Saturday, 30 June 2012

Adult Ukrainian Language Classes

How fortunate I have been to have the ability to speak in Ukrainian!  I am one of those Ukrainian Canadians with several generations of family born on Canadian soil, yet my family was able, because of great community programs, to ensure that I could speak well in Ukrainian.  I have to admit, my language is not contemporary Kievan, however most people from Ukraine know Canadian Ukrainians are doing a good job when they try to speak.  It has been a priority for my family.  It has also been important for my children, both of whom speak well.  Thank heavens for Sadohock, Ukrainian School, at both Assumption and St. Vladimir's (ridna shkola) and Plast Ukrainian Scouts in Calgary!

Having said that, I know that many families have not been so blessed with opportunities for themselves and their children.  Thank heavens the mind continues to be flexible, eager for new challenges, no matter what age a person may be!  That is why it is so fortunate for Calgarians that St. Stephen's Ukrainian Catholic Church is offering these language classes for adults and young people this coming year. 

If you need basics, if you need conversational language, if you are growing your confidence, this is the program for you! 

Other similar Ukrainian language programs have been offered in Calgary before.  Several years ago the UWAC at St. Vladimir's Ukrainian Orthodox Church had Adult Ukrainian classes.  Also, did you know that in Edmonton, St. Andrew's Ukrainian Orthodox Church, the UWAC there has sponsored Ukrainian language learning for adults for many, many years!!  I understand that there were 40 students registered last year, in several classes!  With folk singing, discussions about interesting historical artifacts, and the opportunity to build community using Ukrainian language, it has been, and continues to provide great instruction for all their students.

So, Calgarians, your time is now!  I hope you take the opportunity to improve your Ukrainian language - our Ukrainian educational leaders at St. Stephen's can help!!

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Calgary's Annual Canada Day/Dominion Day at Heritage Park - July 1, 2012
A lady I know has recently been awarded the Order of Canada.  She now has the honor and privilege to preside over the Citizenship ceremonies welcoming new Canadian citizens from widely different homelands.  Mrs. Orysia Sushko (editor of the Ukrainian Women's Association of Canada newspaper "Promin"), as Presiding Official spoke about the importance of active citizenship, responsibilities and obligations which new Canadians accept with the privilege of citizenship.  Administering the oath, she spoke about the equality of men and women, our shared traditions and values, obeying the laws, and protecting and enjoying our heritage and environment.  Welcoming new citizens in the name of Her Majesty, the Queen, she concluded her comments saying "From this day forward, our history is now your history.  Our laws are your laws.  Our identity is your identity.  Our responsibility to be a good and faithful citizen, loyal to Canada, is now your responsibility.  The future of Canada, our freedom, our democracy, our peaceful society, equality under the law, our properity - the future of all these things now depend on you.  As a great Canadian soldier poet, Dr. John McCrea wrote, "To you we throw the torch; Be yours to hold it high".  Be a proud Canadian - honour and respect the rights you have received at today's citizenship ceremony." (Promin - June-July 2012)

What heartwarming and positive words, from our newest Ukrainian Canadian recipient of the Order of Canada.  Congratulations Orysia and to all the most recent inductees.

Calgary will celebrate our Canada Day/Dominion Day with a great roster of performers at Celebration Field Stage in Heritage Park!  Make sure you come to enjoy the company of guests, recent Canadians, and the representatives of our First Nations, Canadians celebrating Canadian culture from coast to coast, our cultural inheritance, all at Heritage Park Historical Village this weekend!
With over 120 years of Ukrainian-Canadian-ness to celebrate - The Tryzub Ukrainian Dance Ensemble and Junior Tryzub will be performing as part of Heritage Park's Dominion Day (Canada Day) Celebrations. Tryzub will be performing on the Celebration Field Stage at 3:00pm. 
For more information, please see:

Calgary Bandura Players head to Mohyla Institute
I am so impressed I can't speak.  Some wonderful news has just crossed my computer screen, making me smile - but then again...... Maybe you know about the bandura?  My parents bought me a bandura, and sent me to lessons with Professor Andrij Hornjatkevyc in Edmonton.  Then on a camper trip to Manitoba somehow my new little radio/cassette player caught the Bandura ensemble from Windsor on the airwaves - a bizarre experience now that I think about it.  I was so enthralled with playing the whole trip to Baba's and back, my technique got better, and I learned to love playing bandura.  Then I took bandura lessons many years ago with Victor Kytasty, Julian Kytasty and Marko Bandera in Edmonton too.

