Friday, 28 December 2012

Live CD Recording With Millenia Band

Sunday, Feburary 17, 2013 - put the date on your calendar! With three great albums to their credit and a full performance schedule, Millenia is recording again! Their growing fan base can't wait for this great Ukrainian band to put together another fabulous album!

Millenia has been around for over a decade, and have played many zabavas, festivals and events all over the continent.  Paying homage to their Ukrainian musical roots, they have embraced traditional instrumentation and lyrics but with a diversely eclectic rocking sound.  Each member of the band has undertaken a family music apprenticeship, dedicating themselves to the uniquely Ukrainian Canadian traditions in rocking zabava sound.  Their accumulated Ukrainian Band experiences and influences include + Trubka,  +Jimmy Wacko and the Lumberjacks, Joe Hrycyk, and the Starlights, KCJones,, Connors Road, Granny Dynamite, Robin Keil, and the Malibu Band, the boys in Millenia Band have a rock sound that is rich with influences, full and eclectic - with a proudly Ukrainian Prairie focus too! 

Previous albums have included Bratya Браття, Korinnya Коріння and Zhyttia Життя with a huge range of rockin' tunes "to polka your face off". For a sampler of their top songs from the albums including Holubka Голубка, Hulya Nochka Гуляй ночка, Kolomeyka Коломийка, A V'nedilyu Rano А в неділю рано, Kum Кум and Po Hribi Khodila По гриби ходила, all available for purchase at whttps://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/zhyttia/id470903775.  

Millenia will be recording their 4th, a new album called On The Rocks this February. Recording live, at the biggest dance floor in downtown Edmonton, they are inviting family and friends to tear up the dance floor!  For advance tickets to this great experience, get a hold of mike@milleniaband.com for more information.  

"Medove Pyvo" - Медове Пиво - Malanka Song

wikipedia
Collecting honey and honeycomb in their natural habitat can be risky but rewarding business.  A treasured sweetener, the ancients celebrated honey in many ways including song! A gift from nature, a medicinal, a food, a preservative, for embalming, it's wax for writing pysanky, honey has it all.  And it makes for the most delicious flavourful mead to drink - honey beer!!

Honey hunters have sweetened the Ukrainian historic tradition for at least 8,000 years. Besides its ritual importance in so many areas of Ukrainian culture and traditional life, it is easy to find archeological records from Ukraine's borderlands in Georgia and this depiction of honey seekers from Spain

The traditional Ukrainian folk song-incantation - "Medove Pyvo" Медове пиво is Tyt i Tam Ukrainian "goodtimes polka brigade zabava system" from Saskatoon's most recently released new video for this traditional Ukrainian New Years Malanka song. It's a great piece full of good wishes and perfect for a exciting kolomeyka circle dance. This old style dance for a circle of villagers and friends accompanied by such a traditional folk song set in a Canadian rockin' style will bring everyone to their feet! This, and other songs from their collection is available for purchase on Itunes but you can watch it https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=us-0b5zeqPk&list=PLl9fMq2gXMUmnb2ryFHgtfor3m9vjFeTn  If you are already there, I suggest another song, Ostafie's Odyssey, perfect little solo accordian piece!

Tyt i Tam performs a unique and progressive style of Ukrainian folk music. Their extensive professional breadth of musical experience is tremendous. Playing at events across the prairies and into the foothills, TytiTam is the 5 piece band playing at this winter's 2013 Malanka in the Mountains in Jasper. What a fabulous evening! Time to get tickets!





Thursday, 27 December 2012

Calgary Christmas Carolling - Koliada

Christmas carolling on the prairies - fond reminiscences.
Наталія та Роман Юсипчук

Uncles and aunties, piling up in the ice-covered truck, jovial and amused.  Driving through snowdrifts, and icy popsickle toes from the bitter arctic cold.  Daring to venture out in these conditions was a purpose driven mission in those days! 

Stopping in one farmhouse after the other, booming voices in loud fanfares of mirth, traditional greetings followed by ancient sacred hymns, blissfully sharing the Good News!  Tables heavily laden with a big-hearted spread of seasonal goodies, food and drink to warm the spirit, and ruddy red, frost bitten faces of old and young, such a warm embrace of appreciation!

Stranded on the Canadian prairies quarter sections distance from each other,  Ukrainian pioneers thirsted for companionship.  Who are we kidding?  We all thirst for companionship, especially through these dark cold winter days.  Retail therapy only goes so far to fill the void. 

Perhaps it is your turn this season to fill someone else's bucket with a drop of human kindness.  Grab the Christmas carol book, two or three people who can hold a tune -or not, and venture out - your purpose driven mission calls!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gyETGQDKP7c&list=PLDFC01BBDE0C8681E&playnext=2&feature=autoplay

Ой Коляда! Колядниця!
Добра, з медом паляниця!
А без меду не така!
Дайте, Дядьку, п'ятака!

Зі Святами Різдва, та з Новим Роком!
Христос ся Рождає!

Sunday, 23 December 2012

A Paleolithic Feast - Sviata Vecherya Свята Вечеря


Today, with so many dietary restrictions, it can be difficult navigating the Christmas feast season.  So here is a Ukrainian Christmas meal from the ancients!  Khrystos Razhdayetsia!
Христос Раждається!

After a 40 day fast in preparation for the feast, one comes to Ukrainian Christmas Eve Supper, Sviata Vecherya,Свята  Вечеря. A traditional meal that is meatless, it is also dairy less. Turns out that the meal is really quite Paleo - derived from Paleolithic times - a time before wheat and celiac disease.

The traditional menu varies by region, and of course dietary preference, but there are usually 12 dishes, the number referring to important lunar symbolism from ancient times.

The Ritual Grain and Poppy Seed Pudding called kutia  кутя is the first.  Then borsch борщ,  fish, varenyky/pyrohy вареники/пороги with potato filling, cabbage filling, and a sweet fruit filling, cabbage roll holubtsi голубці made with sweet cabbage, another with sour cabbage, each stuffed with either buckwheat or rice, mushrooms- either pickled or in sauce, bean puree колочена фасоля much like humus, fava beans біб Greek style, uzvar узвар - the compote of dried fruits, and a couple of traditional sweets.

The essential part of this meal is planning.  Remembering the ancients relied on nature for preserving food, absolutely everything gets used, even the liquid from reconstituting dried fruit, grains, or mushrooms.

First, the kutia кутя.  Imagine Paleolithic times, and the nutritional miracle of dried, boiled grains!  Though wheat is commonly used, from traditional regional preferences we already know people have served a similar pudding millet or barley - and it turns out they are good non gluten substitutes.

Then borshch борщ can already be considered a vegan recipe, originally based on a dried mushroom broth, fish stock, or fermented beets and the kvas - beet liquid.  Ukrainian Albertans generally serve delicately slivered vegetables floating in a ruby red broth. Since the meal is already quite fiber rich, some people strain out the cooked vegetables to serve only the broth.

