Archive for the year 2009
 

Calendar follows the notices

Ņujrokas latviešu ev. lut. draudze pārdod 10 gleznasThe Latvian Ev. Luth Church of New York is selling ten paintings. For detailed information visit: www.nydraudze.org

You van order Latvian Books from the "Saulaine Book Barn" (in Latvian "Saulaines grāmatu klētina"). The "Saulaines grāmatu klētiņa" is a part of the St. John's Church congregation in Toronto camp Saulaine (see  www.campsaulaine.com) All books have been donated, all work is done by volunteers and all donations and proceeds benefit the maintaining of Camp Saulaine. We can ship orders anywhere! Please send us your book and author want lists. we have thousands of books! Please contact Kristīne Stivrina stivrins@hotmail.com, tel. (705) 424-6226.

The Latvian Chamber of Commerce in the Americas has just been founded. For information visit www.latchamamericas.org.

Eiropas savienības karogsInformation about elections to the European Parliament

On June 6, 2009 Latvia will hold elections for the European Parliament. Citizens of Latvia living abroad may also vote in these elections. They may do so by voting by mail. You must declare your intention to vote by mail by April 25, 2009 with the Embassy of Latvia in the USA (2306 Massachusetts Ave., N.W., Washington, DC 20008). Information (in Latvian) about these elections and how to declare your intention to vote by mail may be found at http://www.latvia-usa.org/inpareipave6.html. You may also contact the embassy by telephone (202) 328-2840 and by e-mail: embassy.usa@mfa.gov.lv  .

Would you like to play chess?

The Chess section of the New York chapter of the Daugavas Vanagi would like to renew its activities. Practice sessions under the direction of experts as well as friendly games will be held at the DV House. Meeting times will be set by mutual consent. Parking is available for your car in the enclosed DV House lot. If you are interested please contact the chess section coordinator Dr. Vilnis Vīksne - tel. (718) 220-8191, or e-mail vilnisv@verizon.net .

The Soviet Story
Let's urge our local PBS television stations to broadcast The Soviet Story

On October 11, 2009, PBS (public broadcasting) television stations throughout the United States will have access to ‘The Soviet Story’, the award-winning and highly acclaimed documentary film by Edvīns Šnore.

The film’s distributor Daris Delins notes: „We have reached another important milestone in the distribution of the film. Via PBS distributor NETA (National Educational Telecomunications Association - www.netaonline.org ) the film will now be accessible to NETA’s 172 licensees that comprise 340 public broadcasting television stations across the United States. Each of these PBS stations will now be able to screen the film. Even before NETA approached us we had received very positive feedback from PBS member stations who had viewed the film. Given PBS stations are very selective about what they screen, NETA’s acceptance of the film is an important acknowledgement of the film and its potential audience reach. Many Americans will be now be able to learn about this important period of history and how it still resonates today.”

The first PBS station in the U.S. scheduled to air the film will be WDSC 15 Daytona Beach, Florida, on October 15 at 9:00 pm. WHYY 12 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and WLRN 17 in Miami, Florida, will screen the film on November 20, and KVIE 2 in Sacramento, Callifornia on January 23, 2010. Other PBS member stations that have also already expressed their interest to screen the film include: KAET 8, Phoenix, Arizona;  KPBS 15, San Diego, California;  WEDU 13, Tampa, Florida; WTIU 30  Bloomington, Indiana;  IPTV, Iowa Public TV, Iowa; MPT (Maryland Public TV), Maryland; NHPTV (New Hampshire Public TV), New Hampshire, and WNED, Buffalo, New York. Following the NETA release, more stations are expected to follow, particularly as viewers get news that the film is accessible by their local station.

Overseas, in the coming months the film will be screened on national TV in Greece (ERT), Italy (Fox), Poland (TVP) and Spain (History Channel). In Sweden the national network SVT will screen the film on December 5. The film has already aired on national TV in Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovenia and Ukraine.

At the end of 2009 a 2nd edition DVD of the film will be released. This new DVD will include additional subtitled languages including: Belarussian, Bulgarian, Danish, Dutch, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, Norwegian, Portuguese, Romanian, Serbian, Slovenian, Turkish, and Vietnamese. This will bring the total number of foreign language translations for the film to 28.

To learn more about the film, to see the trailer, or to purchase the DVD, please visit www.sovietstory.com. For screening enquiries and distribution opportunities, please email: films@perrystreetadvisors.com or call +1-917-402-2853.

New York area Latvian-Americans and their friends are urged to write letters or call Channel 13 WNET and Channel 21 WLIW to urge these stations to show The Soviet Story. If you are member supporters of these stations or even if you just a regular viewer please make mention of that fact. The appropriate officers to contact at Channel 13 are Mr. Neal Shapiro, President and Chief Executive Officer and Mr. John Sefakis , Programming Scheduling & Acquisitions. The address for both is WNET Channel 13, 450 West 33rd Street, New York, NY 10001-2605, tel. (212) 560-1313. More convenient but perhaps less effective is using the "Contact" web page http://www.wnet.org/about/contact/ .The appropriate officers to contact at Channel 21 are Mr. John Servidio, Acting General Manager, and Mr. David Rubinsohn, Director of Programming. The address for both is WLIW Channel 21, 450 West 33rd Street, New York, NY 10001, tel. (212) 560-8021. More convenient but perhaps less effective is using the "Contact" web page: www.wliw.org .

Do you have spare amber jewelry to donate to a good cause?

On behalf of the Latvian Baptist Church of Bucks County, I am turning to you, Latvians and non-Latvians living outside of Latvia with a special request. For the third year in row, our church is hosting the local Christmas shop (Kringle Shoppe), which is visited by Latvians and non-Latvians from great distances. This year, it will take place from the 4th through the 6th of December. Each year, our church has participated in this Christmas shop, where we sell various Latvian products such as sauerkraut, pīrāgi, and others. Mainly, though, we have sold used amber jewelry. Until now, we have donated all of the proceeds ($12,800) for the pensioned Latvian pastors from rural congregations, who often have no other income. This year, our intended beneficiary is new - the Vīlandes street infants school in Rīga - specifically for the physically challenged and special needs children. You may visit the Union of Latvian Baptists in America home page at LatvianBaptistsInAmerica.org and also read more information about the work of the women's ministries at the following link: Women's Ministries Since our inventory of donated amber jewelry is depleted, and our local donor reserves emptied, we are turning to you with a request to donate your unused amber jewelry for this worthwhile project. We are grateful for any donations sent to the following address:
Silvija Augstroze
1009 W. Sawmill Rd.
Quakertown, PA 18951
email: silvijaa@aol.com , tel. 215-536-2566
Kringle Shoppe information: www.haycockhistoricalsociety.org/Kringle/kringle.htm

Support Latvia's former president in her campaign for EU President!

Please visit: www awomantoheadeurope eu/ 

COMMUNITY EVENTS CALENDAR

JANUARY 2009:

Happy New Year!

Jan. 3, 6, & 10 - Maija Kovalevska performs at the Metropolitan Opera. Latvian soprano Maija Kovaļevska, winner of the 2006 Domingo Operalia competition, returns to the Metropolitain Opera this season in the role of Mimi in Puccini’s La Boheme. In Franco Zeffirelli’s production of the Puccini favorite, Maija Kovaļevska sings the consumptive heroine, and Ramón Vargas and Massimo Giordano share the role of her poet-lover, with Mariusz Kwiecien as Marcello, in what may be the world’s most popular opera. Maija Kovaļevska is scheduled to appear on December 15, 18, 22, 26 and 29 and January 3, 6, and 10. For further details visit: MetOpera http://www.metoperafamily.org/metopera/season/production.aspx?id=10014 For more information on Maija Kovalevska, please visit her website www.maija-kovalevska.com or IMG Artists. This information provided by the Consulate of Latvia in New York www.latvia-newyork.org .

Sunday, Jan. 4, at 10:00 - Epiphany Church service followed by  the Northern district's (Ziemeļu novada) "Eglīte" ("Christmas tree" celebration), at the Yonkers Church. In Latvian Epiphany (Jan. 6) is called "Zvaigznes diena" - "The Day of the Star".

Sunday, Jan. 4, at 10:30 - Epiphany Church service followed by  the Long Island district's (Salas novada) "Eglīte" ("Christmas tree" celebration), at the Long Island Church. Participants are requested to bring something for the pot-luck brunch but you are welcome even if you don't bring food. Everyone is welcome. For further information write Ilze Beiniķis. In Latvian Epiphany (Jan. 6) is called "Zvaigznes diena" - "The Day of the Star".

Sunday, Jan. 4, at 14:00 - Epiphany Church service followed by the annual meeting of the Jamaica, Queens district (Džamaikas novads) of the Latvian. Ev. Luth Church of NY, at the First United Methodist Church, 162-10 Highland Avenue, Jamaica, NY. Everyone interested in learning more about the work of the church's Jamaica, Queens district committee is welcome to attend. See www.nydraudze.org. In Latvian Epiphany (Jan. 6) is called "Zvaigznes diena" - "The Day of the Star".

Daugavas Vanagi EmblemSaturday, Jan. 10, at 14:00 - Daugavas Vanagi members' evening, at the DV House. Program will feature a sing-along of popular Latvian songs led by Jānis Students on his accordion. Admission $20 which includes wine and hors d'oeuvres. All are invited.

