Denmark enjoys a strong historical and cultural friendship with the three Baltic nations. The Danish efforts in connection with the Baltic fight for independence 1990-91, where the Danish Cultural Institute also played a large role, are still remembered clearly today. Denmark, Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania are all small but competitive and innovative countries – we have much in common and much to gain from future collaboration. We share a common mentality and core values of freedom and independence which are highlighted by a strong tradition for cooperation. This tradition will be developed and strengthened throughout 2018 and 2019 with a host of thought-provoking and inspiring cultural events and projects.
The Danish input to the programme for the Baltic centenaries was presented by Danish prime minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen on the 16th of January in the National Library of Latvia in Riga.
The wide-ranging programme has been developed by the Danish Cultural Institute and includes, among other things, music, art, children and youth culture, city planning, architecture and creative industries.
Scroll down to see the detailed programmes for Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
The initiatives below will frame the comprehensive Danish celebration of the 100th anniversary of Estonia and the 800th anniversary of Dannebrog. The commemoration will continue throughout 2018 and 2019 and will be embraced by a visit on the highest level when Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II of Denmark expectedly visits Estonia on June 15, 2019 – the very day we celebrate the 800th anniversary of Dannebrog falling from the sky over Tallinn.
2019 will also see a wide range of events focusing on Danish art and history, including an exhibition of Danish Golden Age painting, a historical Dannebrog exhibition, a Danish-Estonian concert and the founding of a new Danish garden in Tallinn. Furthermore, a number of classical and contemporary music events will also be a part of the celebrations.
January 18-19, 2018, Classical opening concerts: Christian IV Vocal Ensemble in Kuressaare and Tallinn
As an example of distinguished Danish musical art, the ensemble will present a selection of both early as well as more contemporary classical music from Denmark, Estonia and Latvia.
March 9, 2018, Contemporary Danish music: Liima in Tallinn
Formerly known as Efterklang, the band Liima has long enjoyed great popularity in the Baltics. The concert will take place at the fashionable club Erinevate Tubade Klubi.
June 15, 2019, expected royal visit to Estonia
On the very day we mark the 800th anniversary of the Danish flag Dannebrog falling from the sky, Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II of Denmark plans to visit Tallinn and participate in selected celebrations of Dannebrog’s anniversary and of Estonia’s centenary.
June 15, 2019, Exhibition opening: Dannebrog and the Danish Golden Age
The National Gallery of Denmark will produce an exhibition of Danish Golden Age paintings which will be shown at the Kadriorg Art Museum. The central piece will be C.A Lorentzens “Slaget ved Lyndanisse” (“The Battle of Lyndanisse”), depicting the battle on the 15th of June 1219 when, according to legend, the Danish flag fell from the sky.
June 15, 2019, Inauguration of the Danish Queen’s Garden
Supplementing the Danish King’s Garden, a new garden of Danish roses will be established in Tallinn’s historical city centre. The inauguration will be accompanied by Danish and Estonian choirs.
June 15, 2019, Exhibition opening: Historical Dannebrog exhibition
The Museum of National History (Frederiksborg Castle) will produce a historical exhibition on the history of Dannebrog. The exhibition will be on display in the tower Kiek in de Kök (Tallinn City Museum) and is also planned to be shown at Fredriksborg castle in the autumn of 2019. Photos of selected items will moreover be publicly shown at the Freedom Square in Tallinn.
June 15, 2019, Ceremony at the Freedom Square in Tallinn
The 800th and 100th anniversaries of Dannebrog and Estonia respectively will be marked with a ceremony on the Freedom Square encompassing several Danish and Estonian cultural activities, including choir performances, contemporary music, activity tents and a photo exhibition.
June 15, 2019, 800 Danes celebrate the 800th anniversary of Dannebrog
A delegation of 800 Danes will travel to Tallinn and participate in selected celebration events.
June 15, 2019, Musical commemoration with Concerto Copenhagen
The world-famous baroque ensemble Concerto Copenhagen will perform together with the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir in Estonia Concert Hall. At the concert, compositions by Arvo Pärt as well as core works from the baroque repertoire and Danish songs will be presented.
To mark the first Danish celebration of the centenary of the Republic of Latvia, the Danish Christian IV Vocal Ensemble performed a concert on the 17th of January at St John’s Church. The programme was inspired by the period of the Reformation and the thoughts of Luther – symbolising ideas of freedom and independence central to the Republic of Latvia.
One of the highlights of the celebration programme is the support of the development of creative industries in Latvia. This area is currently a high priority for both Latvia and Denmark as culture and creativity are important assets for the successful growth of future generations as well as new means for economic development. Danish experience and Latvian innovation go hand in hand which is especially manifest in the renovation and refurbishment of the formerly Danish-owned tobacco factory in Riga. In the future, the factory will re-open as a culture house and incubator for creative industries. An open architecture competition will be launched in August and the winner will be announced at a Danish-Latvian conference on creative industries in December 2018 when HRH Crown Prince Frederik and HRH Crown Princess Mary of Denmark will visit Latvia together. Danish architects will direct the transformation of the factory, and the laying of the corner stone is expected to happen in December 2018. Danish and Latvian creative initiatives also continue to flourish with projects such as Creative Business Cup Baltic Sea Region.
