Cultural environment

The priority of Smiltene County cultural sector is the Latvian identity and preservation of the Song and Dance Festival traditions. Smiltene County is one of the most Latvian counties not only in terms of population composition, but also in terms of strengthening Latvian identity and sense of belonging.

Smiltene County is a place with bright festivities and incredible dares. A place with outstanding talented people and people who participate in cultural processes, thus improving themselves, Latvia and Europe.

Cultural traditions in Smiltene County are honoured through always active cultural life – folk dances, choral chants, acting and crafts. Currently, the county has a total of 42 different amateur art collectives involving more than 720 participants. The active involvement of the population in amateur art significantly strengthens the Latvian identity of the population, ensuring the preservation of traditions of the Latvian Song and Dance Festival.


The art of dance – inhabitants of Smiltene County have always loved to dance. This is evidenced by the large number of folk dance collectives with ancient traditions. Today more than 10 folks dance groups, several modern dance groups, senior European dance groups, as well as line dance groups are active in the county. Smiltene County can boast of creative and talented dancers who honour the culture of Latvian folk dance, songs and national costumes. 


Choral Art – Smiltene cultural life has long been rich in choral singing traditions. Currently, 5 choirs are active – youth, mixed and senior choirs.


Amateur theatres – theatre art in Smiltene County has a long history. The first theatrical performances were held in 1870; roles were played by local teachers and farmers. Amateur theatre collectives are active in the city and almost every parish.


Vocal ensembles – 6 vocal ensembles operate in the county.


The folk group – folk group “Rudzupuķe” of the Smiltene City Culture Centre participates in local and international festivals, leads different traditional Latvian rituals, maintains the Latvian folk traditions and festivities, leads and teaches Latvian dances and games. It always supports measures aimed at popularizing the traditional culture of our nation.


Brass band – Smiltene City bass band works with outstanding success. Its composition consists of former and current students of Smiltene Music School.


Applied art – in order to promote the interest in the study, preservation and enhancement of the cultural heritage of the Latvian people, to unite generations and different social strata, the Folks Studio of Applied Art “Smiltene” was created in 1947, which also works successfully today. At present, the Variņi Parish applied art studio and the Blome Parish handicrafts-women and weaving set “Blumenhof” also operate. 


Smiltene County can also boast of several Latvian recognized and favourite groups of musicians: „Apvedceļš”, „Mākoņstūmēji”, „Kreisais pagrieziens”, “The missing”, “Propellers”.