Sunday, Jan. 11, at 10:00 - Church service followed by the annual meeting of the Northern district (Ziemeļu novads) of the Latvian. Ev. Luth Church of NY, at the Yonkers Church. Everyone interested in learning more about the work of the church's Northern district committee is welcome to attend. See www.nydraudze.org.

Sunday, Jan. 18, at 10:00 - Church service followed by the annual meeting of the Northern district (Ziemeļu novads) of the Latvian. Ev. Luth Church of NY, at the Yonkers Church. Everyone interested in learning more about the work of the church's Northern district committee is welcome to attend. See www.nydraudze.org. This meeting was originally scheduled for Jan. 11 but was postponed because of the snowstorm.

Sunday, Jan. 18, at 12:30 - Showing of the documentary film "Šķērsiela" (in Latvian "Crossroad Street"), at the Long Island Church. You can read a review of the film, released 1988, in English at http://www.latviansonline.com/reviews/article/2098/. The organizers hope to show the follow up, "Jaunie laiki šķērsielā" (in Latvian: "New Times on Crossroad Street"), released 1999, at some date in the future. There will be no church services on this day.

THIS EVENT HAS BEEN RESCHEDULED FOR JAN 31st.
Saturday, Jan. 24,
at 14:00 - Church service followed by the Annual Meeting of the New Jersey district (Nudžersijas novads) of the Latvian Ev. Luth. Church of New York, at Christ Church, 66 Highland Avenue, Short Hills, NJ. Everyone interested in learning more about the work of the church's New Jersey district committee is welcome to attend. See www.nydraudze.org.

Saturday, Jan. 24, at 14:00 - Church service followed by the annual meeting of the Inner City (Brooklyn) district (Iekšpilsētas novads) of the Latvian. Ev. Luth Church of NY, at the Brooklyn parsonage. All people interested in the work of the church's Inner city district committee are cordially invited to attend. See www.nydraudze.org.

cellist Jānis LaursSaturday, Jan.24, at 15:00 - Latvian Culture Days in New York at the DV House. Distinguished Latvian cellist Jānis Laurs from Australia will start the afternoon off with a short concert to the accompaniment of Dace Aperāns on piano. Then there will be a program featuring testimonials to people recently honored for their achievements. This year's honorees include: Guna Mundheim, Roberts Rūsis, Gunārs Salīņš, Dagmāra Vallena and the Theater r un by the New York Latvian Scout & Guide units. Ivars Bērziņš, Rita Gāle, Maija Škiņķe, and Eleonora Šturma will give testimonials about the honorees. After that artist Kārlis E. Rekevics will give a talk about his artistic works. See www.karlisrekevics.com. Admission $20. Organized by the C.A.L.O.N.Y (N.L.O.P.). For more information write Jānis Riekstinš.

Sunday, Jan. 25, at 10:30 - Church service followed by the annual meeting of the Long Island district (Salas novads) of the Latvian. Ev. Luth Church of NY, at the Long Island Church. Everyone interested in learning more about the work of the church's Long Island district committee is welcome to attend. See www.nydraudze.org.

Monday, Jan. 26 - International  (de jure) Recognition of the Republic of Latvia. This remembrance day was a holiday in pre-World War II Latvia. It marks the day in 1921 when the Council of the newly formed League of Nations decided to formally recognize Latvia as an independent country. The United States of America formally recognized Estonia's, Latvia's and Lithuania's independence on July 28, 1922. Most countries, including the USA, continued, at least symbolically, to recognize the Baltic States as independent nations even during the time of their occupation by the Soviet Union (1940-1991), thus denying legitimacy to the Soviet annexation of these countries.

Saturday, Jan. 31, at 12:30 - The New Jersey Latvian School's Draudzīgais Aicinājums (The Friendly Invitation - an annual charitable appeal, started in Latvia in 1935, in support of schools and learning) event at Christ Church, 66 Highland Avenue, Short Hills, NJ. All are invited. The program will feature an address (in Latvian) "Kāpēc es (ne)runāju latviski" ("Why I do(n't) speak Latvian") by Allison Anuža, followed by musical presentations performed by the School's pupils. Coffee and deserts will be served afterwards.
The NJ District meeting, originally scheduled for Jan 24 will follow the Draudzīgais Aicinājums.
Saturday, Jan. 31,
at 14:00 - Church service followed by the Annual Meeting of the New Jersey district (Nudžersijas novads) of the Latvian Ev. Luth. Church of New York, at Christ Church, 66 Highland Avenue, Short Hills, NJ. Everyone interested in learning more about the work of the church's New Jersey district committee is welcome to attend. See www.nydraudze.org.

Priedaine - NJ Latvian SocietySaturday, Jan. 31, at 14:00 - Draudzīgais Aicinājums (The Friendly Invitation - an annual charitable appeal, started in Latvia in 1935, in support of schools and learning) commemoration at Priedaine NJ. The program will also mark the 35th anniversary of the literary group of the New Brunswick - Lakewood Latvian Ev. Luth. Church congregation. The program (in Latvian) will feature: an Introduction by Valija Skrodele & Rita Gāle; an Address by Kārlis Kilkuts "Latvijas kultūras saglabāšanas politika" ("The Politics of Preserving Latvia's Culture"); and a Concert by violinist Una Tone. Following the program a hot buffet lunch will be served. Organized by the New Jersey Latvian Society. For more information, please visit Priedaine's web site www.priedaine.org .

FEBRUARY 2009:

Sunday, Feb. 1, at 10:30 - Church service followed by the annual meeting of the New York Latvian Federal Credit Union, at the Long Island Church.  The meeting will take place in the church's social hall, downstairs. Refreshments will be served after the meeting. All members and potential credit union members are invited.

SuperBowl XLIII Tampa Bay, FLSunday, Feb. 1, starting after 16:00 - Super Bowl XLIII Party, at the Yonkers Church. Admission $20 (children under 16: free), which includes watching the Super Bowl on a big screen TV, food, soda, wine and beer. Proceeds will benefit the church pastors' medical fund. All are welcome to join us. You don't have to be a football fanatic or even understand American football to enjoy yourself at the party. But if you never learned what a "first down" is, and would like to know, then check out the "Beginner's Guide to Football" and other items on the NFL page: www.nfl.com/rulebook .The Arizona Cardinals will play the Pittsburgh Steelers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, FL and kick-off time is approximately 18:20 EST. Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band will perform at half-time.

Latvian Folk Dance Ensemble "Gatve"Latvian Folk Dance Ensemble "Gatve"
Friday Feb. 6,
at 19:30 - The Folk Dance Group Gatve from Latvia will perform at the Yonkers Church. Fifteen dancers from the ensemble Gatve will be making their first trip to the United States. The ensemble has performed ina number of European countries and most recently performed at the Latvian Song and Dance Festival in Riga, Latvia. This performance is organized by the Lutheran Social Services of New York (LSSNY) in cooperation with the Latvian Ev. Luth. Church of New York. Proceeds will benefit the work of the LSSNY (visit www.lssny.org) and and its partnership efforts in Latvia on behalf of children and families. A $20 donation per person is requested (children under 12 admitted free). You may order tickets from the web site www.lssny.org or get these at the door. To read more about the Folk Dance ensemble please visit www.gatve.lv. The Folk Dance Group Gatve from Latvia will also perform Sunday Feb 8, at 16:00 at The Warburg Adult Care Community, Warburg Place, Mt. Vernon, NY and on Monday Feb. 9, at 19:00 at Saint Luke's Lutheran Church, 46th Street (between 8th & 9th Avenue), New York, NY. For information visit the given lssny.org web page.

The New York Times Travel Show
Saturday Feb. 7 - The New York Times Travel show
where under the show's auspices at about 13:30 the Latvian Folk Dance Group Jumis will perform and at about 16:00 the Lithuanian Children's Choir Varpelis will sing. The Travel Show will take place at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, whose entrance is on 11th Avenue at 39th Street. Complete information about all performances and exhibitors may be found at www.nyttravelshow.com. Admission $15 but check the web site for possible discounts. Among the exhibitor booths will be #376 Baltic States and #380 Go Baltic Europe, for whom contact information may be found on the web site under "Exhibitor List". Please also visit the Folk Dance Group Jumis web site, where there are videos of their performances: www.jumis.org 

Sunday, Feb. 8, at 11:00  - Church service followed by the Annual Meeting of the Latvian Ev. Luth. Church of New York, at the Yonkers Church. Everyone interested in learning more about the work of the Latvian Ev. Luth. Church of NY is welcome to attend. See www.nydraudze.org.

The Folk Dance Group Gatve from Latvia will also perform 
Sunday Feb 8,
at 16:00 at The Warburg Adult Care Community, Warburg Place, Mt. Vernon, NY and on Monday Feb. 9, at 19:00 at Saint Luke's Lutheran Church, 46th Street (between 8th & 9th Avenue), New York, NY. For information visit the lssny.org web page listed under the Feb. 6 event.

Lithuania's national flagMonday, February 16 - Lithuania's Independence Day (1918).
For information on events please visit: www.nylithuanian.org

FLJRK Youth days in the CatskillsFrom Friday Feb. 20 to Sunday Feb. 22 - FLJRK "Jauniešu dienas" ("Youth Days"), at the Latvian Church Camp "Nometne" in the Catskills. "F.L.J.R.K." is the Filadelfijas latviešu jauniešu rīcības komiteja (Philadelphia Latvian Youth Organizing Committee). For complete information visit www fljrk org.

Estonia's national flagTuesday, February 24 - Estonia's Independence Day (1918), "Elagu Eesti!"
For information on events please visit: www.estonianhousenewyork.com.

