June 2021 Newsletter

Greetings to all! We are hoping everyone is safe and healthy these days and are enjoying the warm weather outdoors.

Imanta is now a part of the historical Johnny J. Jones Midway at Fort Edmonton Park. Imanta dedicated 20 bulbs to Latvian Society IMANTA members, past and present. Imanta will also celebrate 75 years next year; we have a rich history to celebrate and it is wonderful to be a part of this historical and educational park where we can always come together and visit for many years to come.

Our Annual General meeting and elections were held in March and the Executive Positions are as following:

President– Nelda Kononova, Vice-President – Ed Rudzitis, Treasurer – Liesma Mithrush, Secretary – Linda Payne, Auditor – Jon Goor, Members At Large: Ena Rudovics, Zane Vendelina, Inta London, Jon Goor.

We thank everyone for their volunteer efforts and continuous involvement to keep Imanta active and alive. All Imanta Executive members are volunteers and are not the same as employees. Their participation is truly voluntary, and they are critical to the success of our organization.

Join us for our annual tree planting anniversary. All are welcome! Sunday, June 13th  at 11:00 a.m. Our tree is planted at Monsignor William Irwin Park, 9814 110 St., close to the Grandin School and the LRT station. Please follow the Covid protocols that are in place at that time. In a joint effort across Canada, oaks or linden trees were planted in 2018 to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of Latvian Independence. Imanta choose to plant a linden tree for our Centennial Tree. Every year we commemorate the tree planting by gathering and remembering the anniversary.  It has become a tradition to do this around June14th, Commemoration Day of Victims of Communist Terror. This June will be the 80th Anniversary of the deportation of Latvians in 1941.

It is with deep sadness we announce the passing of our members. Their support will be remembered always and is already greatly missed.

Ausma Birzgalis, one of our oldest and most active Imanta members and supporters passed away March 11th, 2021 at the age of 95 years.

Elfrida Heinbergs of Evansburg, Alberta, a long time supporter of Imanta passed away April 28th, 2021 at the age of 94 years.

Uldis Delveris,  one of our active members and also volunteer for past years of Imanta Executive Board passed away May 13th, 2021 at age of 83 years.

Due to Covid uncertainty we have decided to move our Summer Solstice 2021 to a safe celebration in 2022!  Mark your calendar for June 24th to 26th, 2022. Start planning for a great Ligo/ Jani, email us your ideas and get involved!

Svētku vainagā iepiniet: (For your Līgo/Jāni wreath)

Ozola lapas – spēkam un veselībai, Oak Leaves for strength and health,

Rudzupuķes – skaistumam, Cornflowers for beauty,

Magones – auglībai, Poppies for fertility

Pīlādzi pret ļaunu aci, Rowan for protection from evil eye,

Margrietiņas – mīlas degsmei, Daisies for love.

Priecīgis Līgo Svētkus! Happy Summer Solstice!

Have a great summer everyone!

Tree Planting Anniversary

Join us for our annual tree planting anniversary. All are welcome! Sunday, June 13th at 11:00 a.m. Our tree is planted at Monsignor William Irwin Park, 9814 110 St., close to the Grandin School and the LRT station. Please follow the Covid protocols that are in place at that time.

In a joint effort across Canada, oaks or linden trees were planted in 2018 to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of Latvian Independence. Imanta choose to plant a linden tree for our Centennial Tree. Every year we commemorate the tree planting by gathering and remembering the anniversary.

 Interesting facts about linden trees:

Oaks and lindens are considered the national trees of Latvia. The oak and the linden tree are characteristic elements of the Latvian landscape. Both trees are still widely used for medical purposes. Medicinal infusions are made of linden blossoms as well as oak bark. Latvian dainas (folk songs) often reflect ethical and moral concepts of earlier times and these folk songs most often mention the oak and linden tree.

In traditional Latvian folk beliefs and folklore the linden tree is looked upon as a female symbol, but the oak – a male symbol. The nation’s reverence for these trees, which in earlier times were considered sacred, can be witnessed, for example, in a landscape where, in the middle of a cultivated field there still remains a lone large, sacred oak or linden tree.

In October 2020 the Latvian central bank put out a linden leaf coin.

Lindens are one of the most attractive ornamental trees because of their symmetrical growth habit.

Lindens are hermaphroditic, having perfect flowers with both male and female parts, pollinated by insects.

Lindens are very important honey plants for beekeepers. The flowers are also used for herbal tea and tinctures.  They have active ingredients which include flavonoids (which act as antioxidants).

The linden wood is white and soft, its grain is very fine. A popular wood for model building and for intricate carving.

February 2021 – Imanta Newsletter

Edmonton Latvian Society Imanta wishes a Happy and Better New Year to all of our members and friends and hopes everyone stays safe and healthy. Like for many organizations, this past year has been much more different for Imanta. We were not able to celebrate our events or meet in person and still are not able to.

Our annual general meeting will take place on Monday, March 29th, at 7pm via Google meet. All current members will receive the minutes of last year’s meeting via email with a link to join this meeting. We will post the link on our website on the 29th or a few days before. Come back and check the website often. Those who purchased their memberships in September 2020 are considered current members. Information on how to purchase a current membership can be found here: https://imanta.ca/membership-form/

HIGHLIGHTS FOR THE 2020 YEAR:

Latvia’s 102 Anniversary on November 18th Independence day was celebrated by lighting up the High Level Bridge in Edmonton in the colours of the Latvian flag. A short dance video was filmed at the end of October as a part of a country wide compilation for November 18th Independence Day celebration. This video was sent to LNAK (Latvian National Association in Canada) and is now available to view at YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCfTayx3JuI&t=60s This was the first virtual event for the Latvian community in Canada celebrated from coast to coast.

