Latvian National Federation in Canada

The Latvian National Federation in Canada is the highest Canada Latvian representation that works as a non- party organisation corresponding to its statutes and Canada laws. Its abbreviation is LNAK.

LNAK represents Canada Latvians in international, state and social level, protects Latvian interests, supports different projects and participates in Latvian Diaspora’s life and events in the whole world. The LNAK promotes information spread through all Latvian state, nation, culture organisations to maintain Latvian nation’s living strength and culture, save funds for the promoting of the national activities, as well as supports other foundations with similar aims, promotes cooperation of Latvian organisations and parishes.

To achieve its aim, the LNAK cooperates with the local Canada Latvian organisations and parishes, Latvian central organisations in the world, Latvian State diplomatic missions and State institutions, Estonian, Lithuanian and other nation organisations in Canada.

The LNAK work in the following spheres: finances, education, culture, care, sports, economy, youth and integration.

Under the wing of the LNAK Education and Culture Foundation and Latvian Care and Development Foundation are working.

The work of the LNAK leads the Council elected by its members and Council’s Presidium, as well as the Board. The Chairman of the LNAK Council’s Presidium is Dr. Jānis Lūsis. The Board of the LNAK manages Andris Ķesteris.


At the end of the 20th century 40s, after the Latvian immigrants became stable in Canada biggest province centres and after the foundation of the local societies and parishes, also Canada Latvian central organisations started to develop and one of them was the Latvian National Federation in Canada.

The initiators of the establishment of the LNAK were Konrāds Dobelis in Edmonton and Mariss Vētra in Halifax. K. Dobelis arrived to Canada in already 1927 and had got acquainted very well with its social and cultural life. As soon as Latvian immigrants started to arrive to Canada, he helped to his nationals in juridical and accommodation questions. K.Dobelis started the uniting of the Latvian immigrants establishing the Latvian Society “Imanta” and the newspaper “Bŗivais Latvietis” (Free Latvian) in 1947. From 1947 to 1948 also Latvian Societies in Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, London, Hamilton, Winnipeg and groups also in other Latvian accommodation places were founded. At the beginning of 1947 the former Latvian national Opera soloist Mariss Vētra arrived to Canada eastern coast Halifax from Sweden, who, along with his professional musician’s work tried to help also the newly arrived Latvian immigrants to arrange their practical life problems. For more successful aid work he, together with the opera singer Teodors Brilts established the organisation “Latvian Relief Association". After the suggestion of K. Dobelis, the meeting of Canada Latvian Societies and group delegates (12 organisations in total) took place on September 25, 1948 in Toronto, where Latvian National Federation in Canada was established.  K.Dobelis was elected as the first its Board Chairman. The main tasks of the organisation were the care work of the Latvian immigrants and ideological struggle for the restoration of Latvian State independency.

In order to prevent the parallel care work, the administration of the Latvian National Federation in Canada and Latvian Relief Association called the delegates meeting on May 6, 1950, where they agreed upon the establishing of the common Latvian central organisation with the name Latvian National Federation in Canada.

The LNAK statutes stated that the federation’s members are all Latvians living in Canada. The voting rights in Council elections were to anyone, who had paid the small fee stated by the Board. Federation’s members in secret ballot by post elected the LNAK Council and it, in its turn, elected the LNAK Board.

The new organisation actively started its work. In 50s of the 20th century during the years of the LNAK Board chairmen I. Žīgurs and A. Svenne, a lot of work was done to strengthen the organisation’s inner and external influence, getting into contacts with Canada’s federal, province and local organisations and institutions. After the suggestion of the Chairman of the LNAK of that time Ādolfs Svenne, in 1959 was established Latvian Credit Union in Toronto, and he became its first chairman. The LNAK representatives have done a lot of work also in organising the World Free Latvian Union (PBLA), presenting Canada Latvians in its board. Starting with already its first activities, the Care Section, later – Aid Sector was established that helped the Latvians in Europe and Canada. In the biggest towns and centres active social and cultural work was developed. To coordinate this work, since 1952 the LNAK has also Educational and Cultural Sections. Since 1966 Educational Section works independently, it manages Latvian school things and Latvian youth education. In 1949 the Central Card File was organised, in 1950 Central Library in Toronto with the sections in Montreal, Hamilton, Ottawa and London was opened. Latvian libraries work also under the wing of Daugavas Hawks’ section in Toronto and in 1981 the wide library was opened in Canada Latvian Centre building in Toronto. The Educational and Cultural Section established Canada Latvian Cultural Foundation in 1952. The LNAK delegated representatives work and represent Canada Latvians in Baltic Nations’ Federation in Canada, Baltic Women Council, Canada Ethnic Council and Latvian international organisations.

After the Latvian State independence a lot of work was done to promote Latvia’s joining NATO and EU, as well as to avert colonisation’s consequences and strengthen democratic freedom in Latvia.

During last years the LNAK more attention pays to Canada Latvians, supports their projects and organisations, make bonds with Latvia, paying special attention to strengthening of Latvian education, supports Latvian schools and summer camps, as well as promotes information flow.   


Address: 4 Credit Union Drive, Toronto, Ontario, M4A 2N8 (Canada Latvian Centre in Toronto)


Phone: 416-755-2353

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