Latvian Boy ScoutsLatvian Girl Guides Sunday, Feb. 22, at 11:00 - Church services followed by the 60th annual Scout-O-Rama of the Zilais Kalns 4th Girl Scout unit and the Rīga 90th Boy Scout unit at the Yonkers Church. Program will feature a performance of the play Peter Pan (in Latvian) followed by a hot lunch, a raffle drawing, exhibit of photos and a social afternoon. All past and present members of the Scouts and Guides, as well as well-wishers are cordially invited. For further information write Inta Škinkis.

Sunday, Feb. 22 - Deadline to make reservations for the Scout-Guide Ball. See write-up under March 7.

Daugavas Vanagi EmblemSaturday, Feb. 28, - Annual meetings of the New York Daugavas Vanagi, at 10:30 - meeting of the Daugavas Vanadzes (Womens' Auxiliary), at 14:00 - meeting of the New York Daugavas Vanagi as a whole, at the DV House. Admission free. All are invited to attend and join the New York Chapter of the Daugavas Vanagi and further its work providing cultural programs and assistance to the needy. To read more about the Daugavas Vanagi in New York, please visit this site's: DV-NY Page.

MARCH 2009:

Latvian Boy ScoutsLatvian Girl GuidesSaturday, Mar. 7, at 19:30 - 60th Anniversary Ball of the Zilais Kalns 4th Girl Scout unit and the Rīga 90th Boy Scout unit, at Villa Roberto, Rochelle Park NJ. Admission is $65 per person which includes dinner, 4 hour premium open bar, and music by Bernie's orchestra. You must register and pay in advance by February 22 (make checks payable "Parents Committee Troop 748") at Nora & Pēteris Aivars, 69 Lakeshore Drive, Oakland, NJ 07436. For information please e-mail: aivars@verizon.net or tel. (201) 337-3120.

Sunday, Mar. 8, at 10:00 - Church services in honor the Col. Oskars Kalpaks Battalion and Students Company who fought in the war for Latvian Independence (1918-1921). Procession by Latvian student fraternities and sororities at the Yonkers Church. There will be a program following the church service featuring an address (in Latvian) by Daris Dēliņš, selonus, who is Honorary Consul for the Republic of Latvia in New York. A lunch provided by the Latvian Sororities Group of New York will follow. All are invited.

Friday, Mar. 13, at 19:00 - Baltic Bash, at the Estonian House. Show up and have some fun and mingle with your Baltic brothers and sisters. Good food, beer, drinks, pool table, DJ or band, fun. Tell your friends too! For information write to Pia, or call (917) 770-7825. Please also visit: www.estonianhousenewyork.com

Mar. 13, 14, & 15 - Mariss Jansons performs at Carnegie Hall. World renowned Latvian conductor Mariss Jansons returns to New York Carnegie Hall on March 13, 14 and 15, 2009 to conduct the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. March 13, 2009: Jorg Widmann, Mozart, and Tchaikovsky. March 14, 2009: Hadyn and Beethoven (with Ricarda Merbeth, Soprano, Michelle Breedt, Mezzo-Soprano, Michael Schade, Michael Volle, Bass, and the Westminster Symphonic Choir). March 15, 2009: Shchedrin, Prokofiev, and Brahms. For further program details and to order tickets, visit Carnegie Hall's website www.carnegiehall.org. This information provided by the Consulate of Latvia in New York www.latvia-newyork.org .

Daugavas Vanagi EmblemSaturday Mar. 14, at 14:00 - Latvian Legion Commemoration, at the DV House. Program will feature a concert by Margarita Kreine and cellist Mona Zariņa. A buffet lunch will be served after the program catered by Ilze Buls. Admission $25 which includes the program and the buffet. All are invited. Proceeds benefit the care of sick and disabled former legionnaires in Latvia.

Saturday Mar. 14, at 20:00 - Concert "Oboe Through Time" with American oboist Frederick Katzenberg and pianist Gary Klein in a program of music that includes Latvian-Canadian composer Dace Aperāns' "Juravas" or "Sea Songs" cycle for oboe and piano and other music for the oboe from the Baroque to the 20th century. Dace Aperāns will speak about her composition (NJ premiere) and other chamber music works. Puffin Cultural Forum, 20 Puffin Way, Teaneck, NJ; suggested donation - $10.00. For reservations and further information: call (201) 836-3499 or visit: www.puffinfoundation.org

Sunday, Mar. 15, at 10:00 - Church services followed by the annual Pancake breakfast at the Yonkers Church. Proceeds will benefit the renovation of the church's kitchen.

Sunday, Mar. 15, at 10:30 - Church services followed by a Showing of the documentary film "Jaunie laiki škērsielā" (in Latvian "New Times on Crossroad Street"), at the Long Island Church. You can read a review of the film, released 1999 as well as its predecessor "Škērsiela" (in Latvian: " Crossroad Street") released 1988, in English at http://www.latviansonline.com/reviews/article/2098/. This is the follow up to the showing of "Škērsielā" on January 18. Admission is by donation. Proceeds will benefit the church pastors' medical fund.

Latvian National Opera concert at the Yonkers Church
Monday, Mar. 16,
at 19:00 - Benefit Concert for the Latvian National Opera at the Yonkers Church. You are hereby invited to attend a Special Benefit Concert March 16th at 7: 00 PM sponsored by the Latvian National Opera Guild to hear the acclaimed tenor Aleksandrs Antonenko. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTq28Fz6dIc  He will be accompanied by the exceptional pianist  Reinis Zariņš who will be receiving his Masters degree from Yale University School of Music this spring.  Concert will take place at the Latvian Ev. Lutheran Church of New York 254 Valentine Lane, Yonkers, NY.  Advance sale of tickets of $100.00 or more will insure your name to be listed as a LNO Sponsor in the concert program. Donations starting at $50.00, Students: $25.00, Children-Free. Proceeds shall be contributed to the Latvian National Opera for an upcoming production of Bruno Skulte's opera " The Heiress of Vilkači". You will have an opportunity to meet the artists after the concert.  Refreshments will be served.  For additional information, please call: Juris Padegs (914) 478-0134 or Aija Pelše (516) 935-0967.

Latvian Cultural Association TILTSSaturday, Mar. 21, at 13:00 - Annual meeting of the Latvian Cultural Association TILTSat the Bedford Presbyterian Church in Bedford, New York. A TILTS board meeting will precede the annual meeting at 11:00. Please visit www.tilts.org or e-mail gzeidenbergs@tilts.org.

Priedaine - NJ Latvian SocietySaturday, Mar. 21, at 13:00 - Theater performance of the play Mīlestības Vēstules, at Priedainē, NJ. Performing in the play will be two famous actors from Latvia: Mirdza Martinsone and Juris Kalniņš. For more information, please visit Priedaine's web site www.priedaine.org .

Sunday, Mar. 22, at 10:00 - Church services followed at 11:30 by a Theater performance of the play Mīlestības Vēstules, at the Yonkers Church. Performing in the play will be two famous actors from Latvia: Mirdza Martinsone and Juris Kalninņš. Admission $20. Organized by Andris Magurs and the C.A.L.O.N.Y (N.L.O.P.). For more information write Jānis Riekstiņš or tel. (516) 674-8802.

Wednesday, Mar. 25 -National Day of Mourning in remembrance of tens of thousands of Latvians deported from their homeland to prison camps in Siberia by occupying Soviet forces in 1949. (See also June 14 and July 4.)

Friday, Mar. 27, at 19:00 - Annual meeting of the Council of American-Latvian Organizations of New York, (NLOP) at the DV House. NLOP member organizations are asked to select delegates for this meeting who are ready, willing and able to serve on the NLOP board and actively participate in its work. For further information write Jānis Riekstiņš or tel. (516) 674-8802.

Priedaine - NJ Latvian SocietySaturday, Mar. 28, - NJ annual meetings: at 13:00 New Jersey Latvian Federal Credit Union, followed at 15:00 - New Jersey Latvian Society at Priedaine, NJ. For more information, please visit  www.priedaine.org .

Saturday, Mar. 28 at 14:00 - Latvian Church services in Manhattan, at the Seafarers & International House - 123 East 15th Street, New York, NY. Click here for a Map. Pastor Laris Saliņš will lead the service. For information contact Andrejs Lazda tel. (646) 228-1184.

Sunday, Mar. 29 at 10:30 - Church services followed by the annual Spring Event at the Long Island Church. Program will feature a talk (in Latvian) by Normunds Treija, professor emeritus of the Art Department of Hofstra University titled "Ar āmuriem, uguni un ar ūdeni" ("With hammers, fire, and water") including a slide show, a Latvian lunch, coffee, and a lottery. Hosted by the Long Island Congregation Women's Committee. All are welcome. For further information write Ilze Beinikis or call (516) 293-8432.

APRIL 2009:

Sunday, Apr. 5 - Palm Sunday - Church services with communion: at 10:00 at the Yonkers Church and at 10:30 at the Long Island Church.  (In Latvian Palm Sunday is called "Pūpolu svētdiena" - "Pussy Willow (or Willow Catkins) Sunday".)

