Denmark’s Anna Kinoshita felt right at home performing at the Danish Canadian Museum in Dickson.
Kinoshita was one of 50 students from her home country’s Ollerup Academy of Physical Education performing at the museum’s Viking Days on Saturday – a two-day festival celebrating the history of vikings.
The performance, which was full of dancing and acrobatic feats, is one of many the group will be doing over the next couple weeks, as they celebrate Canada’s 150 year with a tour across Western Canada.
“It’s been amazing so far,” Kinoshita said. “Everybody here has been really welcoming and happy. They’ve been enjoying the workshops we’ve done and the performances as far as I can see.”
This is Kinoshita’s second time in Canada, both times with the Ollerup team as they travel to different countries every other year. This visit has been just as much fun as her first, she said one week into their three-week trip.
It wasn’t just Kinoshita who felt at home during Viking Days, said the Ollerup’s head of the international academy Bo Busk Madsen.
“We are from the viking country,” he said.
Madsen said he was surprised to hear there were a few people from Central Alberta who knew about Ollerup Academy, which has been running since 1920.
“Just today some people came up to me and said, ‘Oh I was there 40 years ago,’” he said. “It’s amazing that there’s people here with Danish blood in their veins who have been to our school.”
It was great having a real Danish acrobatic team perform at the Danish Canadian Museum, said museum president Svend Nielsen.
“I think everybody that was here had a fantastic experience,” he said. “I would give them a ten out of ten. I wouldn’t try any of it, but I really think it was excellent. Being able to do it outdoors makes it even better I think.”
Based on the crowds he saw on Saturday, this Viking Days is poised to be the biggest they’ve ever had, Nielsen said.
“It’s awesome to see so many people out here for this.”
There is also battle demonstrations, face-painting, viking storytelling and more at the annual festival in Dickson.