Programme of the Centenary Celebration of the Republic of Latvia
In 2018 the Republic of Latvia will celebrate its centenary, which, by promoting the interest and participation of the society, is a significant incentive to survey and make current the inherited and newly created cultural values of the nation, as well as to confirm the role of culture in strengthening the national identity and pride of belonging to Latvia. Other Baltic countries, namely Estonia and Lithuania, will also celebrate in 2018 the important centenary year. The Ministry of Culture together with a wide range of partners has developed a special programme for the preparations of Latvia’s centenary celebrations up until 2021. Overall goal of Latvia’s centenary celebrations is to strengthen people’s sense of belonging to their country and love for Latvia, encouraging self-organizing processes and cooperation. In order to reach the overarching goal of the centenary celebrations the following tasks have been set: activating Latvia’s history, honouring the founding fathers of the State and commemorating the events that have influenced the establishment of the Republic of Latvia; reinforcing the understanding of Latvia’s statehood as a result of a logical long-term development; confirming the values of Latvia as a national and European State in the 21st century; glorifying Latvian nature beauty, cultural diversity and Latvian language; chanting Latvian people’s talent, excellenceand achievements; awakening ethics of responsibility in the society, taking responsibility for ourselves, families, community and country; strengthening young people’s creative initiative and sense of belonging to Latvia; creating a legacy of Latvian values, symbols and creative works of the 21st century; raising awareness about Latvia as an active and responsible international and intercultural relations maker. There has also been a special communication platform developed for Latvia’s centenary: www.lv100.lv. All three Baltic States (LV, LT, EE) will be carrying out joint celebration activities and develop co-creation projects.
Organizational panel for the preparations to Latvia’s centenary includes the Steering Committee, Creative Council and Youth Steering Committee, as well as the Office for the Centenary under the MoC and Centenary Council lead by the president of state. The programme for the preparations of Latvia’s centenary celebrations has been elaborated, and the Action Plan and its implementation mechanism and budget estimate is under the development. An active awareness raising campaign has been kick-started, a tool for people to get engaged in centenary preparations and the digital platform has been developed and Latvia’s centenary sign of belonging has been designed. Implementation of the centenary programme will subsequently enrich the culture of Latvia with new excellent pieces of music, art, cinema and literature, making inhabitants of Latvia more proud of their state and belonging thereto. To name a few examples, 16 full-length Latvian feature film projects, new works in music and literature, elaboration of the Latvian National Encyclopedia and several international cooperation projects such as exhibitions with partners from Baltic and other foreign countries, as well as the preparations for the London Book Fair in 2018 where the Baltic States will have the honorary guest status, and others. Since 2014 a series of public debates for various target groups (young people, regional, government and parliamentary representatives, policy makers, businesses, members of minority groups, cultural and educational professionals etc.) have been carried out. Latvia’s centenary celebrations will cover all sectors - culture, education, economy and business operations, as well as environment, sport, welfare, health, defence, agriculture and others, taking into account the key events in each sector and thus reflecting Latvia’s story all along hundred years. Latvia’s centenary gives a unique opportunity to look to the future Latvia and to leave a legacy for future generations.
Export level of cultural industries maintained, participation of the society in the preparation and celebration process of Latvia’s centenary is expected to lay the foundations of active citizenship and participatory communities, strengthen the civil society and its sense of belonging to Latvia, as well as better awareness of Latvian culture, values and history. It is also expected that Latvia’s centenary celebrations will raise a higher rate of attention to the country on a global scale, thus serve as a country branding and profiling opportunity, as well as attract foreign tourists, journalists and possibly new investment to the country.
It is foreseen that in order to implement the programme of the centenary celebrations and promote community initiatives, national, municipal, international and private funding will be attracted. The Ministry of Culture distributed in 2015 financing for a number of measures, including EUR 178K for Latvia’s centenary film programme, EUR 18K for new exhibitions, EUR 200K for the Latvian National Encyclopaedia, EUR 280K for the State Culture Capital Foundation programme “Latvia 100”, EUR 200K for XXVI Song and Dance Festival preparation, EUR 176,7K for the creation of original works of arts and culture. In 2016 EUR 759K are planned for Latvia’s centenary film programme creation, EUR 560K for the State Culture Capital Foundation Programme “Latvia 100”, EUR 170K for XXVI Song and Dance Festival preparation, EUR 41K for preparation of exhibitions, EUR 39K for regional events. Additional financing is needed in order to implement the culture programme, international cooperation activities and provide cross-sectoral character in the activities, as well as continue initiated research activities, organize events in the regions and places related to statehood, provide for the preparation of important international conferences and continue campaigns relevant to the unity of the people.