On 31 January and 1 February, the Swedish city of Umea was inaugurated as the European Capital of Culture of 2014. In Sweden, “Riga 2014” was represented by the Head of foundation “Riga 2014” Diāna Čivle and the Head of the programme Aiva Rozenberga. Umea declared itself as the city of Winter by turning the city center into a winter wonderland through fortresses that actually were huge slides, art projects, performances and ice sculptures, made by local Swedish artists, as well as foreigners. Yet the main emphasis of the opening, as well as the yearly programme, was and is the Sami culture, as the city square was transformed into both, present day and futuristic Sami dwellings with fire places, stewing cauldrons and hot Nordic soup and tea. Representatives from Riga participated in all of the opening events, as well as visited the local Latvian community.
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