More information is available on the festival’s website: www.latviansongfest.com
Special festival participants and guests
Overall, a large participant turnout is expected and of particular note, this festival has drawn one of the largest contingencies of Latvian performers to join this event.
In their debut Canadian performance, the festival welcomes the Latvian State Choir “Latvija” under the direction of Maris Sirmais. The choir is world renown and will be performing a concert at Koerner Hall. As well, the choir will be performing solo selections at the Concert of Sacred Music and joining with other choirs from around the world at the Mass Choir Concert.
From the dance perspective, the festival is thrilled to have the folk dance ensemble “Ligo” perform a solo concert this festival. Under the tutelage of Janis Purvins, they have established themselves as the premier dance ensemble in Latvija. This will be their first performance in Canada.
There is no musical ensemble more respected than Raxtu Raxti, who will bring their energy-filled folklore music performances to Toronto. Director Kristine Karkle has previously participated in Song and Dance Festivals here, with groups such as Ceiruleits and Folkvakars. She returns with Raxtu Raxti, performing at two festival balls, as well as the Folk Dance Spectacle. The festival is proud to have this ensemble perform at these events, providing audiences with a concert of their cherished works.
In recognizing Latvija’s 100th anniversary, the Toronto Latvian Concert Association will produce a CD of distinguished works from Latvian Canadian composers: Janis Kalnins, Talivaldis Kenins (who would have celebrated his 100th anniversary in 2019) and Imants Ramins (recently honoured with the Order of Canada). Music from the CD will be featured at the Orchestral Chamber Music Concert at Koerner Hall. This concert will be performed by members of the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra.
Main festival venues
The Mass Choir and Folk Dance Spectacle will be held at what was once known as historic Maple Leaf Gardens (home to Song and Dance festivals in years past). Today the venue is known as the Mattamy Athletic Centre (part of Ryerson University). The arena has been beautifully refurbished but smaller than what it was (and most importantly, now air-conditioned for those hot July days).
The main hotel, Hilton Toronto, is located at 145 Richmond Street West (corner of Richmond and University, next to the Opera). All evening events (festival ball, dances), some shows and all exhibits & displays, will take place at the Hilton. As rooms are booking up fast, the organizing committee will secure another hotel. For further information please check with the website.
The concert venues are elegant and first class: Koerner Hall, Bluma Appel Theater, Hart House Theater, Trinity-St. Paul’s United Church. All are easily accessible with Toronto’s convenient subway system.