 20th, 2006, by Pastor Anne-Sophie Christiansen of Granly.

Reading the letter of employment
Seated: The Reverend Willy Olesen and Pastor Anne-Sophie Christiansen of Granly. Standing: Pastor Margith Pedersen of DSUK and Pastor Søren Kristoffersen.

The Secretary General

The Secretary General of DSUK, Pastor Margith Pedersen, installed our new pastor, Søren Kristoffersen, on Sunday June 27th, 2004.

Pastors Søren Kristoffersen and Margith Pedersen Processing into the church

H.E. Svend Roed Nielsen

The Ambassador

The Danish ambassador to Canada, His Excellency Svend Roed Nielsen, and his wife, Mrs. Anne-Marie Overbye visited our church on Thursday, October 18th, 2001.

The ambassador told us about his job. Being new in Ottawa, he talked about his previous post in Estonia. The Danes back home seem to have taken the three Baltic republics to heart in a way that is new to many of us over here, so that was nice to hear.

We learned that there is no hope for those of us over here who would like to have dual Canadian-Danish citizenship. Only children born of Danish citizens in Canada have (and can often keep) dual citizenship.

Mrs. Overbye talked about her work on the cultural side, both in Estonia and here. We learned that the embassy’s cultural budget is miniscule, but they are happy to lend a hand if we have a project, and we are always happy to host the embassy’s cultural events as they make their way through Canada.

Our distinguished guests
From left to right: Pastor Kai Glud; former president of our church, Poul B. Christensen; the ambassador, H.E. Svend Roed Nielsen, and his wife, Mrs. Anne-Marie Overbye; the Danish consul in Vancouver, Jorn B. Petersen, and his wife, Mrs. Judy Petersen.

…and what they all really come for…

Pot Luck Dinner

The Bishop

The president of Dansk Kirke i Udlandet, Bishop Søren Lodberg Hvas and his wife, Alice, visited our church in June 2001.

The bishop told us about the ongoing negotiations about the merger of DKU and the Danish Seamen’s Church in Foreign Ports. From our point of view, maybe the most important result of there negotiations is that DKU has re-thought it’s many-sided structure and has confirmed its support for the immigrant churches like ours.

Bishop Lodberg Hvas
Bishop Søren Lodberg Hvas in the middle flanked by his wife Alice and the vice president of our church, Mogens Lemvig Hansen.