Every evening from Monday April 6 to Thursday April 9, Public television (PBS) channel 13 (WNET) at 18:00 (repeats at 00:30) and channel 21 (WLIW) at 19:00 (repeats at 23:00) - Broadcasts of the program "Worldfocus" will feature the Baltic nations. You may also view the programs at www.Worldfocus.Org, where you can also find information about broadcast channels and times in other cities. The following write-up is from Roberta Lee, Senior Publicist WNET.ORG / Channel THIRTEEN:
The week of April 6, Worldfocus, the nightly international news program shown nationally on public television (check local listings) will be featuring a four-part Signature Series that examines life in the Baltics, specifically the countries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Viewers may also watch the program online at www.Worldfocus.org anytime.
Worldfocus correspondent Daljit Dhaliwal travels across the region in a four-part "Signature Series."
The Series includes a look at Latvia, "On the Brink." Dhaliwal reports on how this tiny nation - - a little bigger than West Virginia - - is dealing with the recession hitting their country. As unemployment started to rise, it meant almost everyone in the country knew someone without a job. Latvia's official unemployment rate is nine and a half percent- the second highest in Europe. There's a sense of disbelief that the boom times that came with independence could be at an end. Worldfocus looks behind the headlines to find a people both proud and angry and determined to recover.
In another Signature Series piece, "Estonia: In the Fight," Worldfocus examines Estonia's military after Soviet occupation, with a report on the country's soldiers headed to Afghanistan to fight alongside new allies. Estonia first sent troops to Afghanistan in 2002. In 2003 they joined the "Coalition of the Willing" in Iraq. One hundred and fifty Estonian troops are now in Afghanistan. The report also delves into Estonians seeing a connection between their long history of occupation and other nations' desire for freedom.
Worldfocus also will report on Lithuania and the country's battles over language and it's State language law.
And in the Signature Series report, "E-Stonia," Worldfocus takes a look at the country's national ID card which is full of encrypted digital information that lets it be used for everything from bus passes to tax returns.
Viewers can also watch one or all of the four-part Signature Series on the Worldfocus website at www.worldfocus.org.

From Wednesday, Apr. 8 to Sunday, Apr. 12 - New York Estonian Cultural Days, at the Estonian House. Information about admission and the program is available at www.estonianhousenewyork.com 

Thursday, Apr. 9 - Holy Thursday - Church services with communion: at 19:00 at the Yonkers Church, and at 13:00 at the Long Island Church and at 13:00 at the East Orange Church. (In Latvian Holy Thursday is called "Zaļā ceturtdiena" - "Green Thursday".)

Friday, Apr. 10 - Good Friday - Church services with communion: at 19:00 at the Yonkers Church, and at 19:00 at the Long Island Church . (In Latvian Good Friday is called "Lielā piektdiena" - "Great Friday".)

Happy Easter! (In Latvian "Priecīgas Lieldienas!")

Holy week church services with the Latvian Ev. Luth. Church of New YorkSunday, Apr. 12 - Easter Sunday - Church services: at 08:00 at the Yonkers Church and at 08:00 at the Long Island Church, At Yonkers an Easter breakfast and at Long Island an Easter Egg hunt will follow the church services . (In Latvian Easter is called "Lieldienas" - "The Great Days".)

NJ Sporta kopa "Kursa"Daugavas Vanagi EmblemSaturday, Apr. 18, at 11:00 - Latvian American USA East Coast Volleyball Tournament at the Volleyball House, 5635 Furnace Avenue, Elkridge, MD 21075, www.vbhouse.com . Men's and women's volleyball players from New Jersey, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, DC and elsewhere will be participating. For more information, please write NJ Latvian Sports Group "Kursa" rep. Jānis Ģiga or call home tel. (908) 272-4580. To register your team for the tournament please write Washington, DV, Daugavas Vanagi Sports Group "Sigulda" rep. Viesturs Timrots , tel. (301) 294-0046 . After the games everyone is invited to a party at Blob's Park in Jessup, MD, a German style "beergarten". which is a few miles south of the Volleyball House. For directions visit www.blobspark.net .The cover charge at Blob's is $10.

Saturday, Apr. 18, at 13:00- Volunteer labor "Talka" at the Brooklyn parsonage. In the evening a Film Night will follow with a showing of "Defenders of Riga" (in Latvian "Rīgas Sargi"). For more information Andrejs Lazda tel. (646) 228-1184.

"Ino Trio" - Indra Ozola, Nurmira Greenburg, Olga GurevichNicole LeeSunday April 19, at 13:00 - Chamber Music Concert by "The Ino Trio", at The Norwegian Seamen's Church, 317 East 52nd Street (between 1st & 2nd Avenue), New York NY 10022. "The Ino Trio" consists of Latvian flutist Indra Ozola with pianist Nurmira Greenburg and cellist Olga Gurevich. Program will feature works by Hayden, F.X. Mozart, Couperin, Chopin, Schuman and Martinu. With them choreographer / dancer Nicole Lee will be performing. Admission by donation. For more information about The Ino Trio visit: www.myspace.com/inotrio .

Sunday April 19, at 21:00 - Broadcast of "The Courageous Heart if Irena Sendler" on CBS channel 2. The story is about a Catholic social worker in Warsaw, Poland during World War II who saved 2500 Jewish children from the Holocaust. The movie was filmed in Riga, Latvia partly because it still has neighborhoods of wooden buildings that were characteristic of Warsaw during the war. View write-up and clips: www.cbs.com/specials/courageous_heart/. Read the review in The New York Times: www.nytimes.com/2009/04/18/arts/television/18hear.html. View a "behind the scenes" clip: www.youtube.com/watch?v=99O2ZOt_jwU

Monday April 20, Public television (PBS) channel 13 (WNET) at 18:00 (repeats at 00:30) and channel 21 (WLIW) at 19:00 (repeats at 23:00) - Broadcast of the program "Worldfocus" whose "Signature Series" segment will be about Latvia. This program was originally scheduled for April 9. Original write-up follows.
Every evening from Monday April 6 to Thursday April 9,
Public television (PBS) channel 13 (WNET) at 18:00 (repeats at 00:30) and channel 21 (WLIW) at 19:00 (repeats at 23:00) - Broadcasts of the program "Worldfocus" will feature the Baltic nations. You may also view the programs at www.Worldfocus.Org, where you can also find information about broadcast channels and times in other cities. The following write-up is from Roberta Lee, Senior Publicist WNET.ORG / Channel THIRTEEN:
The week of April 6, Worldfocus, the nightly international news program shown nationally on public television (check local listings) will be featuring a four-part Signature Series that examines life in the Baltics, specifically the countries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Viewers may also watch the program online at www.Worldfocus.org anytime.
Worldfocus correspondent Daljit Dhaliwal travels across the region in a four-part "Signature Series."
The Series includes a look at Latvia, "On the Brink." Dhaliwal reports on how this tiny nation - - a little bigger than West Virginia - - is dealing with the recession hitting their country. As unemployment started to rise, it meant almost everyone in the country knew someone without a job. Latvia's official unemployment rate is nine and a half percent- the second highest in Europe. There's a sense of disbelief that the boom times that came with independence could be at an end. Worldfocus looks behind the headlines to find a people both proud and angry and determined to recover.
In another Signature Series piece, "Estonia: In the Fight," Worldfocus examines Estonia's military after Soviet occupation, with a report on the country's soldiers headed to Afghanistan to fight alongside new allies. Estonia first sent troops to Afghanistan in 2002. In 2003 they joined the "Coalition of the Willing" in Iraq. One hundred and fifty Estonian troops are now in Afghanistan. The report also delves into Estonians seeing a connection between their long history of occupation and other nations' desire for freedom.
Worldfocus also will report on Lithuania and the country's battles over language and it's State language law.
And in the Signature Series report, "E-Stonia," Worldfocus takes a look at the country's national ID card which is full of encrypted digital information that lets it be used for everything from bus passes to tax returns.
Viewers can also watch one or all of the four-part Signature Series on the Worldfocus website at www.worldfocus.org.

Priedaine - NJ Latvian SocietySaturday, Apr. 25, at 14:00- Eriks Raisters memorial fund award presentation, Priedainē, NJ. This year's honoree is the poetess and cultural activist Lolita Gulbe from Toronto, Canada. The program will feature poetry readings by Latvian authors from New York, Boston, and Toronto. All are invited.

 

Spring Ball at the Brooklyn ParsonageSaturday, Apr. 25, at 20:00- Spring ball at the Brooklyn parsonage. Proceeds will benefit the Marcis Braunfelds medical fund and the Brooklyn Latvian school. For more information Andrejs Lazda tel. (646) 228-1184.

CoMotionSaturday April 25, at 20:00, and 
Sunday April 26,
at 02:00 in the afternoon and at 19:30 in the evening - 
"CoMotion" performance,
at the Frederick Loewe Theatre, New York University, 35 West 4th Street (between Washington Square East and Greene Street, New York, NY. "CoMotion" is a co-production of the New York University Percussion Ensemble and the experimental theatre troop "Blessed Unrest". Latvian-American Anna Kepe is the director of "CoMotion". Admission is free and open to the public. For more information about "CoMotion" and Blessed Unrest visit: www.BlessedUnrest.org

MAY 2009:

May 1, 6, & 9 - Elīna Garanča performs at the Metropolitan Opera. Latvia's world-renowned mezzo-soprano Elīna Garanča returns to the Met Opera in May 2009. Hot on the heels of her triumphant Met debut as Rosina in last season’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Elīna Garanča portrays another Rossini charmer in this bel canto Cinderella story. Lawrence Brownlee is her Prince Charming. Veteran baritone Alessandro Corbelli demonstrates his impeccable comic timing to match the gravitas of Met favorite John Relye. Elīna Garanča is scheduled to perform on May 1, 6 and 9. For ticket information please visit MetOpera. www.metopera.org For more information on Elīna Garanča visit her website. www.elinagaranca.com This information provided by the Consulate of Latvia in New York www.latvia-newyork.org .