Some people serve petite baked buns called pampushky пампушки filled with sauerkraut or mushrooms, or even buckwheat kasha with the borshch broth. Dipping the pampushky in a flavourful garlic (or other) infused olive or hemp oil is also traditional.

I have been served the most innovative recipes for varenyky вареники.  Substitutes for the dough abound.  Once I was served varenyky made with rice wonton wrappers - delicious, and delicate (must have been a really tender cooking process).  Remembering not to stuff the varenyky with any cheeses, the filling has to be tasty. Traditional varenyky rely on saurkraut, cabbage, mushrooms or a combination of the three.   Little tiny varenyky вушка with mushroom are served floating in the borsch. And sweet fruit or berry filled varenyky of plums, prumes, sour cherries, pears and poppy seeds ground and flavoured with sugar or honey are served as a dessert course.

Holubtsi голубці  (cabbage rolls) can be stuffed with buckwheat kasha, corn and garlic in some regions, rice or barley.  Freezing garden fresh cabbage heads, and then thawing them to use the leaves makes Paleo sense, as does sour cabbage leaves - relying on a whole cabbage head pickled like sauerkraut.

Mushrooms гриби. are such an important part of the meal - especially for the wonderful flavours that infuse the holubtsi and varenyky fillings. The traditional Boletus, porcini, cepes, bilyi hryb, borovyk and others (Canadian honey agaric - pidpenky) are expensive to purchase, but the resultant flavour is amazing. Using the most flavourful for the vushka - petite vareynyky to float in the borsch broth garners the cook compliments early in the meal!

Cabbage is also served in other ways in the meal.  Cooked finely shredded kapusta  капуста (cabbage) may  include dried peas, garlic and mushrooms.  You can also serve hodgepodge горо з капустою.  (horokh z kapustoyou), a baked casserole of sauerkraut and dried peas.

My family enjoys the dried bean puree колочена фасоля (kolochena fasolia ) which is easy to make by mashing canned white pinto beans, adding flavours like pan fried onions and garlic.  Large dried broad beans біб (fava) are served either panfried or casserole baked with garlic and onions, too.

The meal is concluded with uzvar узвар, a compote of dried fruits, however in my home it has become the tradition to serve the stewing liquid as a punch, and the mashed fruits as filling for sweet pastries including makivnyk - the poppy seed roll.

Spadschina Predkiv
The ancient tradition of singing for one's supper has always concluded the Sviata Vecherya with Ukrainian Christmas carols коляди..  Greetings and wishes of good health, good fortune and God's blessing on all the members of the family, whether present or departed,  requires vinchuvannya  віншування, reciting of verses, and toasting with the water of the Slavs - (horilka  горілка) vodka.

This Paleolithic meal full of reverence, beauty and tradition descends from the ancients, wishing health and long life upon us, and our progeny.  As we celebrate this special Good News  with "gathering of the shadows of our ancestors" may we honor this inheritance with wisdom, love and generosity!  Sviata Vecherya! Свята  Вечеря !  May we, therefore, be remembered in the future by our descendants! Grant this, we pray! Slavimo Yoho! Славімо Його!

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Rejoice O Earth! The Son of God is born!


Rejoice!  On January 13, 2013 at 12.30 pm in the hall at the Church of St. Stephen's, a Christmas Concert will be held!

 "O Earth Rejoice the Son of God was born", with the 
participation of Merited Artist of Ukraine, Ihor Bohdan with 
Stephania Romaniuk, Iryna Kalinovych and  Roksolana Bohdan. 

The ticket price is $20.00.
Funds collected will go to the needs of the Catholic University in Lviv, Ukraine 
.
13 січня 2013 року о 12.30 год. в залі при церкві Святого Стефана відбудеться Різдвяний концерт 
ОЙ РАДУЙСЯ ЗЕМЛЕ СИН БОЖИЙ НАРОДИВСЯ, за участю Заслуженого артиста України ІГОРЯ БОГДАНА та Стефанії Романюк, Ірини Калинович і Роксоляни Богдан. 

Ціна квитків 20.00

Зібрані кошти підуть на потреби Католицького Університету у Львові. 
Thanks to Halia Wilson for the post. 


Culture Shift


amk2012
The embroidered paths of Ukrainian ancestors,
and little chicks ready for liftoff.
The korovai bread for a Ukrainian wedding.  
Calgary's vibrant and active Ukrainian cultural community is awesome. Unless you are out there, you may not have noticed the full calendar of events coming out each season!  Ukrainian Calgary promotes everything that makes our community awesome, from old to new and everything in between. We’re like the human interest piece on the news… only different.

Ukrainian Calgary is dedicated to everything that makes it that way. But except for a handful of people whose service is remunerated, all the community building work in Calgary is volunteer! Only a handful of people are "professional Ukrainians", bravely building careers out of sheer passion for the task! Volunteers are the amazing lifeblood of our community. 

But lack of funding is why a lot of creative aspirations end for many artists. They come up with an amazing idea and are forced to let it die due to the expense needed to make it happen. Luckily for Calgary artists, Ukrainian Calgary is going to poke a few of our generous fundraising groups - an initiative that could breathe life into these new amazing ideas through funding. 

Investing in our grass roots artists could start a whole new cycle of activity here. To give you an example, over the years Tryzub has fostered a relationship with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. The shows have been spectacular! That is a top-down activity. Big, splashy. But are there composers, musicians, producers, choirs, writers or theatre groups that could get a nod of support and recognition for doing something good for the Ukrainian community? 

Here are a few ideas. Commission a local writer of Ukrainian origin.  A local film maker? Commission a performance group to put on a show about something Ukrainian. Sponsor the purchase of new music for a choir in Calgary, or pay for the guest artists so they will perform some expensive Ukrainian repertoire. Reward local young musicians, Ukrainian bands, with visible and active support through their social media sites - invite them to perform for important community gatherings to mark the Holodomor, Shevchenko, Carol Festivals. 

The key here is communication and marketing. Relationships! Aspiring artists need to feel supported. Capturing them early in their career paths creates synergies that always pay back. Investing in them, is investing in us! Funding the business of culture provides more return than money. 

I am promoting a cultural shift that moves our community agenda forward. With such a fast growing population, Calgary's historical cultural stereotypes are falling fast. And though Ukrainians are the roots of Canada's multiculturalism, Canada's cultural identity is still forming, evolving, coalescing and defining itself every day. There is a diversity of talent with lots of confidence, an unconventional mix of traditions and new ways. 

Everything is connected in some way, and Calgary is transforming itself into a more cosmopolitan city. The village ways are full of beautiful scenery, and resources, however there are compelling reasons for Calgary's changes. The city is attracting and keeping big talents. The creative class is developing faster here than in any other city in Canada. It is time to ask Calgary's young people how their Ukrainian roots could give them wings! Check with the very innovative young ones, and ask how their Ukrainian community could help them reach a particular goal. Where is the Ukrainian family power? 

Is the Ukrainian Community part of their roots, or the wind beneath their wings? Looking back or looking forward?









Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Ukrainian Canadian Artists

Baran by Audrey Uzwyshyn
amk2012

Artists, musicians, music groups, photographers, dancers, dance groups, festivals, film directors, writers, craft artisans and singers - whoever is pursing an artistic passion with our Ukrainian roots, it is time to connect!  The Ukrainian Canadian Congress has launched a National Arts Council with the goal of creating a network of Ukrainian Canadian artists for promoting visibility and recognition within Canada.   Their website is http://nac.ucc.ca/

This is exciting news - especially because the website will welcome artists to link directly through http://nac.ucc.ca/artist-directory/submit/   to submit their individual or group information.  The website will feature a Ukrainian Canadian Artists Directory, a Resource Section and Profiles.  Celebrating one of our richest commodities - our culture, Ukrainian Canadians have a voice -let's get together and hear each other, and help each other!  Joining is free!

Please contribute your comments, any information about local arts organizations in your community who support the arts (Edmonton Arts Council, Ontario Craft Council, Canada Council, etc).  This support will save time and help develop the Resources section of the website.

For more information please contact  Andrea Kopylech - co-Chair UCC NAC at akopylech@gmail.com  or at 780-288-0911.


Canadian Author, and a Kobzar?

Each new Canadian arrives here with some experience of the ancestral, the cultural, language and traditions of another home - an older world. Leaving the older world gives way for exciting synergistic energies, the melding of old and new, the fusion of ideas that draw the world to our shores.

Perhaps it is too early in the evolutionary curve to see the unique trajectory Canada's culture is taking, however some subtle hints can be gleaned. Ideas like the rule of law, ethical standards, younger economies, respect for nature and care for her health all have some resonance.  Some of these values are cumulatively different from the lives in ancestral homelands, but the older lands are also deep wells of accumulated wisdom.

Thank heavens for the Ukrainian experience of of Taras Shevchenko - Ukraine's Great Kobzar (bard). Twice recognized by UNESCO as a world cultural leader - his work continues to be a beacon of truth and hope. Reading Taras Shevchenko's poetry, whether in English or in the original Ukrainian is such a grounding experience. The words written over a hundred fifty years ago still ring true. Learn, he says, all the languages of the world, and get to understand people around you! Learn from their wisdom! Look forward and plan using these things you have learned, but always remember whence you came - and whisper a thank you, acknowledge those whose steps led you here.

Because of this terrific perspective, the Ukrainian community has for 8 years running, honoured Canadian writers who have used the Ukrainian Canadian experience in their literary work, with a Kobzar Literary Award. Who are are these Canadian bards - kobzari?

Larissa Andrysyshyn wrote Mammoth (2010)- a debut collection of poems celebrating life and loss, tragedy and beauty. 

Rhea Tragebov wrote about the sometimes difficult immigrant/emigration process in Knife Sharpener's Bell: A Novel (2009).

Shandi Mitchell's Under the Broken Sky is an engaging read about Canadian pioneers, farm life, survival and loss.

Myrna Kostash's strong voice in depicting the Ukrainian Canadian experience is again taking us on an epic journey through the Prodigal Daughter: A Journey to Byzantium.

Myroslav Shkrandrij's Jews in Ukrainian Literature is a refreshingly warmer assessment of this interesting relationship.

So here is a recommendation for the reader on your Christmas list. Try these nominees, or opt for the winner of the 2012 Kobzar Literary Award - Shandi Mitchell's Under the Broken Sky. At least you know what is on my list for the holidays!


Sunday, 16 December 2012

SUZIRYA MALANKA 2013

November 2004 a special constellation of many stars was born in Calgary - the Suzirya Сузіря Ukrainian Dance Theatre!  They are again hosting the Suzirya Ukrainian New Years Malanka Маланка in Calgary on Friday, January 18th, 2013.  For more information you can check www.suzirya.com.

Since their formation in 2004, under the direction of Serguei Makarov,  Сергій Макаров, Suzirya has entertained audiences worldwide.  Their choreographic work takes into account the spirit of the times, and the spirit of Ukraine. An expressive fusion of ballet which supports the traditional folk dance of Ukraine, they are an interesting group to enjoy.  Their thoughtful presentations of folklore, pensive movements to honor tragedies of the past, and purely joyful celebrations of youth showcase their professional training and experience. For those new to Ukrainian dance, to former dancers themselves, Suzirya gains many accolades for performances that inspire and enthuse.

See you at their Malanka!!




Faith, Love, and Generosity

Welcoming the patron Saint of children!   Today's program for Святий Миколай St. Nicholas was a bundle of lessons about the Saint, child centered verses about good behavior spoken with clear Ukrainian diction, cheerful seasonal songs, traditional Ukrainian carols and the traditional hymn of welcome for Sviatey Mikolay!  Such lovely little people, and such lovely little voices, bursting full of love for learning.

The stage at St. Vlad's Cultural Center at 404 Meredith  Road NE Calgary was full of children from three years up to early teens. Children from Sadochok (Calgary's only Ukrainian language bilingual preschool program), Ukrainian Saturday School, and Church school were excited to perform for the guests!  Smiling faces, beautiful embroideries, and sparkling voices brought huge grins of pride from parents, grandparents, teachers and guests.  These enthusiastic Садочок Sadochok, Рідна Школа Ridna Shkola, and Church School children make us all proud!

We all loved the show! Special thanks to Olena Kanevska, Zennovia Haydey and Pani Valia - the teachers whose preparation and care made a visit from the Generous Saint himself, Святий Миколай so welcome!  A gift of faith, love and generosity!

And thanks to St. Nicholas the Wonder Worker who must be very busy tending the hearts of many vulnerable children the world-over during this season of peace, love and hope!



Saturday, 15 December 2012

The Year of the Girl

Рід Родина Нарід Народ Народні Народити Народження Рождество Рідне


Protect the little ones!  Ensure their future!  These are the thoughts of billions of mothers world-wide, in the light of the recent violent acts directed at children.  We all pray for the peace of the world!

And millions of Ukrainian women worldwide are, everyday, protecting the Ukrainian family, protecting the global Ukrainian community.  There are a million ways Ukrainian mothers ensure their children's survival, and none more powerful than the everyday lessons of our ancestral life.  Foods of survival, symbols of hope, dreams for the future.  Diversity of course, but with in this diversity, a common hope for peace, dignity and honor.

But with the care and conviction with which women care for their families, they themselves sometimes fall through the cracks.  Women continue to be vulnerable members of society, some circumstancially trapped in poverty, in risky "employment", in lives that serve other priorities than their own.  The World Federation of Ukrainian Women's Organizations Світова Федерація Українських Жіночих Організацій  has for 65 years joined forces to address these and other concerns.  Speaking with one powerful voice, WFUWO СФУЖО is a Non Governmental Organization with consultative status addressing the United Nations on issues such as Human Trafficking, the Holodomor, and cultural/linguistic rights.  As you may already recognize, there has been much international movement on these issues over the course of these last 65 years of WFUWO service!

