Canon’s past and future
Latvia’s Cultural Canon came into being as the result of a considered decision and exchange of views. Initially, the concept was developed in 2007 by the then Minister for Culture Helēna Demakova, who urged the public and experts to think about and give in-depth consideration to the question of what the cornerstones of our culture are, how to name them, justify their status, and place them alongside each other. As a result, Latvia’s Cultural Canon took form in 2008, comprising 99 elements in seven cultural spheres.
In 2021, the seven treasure sectors were complemented by a new one – Landscapes – which features eight of Latvia’s canonical landscapes, meticulously selected by a panel of experts.
By continuing to respect, preserve and nurture these highlights – being heirs to this Canon – we are, by means of our own contribution, creating new knowledge and heritage today, increasing our own ability to see new Latvian cultural treasures in our everyday, in the people around us, in Latvia’s most beautiful places, stories, past events and important cultural turning and reference points.
The Canon is about us, the foundation of our cultural experience, our sense of belonging to Latvia, our sense of pride about our treasures. The Canon is a whole, flowing along with time and social trends, which we can replenish through our inheriting it. In the same way, the whole as which we view these treasures today flows and changes with time, influencing what we perceive and value in them.