Nordic Days – for the first time in Liepāja

On 7-10 December the West Latvian town of Liepāja will be hosting Nordic Days festival for the first time in its history. During several days Liepāja will be the venue of multiple seminars and discussions, public talks, exhibitions, film screenings and musical performances.

Nordic Days in Liepāja are organized by Nordic embassies in Latvia and the Nordic Council of Ministers’ Office in Latvia with the aim of strengthening regional cooperation, initiating a regular and coordinated dialogue and sharing good Nordic practices.

Nordic Days in Liepāja will be offering a rich program for various target audiences and age groups.

Nordic Days will start on 7 December, when the Ambassador of Denmark Hans Brask, the Ambassador of Norway Steinar Egil Hagen, the Ambassador of Finland Olli Kantanen, the Ambassador of Sweden Annika Jagander and Director of the Nordic Council of Ministers’ Office, Stefan Eriksson, will be meeting with Liepāja City Mayor Uldis Sesks and representatives from Liepāja City Council in order to discuss ways for closer regional collaboration. The meeting will be followed by a press conference. 

An informative seminar on Nordic-Baltic mobility programs will take place on 8 December at 09:30 at the University of Liepāja, Lielā iela 14. The seminar will address a wide audience of those interested in the financial support available within the different modules of Nordic-Baltic mobility programs. The Nordic-Baltic mobility program “Culture” supports artist residencies, long-term and short-term cooperation networks, study trips of professional artists and practitioners in all cultural fields. The Nordic-Baltic mobility program “Public Administration” supports experience sharing among civil servants and public officials in order to promote the exchange of best practices and stronger cooperation networks. The Nordic and Baltic NGO programs aim to foster cooperation among the non-governmental organisations around the Baltic Sea whereas “Nordplus” supports education projects that promote knowledge sharing and building new cooperation networks.

Professionals from various business sectors will have an opportunity to take part in several events. During the round-table discussion “Possibilities and challenges in Latvian-Nordic business cooperation”, taking place on 8 December at 09:00 at hotel “Amrita” conference hall, Nordic ambassadors and entrepreneurs will share experiences and outlooks on the potential of economic links between enterprises in Liepāja and the Nordic countries as well as chart the most viable directions for cooperation and common activities on external markets to the east. Another seminar, “Circular economy, zero-waste production and latest trends”, scheduled for 7 December 14:30 at Liepāja Business Incubator, Dārza iela 4/8, will present the latest trends in the Nordic business world concerning the circular economy and bio-economy, as well as the concept of ‘zero-waste’. Examples of the Nordic zero-waste and circular economy innovations will be presented, and similar prospects in the Baltics will be explored.  

During the Nordic Days the four Nordic ambassadors will be visiting a number of educational institutions, meeting with students and schoolchildren: Norwegian Ambassador Steinar Egil Hagen will pay a visit to Liepāja University and the New Media Art Laboratory; Swedish Ambassador Annika Jagander will visit Liepāja Rainis Secondary School No.6, whereas Ambassador of Finland Olli Kantanen will be welcomed at Liepāja State Gymnasium No. 1. Danish Ambassador Hans Brask will be meeting with the local Danish businesspeople and Danish business representatives.

Head of the Nordic Council of Ministers’ Office in Latvia, Stefan Eriksson, will visit the editors of local newspaper “Kurzemes Vārds” in order to discuss the implementation of a project supported by the Nordic Council of Ministers’ grant program for minority language media in the Baltic countries.

A number of exhibitions will be on display, including “Nordic ID” and “Nordic Block” (opening on 8 December at 17:00 at the Great Amber Concert Hall and “Civita Nova” art space), both of which present fine selections of Nordic contemporary architecture. Photo exhibition “Nordic ID” is an attempt to formulate what Nordic identity means nowadays and how it is reflected in architecture, whereas exhibition “Nordic Block” is an explication of latest trends in urban district planning in the Nordic and Baltic countries. Exhibitions are on display 8-31 December. Liepāja Central Library will be the venue of two photo exhibitions – “Nordic Countries: Known and Unknown” and “Svalbard, the Land of Midnight Sun” – as well as “Nordic Visions”, a display of selected translations of Nordic literature. All the exhibitions will be opened on 7 December at 17:00. Liepāja Central Library children’s branch "Vecliepājas Rūķis” will be hosting an exhibition of Swedish children literature “Where a Child is Raised”, opened on 7 December at 15:30. The exhibitions will be available to public the entire December. 

In a four-concert series at the Great Amber Concert Hall, Liepāja will get acquainted with a variety of Icelandic contemporary music. At a public meeting with writer and art curator Steinunn G. Helgadóttir and translator Dens Dimiņš, the fate of two small European languages – Latvian and Icelandic – will be discussed. The event will take place on 7 December 17:30 at Valters Library reading club, Krūmu iela 29. The twists and turns of language will also be discussed by Swedish language tutor Anders Olsson when talking to the students of Liepāja Secondary School No. 6.

Nordic tunes will be heard in several places. A Christmas music concert dedicated to Lucia Day will be performed on 7 December at 18:00 at Liepāja Trinity Church, performed by the girls’ choir “Rīga” and conducted by Gunta Malēvica. The church organ will be played by Kristīne Adamaite. The concert will be followed by a traditional Swedish hot drink and the saffron-flavoured Lucia buns. Another musical genre will be performed on 7 December at the musical club Fontaine Palace, where Danish rock duo “The Shrines” will be truly “rocking” a new, creatively experimental rock sound. The concert will begin at 21:00.

The four days in Liepāja will be full of high-quality Nordic cinema as well. Four Norwegian films will be screened at the Norwegian Film Weekend at film theatre “Kino Balle” while the Swedish Film Festival at the Liepāja Children and Youth Centre “Youth House” will be offering a vast selection of films, including features, documentaries and shorts. The film programs will be available at the selected venues and www.norden.lv.  

All the events are free of charge, except for the Icelandic Weekend taking place at the Great Amber Concert Hall.

A detailed program of the Nordic Days is available on the homepage of the Nordic Council of Ministers’ Office in Latvia www.norden.lv and on the webpage of Liepāja City Council www.liepaja.lv.       

Nordic Days in Liepāja are organised by the Nordic Council of Ministers’ Office in Latvia, Embassy of Denmark, Embassy of Finland, Embassy of Norway, Embassy of Sweden, and Danish Cultural Institute in cooperation with Liepāja City Council and other partners.