What? When? Where? A New Online Calendar for Latvian Canadians

July 2, 2023

KalendarsThe long-awaited online events calendar for Latvian Canadians is live! It can be found on the LNAK website at https://www.lnak.net/en/calendar. We invite you to try it! Users can view events in list form or see a month at a time. As per popular demand, events are downloadable to your personal (e.g. Google) calendar, and organizations are now able to add their own events. We hope that this online calendar will connect us with people who don’t receive email from organizations or read Latvija Amerikā. Event descriptions can be submitted in Latvian, English, or French.

We would like to thank the Latvian Centre Toronto, British Columbia Latvians, the Imanta Latvian Society of Edmonton, Tērvete, Sidrabene, Saulaine, Daugavas Vanagi, and the Toronto Latvian Pensioners Association, who responded to our call for testers and uploaded their events. We now invite the wider Latvian community to add their events as well. This can be done by clicking the “Add Event” button above the calendar. It is easy to add all the necessary information: the name of the event, time, place, a description, and an image. All submissions will be reviewed before publication.

The implementation of this digital calendar is the first phase in the development of the new LNAK website.

Work on this new website for the Latvian Canadian community flows from the KLiK project initiated in 2021 by LNAK executive committee members Kaspars Reinis and Ināra Klaiše. The goal of this project was to improve communication within the Latvian community in Canada by developing a home page that would house the websites of Latvian Canadian community organizations. Plans included a unified event calendar where organizations would be able to upload their own event information. A team was assembled with financing from Latvia’s Society Integration Foundation (SIF) and a foundational web structure was developed. We thank Kaspars, Ināra, and the entire KLiK team for the tremendous work they invested in this project!

Fast forward: it was clear that the website needed an update, still there were a variety of perspectives as to what form it should take and how that should be accomplished. The new LNAK executive committee that was elected in April 2022 assessed what had been done to date, gathered comments and suggestions from the community, and considered its next steps.

In November 2022, the LNAK board decided at a special meeting:

  • that the LNAK executive will take active responsibility for the future development of the website.

  • to set up multiples URLs, so that anyone interested in Canadian Latvians would be able to find the website readily. The new URLs will be latviansincanada and latviesikanada. As with our current website (lnak.net), they will all lead to the same home page.

  • there will be sections dedicated to advocacy work, culture, and education.

  • to engage IT specialists living in Canada, as well as volunteers for our website development work.

In January 2023, LNAK submitted an application for funding to the Society Integration Foundation (SIF) to support website development, implement several new sections, and upgrade the graphic design. In early March, we learned that our application had been approved and we were awarded 14,973. LNAK is grateful to SIF for this significant grant.

The development of the new website is taking place in stages with the first one being the launch of the new online events calendar. Please do take a look at it!

Northern Village, a website development company owned by Arnis Miķelsons located in Guelph, Ontario, is handling the work. We are grateful to Arnis for his enthusiasm in searching out and identifying a technical solution that will allow organizations to add their information to the organizations section with ease. Users will be able to use online forms to upload and edit their basic information (contact information, website addresses) as well as add articles and photographs. These articles will be featured on the new home page.

There will also be several entirely new sections designed to facilitate Latvian Canadian networking and strengthen our ties with Latvia. These include:

  • A directory of Canadian Latvian professionals and academics. We hope this will serve to replace the credit union calendar that is no longer being published. Individuals will be able to upload their own information.

  • A new section on opportunities for collaboration with Latvia (e.g., re-emigration as well as internship and business opportunities).

  • Mini-sections for children and for fun.

We encourage organizations and professionals to volunteer to test the new online forms by writing to admin@lnak.org. Once the testing is complete, we will organize Zoom sessions in Latvian and English to demonstrate how to add information to the new website and to answer any questions.

The project also calls for the hiring of a graphic designer(s) to create a new LNAK logo and develop the design of the website and our e-newsletter. More information about this opportunity is available on the LNAK website. https://www.lnak.net/en/news/calls-for-a-graphic-designer-to-redesign-the-lnak-logo-and-to-help-with-the-new-lnak-website

SIF logo


Once again, we thank the previous executive committee for initiating this project, the Latvian community for providing their perspectives and suggestions, and SIF for its financial support. Thanks also goes out to the organizations who have already submitted their events. We look forward to working together in the future! If you have any questions, please forward them to admin@lnak.org.

Ingrīda Zemīte
LNAK vice-president