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.


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.

Other News

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 imantaedmonton@gmail.com

Volunteers required for our casino event – June 6 & 7th, 2023

Once again Imanta is hosting a casino event. Volunteers make it work! Our involvement in AGLC casinos helps us to keep running our 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’re using SignUp (the leading online SignUp and reminder tool) to organize our upcoming casino event.

Here’s how it works in 3 easy steps:

1) Click this link to see our SignUp time slots – Link to Casino sign up
2) Review the options listed and choose the spot(s) you like.
3) Sign up! It’s Easy – you will NOT need to register an account or keep a password on SignUp.

Note: SignUp does not share your email address with anyone. If you prefer not to use your email address, please contact me directly at imantaedmonton@gmail.com and I can sign you up manually.

Imanta’s Annual AGM is March 11, 2023

The Board Members of the Edmonton Latvian Society ‘Imanta’ extend a warm invitation to members, volunteers, friends and supporters to this year’s AGM.

Please join us as we host our Annual General Meeting and review the successes and challenges of the past year. We are always looking for new active members and new ideas. Support us, become a member, join our board!

  •  Location: Laurier Heights Community Hall 14405 85 Avenue, Edmonton, AB
  • Saturday, March11th, 2023. Doors open at 12:45pm. Meeting called at 1:00pm.

We look forward to seeing you!

A message from Allied Container Sysytems – casting actors for spring military training session

Hello everyone,

We have recently been advised that the Canadian Forces will be moving forward with a  training session in the spring of 2023. MR23 will likely be very similar to the previous training session. At  this point, the information we have is very limited. The approximate“in the box” training dates  are May 8th,2023, until May 22nd, 2023, inclusive, with a few days of initial briefings to take place before and after the date range suggested.

Although we have not formally commenced casting, we are reaching out on a preliminary basis to individuals who have attended a session before and expressed an interest in continuing to work with us.

The main language will be Russian and or Eastern European, and our casting choices are limited  and dictated by military requirements. As we work through the logistics of pre-planning, at this  point COVID-19 requirements are not required but could change with evolving circumstances as predicted by the medical professionals. The safety of our cast and crew is a top priority as we  continue to adhere to the protocols suggested for providing a safe and healthy work  environment.

If you’d like to be included in the MR23 training session, please click on the link below  (ACS intake form LINK ) and fill out the form. Please respond to us by February 28th, 2023.

>>>ACS intake form LINK<<< CLICK ON THIS      

Once we hear from you, we will reach out and confirm your attendance when the military confirms the details.


ACS Casting

(587) 334-7734 

M. Araghi – Chief of Staff, Allied Container Systems

Biathlon returns to Canmore, Alberta

The IBU Cup Biathlon (International Biathlon Union www.biathlonworld.com ) tour is returning to Canmore, Alberta for the final events of the season from February 22 – March 4 2023.

There are several training days as well as racing on Feb. 23,25, & 26 and March 1, 2 & 4 . All races will be streamed live as well. Details on race timing can be found here: https://www.biathlonresults.com/ simply select IBU Cup/OECH and scroll down to find the Canmore events.

There is plenty of room for spectators so bring your flags and bells to cheer on the biathletes, especially our Latvian competitors! Biathlon is the most popular winter sport on television in Europe as there is lots of action.

For anyone who would like to volunteer during the event, the link is here: http://canmorebiathlon.ca/volunteers/ Training will be provided. Calgary social club members have helped in the past by greeting teams at the airport (usually their first stop in Canada). It is special to be greeted by a fellow countryman who speaks their language (although most speak English) after a long journey.

For those who like to plan far in advance, in March 2024 the final World Cup of the season will be held in Canmore from March 11 – 17th. The Crystal Globes will be awarded here.

There is plenty to do in Canmore, so make a day or weekend of it and surprise the Latvian biathletes with the number of “hometown” flags along the trails!

Send any questions to info@canmorebiathlon.ca

Certificate of Recognition!

The following certificate was sent to Imanta from LNAK (Latvian National Federation in Canada). It acknowledges IMANTA’s selfless volunteer work for the good of Canadian Latvian society. The last phrase reads “The strength and vitality of our (LV) society is based on the selfless participation of each individual member. That is the truest confirmation of love for one’s nation.” The recognition is greatly appreciated by Imanta!

