The World Choir Games take place on a biennial basis, and in 2014 Riga will be visited by around 20,000 singers from 90 choirs, coming from all over the world.
The idea of the World Choir Games is to foster peace and understanding among nations, uniting people from all over the world in friendly competition.
The cooperation agreement was signed by the German cultural organization "Interkultur Management" President Guenter Titsch, Culture Minister Zaneta Jaunzeme-Grende (All For Latvia-For Fatherland And Freedom/LNNK), Economy Minister Daniels Pavluts, Riga Mayor Nils Usakovs (Harmony Center) and company "Riga 2014" board member Diana Civle. "If there are choir games in the world, they must be held in Latvia at least once," said Usakovs, adding that the event would add to the diversity of Riga's 2014 cultural program and help attract more visitors to the city. Titsch said that there were about 5 million choirs with 500 million singers all over the world, and part of them will come to Riga in 2014, representing 80 to 100 countries. During the Choir Games, the singers make friends with representatives from other countries, thereby contributing to peace in the world.
"Interkultur Management" is a German company that has been organizing international choir festivals for already twenty years.
"At our first meeting, the "Interkultur" representative informed me how great and important the event was, whereas I told him that we had our traditional Song Festival, part of the UNESCO cultural heritage, therefore it could be said that Riga would become the world's cultural center in 2014. This is confirmed by the resolve of the state, the local government, the company and the culture center to do everything in their power for the festival to be a success," said Jaunzeme-Grende.
Whereas Civle said that the World Choir Games was a testimony to the cultural diversity of the world: "In 2010, the Choir Games were held in China, this year in America, whereas in 2014 the festival returns to Europe, and I am confident that Riga will be the best place for it."
Pavluts in turn stressed that art and culture were one of the best export commodities of Latvia, and that Latvia's talented artists were popularizing the name of Latvia in the world. "The paths made by culture are the ones by which economic ties develop," said Pavluts.
The economy minister went on to say that Latvian culture had much to offer to tourists. "I believe that the event that we are organizing today is a good example of how Latvia can include into global economic and cultural development," said Pavluts, adding, "It needs not to be reminded that Latvia's singers are among the best in the world, and we know how to organize such events.
In the competition for the right to host 2014 World Choir Games, Riga's offer was preferred to Melbourne, Bali, Cape Town and Sochi.
During the World Choir Games in China in 2006, choir "Kamer" placed first scoring 96 out of 100 points. This record remains unbeaten to this day.
In 2014 when Riga will host the World Choir Games the city will also hold the title of European Capital of Culture.