Peace Lutheran Church celebrates Latvia’s 100th birthday at Doors Open Ottawa

The Peace Latvian Lutheran Church on Main Street is the site of many social and cultural events, including the upcoming 100th birthday celebration of the birth of Latvia.  PHOTO: Hugo Lama

The Peace Latvian Lutheran Church on Main Street is the site of many social and cultural events, including the upcoming 100th birthday celebration of the birth of Latvia.
PHOTO: Hugo Lama

ILSE ZANDSTRA

Peace Latvian Lutheran Church is participating in Doors Open Ottawa on June 2 – 3.  Come and join us at 83 Main Street and learn more about the people who worship and socialize in your neighbourhood.

Our more than eighty-year-old building houses the Latvian Lutheran congregation of Ottawa and hosts numerous lively social events throughout the year. But this year is a special one, as Latvia is celebrating its 100th birthday!  Come and celebrate with us and learn about Latvia, where Canadian troops are currently stationed as part of a NATO mission, and sample Latvian culture, art, music, dance, a little history, and some Latvian delicacies.

Our church at 83 Main Street has a fascinating history.  In the early 1930s, Canadian Martyrs congregation purchased land at Main Street & Lees Avenue and built the church.  W.C. Beattie, a well-known Ottawa architect, designed the building. The first services in the new church were held in the spring of 1931. By 1950, the congregation had outgrown the building and the Canadian Martyrs moved further south on Main Street. They kept the old building, deconsecrated it and used it as a community centre.

Thirty years later, on 30 September 1982, the Peace Latvian Lutheran Church congregation purchased the building. The structure was in very poor condition and required significant renovations. Volunteers from the congregation did all the work themselves. For the last 35 years, the Peace Latvian congregation has maintained the building and its surroundings. The building serves as a home to the congregation and to the Latvian community in Ottawa, and welcomes visitors and friends of Latvia from Ottawa and elsewhere.

To showcase the richness and uniqueness of the Latvian culture we invite all readers of the Mainstreeter  to visit our Church and learn more about us. We are Canadians, with a rich Latvian cultural heritage, who have worked and contributed to Ottawa and to this country for decades. To celebrate Latvia’s 100th birthday as well as Doors Open Ottawa we plan to offer a program of mini-concerts – piano, guitar, and kokle, a traditional stringed instrument – on the hour. The community choir, dance group, as well as youth band will also perform. Latvian-Canadian art and crafts will be displayed. There will be coffee and traditional Latvian food available free of charge. On Sunday, at 11 a.m. our pastor will hold a bilingual (Latvian and English) church service. We welcome you.

   

Word count:  400

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