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  • Writer's pictureKristian Electric

The Norwegian Connection

Updated: Aug 1, 2019

From the Norwegian fjords to the Canadian prairies, Kristian Electric has it's roots deep in Scandinavia.

Bergen, Norway



In 1930, Kristian Electric founder Bjorn Kristian Gjertsen (Kris) was born and raised in Bergen Norway. He immigrated to Canada in 1952. His wife Bertha (the matriarch of Kristian Electric) also shares these Norwegian roots. Kris started Kristian Electric in 1964 as a family business, that is now moving into it's third generation. Many members of the KEL family either share this Norwegian blood line or are patriotic by proxy.

Bjorn Kristian Gjertsen and his wife Bertha circa 1965

Kris was also a distinguished member of the Sons of Norway as well as well as the Calgary division of Torkse Klubben, both fraternal organizations principally representing people of Norwegian heritage.



A logo is a visual representation of a company's identity, so it should not be a surprise that every logo the Kristian Electric has ever sported over the past 50 plus years have incorporated Norse design elements.

With the classic symbol of a vikings helmet to the current Viking ship of today’s logo, not to mention the red and blue of the Norwegian flag that make up our company colors.



In 1988 the winter Olympics were held in Calgary, AB. To support their heritage, Kristian Electric sponsored the Norwegian Olympic Team during the games. Not only were the '88 games emblazoned in our memory for the heroic ski jumper Eddie "The Eagle" Edwards, and the Winter Olympic début of the Jamaican national bobsled team, but was also the most expensive Olympic games ever held at that time.

Crowd cheering the Norwegian Olympic team



The Canadian Birkebeiner is a two-day celebration of cross country skiing and Nordic Legends, which takes place the second Saturday in February every year. It is Western Canada’s Premier Nordic Ski Event and one of only three Birkebeiner Loppets in the world with Norway and the USA hosting the other two.

Kristian Electric has been a major sponsor for the annual Birkebeiner Ski Festival many times since it's Canadian inception in 1985.



The pride of our Norwegian heritage is something that we here at Kristian like to show off. In fact we even commissioned a 60' mural on the side of our Edmonton shop, depicting vikings on their long ships.

Kristian's love and patriotism for this strong and mighty Scandinavian country runs very deep indeed.

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