Riga Richard Wagner Society

The Team

Māris Gailis

Chairman of the Board

Entrepreneur with extensive experience in real estate development and renovation projects, the most notable of which are the Gypsum Factory and Ķīpsala row houses. 

Former politician – former Prime Minister of Latvia, Minister of State Reforms, Minister of Defense, Minister of Environmental Protection and Regional Development, Member of the Saeima, etc.

Extensive experience in public administration, held the position of Director General in the Foreign Economic Relations Department of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Latvia, was Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for Economic Affairs and State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia.

He has implemented many creative projects, the most significant of which are the establishment of the international film festival Arsenāls, leading the yacht Milda’s expedition around the world, and the establishment of the Žanas Lipke Museum / Memorial in Ķīpsala.

Currently, the member of the board is SIA Veset, the chairman of the board is AS Māris Gailis, SIA MG nekustamie īpašumi, etc.

Riga Technical University, Mg.sc.ing.

Pēteris Šmidre

Member of the Board

Businessman, telecommunications specialist. Currently, owner of F.A.S. Ltd. and chairman of the board of Akvaparks Ltd. Founder and former owner of Rīgas Viļņi publishing house, as well as general director of Latvian-American joint venture SIA Baltkom TV and founder and co-owner of SIA Batlcom Fiber, Latvian-American joint venture SIA Baltkom GSM member and executive director, as well as founder of SIA Baltkom Plus, etc.

He graduated from the Faculty of Communication and Radio Engineering of Riga Technical University with a degree in radio engineering.

President of the Latvian Telecommunications Association, President of the Latvian Chess Federation.

Māris Kalniņš

Member of the Board

Strategic sales professional with more than 15 years of experience in sales development, management, customer relations and strategic marketing in both B2B and B2C markets. Currently, Riga Black Balsam is the global brand manager of Amber Beverage Group.

Formerly Sales and Fuel Director of SIA Statoil Fuel & Retail Latvia and AS BALTA, RSA Group Latvia Sales Development Manager.

Zaiga Gaile

Author of the reconstruction of the Wagner House

Architect, expert in architectural heritage restoration, author of several books and publications on architecture.

Since 1992 SIA Zaigas Gailes birojs Chairman of the Board, Chief Architect.

He has been an architect for many important real estate development, renovation and architectural heritage preservation projects, the most notable of which are objects in Berga Bazaar, Gypsum Factory, Ķīpsala row houses, Žanas Lipke Memorial, reconstruction of Riga School of Design and Art, reconstruction of Rūmene barn into concert hall and exhibition hall. 

She has received many Latvian and international awards, such as the Female Architect 2019 Grand Prize for Woman in Architecture, Construction, Design, the Latvian Architecture Grand Annual Award 2014 for the reconstruction of the Riga School of Design and Art, as well as several Latvian Architecture Annual Awards and other awards.

For the establishment of the Žanis Lipke Museum, he has received the title “Rigans of the Year”, as well as received the main prize in the category “Public Buildings” in the competition of the Eastern and Central European Architecture Triennial East Centric Arhitext Awards 2013, etc.

She has lectured at Riga Technical University, Latvian Academy of Arts, School of Economics and Culture, as well as given guest lectures at Stockholm Royal Academy of Arts, Venice Architecture Biennale 2016, Kazan, Kiev, Moscow, Edinburgh and elsewhere.

Graduated from the Faculty of Architecture of Riga Technical University. Founder and board member of the association Latvia Nostra.

Signe Viška

Head of PR & Executive Assistant to Chairman

Author and translator, organiser and participant of cultural and literary projects, host of literature programme “Bron-Hīts” at the local radio station “Radio NABA”.

She has studied German literature and linguistics at the University of Latvia. As a public relations specialist, she has worked for the annual Latvian Literature Award and the International Jānis Baltvilks Award. In 2021, the publishing house “Liels un mazs” published Viška’s debut in children’s literature, the picture book “Kate, the girl who wanted to become a grandfather” with illustrations by Elīna Brasliņa; the translation and publishing rights have already been sold in German, French and Czech.