ALA logoIN ST. PETERSBURG, FL: From Friday, May 1 to Sunday, May 3 - Annual Congress of the American Latvian Association (ALA), in St. Pete Beach, FL (near St. Petersburg in the Tampa Bay area). For further information visit www.alausa.org .

Saturday, May 2 from 09:00 till 16:00 - Flea market, at the Yonkers Church. Please donate (right now - don't wait till the day of the flea market) lightly worn clothes, kitchen utensils, serving pieces, place settings, toys, electronics and other household appliances. Clear out your closets, attic and garage! Please contact Vija Valdmane, tel. (914) 478-4787, to say when you will be dropping by with your unneeded stuff.  Please also come to the flea market for fantastic bargains! Proceeds will benefit Latvian grade school and the Congregation's fund to help help those in financial difficulties to send their children to the Latvian Church Camp "Nometne". If you have any questions please contact Laura Zamurs.

Elina garanča CD Bel CantoElina Garanča

Saturday, May 2, at 17:00 to 18:30 - Benefit reception for renowned Latvian Opera singer Elīna Garanča, at the Consulate of Latvia in New York, 155 Perry Street, Suite 1B, New York, NY 10014. The Consulate of Latvia in New York together with the Latvian National Opera Guild (LNOG) is honored to be hosting a reception for Latvia’s renowned opera singer, Elīna Garanča. Described by the UK’s ‘The Independent’ newspaper as having a voice as „one of a million”, Elīna Garanča is performing again this season in New York at the Metropolitan Opera in Rossini’s La Cenerentola (Cinderella) on May 1, 6, and 9 (see write-up above). At the reception on Saturday May 2nd, Ms. Garanča will be signing copies of her newly released CD, Bel Canto. Released by Deutsche Grammophon in April, on this disc Latvia’s famous vocalist performs some of her most favorite bel canto masterpieces - both popular hits and lesser-known arias from earlier 18th century Italian operas (Donizetti, Bellini, Rossini). Proceeds from the reception will assist the LNOG’s work to support the Latvian National Opera. RSVP: By Monday, April 27 if you will attend, by Email: info@latvia-newyork.org or tel. 1 (646) 230-0590. Donations: $30 per person (includes a copy of the new Bel Canto CD). Make checks made payable to ‘Latvian National Opera Guild’. Directions: 155 Perry Street is in the West (Greenwich) Village in Manhattan and the nearest cross street is Washington Street. Parking: parking garages can be found on the corner of Perry and Greenwich Streets and on the corner of Charles and Washington Streets. Subway: on the 1 line, nearest stop is Christopher/Sheridan Square or on the 1, 2 and 3 lines exit at the 14th Street stop. Please visit the Consulate's web site: www.Latvia-NewYork.Org

Sunday, May 3, - Church services with confirmation ceremony (in Latvian "Iesvētības") at 10:00, at the Long Island Church.

Saturday, May 9, at 12:30 - Mothers' Day church service, at Christ Church, 66 Highland Avenue, Short Hills, NJ.

Daugavas Vanagi EmblemSaturday, May 9, at 14:00 - Annual commemoration of the battles in the Kurzeme salient at the close of World War II, at the DV House. Program will include a viewing of the video "Sirdsapziņas Cietumnieki" (Prisoners of Conscience") produced by Atis Skalbergs in 2006. All are invited.

Sunday, May 10, - Mothers' Day church services: at 10:00, at the Yonkers Church, where a Mothers' Day program will follow in the downstairs hall with lunch, presentations by the Latvian school students. ; At 10:30 at the Long Island Church, where the Long Island Latvian school's presentation will follow.; At 15:00 at the Jamaica, Queens Church, at the First United Methodist Church, 162-10 Highland Avenue, Jamaica, NY.

JBANC - Joint Baltic National CommitteeIN WASHINGTON, DC: From Friday, May 15 to Saturday May 16 - JBANC 8th Baltic Conference in Washington, DC. The President of Latvia Valdis Zatlers has been invited to give the keynote address at the conference on Saturday, May 16. The main conference venue will be the Renaissance M St. Hotel in Washington, DC located at 1143 New Hampshire Avenue, NW. For complete program and registration information please visit www.jbanc.org. (See also the following USBF event.)

Saturday, May 16, at 12:30- Mothers' Day church services followed by the annual Barbeque at the Brooklyn parsonage. For more information Andrejs Lazda tel. (646) 228-1184 . 

US Baltic FoundationIN WASHINGTON, DC: Saturday, May 16 - USBF American Baltic Celebration, Washington, DC. Guest of honor and keynote speaker: President Valdis Zatlers of Latvia. This event will headline a three-day series of Baltic cultural and business development events on May 14- 17 at the Renaissance Mayflower Hotel, 1127 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC. Sponsored by The U.S.- Baltic Foundation (USBF), the 2009 Annual U.S.-Baltic Gala will feature a business conference, an exchange program summit, a silent auction and black-tie gala dinner to highlight the special and growing ties between the U.S. and the Baltic States. For more information about all events, please write info@usbaltic.org , call (202) 785-5056 or visit: www.usbaltic.org. See also the preceding JBANC event.

IN MICHIGAN: From Friday May 22 to Sunday May 24 - ALA Sports Tournament in Volleyball, Basketball and Ice Hockey, in Michigan. Complete information about the ALA tournament may be viewed at: www finalspeles com Saturday, May 23 - Hockey Night of the 56th ALA Sports Tournament, in Three Rivers, Michigan. The time has come to dig into your closets, dust off your skates and lace them up for some ice hockey! This year's ice hockey game will be a part of the 56th American Latvian Association's Sports Championships in Volleyball and Basketball on Saturday, May 23rd in Three Rivers, MI (near the Gaŗezers Latvian Camp/High School).  The game is slated to be played in nearby Kalamazoo, MI in the evening, followed by a post-game party for all athletes and fans in Kalamazoo.  No participation fee has been set as of now, although it will probably be around $20 to cover the ice rental and officials. Further information will become available soon - at this point I am looking to gather as many concrete "Yesses" as possible.  As more information becomes available to me, I will forward that on to you - the more people who reply yes to this game, the sooner I can set up the game and get concrete information out to you. You can always contact me regarding the ice hockey game by writing to me directly at mlazdins@hotmail.com or by phone (201) 317-6448.  If you are interested in playing in this hockey game, please register with me via email or by phone.  Also, if you know of anyone else who may be interested in playing, please forward them this info and have them get in contact with me in order to register themselves. Cheers! - Māris "MJ" Lazdiņš

New York Latvian Concert Choir Spring Concert
Sunday, May 24
, at 12:00 - Memorial Service at the Latvian Memorial Park in the Catskills, next to the cemetery in Tannersville, NY. At 15:00 - Spring Concert by the New York Latvian Concert Choir, at the Latvian Church Camp in the Catskills, Elka Park, NY. Wine and hors d'oeuvres will be served before the concert. The Latvijas Banka choir from Latvia and singers from North America will join the New York choir. Agita Ikauniece and Ints Teterovskis will be guest conductors. Please make reservations for the dinner by May 20 with Gunta Aldzere, tel. (516) 466-9453. For further information write to: Sandra Gendrikovs-Bayer, or call: (773) 551-5265. For travel directions visit: www.nydraudze.org click on "Nometne" and page down to near the bottom of the page.

Daugavas Vanagi EmblemIN MICHIGAN: From Friday May 29 to Sunday May 31 - Daugavas Vanagi USA annual Delegates Meeting, Vanadzes meeting, DV Youth meeting, at the Latvian Center Garezers, Three Rivers, Michigan. For more information, please visit: www.daugavasvanagi.org .

JUNE 2009:

Friday Jun. 5 and Saturday, Jun. 6, from 12:00 to 16:00 - Flea market , at the DV House. If you have items to donate for the flea market please bring them to the DV house a few days before. For more information write: Imants Kalniņš or call (201) 933-8234.

Saturday, Jun. 13, at 11:00- Brooklyn Latvian School St. John's day celebration followed at 14:00 by Church services at the Brooklyn parsonage. Let's "Līgo", dance and enjoy traditional games "rotalas". Teachers will explain and teach how St. John's Day was and is celebrated in Latvia. Enjoy traditional foods. For more information write Ilona Vilciņa or call tel. (917) 668-7501. 

Sunday, Jun. 14 - National Day of Mourning in remembrance of tens of thousands of Latvians deported from their homeland to prison camps in Siberia by occupying Soviet forces in 1941. (See also March 25 and July 4.) Commemorative Church Services at 10:00 at the Yonkers Church and at 10:30 at the Long Island Church (also see below).

Sunday, Jun. 14 - National Day of Mourning Church services followed by a function in honor of the 25 years since the ordination of pastor Laris Saliņš at the Long Island Church. There will be a reception in the social hall downstairs following the church service in honor of the 25 years since pastor Laris Saliņš' ordination and the start of his service to the New York Congregation. Exactly 25 years ago on June 14 pastor Saliņš spoke his first sermon at the Long island Church. The Long Island congregation invites all Latvian Ev. Luth. Church members to come (reservations are not necessary) to join tem at the church services and the reception.

