Valmiera commits to become the European Capital of CulturePrint
Valmiera residents are pragmatic, realistic and rational. Valmiera and the future Valmiera region are also a united and rich cultural space with strong traditions and formidable creativity. It is unique and constantly rediscovered. That is why Valmiera is determined to become a European cultural destination by developing and implementing a long-term cultural program at the European level in the newly established region. It will be available to everyone living in Valmiera region and at the same time interesting for Latvian and European residents, giving everyone the opportunity to find an important place in the program.
“Cultures are formed in synergy - in the interaction of responsible institutions and citizens. Valmiera region as a unified cultural space has a huge potential in Latvia and Europe. It is ancient, beautiful, unusual, it also has painful scars from the common and complex history of Europe. When creating our cultural program, we can talk about centuries-old events, the recent past, the present, plan and see the future we want to live in. Our goal is to create an inclusive and artistically high-quality program for the residents of the whole region, which will also be interesting for the guests of the region,” says Reinis Suhanovs, the head of the artistic program of the European Capital of Culture 2027 in Valmiera.
The peculiarity of Valmiera's culture can be felt on the move - you have to go on the road, you have to move your thoughts. You have to be ready for an adventure, going to the swamp, for new discoveries, when seeing centuries in the rock walls. The road will lead to unusual cinemas that need to be reached by bicycle, but art, as every year, will live an urban life for one month. It will be possible to journey through the green railway, experience the unusual places that bear the same unusual name, and feel the ancient breath of the manors, enjoying the special food and drinks of this country. Together we will create a map of cultural places and events, mark stops, travel, discover stories and experience special cultural events.
Currently, active work is underway to create a cultural strategy for the future Valmiera region, which will promote the development and progress of the region in the long run. “The time of change and the desire to implement the economic development of Valmiera region as successfully as possible has strengthened our determination to become the European Capital of Culture. A shared awareness of cultural values, our inherent pragmatism and the ability to create is a great resource not only to get closer to the goal, but also to discover together how rich and unusual we are on the way to it,” says Jānis Baiks, mayor of Valmiera.
In 2027, Valmiera will make its way to the title of European Capital of Culture in the new Valmiera region, which will be the second largest region in Latvia behind the cities with the greatest regional development potential.
“The European Capital of Culture” is one of the best-known European initiatives to protect and promote cultural diversity in Europe, highlight its common features, increase citizens' sense of belonging to the common cultural space and encourage cultural contribution to long-term urban development in line with their respective strategies and priorities.
In 2027, the title of European Capital of Culture will be awarded to one Latvian city and one Portuguese city.
The decision to participate in the initiative was supported by Valmiera city council on January 28th, setting several goals for the implementation of the program, including promoting economic growth of Valmiera city and Valmiera region, development of nationally and internationally competitive cultural environment, restoration of cultural infrastructure, national and international recognition, and education, the development of an active, creative and environmentally friendly lifestyle-oriented society, the participation and involvement of the population in events important to society, the development of the urban environment, cultural and creative processes.
Photo: Strenči, from personal archive of Ilze Kurte