New LNFC Executive Committee Starts Work

May 4, 2022

The newly elected Executive Committee of the Latvian National Federation in Canada (LNFC) held its first meeting on April 21. The meeting happened via Zoom.

We had a full agenda, with more than ten topics of discussion. In advance of the meeting, Committee President Fritz Traugott Kristbergs had invited all of the Committee members to submit mandate letters, as concise or verbose as each of us wished, to outline the projects and objectives that each member wished to undertake. Vice-president Ingrīda Zemīte has been pulling together all of the ideas, suggestions and project proposals in order to create a comprehensive work plan for the committee. Everyone agreed that it was important to post updates on the Committee’s work here on the LNFC website and on the LNFC Facebook page.

One of the discussion points was to establish each member’s area of focus. Four members of the Executive Committee had been elected without a specific role. It was agreed that Gunta Reynolds would be in charge of administration, Alīda Forstmane would focus on politics, and Jānis Lielāmers would focus on member relations. Alberts Upeslācis was unable to attend the first meeting, and his focus will be defined at our next meeting. The other Committee members had already been voted onto the Committee to fill specific roles: Ilze Kuplēna-Ewart has a seat on the Committee as Chair of the Board, Normunds Goba is the Treasurer, Dace Veinberga is Secretary, Agra Vāgnere is head of the Culture section and Elita Pētersona heads up the Education section. Ilze Kuplēna-Ewart will be working together with Alīda Forstmane to focus on politics.

The names of all the Board and Committee members can be found on the LNFC website

We reviewed the motions that had been passed at the LNFC Board Meeting on April 2 and at the Annual General Meeting on April 3. Agra Vāgnere is going to coordinate Latvian community events for the Canada-wide “Culture Days”, that are taking place from September 23 to October 16, 2022. Ingrīda Zemīte is going to take the lead to review the website project (KliK) undertaken by the previous Executive Committee. Agra Vāgnere took on the delightful assignment of preparing an appropriate greeting for LNFC’s longtime Culture and Education chair Jānis Mežaks as he approaches his 100th birthday.

We then turned our attention to the roles of our LNFC delegates to the World Federation of Free Latvians (WFFL). Fritz Traugott Kristbergs, Andris Ķesteris and Līva Zemīte will be representing LNFC at the WFFL meeting in Rīga at the beginning of June. It was agreed that we should provide them with instructions that reflect current Executive Committee concerns and priorities. We expect to receive in-depth reports from each representative after the WFFL meeting.

Alīda Forstmane gave an update on the “Tribute to Liberty” project. The project is in its final phase with a few issues still to be resolved. COVID-19 has caused a delay.

Board chair Ilze Kuplēna-Ewart gave us a report on her recent visit to Latvia, where she met with the staff of the WFFL office in Rīga, as well as with some senior government officials.

Agra Vāgnere reported on the upcoming visit of Jānis Bordāns, Justice Minister of Latvia. He will be speaking at the Latvian Centre in Toronto on Saturday, May 7 at 10 a.m. In the afternoon he is heading to Saulaine, where he will participate in the annual commemoration of Fortress Kurzeme at 1 pm. On Sunday, May 8, Jānis Bordāns will be speaking in Hamilton. The Sunday event is by registration only, and all available spots have been reserved.

The next Executive Committee meeting will take place in late May or early June, in advance of the World Federation of Free Latvians meeting in Rīga. This will give us an opportunity to discuss what we would like to see addressed at the WFFL meeting.

Our Secretary Dace Veinberga prepared the minutes of our first meeting according to guidelines for minutes set out by Robert’s Rules of Order.

This article touches on the main points of our meeting. We hope that it will provide you with some insight into LNFC’s work.