The 30th Anniversary of the January 13 Siege

A New Virtual Exhibition Online at the Lithuanian Museum Archives of Canada

See it today at

“Democracy – One Defining Moment” is introduced as follows: After 30 years, we remember the events of January 13th, 1991 in Vilnius, Lithuania as the struggle for an independent and democratic country  unfolded. Fourteen unarmed civilians were killed. How did Canada and the Lithuanian Canadian diaspora respond?


Victims of the January 13, 1991 siege

This fascinating exhibition commemorates the 30th anniversary of the siege in Vilnius, when armed Soviet troops in tanks rolled through the capital to stop unarmed citizens who came from Vilnius and all over Lithuania to protect their Parliament Buildings, the Television Communications building and Communication Tower, built barricades and stood shoulder to shoulder singing hymns and chanting the name of the country that had reclaimed its freedom the previous year – “Lietuva! Lietuva! Lietuva!” Fourteen Lithuanians died and 500 were injured.

The politics preceding this attack as well as videos of the event itself are presented in the exhibition, together with an easily viewed archive of documents and press clippings bearing witness to reactions here in Canada and the call to action that ensued. The Lithuanian Canadian Community became united as never before in its long-standing goal of supporting Lithuania in its quest for freedom. The lobbying, funding-raising, information-sharing and support efforts that galvanized Lithuanian communities across the country are represented in the interviews, reports and photos shown in this exhibition. In close communication with the World Lithuanian  Community and the Information Center in New York, the Lithuanian Canadian Community Executive established a Crisis Centre at the Lithuanian House in Toronto, urging Lithuanian organizations, youth, and volunteers to help tell the world about the critical events playing out in the homeland.

This exhibition is the comprehensive archive of the event that shaped Lithuania‘s future and showed the undying spirit of its diaspora in Canada.

Curator – Danguolė Juozapavičius-Breen

Sponsor – Lithuanian Embassy of Canada

Technical Editor – LMAC volunteer Peg Perry

Text Editor – Gabija Petrauskas

Video Editor – Aleksandras Valavičius


Screenshots from the LMAC virtual exhibition Democracy –  One Defining Moment“:


Crisis Centre at the Toronto Lithuanian House, January, 1991


Canadian politicians of the day

Copies of documents and Canadian press clippings
Al Pacevičius, LLB, then-president of the Lithuanian Canadian Community Executive, speaking during an interview on Canadian TV