Tammy Axelsson, a Canadian of Icelandic descent, steps down as Mayor of Gimli, Manitoba, a town founded by Icelandic settlers in 1875, today. However, she will continue to direct The New Iceland Heritage Museum.
From the Íslendingadagurinn festival in Gimli last summer. Photo by Alana Odegard.
“It will be a strange feeling waking up tomorrow and not have any public duties to tend to,” Axelsson told Morgunbladid.
According to the newspaper, the end of her term as mayor is considered an indication that Icelanders aren’t as influential in the community as they used to be, even though not all previous mayors have been of Icelandic descent and Gimli still has an ‘Icelandicness’ about it.
Axelsson is married to Grétar Axelsson from Iceland. She had directed the local heritage museum for many years when she decided to run for mayor four years ago. She won by a landslide.
“I cannot do both jobs as well as I wanted to and therefore I decided not to run again,” she explained. The election took place yesterday and today Axelsson will hand over her keys to her successor.
“Now I can focus on what I love the most, to strengthen the museum and the connection with Iceland,” she concluded.