This year has been declared The Year of the Girl by the United Nations, with a focus on meeting her needs, her place in society and opportunities for education. This is our time!

It is time to be bold and proactive initiating programs and activities that help women in their pivotal role in family life, her opportunities for education and healthcare, her relationships with peers, her opportunities in public life, her religious and human rights freedoms.

Ukrainian women everywhere have the tools to help Ukrainian girls everywhere!  It's the little things, and the powerful messages we know are embedded that can change the world.  Family - this is what all Ukrainian culture and traditions is all about - dignity, truth, wisdom, and above all, survival.  Can we collectively move this issue from "survival" to "thrive"?  The future depends upon us.

For more information about the World Federation of Ukrainian Women's Organization go to  www.wfuwo.org/about.html

The newly elected President is Order of Canada recipient + Orysia Sushko - also former President of the Ukrainian Women's Association of Canada.

Remembrance, Analysis and Problem Solving


What are you hungry for?  Most of us have simple needs.  We need to belong. So where is the meeting place in Calgary for Ukrainians seeking belonging?

Calgary's Ukrainian churches serve more than Liturgical services, the Spirit is an energy, energy for fueling community.  And the community is always active.

Calgary's Ukrainian Community hosts seniors clubs, choirs, dancing organizations, language schools, cooking teams, bazaar events, political activist groups, teen clubs, scouts organizations, Christian catechism programs, book clubs, libraries, museums, programs for every age, outreach groups, visitations for the needy, fundraisers for worthy causes, authors, painters, sculptors, weavers, and builders, connections to international groups of similar purpose, the list goes on.  You belong!

And the unifying constant, the signpost that identifies Ukrainians of all stripes, the symbol that says "we were here", "we are here", in my humble opinion is the pyrogy пиріг (also referred to as the varenyk вареник).

Varenyk - pyrih, is a boiled dough wrapped morsel of deliciousness. Comfort food at its best - a reminder of times past, hard times, survival, family and ancestry, loving hands.  The pyrogy/varenyk is an example of remembrance, analysis and problem solving, thoughtfulness and consideration, speed, suppleness and flexibility. The pyrogy is ancestral memory all in one delicious morsel, it is part of a  mystical connection to something bigger than all of us.

Danny Schur of Winnipeg produced this documentary of interest to all Ukrainians in all parts of the Ukrainian community. He wrote, directed, shot, edited, created music and produced this documentary at Winnipeg's Holy Family Ukrainian Catholic church. With Danny's best, here is the link.http://youtu.be/CM4JIBqjAZA


Friday, 14 December 2012

Kutia - Ukrainian Wheat Berry and Poppy Seed Pudding

amk2012
Ukrainian Christmas Eve Supper, Святя Вечеря,  is a feast beyond one's imagination.  Layers and layers of history, from times of antiquity give meaning to each and every aspect of the meal. Imagine preparing meals in times long past.  Imagine drawing water, harvesting each nutritious morcel from nature, waiting, the pace and rhythms of life.  Imagine the "shadows of forgotten ancestors" as they return for the feast!

Kutia  кутя is a very primitive dish.  Essentially boiled wheat, sweetened with honey and dressed with poppy seeds - it has acquired a mystical symbolism. The creamy, milky, earthy liquor of the boiled wheat is the juice of earth's fertility.  Each grain lives to maturity, is sacrificed and consumed to provide life anew.  Honey-bee spun sunshine,  jelled nectar of the flowers is sweetness, love of life, promise and fulfillment.  And the alluring, almond scent of sweet creamy ground poppy seeds hints of dreamy sleep, deep dark and mysterious repose, the door to eternity.  

The intimate, rich and embracing flavor of this prehistoric pudding is a mystical veil of tradition that hovers between today and the ancient past - how many generations?  One part physical nature, one part sweet spiritual joy, and one part dark night - kutia symbolizes a lifetime!

Kutia  кутя is traditionally the first course in the Ukrainian Christmas Eve meal Святя Вечеря after a fast of 40 days.  Even in pre-history before Christianity, there was a Winter Feast that featured Kutia.  Even then, fasting was a proper way of preparing oneself for a feast - reserving the most important foods to share the magical moment of feasting together as a family!  Even then, a variant called kolyvo коливо without the bitter-black poppy seeds was served at funeral gatherings - but sweeter, joyfully anticipating the life-after.




Tuesday, 11 December 2012

ST. VLAD's MALANKA 2013

Another fabulous Ukrainian New Years' MALANKA to celebrate! Маланка! It is time to book tickets soon to the St. Vladimir's MALANKA taking place this January 25th, 2012.  With Roma catering providing the festive meal, and Absolute Dance Band absolutedanceband.com for a polka stepping evening, this should be a fun MALANKA.  There are many special parts of this event including a champagne toast and of course, many friends to welcome the new year!

For more information and tickets contact Michelle at 403-264-3437 at St. Vladimir's Cultural Center 404-Meredith Road NE- tickets are $75 per person.  Follow the links at www.stvlads.com.


Mysterious Mak - Poppyseed

amk2012
The poppy flower is but the beginning of a delicious journey in the human tradition.  Red, beautiful, growing, scattered by the wind, seeded by nature or by hands, the poppy is essentially a weed, a hardy wild flower that has possibly 6,000 years or more Ukrainian culinary tradition.

amk2012
First, grow a lot of poppies to maturity.  Enjoy the beauty.  The petals will fall and the seeds will gradually dry to maturity. Before the holes in the top of the head release the seeds, bring in a bouquet of dried poppy stocks to dry further.  Pop the tops off and drain the seeds into a bowl, then sift out all the excess bits.  Keep the seeds frozen until use.

Before modern technology, in traditional use, one would grind the poppy seeds using a mortar and pestle, a large one called a makitra, макітра, and makohon, макогон.  The poppy seed releases a white liquid that smells a bit like almonds.

I have seen recipes using dried poppy seeds, but the product is much different from traditional East European cooking. While Baba used the makitra and makohon, it is safe cooking practice to quick scald the seeds before use.  Moistening the seeds, then grinding them in a blender produces a creamy, soft and white paste that makes for delicate and delicious culinary use.
amk2012

Being present in the moment, you have to consider how much time, care and love traditional delicacies require.  Imagine grinding your poppy seed in this tool, which sits nobly on my shelf as a reminder of how Baba spent a lot of her winter evenings.

Can you recommend a method that has worked for you?




http://ukrainiancalgary.blogspot.ca/2012/12/little-black-poppy-seeds.html

Monday, 10 December 2012

Delivering a Love Letter-Koliada 2013

The candle is lit, the table is set, the family welcomes the "diduch дідух - spirit of the the ancestors" and sits to a Holy Supper much like the Jewish Seder - Sviata Vecherya Святя Вечеря.   Feast on kutia кутя, the mysterious, sweet pudding of Neolithic origin or earlier? Rejoice, we continue to survive! We have lived to see the light of eternity in the darkest night of winter - and rejoice!

