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February news and announcements…

Laimīgu Jauno Gadu    •   Happy New Year!!

This first newsletter of the year is to announce our Annual General Meeting, which will be held on Sunday, February 28th at 1:00 pm at the Laurier Heights Community Hall at  14405—85  Avenue (on 144th Street, access north from 80th Avenue). Refreshments will be served.

Please remember that seniors can phone any of the following for transportation to the meeting or any other event:
Yellow Cab   780-462-3456
Barrel Taxi   780-489-7777
Checker Cabs  780-484-8888
Vouchers will be available when you arrive and will also be provided for return travel. Seniors who make regular use of our taxi vouchers are asked to phone Inta at 780-963-3593 or Ena at 780-468-2728 if you need more vouchers sent to you.

Together with the Latvian congregation in Edmonton, IMANTA hosted a Christmas celebration (eglītes vakars) in December. Those who attended enjoyed piparkūkas and other treats, as well as a visit by a jolly ziemassvētku vecītis who brought gifts for the children. Ten children attended with their parents. It was a new experience for many of them and we hope to make this an annual event.


Latvian mezzo-soprano Elīna Garanča is performing Carmen at the Metropolitan Opera in New York this season. A January performance was recorded live and shown in Cineplex theatres across the country. It will be re-run on Saturday, March 13, at 1:00pm at the South Edmonton Common Cineplex and possibly other theatres (check the
listings). This is a spectacular performance! The very talented Garanča is rapidly becoming an audience favorite world-wide. It’s also not every day you can hear Latvian spoken on such a famous stage.


IMANTA supported the St. Albert Prowlers Novice hockey team last year. This team will be playing an exhibition game against the Jasper Bears at the WEM Ice Palace on Saturday, February 27, at 11:30 am. If you’re able to watch them play, you’ll see an enthusiastic group of players that was very appreciative of our support.

Our Latvian community has lost three members with the passing of Ilga Green, Erik Kalnins and Marge Gully. We offer our condolences to their family and friends.

Athabasca University is working on a project titled “Connecting Canadians: Canada’s Multicultural Newspaper” and is looking for up to 20 members to assist with content evaluation. This would involve spending approximately 2 hours with their staff, reading some Latvian newspapers from 1945-49 and providing feedback. They will help
anyone who is not comfortable using a computer.
This project is funded by the federal government. It is part of a larger archival record and they want to be sure their efforts will be useful in the future.  We hope many of you will respond for this survey.
If you are interested in participating, please email or phone 780-468-2728 in the next few weeks. We are planning to meet with Athabasca University on the first weekend in March, to accommodate those who work during the week. The time and location will be confirmed shortly.

The University’s contact person was impressed that IMANTA has a blog, through which she was able to contact us. If you have not seen it yet, the link to the blog is and we’re also on Facebook.


IMANTA is very happy to annouce a visit by mycology expert Inita Daniele for this summer’s Senoshana Weekend, August 15 & 16. As the head of the Botany department at the Latvian Museum of Natural History, Daniele has written several mushroom field guides in Latvia, and will be giving talks translated by IMANTA’s own mycology expert and member of the Alberta Mycological Society, Martin Osis. Daniele will also be taking part in the Alberta Foray at Northern Lights College in Grouard, AB, from August 20-23 (info and registration available at

Mushroom Walk:
A stroll through the Gardens’ interesting natural areas. Diverse areas will have many different examples of mushrooms. The walking here will generally be slow and fairly easy. Wear comfortable walking shoes, a hat, and a jacket in case it rains. Also bring a snack and some water.
Saturday, August 15, 2009 – 12:00 – 4:00 pm.
Where: Devonian Botanic Gardens – Hwy 60, west of Edmonton. Meeting in the southwest corner of the parking lot between 11:30 & noon. Leaving the parking lot at 12:00 noon sharp.

And later that evening (7-9pm)…

A Mushroom Talk:
Latvian mushroom traditions ~ mushrooms found in the woods and in the kitchen. Refreshments and dessert will be served.
Where: Lithuanian Hall, 11629-83 Street.

Mushroom picking:
This will be out in the woods so there will not be trails to walk on and may mean some climbing over fallen logs and running away from bears. God willing, we will return to Rudovics’ property on Lake Isle for a Potluck / Barbeque supper at 4:00 pm (please email for a map). With any luck we will have some mushrooms to cook and taste. For those of you who cannot make it for the full day, join us at 4:00 for the supper. After supper we will go for a short mushroom walk on the property. Wear comfortable walking shoes, a hat and a jacket in case it rains. Also bring a lunch, some water and a MUSHROOM BASKET!
When: Sunday, August 16, 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
Where: Meet in Gainford, parking lot of Gainford Hotel (Hwy 16 near Lake Isle), leaving to foray at 10:00 am sharp.

IMANTA is now on facebook!

That’s right: we’ve caved to the latest web craze. Considering IMANTA is about Latvians coming together, joining the world’s largest social networking site is a great way to introduce new people to the group, and keep the existing members in contact with each other.

You can join IMANTA’s facebook group here, or by clicking the link below. (You’ll need to have a facebook account to join.) Please forward the group to anyone you know that may be interested in learning more about the organization and events. The more people who join, the more we can keep updated—and hopefully keep IMANTA’s membership in contact with each other!

We’ll still keep the updates growing on this blog, including the planned Senoshana/Mushroom afternoon coming up on August 15. Check back for details soon!