There was also the first virtual musical Latvian-Christmas sing along from different Canadian Latvian musical families. The video is available for you to watch on our December 29th post.

Our 2020 scholarship recipients were announced in December. Congratulations to Nicole, Gita and Daniels. Imanta is proud to announce that since the scholarship program commenced in 2010, we have awarded 100 scholarships for a total of $231,000. We are very grateful to have the AGLC casino money which allows us to continuously sponsor our scholarship, seniors taxi, and our children’s programs.

Our children’s program/school was reopened for classes last September but was not able to continue in class activities due to Covid-19. Teachers are finding creative ways to connect with children and parents in many different ways.

Seniors taxi vouchers are still available for transportation needs. Please email us if you need more vouchers.

One of our members, Peter Green, just celebrated his 100th Birthday on February 22nd! Imanta congratulated Peter on reaching this important milestone and wished him good health and happiness. A few of our members went to sing for Peter in his driveway. It was great to see Peter in good spirits and singing along to one of the songs. The Latvian Ambassador to Canada, Karlis Eihenbaums, also sent a letter of congratulations to Peter and also personally called him on February 22nd. Imanta will celebrate 74 years on March 8th, and one of its founding members, Viola Baker, just celebrated her 99th Birthday !

Ligo 2021 is still likely to be affected by Covid-19 and provincial health restriction guidelines, but we will keep you informed. For the most up to date information on what’s happening in Imanta you can always visit us here on our website or follow us on Facebook. You can sign up to receive automatic notifications by email whenever new information is posted to our site. Just scroll to the bottom of our webpage and enter your email address!

Christmas Sing-Along

LNAK, the Latvian National Federation of Canada, is hosting a virtual cross-Canada Christmas concert and sing-along on Wednesday, December 23, at 6pm Alberta time.

The program is planned to be an hour long and will feature families, children’s groups, and individual performances from across the country. This Christmas program is especially for those who find it difficult to be apart from family this year. It will also serve as a musical greeting to the Canadian-led NATO mission in Latvia. Zoom link follows. Mark your calendars, and please share this information with family and friends!

From Edmonton Latvian Society ‘Imanta’ – “Priecīgus Ziemassvētkus visiem. Merry Christmas to all”.

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83514145236

November 18th – Edmonton lit up the bridge

Here a few of the many pictures taken in Edmonton while the bridge was lit up in the colours of the Latvian flag. The sign to the entrance of the bridge proclaimed to all who drove through it! Various groups and cohorts braved the snowy, cold weather to view the beauty of the site. Latvians of Edmonton are proud to celebrate the 102nd Anniversary of Independence.

Imanta’s November 18th Celebration

To celebrate the 102nd Birthday of the Republic of Latvia, Edmonton’s High Level Bridge will be illuminated in the colours of the Latvian Flag on November 18th from 5pm-10pm. We can not celebrate together as we have done in the past, so we invite you to visit the bridge area on your own or with your family or cohorts and take a photo or short video and then share it on Imanta’s FB page. You can also send your photo or video to imantaedmonton@gmail.com and we will post it to our website!

The Latvian National Association in Canada (LNAK) is inviting everyone to their celebration of Latvia’s 102nd birthday via Zoom on November 18th. The event will feature programs from coast to coast (even as far as the Arctic Circle) and will start at 8pm EST (6pm in Alberta). Look for Edmonton’s contribution! This event will also be live-streamed on Facebook (link follows below). The Zoom link will be posted on our website and on the LNAK FaceBook page a day in advance. Let’s be united and spread our love for Latvia!

Facebook Link for Latvian Federation in Canada

The Latvian Embassy in Canada and the European Union Film Festival present Blizzard of Souls on November 17th & 18th. This historical drama about Latvian Riflemen during WW1, based on a book by Aleksandrs Grīns, is one of the most expensive productions in LV cinematographic history and one of Latvia’s biggest box-office hits. It has been nominated for several European film awards.  Festival info at  http://www.euffonline.ca/

Scholarship Information

IMANTA is once again pleased to announce our self-administered scholarship program for 2020/2021, funded by our ongoing casino program and governed by the regulations of the Alberta Gaming and Liquor 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, or
  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 licenced.

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 course registration confirmation and receipts for tuition paid before any monies are distributed. The deadline for scholarship applications relating to enrollment in the 2020/2021 fall/winter program or 2021 spring/summer program must be received by Imanta no later than November 1, 2020. Awards will be announced by December 15, 2020. Payment will be made directly to the individual upon submission of proof of attendance (i.e. tuition receipt) at the recognized educational institution.

Submit applications by email, with a read receipt to:

  • The Edmonton Latvian Society Imanta
  • Attn: Scholarship Advisory Committee
  • imantaedmonton@gmail.com

Imanta’s Children’s classes are back!

Greetings to all the new and returning students for this new school year!!! We are resuming Latvian classes in September! Everything is a little different this year.. but we are still prepared to keep the school running with safety protocols in place. Classes still start at 11am and are held in Laurier Community Hall.

Dates for September are as follows: 

📚September 13th

📚September 27th

More dates will be added later. Please email us if you will be returning or would like more information:

zanegara@gmail.com 

Attention Post-Secondary Students

Edmonton Latvian Society Imanta will still be offering our annual scholarships to applicants for the 2020/2021 terms. Due to Covid our plans for implementation of the application process has been delayed. We are working on getting the information on the application process out to you and ask for your patience. Our plan is still to have the awards given out before the year end, although the timelines for submitting the required information may be shorter than in previous years. Applicant information will be posted on our website when it becomes available. Sign up to become a follower on our website and you will be notified by email of any new posts!