A Special Invitation to our November Celebrations!

Hello dear friends!

We are pleased to announce that on Friday, November 18th, 2022 in honor of Latvia’s Independence Day the Edmonton High Level Bridge will be illuminated in the colours of the Latvian Flag.

Imanta will celebrate Latvia’s Independence Day on Saturday, November 19th, 2022 at Laurier Community Hall, 14405 85 Avenue, NW, Edmonton with a potluck style get together. This will be a casual event to connect after all the pandemic restrictions, to learn more about Imanta and to take the opportunity to meet and make new friends! Everyone is welcome! Doors will open at 5:30 pm with dinner and short program to start at 6:00pm. This will be a potluck style dinner so please bring something delicious to share. There will also be a cash bar.

  • Admission:
  • $10 per adult member / $15 per non-member
  • $5 per child 6-17 years
  • under 6 years no charge

Advance purchases can be made by e-transfer. Please email your form and payment to imantaedmonton@gmail.com.

If you require more information, have any questions or just want to let us know that you will be attending please contact us at imantaedmonton@gmail.com

November 2022 Event Form / Membership Form

Scholarship Announcement for 2022 / 2023

IMANTA is once again pleased to announce our self-administered scholarship program for the 2022/2023 education year, funded by the ongoing casino program and governed by the regulations of the Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Commission.

Scholarship Eligibility

The scholarship is open to:

  1. Alberta residents who are Canadian citizens, landed immigrants, or foreign students on visa and are registered as full or part-time students as defined by the accredited or licensed educational institution
  2. Applicants who are registered in a Continuing Education course related to a career goal

Eligible Institutions

All accredited post-secondary educational institutions in Canada. Such institutions include universities, colleges, polytechnics and trades training institutions that the Advisory Committee is satisfied are duly accredited or licensed.

Scholarship Award Criterion

All applications will be evaluated by an advisory committee, consisting of at least one IMANTA board member and two members from the community at large, which will present recommendations to the Executive. IMANTA’s Executive retains final decision-making authority over the selection of scholarship recipients.

Application Process

All applicants must complete and submit the attached application form along with the requirements as listed on the form. Applicants will be required to submit official receipts of tuition paid before any monies are distributed. The deadline for scholarship applications relating to enrollment in the 2022/2023 fall/winter program or 2023 spring/summer program must be received by IMANTA no later than November 1, 2022. Awards will be announced by November 30, 2022. Payment will be made directly to the individual upon submission of proof of attendance (i.e. official tuition receipt) at the recognized educational institution.

Scholarship Application 2022-2023

Submit applications by email, with a read receipt, to:
The Edmonton Latvian Society ‘Imanta’
Attn: Adjudication Committee

Ligo Update – June 25th, 2022

We are pleased to confirm that our Ligo will be held on Saturday, June 25th, 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. Once again we will be at Partridge Hill Community Park – 22002 Township Road 542, Fort Saskatchewan. There will be activities for both adults and children such as wreath making (we will have some flowers but more is always appreciated), Latvian Jāņu cheese making, games, singing and a raffle. There will also be a Pīrāgu contest, (so please bring your best if you would like to participate). Our top 3 chef’s will be awarded a prize. Imanta will provide dinner for all. Please reply to imantaedmonton@gmail.com if you are planning to come so that we can better plan the amount of food. We have access to the hall in the event of inclement weather. Bring your own camping chairs and BYOB if you so wish. Appetizers, desserts or snacks are potluck style. There will be no overnight camping allowed. An admission fee of $10.00 will be charged per person, children under 10 are free.

Ligo – Save the date June 25th, 2022

After a long time away we are finally able to meet again and celebrate Summer Solstice!  Our celebration will once again be held at the Partridge Hill Community Park near Ft. Saskatchewan. There is a large outdoor area for many activities.  Imanta is busy planning and looking for extra volunteers to help make this a memorable event.  If anyone is interested in camping overnight, the site can accommodate tents or RV’s, but there are no hook-up utilities provided. Camping will only be allowed with prior approval from Imanta and we will only approve overnight camping if we have a volunteer who can step forward and offer their services for overnight management of the area.

Please contact us by email (imantaedmonton@gmail.com) if you would like to help us out or if you would like more information. 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.