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The St. John’s Heritage Church & Arts Centre has the amazing opportunity and pleasure to feature Ves Zarins’, from Toronto Ontario, book launch! The book is Latvian Pioneers, Socialists and Refugees in Manitoba –An illustrated journey through the history of Latvians in Manitoba.

In approximately 1905, a failed revolution to overthrow the landowners or German Barons by the Latvians to regain control of their own schools and activities. Consequently, several thousand Latvians escaped persecution by fleeing to freedom in North America or South America. At that time Brazil, the United States, and Canada were advertising golden lands of opportunity and free homesteads.

The Latvians migrated to Manitoba from Brazil and the United States. Latvian families took up homesteads in Libau, Lettonia, Newcombe, Lee River, Bird River, and Sifton areas from the early 1900s to the 1930s.

Today, Lac du Bonnet is still home to many descendants of these Latvian immigrants, with the largest Latvian population in Western Canada. Ves Zarins has captured the history and culture of Lac du Bonnet’s Latvian Pioneers, preserving and sharing it with us through his book.

Stop by and on July 27th for the unique opportunity to speak with Ves Zarins and meet with the descendants of the families who helped build our beautiful community and surrounding areas. The day will consist of:

  • 1:30 PM at the Lettonia Cemetery – the unveiling of Latvian dedication plaque (MHAC)
  •  2:30 PM at the St. John’s Heritage Church & Arts Centre – book presentation and signing by Ves Zarins followed by a small Latvian inspired reception in the hall.
  • This is a free event.