This July in Lviv, on the occasion of 125 years of Ukrainian immigration to Canada, there will be a one of kind International Ukrainian Dance & Culture Festival to be held with participants from all over the world. This year will also be the year to celebrate 25 years of Ukrainian Independence.
This festival is being organized with the idea that there are a great many Ukrainian dance groups, choirs and musical acts all around the Ukrainian diaspora. Ukrainians often channel their love for Ukrainian culture through dance and music – so why not bring them together to celebrate this amazing act of support.
The host group, Yunist (which means youth), is no stranger to hosting Ukrainians from abroad. For many years artistic director Mykhailo Vanivsky hosted the Avramenko Institute of Ukrainian Folk Dance, which welcomed participants from Argentina, Australia, England, the USA and Canada. This festival is a new approach to the same desire for bringing together those with a similar passion.
What will happen?
So many things will happen including: gala concerts by all performers and local groups, an open stage in the city centre where guests from all around the world will be entertained, choral and dance workshops and even a parade. Not to mention, a special all-day celebration at Shevchenkivskyi Hai open air museum where there will be a Kozak feast, special events, tours and entertainment.
Of course there will be the official Zabava with entertainment by local Lviv band Burdon, where dancers will have, what will most definitely be an “International Kolomyika”!
There are rumors that pop star Ruslana will be making a special appearance and conducting singing workshops. After her recent win on the Ukrainian TV program Battle of the Choirs, this is something that Ruslana has been exploring
Who is attending?
The organizers have been overwhelmed with interest from all corners of the globe including dance groups from Australia, Finland, Brazil and Croatia. Of course one of Edmonton’s most entertaining groups is the Viter Ukrainian Dancers & Folk Choir.
Viter has been entertaining audiences for many years across Canada and around the world. Under the excellent direction of Tasha Orysiuk and Lesia Pohoreski, both the dancers and choir perform separately and together in a magical fusion of folk style and modern flair that always leaves the audiences cheering and feeling pride for their Ukrainian culture and of course begging for more energizing entertainment.
There is another musical act that some might recognize as well. Saskatoon’s Ukrainian musical sensation Tyt i Tam will be headlining the Zabava as well as performing throughout Ukraine.
How can one attend?
If your group isn’t going but you would like to attend as an individual traveller, this is not a problem. Cobblestone Freeway Tours, Edmonton’s cultural tours experts, are organizing a variety of options. You can just come for the four-day festival and take part in all the activities for only $125 USD. Alternatively, you could hop on Cobblestone’s Festival Bus which includes the festival but also will take you on a tour around Ukraine including: villages, the Carpathian Mountains, Chernivtsi and the nation’s capital - Kyiv. If you want to bring your group to perform or simply enjoy the festival, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Let’s get Together – Dance Together – Zabava Together