*12.11.1920  -  †18.09.2007


About Stella - in Estonian - in the Tallinn University Library Archives


 STELLA PAHAPILL (n. Kiivet) - born in Tallinn, Estonia), Music Teacher and Music Examiner, is Graduate of Music Academy of Cologne, Germany (Statliche Hochschule für Music, Köln); where she tudied piano under prof. Else Smith-Gohr; with further music-studies in Salzburg, Austria – at the Mozarteum, in Eric Werba’s tutoring classes; and in Toronto, Canada at the Royal Conservatory of Music, with Weldon Kilburn - piano accompanist classes.

She was long-time member (since 1970) of the faculty of Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, Ontario, Canada - teaching piano and theory. As well, she coached singers and accompanied them at recitals. In 1982, she became member of the College of Examiners of the Royal Conservatory of Music; for more than two decades, Stella has examined music students throughout Canada; in parallel with this (1953-2006), she has gave music lessons from her studio at home. 

Stella passed away on September 18, 2007 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. A memorial service was held for her in the St. Peters Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church in Toronto on September 25, 2007. An overview of musical part of her memorial service can be seen from scanned copies of hymn sheet used at the service:  and ; her ashes were taken (by her husband) to her birth-homeland, and buried on November 11, 2007 in the gravesite of her parents at the Metsakalmistu, in Tallinn, Estonia.     

Stella was married - husband John; the couple’s family-home is in Toronto, at the Palace Pier – a lovely waterfront condominium complex. Whenever possible, they vacationed in Pompano Beach, at their ocean-side condominium apartment in Florida; and around the midsummer time – almost each year since the re-independence of Estonia, their beloved country of birth – they have spent as much time there as was possible.

In addition to working actively in her professional calling as music teacher and music examiner, she contributed a tremendous amount of her time and energy to work that was equally dear to her heart, to the many-faceted community activities in the various fields of cultural endeavors. To this end, she was:

For her many-faceted community and cultural work, Stella has been awarded the:


February 24, 2002: Stella receives the Order of The White Cross

From Thomas H. Ilves, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Estonia


·       Ministerial Diploma Award by the Ontario Minister of Culture and Citizenship  “…for her commitment to volunteerism…” (1986).

·       A thank-you Memorial-stone (Tänukivi) dedicated to Stella by the County of Rõngu (of Tartumaa, Estonia) was opened at the Lossimäe Park of Rõngu on August 27, 2009 by the Reeve of Rõngu and Stella’s husband John. The memorial is from the people of Rõngu County, for Stella’s gift of the 14 ha. Lossimäe Park to the people of Rõngu. An article (in Estonian) about the opening ceremony appeared in the Canadian-Estonian newspaper EESTI ELU on September 14, 2009 – it’s URL is at

In its more than three decades of dedicated cultural activities, Estonian Arts Centre, under Stella's visionary and enthusiastic leadership, has organized a multitude of cultural events, always with the definite goal of:

For a further overview of the purpose and goals of Estonian Arts Centre, please refer to the page of its website; for a brief overview of its founding and early history, please “click” on  - or on, an Estonian version of the same / eestikeelne ülevaade.

In the process of her Canada-Estonia cultural “bridge-building”, an interesting idea was born, and it soon became known as the "Electronic Estonia in Canada" project – for details, please go to the website El-Esto. The project is a brainchild of Stella and her husband John. In 1995, when visiting their birth-homeland, they came to realize that  “building” a virtual or electronic museum - instead of the previously visualized (physical) Estonian Heritage Museum in Canada – would be a more practical undertaking. After the rebirth of free and independent Estonia, the need for the Heritage Museum in Canada was no longer there, and it was felt that the development of the electronic- or virtual museum be developed in close liaison with an appropriate organization in Estonia. So, after a series of discussions with various government officials and others in Estonia and in Canada, a Working Agreement between Estonian Arts Centre (of Toronto) and Estonian Institute (of Tallinn) - - was reached (in July, 1997).

Due to various unforeseen situations that developed subsequently, the actual project got underway some years later. However, in October 2004, basic structure of the Estonian Arts Centre virtual- or e-museum was completed and placed on the Internet, where it can be found at Later (in winter 2005/2006), background information and details - in English and in Estonian - on the various artists and their works presented by the e-museum were added to the site; as well, outline write-ups / summaries on upcoming events and selected past activities of the organization are added to the site on an ongoing basis  - these can be seen from: and, respectively.




·       Ajaleht "Eesti Elu" - Nädalaportree: Stella ja Johannes Pahapill, kultuurisilla ehitajad


This page was last updated: April 25, 2015