Līgo! Līgo! Happy Midsummer night - June 21, Līgo eve - June 23 & (St.) John's Day - June 24!

Priedaine - NJ Latvian SocietySaturday, June 20, at 16:00 - St. John's Day/Midsummer night Celebration Priedainē, NJ. Celebrants will be welcomed starting at 4pm. After 17:00 the New York Latvian folk dance group Jumis and the ensemble Dzirkstele from Philadelphia, will perform. Following this there will be a choir presentation conducted by Brigita Rumpētere. At 19:00 there will be a concert by singer Liene Šomase from Latvia. After the performances dance music will be provided by our old favorite - Bernie's orchestra till the wee hours. At 22:30 the bonfire will be lit to the accompaniment of traditional St. John's Day songs.. Admission $20.  For more information, please visit www.priedaine.org .

From Saturday, June 20 to Sunday, June 21 - Volunteer labor "Diž-Talka" to prepare the Church's Children's Camp for the summer season. Everyone, 10 years of age and older, is invited to help prepare the Children's Camp of the Latvian Ev. Luth. Church of New York in the Catskill Mountains of New York for this summer's season. For all volunteers, three meals on Saturday and breakfast on Sunday, will be provided. On Saturday evening all are invited to come round the St. John's Day / Midsummer night bonfire and join the festivities. Please reserve rooms by calling Janīna Brigis (518) 589-9932. A map and directions to the camp may be viewed at www.nydraudze.org and clicking on "Nometne".

New York Men's Choir (of Japanese businessmen)RTU Riga Business school choir
Thursday June 25
at 19:30 - Concert: "Songs cross the oceans and link businesses" at Immanuel Lutheran Church, 122 East 88 Street · New York, NY 10128 (corner of Lexington Avenue and 88th Street). The Consulate of Latvia in New York invites you to a unique concert featuring two outstanding  „business” choirs - one from Riga, Latvia, the other from New York’s Japanese business community. The RTU Riga Business School Choir, under Conductor Einārs Verro, brings together more than 40 successful business professionals. The majority of singers are middle and top level managers, entrepreneurs and company owners. At the same time most of the singers bring significant choral experience which has helped the Choir to reach its high level of performance. (see www.rbs.lv for more information about RBS). The New York Men's Choir (NYMC) is an amateur choral group consists of Japanese businessmen work in NY. It is a successor of The NY Men's Glee Club, which was originally founded in 1991. In 2004, it evolved once again, welcoming women’s voices to become both men’s and mixed chorus, forming The Japanese Choral Society of New York (JCSNY) with Kousuke Iwasaki as the current conductor. Some highlights include singing the National Anthem at NY Yankees Stadium in 2004 and its performance at Carnegie Hall in 2005. A documentary film about the choir, 'Shall We Sing?' by Ms. Higashitani, won several awards in 2008 and was broadcasted nationwide on PBS network. (see www.nymc.net for more information about the Choir). Both choirs will perform selections from their native repertoires. Come, enjoy, and let’s connect ! Directions: The Immanuel Lutheran Church is located at the corner of Lexington Avenue and 88th Street on Manhattan's Upper East Side, convenient from the M101, M102, and M86 bus lines and by Subway, #4, #5, and #6 line, 86th Street stop. Tickets: $10 adults; $7 children (tickets at the door). 

JULY 2009:

XIII Latvian Song Festival in CanadaIN CANADA: From Wednesday July 1 till Sunday July 5 - XIII Latvian Song Festival in Canada, in Hamilton, Ontario. For information visit: www.latviansongfest.com .

Saturday July 4 - In Latvia this is the day of Mourning for those who perished in the Nazi Holocaust. Officially the day is called the "Remembrance day for Jewish genocide victims" (in Latvian "Ebreju tautas genocīda upuru piemiņas diena"). On this day in 1941 occupying Nazi-German forces burned down the Great Choral Synagogue in Rīga. (See also March 25 and June 14.) In the U.S.A. this day is celebrated as Independence Day (declared in 1776).

NJ Sporta kopa "Kursa"Saturday July 11 at 11:00 am - "Zelta Bumba ("Golden Ball) Volleyball Tournament Benefit in the Catskills at the Latvian Veterans' Center Rota in Elka Park, NY. Come with or without a team, teams will be formed on the spot. Prizes will be given to winners. Admission $20 which includes a hotdog lunch. Proceeds benefit the NJ Latvian Sports Group "Kursa" and the LKIA "Rota". The evening program will take place in Rota's club "Zelta Auns" ("The Golden ram") and will feature "DJ MJ". For those who have not paid the all-day tournament admission the evening admission will be $10. For more information, please write NJ Latvian Sports Group "Kursa" reps. Jānis Ģiga home tel. (908) 272-4580 or Aivars Bārs, tel. (862) 812-1067. For directions and lodging visit: www.rotalodge.org, tel. (518) 589-9878.

Main gate of the Latvian Church campo "Nometne"New York Latvian Church Camp in the Catskill mountains summer program for July through August

For more information visit www.nydraudze.org and click on "Nometne".


“IKŠKIŠU” (" Little thumbs" For children ages 2-6 ) periods:
For children speaking Latvian:
A-week:
from Sunday July 12 to Saturday July18 - Program coordinator: Valda Grīnberga, ikskisia@gmail.com
B-week: from Sunday July 19 to Saturday July 25 - Program coordinator: Māra Abene-Ast, ikskisib@gmail.com
C-week: from Sunday July 26 to Saturday August1 - Program coordinator: Inga Mieme Garbarino
tel. (845) 225-1782, ikskisic@gmail.com
For children who speak little or no Latvian and need to learn it:
Language week: from Sunday August 2 to Saturday August 8 - Program coordinator: Irēne Upenieks-Jasuta: (631) 589-0372, ikskisiv@gmail.com

Regular children's camp "NOMETNE" periods:
I period: from Sunday July 12 to Saturday July 19 - Lead counselor: Anita Bataraga, (201) 760-6417, nometne@gmail.com
II period: from Sunday July 19 to Saturday August 1 - Lead counselor: Nora Aivara, (201) 337-3120 nometne@gmail.com
Language period: from Sunday August 2 to Saturday August 15 - Lead counselor: Elissa Millers, (908) 415-3670 valodasperiods@yahoo.com

Saturday, Jul. 18 at 15:00 - "Melnais Lācis" ("The Black Bear") Social afternoon. Please see below under the heading "New York Latvian Church Camp in the Catskill mountains summer program".

“Senior's camp”: from Sunday August 9 to Saturday August 15 - Lead counselor: Ingrīda Mieme, tel:   (518) 962-4742, senčunometne@gmail.com Janīna Briğe: 518-589-9932

"3 x 3" Seminar camp - from Sunday August 16 to Saturday August 23 - Lead counselor: Taina Laiviņa, http://www.3x3katskilos.info

The camp is still looking for personnel - counselors / and other help for the children's camp. Please contact the respective lead counselor for the period that interests you.

AUGUST 2009:

IN RIGA, LATVIA: Sunday, August 2, from 11:00 until 14:00 - (Informal) Meeting of the World's Latvians, at the Čarlstona" restaurant, Blaumaņa iela 38/40, Riga, Latvia. Let's get together, become friends and decide when we'll meet again. Admission 15 Ls. which includes a buffet lunch. Please make reservation by July 15 with Astrīda Jansone, astridajansone@yahoo.com , Skype: atsridarjansons, or with Velga Kalniņa velgakalnina@gmail.com . For information contact (in the USA) Ģirts Zeidenbergs tel. (302) 529-7442, girtszeidenbergs@comcast.net or gzeidenbergs@tilts.org and visit www.tilts.org .Or in Latvia you may contact Indra Sproģe-Kalviņa tel. (371) 6729-3361 indra.sproge@tpriga.lv . Organized by the Latvian Cultural Association TILTS with Edvīns Kalviņš firm "Techniskie partneri".

Latvia's Three Tenors - Nauris Puntulis, Guntars Rungis, Miervaldis JencsLatvia's "Three tenors" will perform in the New York area. The "Three Tenors are: Nauris Puntulis, Guntars Ruņģis and Miervaldis Jencs. They will be accompanied by Juris Kuļakovs on keyboard. They will be performing at three venues:
Saturday, Aug. 22 at the 3x3 Seminar camp in the Catskills (see above);
Tuesday, Aug. 25 at Priedainē, NJ, and 
Saturday, Aug 29 at the Long Island Church. Performance times will be announced.

SEPTEMBER 2009:

Welcome to the BalticsThursday September 10, from 16:00 to 19:00 - Estonia, the Baltics and Beyond. Fascinating presentations, one-on-one consultations, elegant cocktail reception at the Estonian House. This informative seminar which will include presentations, consultations, brochures, videos, regional cuisine and performers and more will offer a brief glimpse of the many facets of this exotic travel destination. RSVP to Krista Altok Tassa, e-mail: katassa@eacci.org

Saturday, Sep. 12, at ?:00 - Church services followed by opening of the Bronx Latvian School's academic year at the Yonkers Church.

Sunday, Sep. 13, at 10:30 - Church services followed by the annual Children's festival, at the Long Island Church. Activities for children will take place outside. There will be a bazaar hosted by the women's committee. Traditional Latvian foods, coffee and refreshments will be served. For further information write Ilze Beiniķis.

