In his brief address under the festival’s arched stage at the end of the celebration, Minister of culture Indrek Saar said that as a small nation we need constant affirmation that our language and culture are vital. “The Youth Song and Dance Celebration affirmed it in the strongest and most powerful way,” emphasised Saar. “All that, first and foremost, thanks to these awesome young people – the thousands of young dancers and singers, the hundreds of musicians, who put on this party for us. Thank you, young friends!” said Saar.
As the celebration ended, the Minister thanked everyone, who contributed to the success of this major event.
“Families, communities, local governments, teachers, artistic teams, curators, all those who contributed with their ideas and help all over Estonia – without you, this event would not have been possible. You have the sincere gratitude of us all!” affirmed Saar. The Minister added that the message “Here I’ll Stay”, conveyed to the youth, developed into a clear expression from this growing generation – they want the celebrations to continue. “Knowing that is an immense source of joy, however, nothing comes from nothing. The message that the youth gave us obligates us to seriously think about what we have to do today, here and now, to keep the song, dance and instrument traditions alive,” stated Saar.
The Minister of Culture gave directors of the song, dance and traditional instrument sections Heli Jürgenson, Margus Toomla and Juhan Uppin a symbolic gift meant for all participants – a rowan tree sapling, as a sign of strength and continuity of the Estonian culture and national traditions.
The Ministry of Culture has completed an action plan for the digitalisation of Estonia’s cultural heritage. The objective of the action plan is to make a third of the cultural heritage stored in our memory institutions available digitally by 2023, and to update the infrastructure for the storage of information in our memory institutions.
Today, Minister of Culture, Indrek Saar recognised the businesses and private individuals who contributed to the field of culture during 2017. The Culture Friend laureates are Utilitas and Kristjan Rahu, Rain Lõhmus, Armin Karu, Eva and Bengt Heyman, as well as Turid Farbregd.