Hamilton Latvian Society

The Hamilton Latvian Society was founded on September 12, 1948.  

The aims of the Hamilton Latvian Society are:

  • maintain the development of the Latvian culture, promoting Latvian cultural events;
  • support Latvian schools, educational institutions, camps and Latvian upbringing events;
  • support the youth for the further Latvian education;
  • cooperate with other similar organisations;
  • create opportunity for Latvians to meet in common events.

The shield with Latvian flag, maple leaf on the left side, oak leaves on the right side and letters HLB are depicted on the Hamilton Latvian Society logo.


The work of the Hamilton Latvian Society leads the Board. The Chairman of the Society is Arnolds Smiltnieks.

The representatives of the Hamilton Latvian Society work also in the United Latvian Organisations’ Committee „HALO Committee” that begun its work in 2015. The Hamilton Latvian Society is represented also in the Latvian National Union in Canada. 


The biggest part of the Latvians living in Canada arrived there after the World War II. Two thirds went to Ontario Province, where the rapid development of the industry attracted the attention of the immigrants.

The Hamilton Latvian Society was founded on September 12, 1948 under the leadership of the professors Fricis Gulbis and Pēteris Ķikauka in the company of 24 patriotically minded young people. In the first Board of the Society were working Alberts Polis, Kārlis Daudzietis, Ingeborga Neimane, Valija Konrāds and Oskars Vīksne.

The Society started its active work. In already 1948 the choir was established. The first conductor of the choir was Edvards Gulbis. In November 1948 the Latvian school started working in Hamilton, which was managed by Elza Gulbis for many years. In 1948 the sports group „Sparta” was founded. Its first manager was Laimonis Žulps. Under the leadership of the Hamilton Latvian Society the Drama Group was founded in 1951, whose director was Ernests Jurševskis and the Academic Group, whose leader was Arnolds Grabis. Soon after that the folk dance group was established under the leadership of Laimdota Brīvkalne, Venta 10th Guides’ Union, whose leader was Regīna Pavasara and Aiviekste 39th Scouts Union, managed by Edgars Dāvidsons. In 1958 the library was opened in the HLB house. Concerts, cultural and social events were organised.

To remind the world about the year 1939 - Germany – USSR agreement or so called Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact; August 23 was named the Black Ribbon Day from 1986 to 1991, when the Baltic Countries regained their independence. The Hamilton Latvian Society actively participated in organising remembrance events. Were organised meetings near the city council, remembrance speeches and commemorative events, posters were prepared and placed, as well as brochures made with information about historic events.

The Hamilton Latvian Vilis Rudzītis bought the house that he gave to the Hamilton Latvian Society in 1958. The current home place - 16 Queen St. North in Hamilton the Society obtained in 1960. The Society purchased the building with the support of Vilis Rudzītis. The library and book store are opened in the Society building.




The Hamilton Latvian Society’s autumn season every year opens the Michaelmas market event. The most important and widest event organised by the Hamilton Latvian Society is Latvia’s Proclamation Anniversary celebration on November 18 that traditionally takes place in the Latvian church premises with speeches, reports, Latvian school pupils performances and celebration. Before Christmas the Society every year organises the Gift Market, where everyone can buy Latvian handicraft and traditional delicacies for one’s own Christmas table and for presents to the guests. In December during the Christmas Tree Evening Christmas songs sound, participants have common Christmas supper and wait for Santa Klaus. Very popular are the Society’s organised film and lecture evenings. In January Book Day is organised.

One of the most serious cares for the Hamilton Latvian Society is the maintenance of the Society house that is used not only for the Society’s, but also for all Hamilton Latvians’ society. In the building are organised meetings of different organisations, events, library works and the book store, rehearsals of folk art collectives take place.

The Hamilton Latvian Society together with other Latvian organisations make the Hamilton Latvian organisations’’ edition „Hamiltonas Ziņas” (Hamilton News) that is published once a month and is found on the Home Page: hamiltonlatvians.files.wordpress.com.




Hamilton Latvian Society

16 Queen St. N., Hamilton, ON. Canada  L8R 2T8

HLB Chairman: Arnolds Smiltnieks

E-mail: asmiltnieks@cogeco.ca

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Pupils of the Hamilton Latvian School in 1957

HLB choir, 1960, conductor Imants Sakss