NJ Sporta kopa "Kursa"Saturday, Sep. 19 at 10:00 - Kursa's Cup Games in Volleyball, at Priedainē, NJ. Volleyball games with mixed teams. If you are alone (not with a team) don't worry or hesitate to come because the teams will be formed at 9:00. Party in the evening with two rock bands: "Zemes trīce" un "AKRA", where among the musicians will be Richards Skulte (Bob & the Latvians), Laila Medne (Los Pintos), Lars Alversons (tntc*), Māris Jansons, Andris Paža and friends.. Next day have fun on the beach at the Jersey Shore. For more information write Jānis Ģiga, tel (908) 931-1228 or Aivars Bārs, tel. (862) 812-1067.

Saturday, Sep 19, at 12:30- Children's festival and Barbeque at the Brooklyn parsonage. For more information Ilona Vilciņa and visit: www CentreLV com.

Liepājas teātris - "Viss par vīriešiem"Saturday, Sep. 19 at 17:00 - The Liepāja theater from Latvia will perform Miro Gavrāns'play "Viss par vīriešiem" ("All about men"), at the Long Island Church. Admission $25.  organized by the Latvian Cultural Assoc. TILTS and C.A.LO.N.Y. For information write Baiba Pinnis tel. (914) 631-5725.

IN WASHINGTON DC: Saturday, Sep. 19 at 16:00 - Latvia University 90th anniversary celebration, at the Washington Latvian congregation church, 400 Hurley Ave., Rockville, MD.

Sunday Sep. 20 , at 10:30 - Church services where the president of Latvia, Dr. Valdis Zatlers, will attend, at the Long Island Church.. A reception will follow where it will be possible to meet the president

Priedaine - NJ Latviiešu BiedrībaSunday Sep. 20 , at 14:00 - The Liepāja theater from Latvia will perform Miro Gavrāns'play "Viss par vīriešiem" ("All about men") at Priedainē, NJ.. For more information visit Priedaine's web page www.priedaine.org

Amber Flute QuartetDaugavas Vanagi EmblēmaSaturday Sep. 26, at 14:00 - Daugavas Vanagu seasons opening event, at the DV House. Spēlēs "Amber Flute Quartet": Ilona Kudiņa, Ona Jonaityte, Agita Cerusta-Arista, un Indra Ozola.  Program will feature works by Baltic composers, including: Arvo Part, Peteris Aldiņš, Jonas Tamulions, Selga Mence, Tatjana Kozlova, Romualds Kalsons, Dace Aperāns, Edgars Kariks and French composer Eugene Bozza.. Raffle drawing of paintings. all are invited.

OCTOBER 2009:

Until October 31st - Latvian citizens living in the USA are invited to complete a survey. On Oct 2, 2010 Latvian parliamentary elections will be held. To prepare for this, the Latvian Embassy in the USA and the American Latvian Association (ALA), in cooperation with the Central Election Commission of Latvia in Riga, have prepared a survey to better understand the needs of Latvian voters in the USA. We ask you to complete the survey and return it to the Latvian Embassy in Washington by October 31 of this year. Completing the survey should take you only 10 minutes, but i t will help determine the number and the locations of polling places in the USA. You may find the survey and other information at:  http://www.latvia-usa.org/appar10ve.html

Sunday, Oct. 4, at 10:00 - Harvest Festival church service followed by St. Michael's Day bazaar at the Yonkers Church. The program will begin with the opening of an art exhibit "3 draudzenes" ("3 Friends"). The artists Biruta Akerberga, Ērika Šulcs and Ruta Strobele will show their paintings, black & white photographs and art photographs. The folk dance group "Jumis" will perform Latvian folk dances. There will be a hot lunch, Latvian foods to take home to take home as well as Latvian books and jewelry will be available for purchase, and a lottery will be held. Admission with a donation of $25.

Sunday, Oct. 4, at 10:30 - Harvest Festival church service at the Long Island Church, Harvest Festival celebration will follow in the church social hall. There will be Latvian style foods & desserts, a raffle drawing and a performance by the Long Island theater group. All are welcome. Hosted by the Women's Committee. For further information write Ilze Beiniķis.

Sunday, Oct. 11, at 12:00 - Memorial Service at the Latvian Memorial Park in the Catskills, next to the cemetery in Tannersville, NY. For travel directions visit: www.nydraudze.org click on "Nometne" and page down to near the bottom of the page. Also please visit: www.latvianmemorialpark.org

Priedaine - NJ Latviiešu BiedrībaThursday Oct. 14 at 16:00 - 'Teātra TT' performance of Lauris Gundars' play "Tiritomba jeb Zelta zivtina" ("Tiritomba or the Golden Fish"), at Priedainē NJ.. For more information visit Priedaine's web page www.priedaine.org

American Latvian Artists AssociationFrom Friday Oct. 16 until Sunday Oct. 18 -American Latvian Artists' Association (ALMA) annual Gathering, in the Catskills N.Y. Latvian Church Camp Rest Home (Atpūtas Nams). Please join us for ALMA's (American Latvian Artists Association) annual meeting (or in Latvian "saiets"), which will be held in the Catskills on October 16, 17, and 18. The meeting will start Friday night with presentations by Aivars Zandbergs, Eleonora Šturma and others showing images and films of exhibitions in Latvia.  We will also show Laima Zurgina's beautiful new documentary on Marta Skulme and her influence on Latvian art.  The cultural program on Saturday, will feature presentations by Juris Ubāns on his long career as an artist and art professor and also talks by the distinguished artists, Zoya Frolova and Jānis Jakobsons, on the development of their art both here and in Latvia. There will be a two day exhibition of members' work, our traditional "Poets hour", hat party and general frolicking. To register of for more information, please contact Dace Marga at dace_marga@merck.com or by phone at (215) 368-2061 evenings. For more information about ALMA please visit: www.americanlatvianartists.org .

In Phildelphia - Happy Hour
In Philadelphia - Art Exhibit
Latviešu fondsIN PHILADELPHIA: From Friday Oct. 16. to Sunday Oct. 18 - Latvian Foundation (LF) "Nedēļas Nogale Nākotnei" (NNN) ("Weekend For the Future")
, at the Philadelphia Society of Free Letts, 531 North Seventh Street, Philadelphia. Tel. (215) 922-9798. Friday night Happy Hour. Also an art exhibit. For information visit: www.latviesufonds.info 

Sunday Oct. 18 - Harvest Festival Church services: at 14:30 In New Jersey at St. Mark's Church, 100 Harter Road, Morristown, NJ; and at 15:00 in Jamaica, Queens, at First United Methodist Church, 162-10 Highland Avenue, Jamaica, NY.

From Friday Oct. 23 till Saturday Oct. 24 - Fall Festival at Rota in the Catskills. Sports, beer tasting, party and more! Info about Rota available at www.rotalodge.org . To reserve rooms at Rota call (518) 589-9878. For more information write Juris Bļodnieks.

Archibīskaps Elmārs E. RozītisSunday Oct. 25 at 11:00 - Joint New York Latvian congregation church service led by Archbishop Elmārs E. Rozītis, at the Yonkers Church. The Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church Abroad (LELBAL) Archbishop Elmārs E. Rozītis will be visiting the New York congregation to lead church services to give thanks, that the great difficulties experienced over the past year in providing for the spiritual needs of the congregation have been surmounted and now the congregation has renewed hope for the future.

Baltoween 2009 un ALJA's valdes sēdeSaturday, Oct. 31, starting around 9:30 in the morning - American Latvian Youth Association (ALJA) Board meeting, ALJA will hold its last board meeting for this year in New York and will hold a Baltoween party jointly with the Estonians! The ALJA board meeting will take place on Manhattan's West Side at, 160 West 66th Street, New York, NY, in apartment 51 E, which belongs to the Israels family. Come to the meeting, learn how ALJA works and then celebrate Halloween together with all our Baltic friends! There will be dancing, games and all sorts of other activities all evening.
Saturday, Oct. 31, at 20:30 - "Baltoween" (Baltic Halloween) party at the Estonian House. . Admission with costume $10, without $15. Dance music will be provided by DJ NOE Aleks Vīsners.  For information write Tija Ore tijaore@yahoo.com. For travel directions visit: www.estonianhousenewyork.com

NOVEMBER 2009:

Saturday, Nov. 7, from 09:00 to 15:00 - Flea market, at the Yonkers Church. Please donate your used (but usable) items. Come help with the set up and to man the tables. Proceeds will be for the benefit of the reconstruction of the kitchen in the Yonkers church social hall. Please write Māra Ziediņš, tel. (914) 962-7023 to arrange for donation of your items and to help out.

Daugavas Vanagi EmblemSaturday, Nov. 7, at 14:00 - Lāčplēsis Day commemoration, at the DV House. Solvita Mosa will sing. Program information will be forthcoming. All are invited. After the program a "Vanadzes" provided buffet and refreshments from the bar will be available in the club room downstairs.

Priedaine - NJ Latvian SocietyDaugavas Vanagi EmblemSunday, Nov. 8, at 14:00 - DV chapter of New Jersey event, at Priedainē, NJ. For more information, please visit www.priedaine.org .

Uldis GravaAndrew MartensGunta Plostniece
Saturday, Nov. 14,
at 14:00 - Latvian Independence Day Commemoration, at the Yonkers Church. Program will feature an address by Uldis Grava, member of the Latvian parliament and former Latvian-American activist (in Latvian) and a concert by bass singer Andrew Martens accompanied by pianist Gunta Plostniece. A social afternoon will follow the program in the church's social hall, downstairs, with finger food and refreshments. Admission is $30 at the door but until November 7 tickets may be ordered for $25 (or benefactor tickets at $75 - benefactors will have their names printed in the program). Free admission for children up to 12 years of age and for Latvian school pupils. To order tickets send a stamped, self-addressed envelope, with payment (make checks payable to "Council of American Latvian Orgs. of N.Y., Inc.") to Imants Kalninš, 42 Hackensack Street, Wood Ridge, NJ 07075.

