Toronto Ziņas, a biweekly electronic publication in Canada that claims to be “the world’s only bilingual Latvian e-zine,” has launched a new Web site.
Started as an e-mail newsletter in 2000, the publication is edited by Māra Gulēna, a freelance writer and editor based in Toronto. Creation of the new Web site was coordinated by Gulēna between workers in Canada and a Web programmer in Latvia.
Launch of the new site, torontozinas.com, was timed to occur a month before Latvia joins the European Union, Gulēna said in a press release.
“The timing is perfect,” she said. “Latvian sites with any news component tend to be either only in Latvian, or only in English. Since Torontozinas.com is bilingual, it is accessible to Latvian speakers and non-speakers around the world.”
The publication is centered around an events calendar for the greater Toronto area. About 14,000 Canadians of Latvian descent live in Ontario province, about half of them in Toronto, according to the 2001 federal census.
The publication also carries news and commentary.
Gulēna also hosts the “Sveiks” Latvian program on Toronto’s OMNI Television and writes a column for the daily newspaper Diena in Rīga.
Torontozinas.com has received major financial support from the World Federation of Free Latvians (Pasaules brīvo latviešu apvienība), the Latvian National Association in Canada (Latviešu nacionālā apvienība Kanādā) and the Latvian Canadian Cultural Centre in Toronto.
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