By the Julian Calendar, January 6 and 7th each year are the dates of Eastern Orthodox Christmas.  For the one quarter of Albertans for whom Ukraine is spiritual, ancestral homeland, it is Rizdvo Різдво, here on the prairies again!

After a forty day fast, a ritual feast of ancient dishes remind the family of past challenges, threats to survival.  A menu of "hard-time" foods, meat-less, dairy-less, nothing hunted, no bloodletting, but the incense of innocence, a New Baby Born.  Let's feast on the Good News!  Life is now better!   The Lamb will be fat!  We will drink the cup of eternity! A life of milk and honey is upon us! Even death will be filled with a satisfying aroma of anticipation!   Sing!  Isn't that Good News?

Christmas Carols tell the story, carolers arrive at the home.  If He knocks, will you open the door?  The ritual song, a recited greeting , and the hosts share their feast of food and drink with the travelers.

Tryzub Ukrainian Dance Ensemble is ready to carol in your home on the evenings of January 6, 7, 2013.  For more information please contact  info@tryzub.ca.

Some carols to enjoy in the meantime  - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpK_QxMfwvc



Sunday, 9 December 2012

St. Nicholas Program 2012 (St. Vlads)

And who, who, loves St. Nicholas!  Put a little sunshine into your life and come to see the children - they do!

St. Nicholas the Wonder-worker is the patron of children.  On Sunday, December 16th the children in St. Vladimir's Ukrainian Bilingual Sadochok and the Ukrainian School (Ridna Shkola Рідна Школа) and the Church School will all join in singing for St. Nicholas.

There will be a short program on Sunday, December 16th at noon at St. Vladimir's Cultural Center. The Sadochok parents are graciously bringing coffee fellowship snacks, and after there will be a sweet little program of singing and verses in honor of Svyatey Mikolay Святий Миколай!

All children are welcome to come and join in honoring the Saint!
Thanks to the Ukrainian Women's Association of Canada, Calgary Branch for supporting this event.  

And to help you get in the mood, sing something special with this karaoke version for Mikolay!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYGHgAWWNAY

and for the grownups - - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4cNnZgMW18

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Lusia Pavlychenko


Thanks to Father Patrick Powalinsky for the photo via Facebook
If you ever participated in Ukrainian dancing on the prairies, you have been part of Lusia Pavlychenko's legacy. More than a pioneer, she left a legacy that is hard not to be impressed with. Daughter, sister, mother, grandmother, and honorary Godmother to Ukrainian dance on the prairies, Lusia Lydia Lubka Pavlychenko (affectionately called "Miss P") fell asleep in the Lord on November 25, 2012 at 79 years.

Lusia's parents were prominent leaders in Saskatoon's Ukrainian community, but even they were surprised at the amazing impression Ballet would have on their daughter.  Already proficient in Ukrainian folk dance, Lusia really took to the brilliant training of ballet, and pursued opportunities to learn from esteemed ballet masters, developing a professional dance career.  From dancer, to performer, to teacher, she developed an accute recognition of excellence, pursuing opportunities for her students to progress.  Quality experiences needed support, assessment and appreciation so she pioneered the concept of dance festivals for competitive opportunities among dance students. She had faith that young dancers, exposed to quality experiences, would elevate expectations, elevate the arts, and gain critical acclaim for a community building art form.  Beauty, collaboration, high quality artistic vision, thoroughly life-changing experiences of joy - Lusia's gift was transformative.

Lusia loved to teach. It sounds simple but she cast ripples throughout the ballet community, and touched the prairie Ukrainian dance community to its core. She had a way of expressing herself that would change opinions, influence trends, and leave a legacy of passionate belief in the human spirit.

It is important to note a few things about Lusia, about her times, and her experiences. Hers was an unusual and non-traditional women's career path for the times!  Growing up on the prairies in the 30's and 40's, there were certain socio/cultural norms for women, which she vehemently surpassed. A child of immigrant origins, there were certain socio/cultural constraints on the scope of her vision, which she capably overcame. There were certain community constraints that Lusia simply pushed aside.  Determination, hard work, and brilliant focus earned Lusia international recognition, accolades and awards of merit, moreover, her pursuit of excellence in all aspects of the Ukrainian dance experience here on Canada's prairies continues to be emulated by generations of aspirants. Hers was a signpost forward!!

Honoring Miss P., ukrainiancalgary encouages all readers who may have memorable stories about the lovely Lusia to email your comments to sharemissp@gmail.com.   In the process of establishing The Pavlychenko Legacy Fund as a future scholarship program for Arts and Culture, please consider donating to the holding account at: TD Canada Trust Acct># 77406400571.

Prayer Service and Funeral for Lusia were held at the Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral of Holy Trinity in Saskatoon on Wednesday, November 28 and 29, 2012.
 
May her remains rest peacefully in these Canadian prairies, and her spirit fly to join her ancestors among the saints, to await her audience with the Creator!! Vichnaya Pamyat'! May her memory be eternal!

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Fashion Embroidery

Is it my imagination, or is there a resurgence in embroidery as a ornament on women's clothing?  From ancient times, traditional Ukrainian embroidered ornaments вишиванки on clothing have also performed the function of magical talisman - protection for the wearer.  It is a symbolic vocabulary - with a power of its own.

Ukrainian embroidery has never been something ordinary, especially because each piece carries the energy of the person who worked and embroidered!  But here we have fashion designers and entire fashion houses pursuing the idea of feminine ornamentation using Ukrainian embroidery!

I was out somewhere, thankfully with my camera, and caught these three stunning pieces of evidence in Canada's FASHION magazine dated Summer 2012, and if I remember correctly, STYLE too. You can see that first photo is a modern version of the Hutsul Keptar - the architecturally structured vest that wears everywhere, and in every season.  Just look how softly and intricately it is embroidered, and tassled, with such lovely wearable colors, too.

And this second photo has the most lovely embroidered sleeve peeking out of the women's coat sleeve.  A stylized embroidery that ever so gently peeks out of a structured outfit instantly conveys power and pretty.



And the neck piece that has versatility to go over just about any piece of clothing, the gerdan.  Lacy, and bead worked, this piece should be in every girls' collection - typically Ukrainian.

And if you see the golden hued crown of intricately braided hair коса, this style has been imitated and celebrated everywhere from the pages of Elle magazine to British Pop-star Kylie Minogue.


Sadly, not all of us can be as beautifully and outrageously dressed in Ukrainian embroideries as Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko but you have to admit - she does have a point there. Representating the nation to the international community, in a position of power, she has shown solidarity and respect for women.  This is a powerful thing, a message about "berehenia" - the "keeper of the hearth".  Embroideries like hers are a statement, about women, their craft, their talent, and the garment design.  And she champions women everywhere by wearing such wonderful handiwork!! And when embroideries have by design become "written amulets" of power and influence, the wearer communicates a lot to the world simply by wearing such a beautiful garment.

