Spring 2023 Newsletter
Happy Spring everyone and Happy Birthday Imanta! This month Imanta celebrates 76 years! For those of you who don’t know, Imanta was founded on March 4th, 1947 and registered as a society a few days later on March 8th. Despite all the challenges we are still an active society and the oldest active Latvian organization in Canada. We are hopeful that we can keep Imanta up and running for many more years.
One of Imanta’s founding members, Viola Baker, celebrated her 101st birthday last month. Peter Green, an active member in the past, celebrated his 102nd birthday. Helen Richards, who is still an active member and volunteers often, celebrated her 95th birthday. These milestones are remarkable achievements!
Our annual general meeting was held on March 11, 2023. The members of Imanta’s executive for the coming year are: Nelda Kononova, Ed Rudzitis, Linda Payne, Liesma Mithrush, Jon Goor, Zane Vendelina, Ena Rudovics and Lasma Bobkova. We are fortunate and grateful to have these dedicated board members.
UPCOMING DATES AND EVENTS
March 25, 2023 – Latvia commemorates the victims of the 1949 deportations and communist genocide. Forty-two thousand Latvian residents were shuffled into cattle trains and taken to Siberia on that day. Many deportees died on the way and the ones who survived spent years in the northern regions of Russia, fighting for survival in inhumane conditions. Ukrainian cities have become the modern history of violence in Europe in 21st century. We need to help Ukraine any way we can by demonstrating solidarity with Ukrainian people in the fight for Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity. We honor the civilians and armed forces personnel who died as a result of Russia’s military aggression in Ukraine.
May 4, 2023 – Latvia marks the 33rd anniversary of the Restoration of Latvia’s Independence. As well as speeches and parades, recent years have seen a new tradition taking root which brings friends and families together around a “white tablecloth” to share memories of the past and hopes for the future. On May 4th everyone is encouraged to gather around a table clad in white and share photos and videos on social media with the hashtag #mans4maijs or #BaltaisGaldauts.
June 6th & 7th, 2023 – Volunteers are needed for our upcoming casino event. Our involvement in AGLC casinos helps us to keep running our cultural events, scholarship and senior’s programs. Without the funding that AGLC distributes to us, we would not be able to keep these programs going. Please consider signing up for a shift. We will even provide you with a meal! The casino event will run from June 6th to 7th, 2023 at Yellowhead Casino, 12464 – 153 Street, Edmonton. We are using ‘SignUp’ (the leading online SignUp and reminder tool) to organize our upcoming casino event. Information for volunteering has been posted to our website in the previous post. Signing up is simple and easy, just click on the following link to see what spots are available and sign up! Volunteer Sign Up
June 24, 2023 -We are pleased to confirm that our Ligo celebration will be held on Saturday, June 24th at Laurier Heights Community Hall and park, 14405 85 Avenue, NW, Edmonton with a potluck style get together. We are looking forward to meeting our old friends and always open to meeting new friends and supporters of Imanta! More details will follow at a later date.
Imanta’s name is now displayed on the donor wall in Fort Edmonton Park in recognition of the donors and sponsors of the historical Johnny J. Jones Midway at Fort Edmonton Park. In 2021 Imanta dedicated 20 lightbulbs on the Midway to ‘Latvian Society Imanta members, past and present’. Our society has a rich history to celebrate and it is wonderful to be a part of this historical and educational park. Imanta’s Latvian school continues to be active and teachers, Zane Vendelina and Inga Goba, continue doing an excellent job introducing and educating children about Latvian culture, traditions, history, and language. The school is in session twice a month for approximately 2 hours on Saturdays. Our school also receives support from the Latvian Language Agency and has a Latvian library of children’s books.
Imanta is donating to support Pro Coro Edmonton in a CD recording project featuring the Choral Music of Latvian Composer Ugis Praulins. The project is scheduled to take place in October 2023 with a CD release date in December 2023.
Imanta continues it’s friendship with the Edmonton Garrison Military Family Resource Center. In 2021 the military project “ Follow their Footsteps” was started and was up and running in May 2022. The goal was to introduce military families, whose spouses were deployed or will be deployed to Latvia, to help add a positive spin on this deployment. The program includes various sessions ranging from learning about Latvia and its traditions, to language and food. Members of Imanta have participated in this program with presentations about Latvia, led question and answer sessions and had coffee workshops with military spouses, whose loved ones are already deployed to Latvia. We are very grateful for the Canadian Military presence in Latvia and are determined to continue our relationship.
Imanta is always looking for volunteers and for those who would be interested in joining us on the executive board! If you are interested, please contact us. For the latest posts and news visit our website often or sign up to receive email notifications whenever new information has been posted. You are always welcome to email us with any suggestions or questions at email@example.com