For Marika Mayfield, lending her talents to the Estonian Studies Centre (ESC) and the Museum of Estonians Abroad (VEMU) as Executive Assistant is a natural fit for her interests and abilities.
“I think it was meant to be,” she laughs. “I am connected to both Estonian and Canadian culture and love the challenge of working in both worlds.”
Marika will get the chance to do all this and more as she is full speed ahead helping coordinate Estonian Music Week and Latitude 44 (EMW/L44).
Latitude 44, a conference aimed at bringing together key players in the technology world from Estonia and Canada is being combined with Estonian Music Week in Toronto this year.
The conference will take place November 14 and 15 at the WE Global Learning Centre and Estonian Music Week will be held November 14 – 17 at various venues throughout the city.
A graduate of the University of Toronto, Marika started working at ESC part time as a student and then joined the team full time after earning a BA in anthropology. She’s been in her current role as “right hand” to Chief Archivist Piret Noorhani for four years.
“Marika is a wonderful co-worker – she’s friendly, creative, intuitive and takes the initiative with many original ideas,” Piret said. “VEMU simply would not be same without her.”
Marika, who is bilingual in Estonian and English, was born in the U.S. and moved to Estonia with her family when she was in her teens to finish high school there. Her mother Tiina Kirss is a well-known writer and teaches literature at the University of Tartu.
This experience enabled Marika to hone her Estonian skills to the level that she regularly translates from Estonian into English. She is adept at social marketing and other communications and takes on this work in her role as well.
When she’s not working, Marika is an avid fitness enthusiast and she also loves to cook and bake, especially “kringel,” a traditional Estonian sweet bread.
She’s excited about the November events, and says it’s an amazing chance for Estonians and Canadians to have some great cultural experiences, find out more about each other and make valuable connections.
“Both Estonian Music Week and Latitude 44 are shaping up really well,” she said. “There is so much going on in Estonia with both the music scene and in technology that is interesting and cutting-edge.”
“People are interested in Estonia – more people are finding out what goes on there and the word is getting out. We want to let people in on this ‘secret’!”
The Museum of Estonians Abroad (VEMU) is one of the Estonian Studies Centre programs at Tartu College. VEMU works to connect Canadian and Estonian communities through cultural programming including concerts, lectures, seminars, workshops, exhibitions, film screenings, theatre, and more in both Estonian and English. VEMU also acts as a cultural bridge between Canada and Estonia by participating in a variety of cultural and research projects. The VEMU archival, library, and museum collections are the biggest Estonian collections located outside of Estonia.
Confirmed speakers for L44:
Asko Seeba, Co-Founder, Head of Data Science at Mooncascade in Estonia;
Indrek Oolup, Co-Founder of Cleveron in Estonia;
Natasha Campagna, Director of DMZ Sandbox in Toronto.
Confirmed artists for EMW:
U: Ensemble. The group will be performing a special virtual reality and music program available exclusively at the opening reception for EMW/L44.
Puulupp, a creative and original roots-style band.
Tuulikki Bartosik, an innovative accordian player and composer who take this traditional style of music to the next level.
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