Women everywhere are rediscovering the beauty of truly richly designed and thoughtfully ornamented fashion.  And Ukrainians have certainly influenced many.  Actually, whether for fashion, patriotism, or as national identifiers, Ukrainian embroidered garments imply that a person cherishes his ancestry.  More power to them!




TROYANDA MALANKA in Lethbridge 2013

Another fabulous Ukrainian New Year's MALANKA to put on your calendar! 

The Troyanda Ensemble of Lethbridge has been presenting Ukrainian curriculum shows to sold out audiences recently, and their annual MALANKA Маланка celebration of Ukrainian New Years are becoming highly anticipated events not to miss!   

Once again, Troyanda Ensemble is hosting their Ukrainian New Year's MALANKA, Новорічна Маланка, to promote Ukrainian culture primarily through dance, to the community of Lethbridge and beyond.  Their talented instructors Miss Anastasia Sereda and Mr. Dean Mackedenski are excited for the program and the fun of the event. And the volunteers who help make it all happen are delighted this is becoming an annual event people look forward to every year.  With absolutedanceband.com it will be a toe tapping, and dancing event with great polkas, waltzes, and a kolomejka or two.  


The Lethbridge community is hosting their annual Troyanda Троянда MALANKA on Saturday, January 19th, 2013 at the Lethbridge LSCO- Lethbridge Senior Citizen's Organization facility in the heart of the city at 500 11 Street South, Lethbridge, AB. (403) 320-2222. 






Watch for more details!

Ukrainian Children's Theatre Studio - Dzerelo


The Ukrainian National Federation is celebrating its 80th anniversary of service to the Ukrainian Canadian community this year, and its Edmonton women's association - the The Ukrainian Women's Organization of Canada chose to name their organization in honor of Olha Basarab.  Olha Basarab was a women of Western Ukraine at a time when Poland was "in charge".  Olha joined a freedom movement, and actually served as a sharpshooter in the Sich Riflemen for a period of time. She received honors for this, it seems, posthumously because she was "eliminated" by the authorities of the time.  Ukrainian women in Canada consider her a hero, and there are many women's groups across Canada, including the UWAC of Calgary, who chose Olha Basarab as their patron in her honor.  Fighting for freedom, it seems, has many friends in Canada.

The UNO  Women's group has been supporting and promoting a very special children's theatre-studio called Dzerelo Джерело (The Well) for many years now.  The group produces Ukrainian plays and skit, concerts and performances in the Ukrainian National Federation Hall in Edmonton.  In their 20th anniversary year, the Dzerelo group is again hosting a unique collective experience - the children's theatre studio performance - on December 9th, 2012 at 1:30 pm at the UNO Hall.  

For more information and tickets please call Alla Semenko at 780-479-7616

Monday, 3 December 2012

Little Black Poppy Seeds

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Poppies are such beautiful flowers, they like to volunteer in gardens so often they are considered a garden weed!  But  if you had a lovely poppy flower crop this summer, I hope you let them dry on their stems! Watching the flower bloom, loose its petals to the wind, and then seeing the dried crowned poppy heads on their long stem - just makes it easy to get poppy seeds! It's an example of nature's beauty once, and then once again, and then once again!

The poppy is a biennial herb of the Mediterranean and Asia Minor regions just south of Ukraine. Poppy seed is an oilseed that comes from the opium poppy (Papaver somniferum). Actually, historical records assert that use of poppy seeds may be more than a 6,000 year tradition. It is mentioned in ancient medical texts as a sedative and a folk remedy to aid sleeping, promote fertility and wealth and even provide magical powers of invisibility.

The poppy seed itself is less than a millimeter in length, so it takes over 3 thousand seeds to make a gram and 1-2 million seeds to make a pound. Clearly, harvesting is meticulous work! Poppy seeds taste nutty and pleasant - they are nutritious and entirely free from the side effects of other poppy plant products. The color of dried poppy seeds depends on their area of harvest. The blue seeds come from Holland stock. The gray and white are used as thickeners and the most common - the black seeds is used in a variety of baking - pastries and the such. Poppy seeds are used as a spice, a condiment, a garnish, a thickener and a main course. It is really very versatile!

And in the culinary traditions of Ukrainians poppy seeds are used, and have so much meaning - more to come.

http://ukrainiancalgary.blogspot.ca/2012/12/mysterious-mak-poppyseed.html

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MALANKA in the Mountains 2013

Ukrainians in Alberta really enjoy the MALANKA season - an endless supply of winter really means that we need an endless supply of Ukrainian New Years' Celebrations.  For 16 years running, Vohon Dance Ensemble has entertained at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge MALANKA in the Mountains, and this year it is planned exactly perfectly - January 11-13, 2013!  

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Not sure which Ukrainian folk tales will weave their way through this special weekend away, but while it is typical these days to enjoy a concert of Ukrainian dance, this event is complete with social folk dancing - something I absolutely adore. 

Ukrainian cooking, wheat weaving, bread making, crafts activities and demonstrations, and a special visit by St. Nicholas - the Wonderworker - the weekend will be a super-Uke weekend for families of all ages to remember.  Canadian and Ukrainian holiday traditions like caroling, skating, eating, drinking and dancing, with activities, crafts, and demonstrations, such as Ukrainian cooking, wheat weaving, Ukrainian dancing, social folk dancing, and bread baking make for a full and stimulating weekend. 

This MALANKA is the "folk tales" event of the season.  An amazing gala dinner and dance including Millennia band and Tyt i Tam band is just the start.  Vohon Ukrainian Dance Ensemble will perform excerpts from their 25 anniversary artistic endeavour, KOLEKTSIYA featuring a collection of folk tales and folk characters including Baba Yaga, under the direction of Trish Kushniruk and Garrett Nestorowich.  Calgarians should note that Vohon is not planning to perform in our fair city this season, so MALANKA in the Mountains may be your only chance to catch this entertaining show!

The planners of this package of events can be reached for bookings at 1-780-852-3301 or 1-866-540-4454 to ask for the Jasper Park Lodge Malanka event.

Що То За Предиво! Оh! What a Wonder!

Calgary's Spiritus Chamber Choir just released their newest CD over the weekend!  Artistic Director Timothy Shantz and the choir have created an excellent recording music for the Advent, Christmas and winter season for everyone to enjoy.  Of note for Ukrainiancalgary readers, are two very special pieces of Eastern European and Slavic flavour.

The first of these is a beautiful performance of the Богородице Діво! ( Bohoroditse Devo!)  by Arvo Pärt,  the most prominent living Estonian classical composer.  The piece is a refreshing setting of the familiar Prayer to the Theotokos of Eastern Orthodox tradition - just lovely.  

The other is going to be a favorite everywhere in the Ukrainian world.  Що То За Предиво! (Oh! What a Wonder!) arranged by Vasyl Barvinsky featuring brilliant soprano soloist Nina Hornjatkevyc.  Her pure sound is just a beautiful crowning soprano over Spiritus's full choral embrace. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ev7yRgwJ9V4 Just beautiful!  

