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In Riga, Over 100 Children Unveil a Fountain That is the Only One of its Kind in Europe

June 7, 2016

Today, on 8 June, Deputy Chairman of Riga City Council Andris Ameriks, ABLV Charitable Foundation Board Chair Zanda Zilgalve and inventors of the new technology Kristaps Banga and Mārtiņš Dāboliņš joined over 100 children in Kronvalda Park to unveil an interactive fountain, which is the only one of its kind in Europe, as it can be “conducted” by anyone with the simple move of his/her hands, prompting the water to rise and fall without even touching it. The interactive fountain in Kronvalda Park has been created by Latvian artists with support of the ABLV Charitable Foundation under the auspices of its programme the “New Riga”.

Deputy Chairman of Riga City Council Andris Ameriks stressed that, “Any initiative by private individuals to make Riga more beautiful and attractive is to be congratulated. I don’t doubt that this interactive fountain, which is an element of a clever and contemporary urban environment will become a very popular sightseeing destination and meeting point for people. I am genuinely happy and proud that Riga has become the home of a project, which is the only one of its kind in Europe, and proves yet again that Riga can!” Now, at any hour of the day or night, every passer-by will be able to try to conduct it. The interactive solution will operate throughout the fountain season, which usually lasts from May to the start of November.

The renovated fountain, which is the biggest in Riga and is located in Kronvalda Park adjoining the Riga Congress Centre, is the first city centre landscaping project to be implemented by the ABLV Charitable Foundation, and will be augmented by others in years to come. “The fountain is the first interactive solution of its kind in Europe. In addition to its historical appeal, the contemporary urban environment must also contain new architectonic places that are a source of vitality and joy. Therefore, I invite people to develop and submit their ideas to our foundation so that together we can care for Riga, and delight both ourselves and guests of the city,” explained ABLV Charitable Foundation Board Chair Zanda Zilgalve.

At the event, which attracted over 100 children from kindergartens in Central Riga and schoolchildren’s summer camps, the designers of the fountain’s interactive solution, multimedia laboratory Connection Codes co-founders Kristaps Banga and Mārtiņš Dāboliņš revealed that: “During the past five years, there has been no technological progress globally in the field of fountains, but now have come up with an innovation here in Latvia. This means a renaissance for both fountains and the places where they are located.”

One of the ABLV Charitable Foundation’s operating realms is the “Urban Environment”, whose objective is to facilitate the landscaping of the City of Riga, the development of construction projects of public importance and the arrangement of the grounds adjacent to them, thus supporting the creation of an aesthetic and safe environment. In creating new cultural heritage, particular attention is devoted to preserving the existing one.

Applications to receive the new funding may be submitted by 30 June 2016 by apartment owners’ associations, apartment owners’ cooperative societies, as well as governmental and municipal bodies, which want to improve and landscape the territories in their ownership or under their governance. The foundation welcomes project applications, under the auspices of which the amount of the grant applied for from the foundation for the implementation of the project may comprise up to 80% of the total project expenses, but not exceeding EUR 50,000. Ideas must conform to Riga’s Sustainable Development Strategy Until 2030 and to Riga’s Development Programme for the Period from 2014-2020. The grant competition rules and application forms are available by visiting: www.ablv.org and clicking on the section “How to Receive Financing”.

About the ABLV Charitable Foundation

The ABLV Charitable Foundation was founded in 2006 by ABLV Bank’s shareholders Ernests Bernis and Oļegs Fiļs, in order to fulfil their basic values in practice and to encourage the corporate sector to take responsibility for society and the environment. The Foundation functions as ABLV Bank’s principal partner in the charitable realm, supporting creative people and outstanding organisations that invest their efforts and knowledge in achieving goals that are important to all: to build a united, prosperous and safe society. Since it was established, the Foundation has primarily focused on supporting contemporary art, the welfare of children and adolescents, education and civic society, as well as being the co-founder of the prospective Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art. In recent years, the Foundation has supported over 270 projects, allocating co-financing worth over EUR 2.5 million to them.

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