Baltic-Canadian Imprints – Youth and Seniors Come Together to Preserve Baltic Heritage

September 6, 2016

The Canadian Baltic Immigrant Aid Society, Estonian Studies Centre/ VEMU, Lithuanian Museum Archives of Canada and the Canadian Latvian Archive and Museum (Latvian National Federation in Canada) have received funding from the New Horizons for Seniors Program, a federal grant program that supports projects inspired by or led by seniors.

Known as Baltic-Canadian Imprints, this new partnership has launched the ‘Snapshot Stories’ project, which brings together youth with seniors who share a common Baltic heritage to gather oral histories. Through interviews and by showing photos, documents and artifacts that are meaningful to them, the seniors will share their personal experience, cultural identity and reflections on Baltic heritage with youth in their community. Seniors are keepers of cultural history and the generation of post-war immigrants is rapidly disappearing. We are therefore at a critical moment for sharing and documenting the rich cultural knowledge that this generation has to offer.

The recordings, photos and information gathered through ‘Snapshot Stories’ will be used to create an exhibit to be launched at Toronto’s Estonian Studies Centre/VEMU in February 2017. Each organization involved will also add the information and materials to their archive collections, so they are preserved for their respective communities, academics, historians and future generations.

This exciting project involves seniors as cultural mentors and will enable youth to gain a new understanding and appreciation of their cultural heritage. It will also contribute to a strengthened Baltic presence in Ontario’s multicultural community. For more information about ‘Snapshot Stories’, to participate as a volunteer or if you know someone who would like to be interviewed, please contact the project organizers:

Canadian Baltic Immigrant Aid Society – Petra Grantham

Latvian National Federation in Canada–Canadian Latvian Archive and Museum – Andris Kesteris

Lithuanian Museum-Archives Canada – Dani Breen

VEMU/Estonian Study Centre – Piret Noorhani