LNAK’s 2024 website project gets a green light from the Society Integration Foundation (SIF) of Latvia

The project “Promoting Digital Communication, Mutual Cooperation and Information Dissemination in the Latvian Community in Canada” is receiving financial support from the Society Integration Foundation (SIF) of the Republic of Latvia

Thanks to the support of SIF, the Latvian National Federation in Canada (LNAK) renewed its website www.lnak.org last year, providing more useful information along with new features, including a software tool that enables organisations and individuals to easily add their own information to the organisations section, the online calendar and the Business and Professional Directory.

2024. The main goal of the project is to maintain and further develop the www.lnak.org website and its content in order to encourage and assist Latvian Canadians to value and strengthen their Latvian identity, to promote mutual cooperation and involvement, and to strengthen their belonging to Latvia.

In recent years, there has been a heightened interest in the work of our organization among Latvian Canadians. The war in Ukraine, last year’s Song and Dance Festival in Latvia, this year’s upcoming Song Festival in Canada, pride in Canada’s leading role in NATO’s presence in Latvia, and technology’s amazing ability to bring us together digitally are all factors that contribute to the sense that we collectively share responsibility for the future of the Latvian people, and that draw us closer to our Latvian identity and to Latvia.

Still, this does not change the fact that as the older generation passes away, the number of active members in Latvian society is declining, most young people marry non-Latvians, and Latvian language skills have become weaker. At the same time, we are happy to hear non-Latvian speaking partners and Latvians asking where they can learn or improve their Latvian. Parents and grandparents ask how they can help the very youngest generation, babies and toddlers, to learn Latvian starting from birth.

We plan to take these needs into account as we further develop this website. We are pleased with LNAK’s new branding, the design of our e-newsletter and the features of the new website. This year we are going to work on the content, attractiveness and usefulness of the website for the Latvian Canadian community in order to further the goals of our organization. We will continue to actively engage and bring together organizations and individuals, maintain a calendar of events, promote civic participation, offer new visual content formats, and create a positive image of Latvians for Latvian and non-Latvian speaking audiences alike. We are going to put special emphasis on providing information on resources for learning Latvian for those who are not of school age – i.e. babies and pre-school children, and adults.

Here is what we have planned:

– two specific sections to meet our community’s requests for: 1) Latvian language teaching and support tools for adults 2) Latvian language resources geared to babies and toddlers

There are various websites and apps, including sietins.lv, that already exist to serve these purposes. But many people don’t know about them, it’s often hard to find them, and then you have to sift through what is and what isn’t useful. Typically, we find out what is available by hearsay. A friend might tell a friend, “My grandson loves the mini-series ‘Tutas Things’”, or “I have a Latvian verb conjugation appon my phone”. The aim is to sift through what is available, and compile and present this information so that it is easily accessible to all Latvians in Canada.

We are going to offer two temporary paid positions to work on creating these sections. If you would like to know more, or to apply for one or other of these positions, please send an email to admin@lnak.org.

– photo galleries with an easy process to add them

The Latvian newspaper “Latvija Amerikā” regularly features photo galleries from events in the newspaper and on Facebook , but they only reach a specific audience and are only accessible for a short period of time. By uploading the photo galleries on www.lnak.org, they will be available to a wider audience and for a longer period of time.

– two video sections, one specifically for children

We are currently changing up the videos we show on the website on a regular basis, but once we’ve changed them, the old ones are no longer available. As part of the 2024 project, we are going to provide an archive of previously published video recordings. We take care to offer a variety of quality videos, some to represent our local community, others to give a closer insight into current events and Latvia. We’re going to set up a process whereby website users are able to suggest videos.

– a mini-section for the World Federation of Free Latvians (PBLA), so that the latest from the PBLA along with a link to its homepage is easily found on our website.

– to provide information and encourage Latvian citizens living in Canada to participate in the European Parliament elections being held in June

– improve the English version of the website

We will work on translation disciplines and endeavour to provide valuable content in English to reach non-Latvian speakers and to promote a positive image of Latvians to the Canadian public.