Report on CanCham Christmas 2018 – supporting “Nāc līdzās!”

The third annual CanCham Christmas supporting “Nāc līdzās!” (Come Along) took place on Tuesday, December 4th, 2018 at the Pullman Riga Old Town Hotel, Jēkaba iela 24, Riga.

The CanCham Christmas attracted a record number of participants (nearly 60) with both locals and internationals including recently appointed Canadian Ambassador to Latvia, H.E. Kevin Rex and embassy staff (Canadian & Taiwanese represented by Herbert Hsu), the Canadian military and business people. As our members and distinguished guests arrived, the networking, and raffle ticket sales headed by Henrik Mjoman, began. Ričards Stūris ( provided (free of charge) the standing tables which added both colour, dignity and and convenience to the evening.

Our Chairman, Ed Kalvins, welcomed everyone and reminded those present that it is particularly appropriate to think of others at this time of year. He then introduced “Nāc līdzās!” mentioning Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga, “Nāc līdzās!” patron, and introduced Sarma Freiberga, Chair of the Board of “Nāc līdzās!” ( who provided those present with an insight as to “Nāc līdzās!” work in the past year and objectives for the next. The Foundation “Nāc līdzās!” supports children and young people with disabilities to integrate into society, and helps their parents’ understand the problems that they face.

This was followed by performances by Diāna Ponaskova and Līva Palēja of “Nāc līdzās!”. Diāna’s singing was beautiful and wasn’t affected by her being in a wheel chair, while Līva’s musical talent playing the  saxophone was clearly visible despite her blindness. They are great role models for youth with disabilities. Surly those of us who sometimes feel challenged in life need to recognize that our issues are peanuts compared to what these people go through. This is why we at the CanCham are proud to support “Nāc līdzās!” and their objectives. 

Helping with the draws was Amrit, one of the Singh-children of Singh’s Restaurant’s owner. The most ironic Raffle draw was her mother Guna (also of Singh’s Restaurants), winning a prize from Sunny Motwany’s Indian Raja Restaurant. The Raffle prizes were nice, generous and some also TASTY!! All together, with the work of the photographer Ojārs Zabarovskis (provided a photo session prize to the raffle), the beautifully hand-baked “piparkūkas” (gingerbread) with the Canadian maple leaf shape, baked by Indra Sproge-Kalvina provided to guests as they departed, added that very special nice touch that the CanCham is famous for. 

We thank our members and friends for the raffle gifts, and those that purchased raffle tickets (see CanCham Christmas 2018 raffle prizes). After all, it’s all about giving. During the draw we presented a slide show showing each of the raffle gift donors (see Cancham Christmas 2018 company presentations). As the prizes were given out, we could see both the donor and the recipient. This sets the pace for networking later. The gifted prizes were top notch and we thank those that donated, both gifts and to the raffle.


The CanCham is pleased to have raised €1,320 to “Nāc līdzās!”, €300 of which was donated by Z/S Medigas ( who specialize in the growing and selling of potted plants. The donation by Medigas was UNIQUE to CanCham as this is the first such donation by a member to a CanCham cause. Medigas has also supported the CanCham by providing gifts of beautiful potted flowers to guest speakers.

We encourage our friends and members to donate. Donations can be sent to the CanCham (Swedbank - Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Latvia or Kanādas Tirdzniecības Palāta Latvijā, account nr. LV41HABA0551042837971) indicating “Nāc līdzās!” fund.

We thank all for their great spirit and attendance and look forward to seeing you in January! Merry Christmas and a Happy New from the Board and Audit Committee of CanCham!

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