THE FIRST CESIS ARTS FESTIVAL TOOK PLACE FROM THE 28TH OF JULY TO THE 18TH OF AUGUST 2007.
A rich program featuring a diverse range of art forms included classical music concerts, visual art exhibitions, opera and drama performances which reflected on the most significant events in each genre over the past year. The festival aims to transform Cesis into a centre of active cultural life for the inhabitants of Cesis and the region, as well as to offer high quality arts events of local and international renown for the residents and foreign visitors. Cesis has always played a significant role in the context of Latvian culture but due to the development of tourism, especially cultural tourism, the name of Cesis is also becoming known outside the borders of Latvia. The Cesis brand owes a lot to a long and enduring tradition of cultural events like: The Chamber Music Festival, The Harpsichord Festival, The Young Organists’ Festival, The Vidzeme Watercolour Plein Air, regular art exhibitions and the annual outdoor performances by the Latvian National Opera.
The 800th anniversary celebrations proved that the city is one of the most attractive regional centres capable of attracting visitors and their guests not only from the region, but from all over Latvia. Its only logical to build on success, which is why the city has chosen to create the first summer arts festival outside Riga and to offer a wide range of events in diverse art forms in a concentrated period of time.
The Cesis Castle Guild played a formative role in the creation of the festival as it harnessed the potential and commitment of former residents of Cesis, active in various art forms, that are driven by their love for Cesis and a desire to make it not only historically interesting but also engaging in a contemporary context for everyone.
The summer is festival time in Europe when famous arts personalities and events move away from the metropolis and attract both professionals and the interest of the public alike by a concentrated program rich in diversity. The necessity of the Cesis festival is clear, especially as the long running opera festival has been moved to Jurmala from 2007, thereby leaving a vacant spot for the region.
Furthermore, the goal of the Cesis Arts Festival is not only to support cultural tourism and promote the visibility of Cesis but also to a sustainable environment for culture outside Riga, in so doing, breaking the stereotypical mould that Riga is the only source of serious culture. This goal is shared not only by the public but also by professionals who see Cesis as the place for serious symposia, exhibitions, discussion, in so doing, gradually involving a greater part of the residents of Cesis by exposing them to, and including them in, accessible arts events. To achieve this aim, every year many events venture outside the usual established venues (like concert halls and galleries) and bravely take over public areas and streets.
The Cesis Arts Festival is organised by the City Council of Cesis, the Cesis Castle Guild, The Cesis Cultural Centre, and the Vidzeme History and Tourism Centre, a municipal agency. All festival organisers are professionals in their respective genres with a great deal of experience.