Priedaine - NJ Latvian Society Sunday, Nov. 15, at 13:00 - Latvian Independence Day Commemoration, at Priedainē, NJ. Program will feature an address by Uldis Grava, member of the Latvian parliament and former Latvian-American activist (in Latvian). Admission is $20. For more information, please visit www.priedaine.org .

Latvia's national flagWednesday, November 18 - Latvia's Independence Day (1918).


Saturday, Nov. 21, at 16:00 - Latvian Chamber of Commerce of the America's meeting at the Estonian House, 243 East 34th Street, New York, NY. You are cordially invited to attend the first meeting of the Latvian Chamber of Commerce in the Americas, New York / New Jersey / Philadelphia Division. Featured guest speakers will include: Normunds Penke, Representative of Latvia to the United Nations & State Secretary Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Rudolfs Bremanis, Second Secretary Political / Economic/ Consular; Daris Dēlinš, Honorary Consul of Latvia in New York; Rudis Bērziņš, President Berziņš Insurance Agency. Please bring your business cards and ideas to share with other attendees. R.S.V.P. to Brigita Rumperters (908) 789-4311 or e-mail brigita_z_rumpeters@ml.com .

ALYA logoFrom Wednesday, Nov. 25 until Sunday, Nov. 29 - Annual Congress of the American Latvian Youth Association (ALYA) in Boston, Massachusetts. For more information, please visit: www 57bostonaskongress info and www.alja.org . There is a reduced participation fee if you register by the end of October! For more information, please visit: www aljakongress net and www.alja.org . NOTICE: The cost to participate is only $100 from now through June 30! Make checks payable "Boston Latvian Association" and mail to Marisa Gudrais, 46 Spencer Street, Millis, MA 02054. Send all questions and suggestions to: aljabostona@gmail.com .

DECEMBER 2009:

Laila Salinš mezzo-sopranoWednesday Dec. 2, Thursday Dec. 3, and Friday Dec. 4 at 20:00 - Laila Saliņš will sing in a cabaret music concert "Discord - Accord", at The Cell, 338 West 23rd Street, New York, NY. The program includes tango music of Osvaldo Pugliese; Eric Salzman's suite "La Bonne Ame de Setchouan (Bertolt Brecht)"; Latvian drinking songs and tangos (arranged by Laila Salins); and accordion music written for and by Bill Schimmel. Performers: Laila Saliņš, mezzo-soprano; Bill Schimmel, accordion, with an ensemble of two violins and cello. Advance tickets through Brown Paper Tickets, tel. (800) 838-3006 or on the web www.BrownPaperTickets.com .Tickets may be available at the door but seating is limited. For more informatiion about Laila Salinš visit: www.LailaSalins.Com .

Daugavas Vanagi EmblemSaturday, December 5, from 12:00 to 17:00 - (Daugavas) Vanadzes Christmas market at the DV House. Get started on your Christmas shopping, enjoy a traditional Latvian lunch over a few drinks in a relaxed & informal atmosphere, and get to know your fellow New York Latvians. This is the place to get your Latvian gifts: jewelry, ceramics, books, cards, calendars, ginger bread cookies, and holiday foods: Christmas sausage, pīrāgi, honey, breads of various kinds. An extensive selection of food products imported from Latvia will be available including Laima chocolates. The bar will be serving Latvian beer - Aldaris: Zelta and other varieties. Enjoy some Christmas punch and try your luck in the lottery drawings. The lunch will have many Latvian style goodies on the menu, such as sausages, sauerkraut, blood sausage, cranberry relish and more. All are invited. Stay a while, the bar will stay open for some time after 5PM. For more information contact: Marīja Maher

Sunday, Dec. 6 at 10:00 - Advent concert at the Yonkers Church. Program will include Christmas cantatas by Viktors Baštiks and Ilona Rupaine, and "Modālā svīta" for flute and string instruments by Arnolds Šturms. Performing will be Laila Liepiņa soprano, Laura Padega-Zamurs kokle, the New York Latvian Concert Choir, the Bronx Chamber Music Orchestra and Andrejs Jansons conductor. A brunch will follow the concert.

Sunday, Dec. 6 at 10:30 - Church services followed by the annual Christmas market, at the Long Island Church. Enjoy a Latvian style lunch. Latvian food will be offered for sale including piparkūkas, rudzu maizi, dzeltenmaizi, pīrādziņus, putraimu desas, pelēkos zirņus, gotiņas and other delicacies. There will also be books and handicrafts for sale and a raffle drawing. All are invited. Fr more information write Ilze Beinikis.

Sunday, Dec. 13, at 10:30 - Church service followed by the Long Island Latvian grade school "Eglīte" ("Christmas Tree" celebration), at the Long Island Church.

Sunday, Dec. 13, at 11:00 - New Brunswick - Lakewood Latvian Congregation "Eglīte" ("Christmas Tree" celebration), at the East Brunswick Church, 12 Gates Avenue, East Brunswick, NJ 08816. Program will feature an invocation, lunch a sing-along, raffle drawing and a Christmas market with "piparkūkas" (ginger bread cookies) and other Latvian goodies.

Sunday, Dec. 13, at 15:00 - Church service followed by the annual meeting of the Jamaica, Queens district (Džamaikas novads) of the Latvian. Ev. Luth Church of NY, at the First United Methodist Church, 162-10 Highland Avenue, Jamaica, NY. Everyone interested in learning more about the work of the church's Jamaica, Queens district committee is welcome to attend. See www.nydraudze.org.

Wednesday, Dec. 16, at 19:00 - Christmas Concert at the Swedish Church at 5 East 48th Street, New York, NY. Concert will feature a Swedish choir, accompanied by a small chamber orchestra and soloists. Traditional and Scandinavian "flavors" in music and lyrics. Indra Ozola will be playing the flute.

Saturday, Dec. 19,  at 14:00 - The Bronx Latvian school's "Eglīte" ("Christmas Tree" celebration) at the Yonkers Church. School pupils will perform the play "Kaķīša dzirnavas" ("Kitty's Water Mill") directed by Līga Balodis.

Saturday, Dec. 19, at 16:00 - The Brooklyn Latvian School's "Eglīte" ("Christmas tree" celebration) and Ball, at the Brooklyn Parsonage. Program will feature a performance by the school ensemble. An evening program will follow with DJ provided dance music downstairs and socializing upstairs. All are invited. Participants are requested to dress properly as for a ball. For more information visit www CentreLV Com/Ziemassvetki2009.aspx.

Sunday, Dec. 20,  at 11:30 - The New Jersey Latvian school's "Eglīte" ("Christmas Tree" celebration), at Priedaine, NJ.

IN PHILADELPHIA: Sunday, Dec. 20,  at 14:00 - "Ziemassvētku Ieskaņas Koncerts" ("Ring-In Christmas" Concert) at the Philadelphia Latvian Sv. Jāna (St. John's) Church, 301 Newtown Street Road, Newtown Square, PA. Performing will be the Philadelphia Latvian Concert Choir, Gunta Plostniece conductor, Julia Plostniece soloist, Mudīte Streipa-Pizzini organ; guest soloists Marcis Kuplais from Latvia on cello and Akane Matsumura pianist. Program will feature Latvian and other composers Christmas songs as well as music for the cello and piano. a social hour will follow the concert admission $25.00, children admitted free. All are invited.

Thursday, Dec. 24, at 18:00 - Christmas Eve Church services, Yonkers Church, and Long Island Church..

Friday, Dec. 25, at 11:00 - Christmas Day Church services, at the East Orange Church.

Elina GarančaMaija KovalevskaLatvia's opera superstars perform at The Met

During the coming winter and spring at least two of Latvia's opera superstars will be performing in two different opera productions at the Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center in New York. Please note that the following information is subject to change, so please confirm it before making your plans by visiting www.metoperafamily.org/metopera/ then clicking on "SEASON & TICKETS and then on the specific opera under "Current Productions" that you might be interesting in attending. Currently:
Elīna Garanča is scheduled to perform the title role in Georges Bizet's Carmen on Dec. 31, Jan. 5, 8, 12, 16, & 21;
Maija Kovaļevska is scheduled to perform the role of Liu in Giacomo Puccini's Turondot on Jan. 4, 7, 9, 13, 16, 20, & 23;
Maija Kovaļevska is scheduled to perform the role of Micaela in Georges Bizet's Carmen on Jan. 30, Feb. 1, 5, 9, & 13, Apr. 28, and May 1.
Latvian conductor Andris Nelsons will be conducting the Turandot performances.

Priedaine - NJ Latvian SocietyThursday, Dec 31, at 20:00 - New Year's Eve Ball at Priedaine, NJ. Accordionist William Aust will play dance music and Marita Lazdiņa will sing in the big hall. Admission $50 per person, which includes a hot buffet, champagne, dance music, and the decorations. To make reservations please send a $25 per person deposit payable The NJ Latvian Society, 1017 State Road 33, Freehold, NJ 07728. For more information call (732) 610-8227 or please visit Priedaine's web site www.priedaine.org .

End of community events listing

End of archive for this year