Compliments to Spiritus Chamber Choir on the launch of their new CD - All the Stars Looked Down.  For more information and to purchase the recording -  http://spirituschamberchoir.ca/.



UkeTube - Ukrainian Media

With over a million viewers, UkeTube is the Ukrainian version of YouTube - a treasure chest of stuff I have recently discovered and want to share with everyone.  Something I hope you will bookmark and visit often.

Supported by the  Shevchenko Foundation, and a variety of churches, and organizations, the premise of this UkeTube is to ensure that complex ideas and identities are not reduced to a single snapshot that media can manipulate.  Visit often, learn, be entertained, and pass it on!.
http://www.youtube.com/user/uketube

YALYNKA MALANKA in Strathmore 2013


Just east of Calgary is a lovely community called Strathmore, where it turns out there is an active Ukrainian community who are again hosting their annual YALYNKA MALANKA!  Ялинки-Маланка! They certainly have a great band, one of Alberta's best Dance Bands - absolutedanceband.com.  And I can personally attest to some of their strongest culinary traditions in Strathmore - delicious! 

For a late season MALANKA on February 2, 2013 - make sure to book tickets to the YALYNKA MALANKA in Strathmore, Alberta.  


TREMBITA Ukrainian Band CD Release Party

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The TREMBITA Ukrainian Dance Band of central Alberta has just released their newest recording!  In celebration of their 35 years of polka and the KEEP CALM AND POLKA ON movement, the TREMBITA band is releasing their 3rd CD entitled "KEEP CALM AND POLKA ON".

The CD Release party is taking place on Saturday, December 8 at the Ardrossan Recreation Complex.
The Opening Act will be "Psychic City" - another group of fine musicians!

For more information and ADVANCE TICKETS ONLY please contact Slavko at 780-278-8336/780-417-3338 or Paul at 780-916-6786.  You could also email to trembita.band@gmail.com.

Congratulations TREMBITA! I have loved your polkas, waltzes, and kolomeyka dance music over the years,  and hope to again soon!

For more information about Trembita - the Hutsula Horn check this blog site at http://folklored.blogspot.ca/2012/07/trembitas-hutsul-horn.html 

Saturday, 1 December 2012

St. Stephen's MALANKA 2013


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Calgary's first Ukrainian New Year's MALANKA Новорічна Маланка! of the season is going to be quite the event!  The lovely people at St. Stephen's Protomartyr Ukrainian Catholic Church have planned a special evening of celebration to mark the Ukrainian New Year on Friday, January 11th, 2013.  For an excellent meal and seasonal entertainment make sure to book your tickets soon!  For more information contact Ed Tysowski - 403-547-3226  or check online at www.protomartyr.ca.  

St. Stephen's is located at 4903-45 Street S. W., Calgary.

Friday, 30 November 2012

A Hetman Award Winner- Pauline Lysak

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It's all about the kids and the future!

Introducing Mrs. Pauline Lysak of Edmonton, one of Ukrainian Alberta's stellar volunteers in service to the community. In 1998, the UCC-Alberta Provincial Council initiated an Annual Hetman Awards to acknowledge significant volunteer achievements of outstanding Ukrainian Albertans. And Pauline Lysak certainly fits the bill. She is a long time member of the Ukrainian Woman's Association of Canada, currently involved at St. Andrew's Ukrainian Orthodox Ladies Auxiliary-Soyuz Ukrainok Kanadi in Edmonton. (UWAC)

A person of deep spirituality and moral conviction, her employment as a social worker in child protection and adoption for the province was more than a job, it is her mission. It led to her involvement with the Pochaiv Orphanage and helping youth in Ukraine. Seeing the need for child protection, and reading The Natasha's by Victor Malarek, (an important read if you haven't already done so - about the issue of Eastern Bloc human trafficking - including Ukrainian girls and boys) she was drawn to become involved in the Maple Leaf Project of the Nashi organization. Nashi: Our Children is actually helping to divert children at risk from human trafficking. She is also inspired by the important work being done by HART - led by Lloyd Cenaiko - another Ukrainian Canadian activist from la belle province of Saskatchewan!

Pauline says the Maple Leaf Alberta Projects works in conjunction with Nashi of Saskatoon and on October 26, 2012 hosted their 4th annual fundraiser for the Maple Leaf/Klenovi Lyst Safe House in Ukraine. Other events in the past have included presentations by Victor Malarek, Benjamin Perrin, Joy Smith MP and fashion shows which have featured the handiwork of girls who have been rescued from risk and learning a trade - sewing skills.

Congratulations Pauline and thank you for leadership in helping to protect the most vulnerable - our children - combating modern day slavery! Diakuyemo! Mnohaya lita!

In the picture above you will see Pauline with the Speaker of the Alberta Provincial Legislature - her nephew - MLA Gene Zwozdesky, and Genia Leskiw MLA for Bonnyville who is also her neice - close family! Also in the photo is the Provincial President of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress - Daria Luciw.  

For a video of One Pyrogy at a Time - a documentary by Nashi: Our Children - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2bi74rb6ME

and information about the Maple Leaf/Klenovi Lyst Safe House http://mapleleafap.wordpress.com/.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Prairie Dreamscapes: Reimagining Your Roots


The Alberta Council for the Arts are very please to invite guests to a new exhibit this December. From December 7, 2012 to January 19, 2013, a special show entitled Prairie Dreamscapes:  Reimaginging Your Roots can be viewed at St. John's Institute in Edmonton.

Featuring Ukrainian Canadian and Ukrainian artists of several disciplines, the exhibit premiered in September at the Ukrainian Festival in Toronto - there were rave reviews.  The dreamscape concept is coming to the prairies, to its roots!

St. John's Institute on Whyte Avenue near the University of Alberta is a welcoming university residence that has a great Ukrainian Canadian heritage.  Founded originally as a Bursa, a bursary residence, under the name Hrushevsky Institute, the residence is a wonderful community!  Over the years many generations have attended St. John's Institute and built great relationships - life long friends.  It is time for your visit!

St. John's Institute are glad to welcome new thoughts, dreams and visions - and a providing a warm, generous and hospitable welcome for this beautiful art exhibit entitled Prairie Dreamscapes:  Reimaginging Your Roots.

As the poster indicates, there will be wine and refreshments for the opening night ceremonies - hope you can join the Alberta Council for the Ukrainian Arts and join the community for this lovely art exhibit!!





Wednesday, 28 November 2012

A Little Illumination - Art Exhibit

Larisa Sembaliuk Cheladyn is hosting another lovely show of her latest watercolour paintings and studies on Sunday, December 9th, 2012 at the Ukrainian Book Store in Edmonton.  The Opening Reception will be held on the evening of Saturday, December 8th complete with an opening program and refreshments.  Larisa's artworks may be purchased at this event - so make sure to book the event early and arrive early!

Larisa Sembaliuk Cheladyn is an accomplished Canadian artist of Ukrainian background.  Her works are in private and corporate collections throughout North and South America, Australia and Europe.  Her patrons and fans span the continents.

