Craft/Tradition:

Informant for Stephan G. Stephansson

Stephan V. Benediktson is the grandson of the Icelandic poet Stephan G. Stephansson. After dropping out of high school he returned to school to earn a degree in engineering at the University of Alberta in 1962. Since then, he has been and continues to be involved in the international oil industry having moved up the corporate ladder after starting out as a roughneck in western Canada in the 1950s to become, first, project engineer for Esso in Australia (late 1960s), Indonesia (early 1970s) and Saudi Arabia (mid-1970s) to Vice President and General Manager in the United Arab Emirates in the early 1980s. He formed Benson Petroleum in the late 1980s and has co-founded PetroSantander Inc. and Kroes Energy based in Calgary, Alberta. He is currently working as CEO for a junior resource company that takes him to Philadelphia one week each month. Benediktson could speak to the changes in the oil industry in the province since the 1960s. For further information, see Stefan’s Story, a self-published book on Benediktson’ s life.

It is, though, his connection to the Icelandic community and his relationship to Stephan G. Stephansson that makes the possible appearance of Benediktson on the mall important. Benediktson is very conscious of his lineage and has served as honorary consul of Iceland for southern Alberta 1997-2001. He has traveled to Iceland a number of times and has hosted Icelandic Presidents and politicians at Markerville. He supports local Markerville initiatives. What might his role be? Benediktson can speak to growing up in the Markerville community and to his grandfather. He could recite Stephansson’s poetry in translation. He is intrigued by the possibility of the Icelandic community being represented on the mall and of his role as someone who could speak of his grandfather, and the influences and traditions that were practiced in his home.

Benediktson is an affable, well-spoken person who is capable of speaking to the subject areas mentioned above. Since his grandfather’s home and the Hola school are some of the models he might be a “storyteller” along with the Markerville storytellers working in the “village”.