January 15-16, 2018, Danish prime minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen visits Riga
During his visit, the Danish prime minister will meet the Latvian prime minister Māris Kučinskis and will give a book to the Latvian National Library.
January 17, 2018, Classical opening concert: Christian IV Vocal Ensemble in Riga
The ensemble, excelling in early and contemporary classical music, will perform the concert “Music to Joy and Freedom” with works from Denmark, Latvia and Estonia.
March 8, 2018, Contemporary Danish music: Liima in Riga
Formerly known as Efterklang, the band Liima continues to enjoy great popularity in Latvia. The concert will take place at the Von Stricka Villa – a mansion in Riga’s creative neighbourhood rebuilt into a unique event venue.
May 16-18, 2018, Interactive children’s theatre: The Endless Labyrinth in Riga and Madona
The Endless Labyrinth from Danish Broadcast and film composer Mathias Madsen Munch is a captivating musical show, inviting the children to get actively involved in choosing the story’s development.
May 25-26, 2018, Biking for everyone: Kuldīga Cycling Festival
During Kuldīga Cycling Festival, a number of Danish events will take place – from a cycling tour to children’s films, an exhibition and a virtual reality experience of a real Copenhagen bike ride.
May 31, 2018, Jan Gehl visit and book launch
Urban planning guru Jan Gehl will launch his bestseller ”Cities for People” in Latvian as part of the MadCity conference in Riga.
September 25, 2018, JOB – A Simple Man theatre performance in Riga
The award-winning Danish theatre play starring Ina-Miriam Rosenbaum, Henrik Goldschmidt and Anders Vesterdahl is performed at the Jewish Community of Latvia.
Autumn 2018, Creative Business Cup Baltic Sea Region
The Danish Creative Business Cup gets a Baltic Sea addition as creative startup businesses from the whole region meet to network, compete and develop new projects.
Read more here.
December 6-7, 2018, Royal Visit
His Royal Highness Crown Prince Frederik and Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary of Denmark are expected to visit Latvia which will be the culmination of the Danish celebrations of the Latvian centenary.
December 6, 2018, Classical highlight: Concerto Copenhagen
The world-renowned baroque ensemble Concerto Copenhagen will give a concert in the Great Guild concert hall of Riga.
December 6-7, 2018, Creative industries and Danish initiated incubator: Rīgas Tabakas Fabrika
The presentation of sketches for the new tobacco factory and a conference will provide the setting for meetings between Danish and Latvian representatives of creative industries.
Within the Danish-Lithuanian cultural cooperation, notable focus will be put on film in 2018, allowing Danish experience and Lithuanian creative expertise to go hand in hand.
A film project for children titled Film LT100 will be launched. Here Lithuanian school children will be taught to make short film, through Danish teaching methods. The goal is to develop the creative education and give children and young people a better understand of the media. Furthermore, the Vilnius International Film Festival will see a strong Danish presence through film screenings and a Danish pavilion, providing a forum for discussions and exchange between Danish and Lithuanian producers, distributors and creatives. An additional programme of diverse celebration events will be carried out. A museum exchange programme between the museums in Holstebro and Kaunas will be initiated, and 2018 will also see an exhibition on the life and work of Danish architect Jan Gehl, globally and in Lithuania. Finally, a number of classical and contemporary music events will add to the celebrations.
March 7, 2018, Contemporary Danish music: Liima in Vilnius
Formerly known as Efterklang, the band Liima has long enjoyed great popularity in the Baltics. The concert will take place at the fashionable venue Kultūros baras Kablys.
March 15-29, 2018, Danish presence at Vilnius International Film Festival
The festival will have a strong Danish presence with film screenings and lectures as well as exchange activities between Danish and Lithuanian producers, distributors and creative professionals.
September 2018, Launch of Film LT100
Lithuanian teachers will be trained in Danish methods within the fields of film and education. The methods will then be spread out to schools in different Lithuanian cities to develop the children’s creativity and establish a critical distance to different medias.
September 2018, Danish theatre performance JOB – A Simple Man
The Danish theatre play – winner of a Danish Reumert – JOB – A Simple Man to play in Vilnius. The Jewish themed performance is highly relevant specifically in Lithuania where the Jewish history have been so dramatic.
October 2018, Danish architecture and urban planning philosophy: Jan Gehl
An exhibition about Danish architect Jan Gehl’s life and work, globally and in Lithuania, will open in Vilnius. Jan Gehl himself will be visiting Vilnius for the opening of the exhibition where he will also give lectures about his world-renowned methods.
November 2018, Danish-Lithuanian museum exchange on mediation and communication
An exchange programme between museums in Kaunas and the Danish Museum of Cultural History (Holstebro) is being initiated. The collaboration will be leading up to Kaunas being European Capital of Culture 2022.
December 4-5, 2018, Classical highlight: Concerto Copenhagen
The world-renowned baroque ensemble Concerto Copenhagen will give concerts at the Kaunas State Philharmonic Hall and the Lithuanian National Philharmonic Society in Vilnius.