Larisa has much more to recommend her too! She is a mother, wife, daughter, granddaughter, auntie, cousin, and friend with a big heart.  She cares immensely for community and family.  This event is actually a fundraiser for the Ukrainian Canadian Archives and Museum of Alberta UCAMA - which is on its journey to completion on Jasper Avenue in Edmonton.  UCAMA's mission to preserve the archival documents which attest to the historical journey of Ukrainians in Alberta and Canada, is a worthy cause.  Something to support, and contribute to, for the future's sake!

It is perfect that Larisa is lending a hand - I certainly hope you will too.  Come, purchase some fabulous art works for your home and family,  and support the future driven UCAMA project in Edmonton.  

Monday, 26 November 2012

Kerby Center's Ukrainian Malanka 2013

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Calgary's Kerby Centre is hosting a Ukrainian Malanka event on Tuesday, January 22, 2013! This wonderful initiative is designed to enhance the lives of older adults in Calgary.  And with Ukrainian music, dancing, cultural presentations, and delicious Ukrainian food this is an event to put on the calendar.

The Kerby Centre strives to assist older people in their journey through their elder years, helping them reside in the community, and providing programming, services and information for their needs.

As the poster indicates, the tickets for this event are already available, and there is sure to be a rush.  Make sure to book a Malanka event for the special person in your family circle - it is sure to make their hearts warm with delight!

Call the Ed. and Rec. department  at 403-705-3233  or contact Jennifer Furke at 403-473-1311!!

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Calgary Artist Wins Spot in Christmas Card Collection

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If you are planning on purchasing Ukrainian Christmas cards this season, and want to support Calgary Ukrainian artists, here is an idea for you. Stephania Romaniuk, local Calgary musician and artist, has had her original work of art (a digitally altered sketch) featured in last year's collection of a special Christmas Card collection. This year her acrylic on canvas has been included in the card collection.  

An international community of Ukrainians from Canada, Australia, the United States and Ukraine is honoring the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA).  

The heroic efforts of the 100,000 soldiers of UPA (a national army of freedom fighters) began in 1942, fighting on two fronts - Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia, and though the war officially ended in 1945, UPA continued to inspire until the 50's and 60's. Their sacrifice and dreams of Ukrainian sovereignty and independence would continue to foment interest and inspiration for generations to come.  

Stephania's artistic inspiration comes from notable sources including "Their Just War" (Humeniuk, Luciuk) a collection of photographs of UPA soldiers.  The immense expressive and artist potency of these images captured her attention.  She feels that contributing to this project, and winning a spot in the card collection contributes in some small way to the pro-sovereignty effort, and is especially pleased that proceeds will go toward youth initiated projects in Ukrainian community building.  Projects like ongoing awareness campaigns for the Holodomor, and support for Ukrainian language education are among the targets for this historical, cultural and political project fund.  

Each package includes 6 cards and envelopes - 4 restored vintage cards and 2 original works by Ukrainian Canadian artists, and is being sold for $10.  In Calgary, they may be purchased by contacting Stephania Romaniuk at (587)228-0220 or stephania romaniuk@gmail.com. 

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Calgary's 2012 Holodomor Commemoration

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Calgary honored the Holodomor with a commemoration event that took place at 11 AM on Saturday, November 24, 2012 in the St. Vladimir's Ukrainian Orthodox Church Cultural Centre.  Master of Ceremonies - Michael Ilnycky, President of Calgary's Ukrainian Canadian Committee.

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About a dozen students from Calgary's Ukrainian Student's Society presented a montage of poems, and verses (presented by Roman Storoschuk and Katrusia Owad,), an interpretive dance by Christina Chumak, and song accompanied and sung by Stephania Romaniuk.

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Dr. Roman Serbyn, a Canadian historian of Ukrainian origin, Holodomor scholar, and guest speaker from Montreal,  spoke in brief about how the Holodomor came about, and used the terms "post genocidal community" and "post colonial community" as descriptors of the Ukrainian community's internal perceptions of this experience.  Internal community change, and external acknowledgement is now possible because of free-er access to historical documents which irrefutably attest that the Holodomor was an act of intentional destruction of the repository of ancestral memory - the people of Ukraine.




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A Memorial Service (Panachyda) was served by the clergy of Calgary's Ukrainian churches, St. Stephen the Protomartyr Ukrainian Catholic Church, St. Vladimir Ukrainian Orthodox Church, and Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Ukrainian Catholic Church.

The participants prayerfully joined in the singing of Vichnaya Pamyat' - the prayer for eternal memory of the reposed.

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Organizations listed participated by laying wreaths of memorial:  Sister Servants of  Mary Immaculate, Assumption of the  Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Stephen Protomartyr Ukrainian Catholic Church, St. Vladimir's Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Ukrainian Senior's Club at the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church, Knights of Columbus-St. Nicholas Ukrainian Council #7659, Order of St. Andrew, Ukrainian Women's Association of Canada-Calgary, Ukrainian Museum of Canada-Calgary Collection, Ukrainian Catholic Women's League of Canada, League of Ukrainian Women in Canada-Calgary Branch, Barvinok Ukrainian Dance Society, Yalenka Ukrainian Dance Society, Tryzub Ukrainian Dance Ensemble, Suzirya Ukrainian Dance Theatre, Korinnya Ukrainian Folk Ensemble, Plast Ukrainian Scouts, CYM Ukrainian Youth, CYMK Ukrainian Orthodox Youth, Ukrainian Student's Society at the University of Calgary, SOS Ukraine, Ogen House Ukrainian Cultural Society, Echos of Ukraine Television Program, Ukrainian Canadian Civil  Liberties Association, Ukrainian School at Assumption Blessed Virgin Mary Parish, Slava Chamber Choir, Ukrainian Canadian Professional and Business Association, Association of United Ukrainian Canadians, Friends of the Ukrainian Catholic University, Calgary Board of Education, Calgary Separate School Division, City of Calgary, Government of Alberta, Government of Canada, Canadian Museum for Human Rights, Ukrainian Canadian Congress.


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Our elected officials from three levels of government came to honor the event.  Speeches were given by elected officials, representatives of each respective level of government - Alderman Jim Stevenson - Ward 3, Government of Alberta - Linda Johnson, Calgary Glenmore and Government of Canada - Michelle Rempel, Calgary Centre North.
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An important forward looking presentation was given by the representative of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights -  Eric Hughes.  He spoke of the upcoming opening of the new museum in Winnipeg, the complexity of this human rights issue and the truly significant and critical role Canada's new museum will play in uncovering the truths for future generations - may they learn from the lessons of the past.








Thanking all the guests for their generous participation in today's commemoration, MC and UCC Calgary President Michael Ilnysky thanked CYM Ukrainian Youth Association for the Display and Artwork from the Kyiv Art Institute - and then  invited everyone to sing O Canada, the national anthem of Canada, and Sche Ne Vmerla Ukraina - the national anthem of Ukraine.  Then everyone was invited to a Hungry Lunch of broth and bread.