A long time back in Calgary, probably 1980 or so, there was a wonderful Bandura Summer Program hosted at the Ukrainian Catholic Church of the Assumption.  Not sure who was the sponsoring organization, but I was there too, and it was so much fun!  Later on my daughter had the opportunity to study bandura with Pani Nadia.  I know there were a bunch of Saskatoon girls who played and performed on bandura in Calgary - they sang such lovely Ukrainian folk songs.  Well my poor bandura has suffered from Calgary's notorious lack of humidity, and you can guess, there is a crack running down it's face.  So sad.  I wonder where the time has flown? When was the last time I played?  Maybe you play?  I wonder whether you have a photo or some comment about all those Bandura related events in Calgary over the years?  Maybe you'll leave a comment? 

It's time to go to Bandura Camp!  And a spectacular one that features the great maestro Victor Mishalow, renowned Toronto based musician and teacher of Ukrainian culture and language. ( Please see for his biography, awards and list of recordings.)

The great people at Mohyla Institute in Saskatoon are offering a fabulous two week summer musical program devoted to learning bandura and Ukrainian choral music.  This two week program offered at St. Petro Mohyla Institute August 6-9, 2012 gives teenagers 13 years and older eight hours of daily group instruction. Learning to play bandura will be the main focus, but the participants will also have lessons in sopilka (flute), tsymbaly (dulcimer), Ukrainian language, folk songs and customs, Ukrainian history and Ukrainian liturgical hymns.  Evening dances, movies, concerts and talent night events will certainly keep the mood light and fun!! A final concert, singing the responses at a Divine Liturgy, and a chance to perform at the Annual Folk Festival In Saskatoon will be great opportunities to share the learning with the general public.

The basic tuition fee covers accommodation, meals, and music instructional materials.
The standard tuition fee is based on shared accommodations at Mohyla Institute.
Registration fee (non-refundable)$125.00
Tuition fee$715.00
Bandura rental fee (optional: you may supply your own)$50.00
Linens (optional; one fitted sheet is included for free)$50.00
Individual room (optional; dependent on availability)$250.00
Internet in the room (optional; internet is available for free on the main floor)$50.00
Family discount - call for verification and to arrange payment
for more information go to
phone 306-653-1944 or contact Steve at 306-584-1846


Thursday, 21 June 2012

Alberta's Ukrainian Summer Camp Season 2012
Summer camp as a Ukie kid in Alberta was always an interesting experience.  The excitement of going to camp with your friends really overshadowed the fact that the whole summer was summer vacation!  Packing involved leaving all the trappings of "living in a house" and meant roughing it a bit.  Have to admit that the "biffy" days are over for kids these days, but there is still a lot to be gained from the outdoor summer camp experience.

For one thing, there are never enough hours to tell the stories of summer camp. Once you start telling camp stories, you might just as well .....well, maybe it is time for your children to experience the Ukie camp thing in Alberta - here are a few to choose from.
The Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy has their Annual Eparchial Children's Summer Camp again this year at Camp Oselia on Lake Wabamum.  This year's children's camp will take place from Sunday July 15 to Saturday July 28 and is programmed for children ages 7-14.  A safe, positive program based on Christian living, creative lessons about faith, complete with lake activities, canoeing, swimming, archery, camp fires, scavenger hunts, crafts and fun activities awaits.  The program is based on the teachings of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, but children do not need to be Ukrainian Catholic to attend.  Please make your interest in the program known at  or call 780-426-4176.     The cost of the program is $350 which includes accomodation, meal, and a t shirt.. 

Camp Oselia also hosts a Teen camp from July 30th to August 3rd, for teens ages 13-18.  Contact Namisha at 780-554-8543 or
Alberta’s beautiful Pigeon Lake, offers a quintessential overnight camp experience in a Ukrainian Orthodox setting from July 8-21, 2012 . Children 8-14 will enjoy a wide variety of cultural, sporting, religious and recreational activities, throughout this fun-filled, 2-week summer adventure!
Camp Bar-V-Nok is the perfect way to get the most out of summer and make lifelong memories from lake-side activities, off-site excursions, and unforgettable “vatra” (bonfire) and “zabava” (dance) nights. Campers will spend their days and evenings participating in:
Traditional Ukrainian arts and crafts workshops Ukrainian dance classes Swimming and canoeing Folk singing and music classes Religion lessons and services Guest presentations (various themes) Theme nights, talent shows, friendly competitions, beach activities, zabavas, vatra nights, and much more!
Camp Bar-V-Nok’s programming focuses on elements of the Ukrainian language, culture, traditions, and the Orthodox faith, in a Christian environment. Indoor and outdoor recreational activities allow children from across Alberta to interact and learn about one another’s communities.
All staff live on-site at Camp Bar-V-Nok, including the chaplain, director, co-director, counsellors and volunteers.
CAMP FEES: Camp fees include room and board, all camp activities, supplies and a camp t-shirt. Members* 1 child: $375 2 + children: $350/child Non-members: 1 child: $425 2 + children: $400/child   or  (780) 439-2320 or 1-800-439-2320.

Kiev's-K-Hi Ukrainian Orthodox Youth Camp

Summer camp offers a wonderful opportunity for boys and girls to enjoy happy character building summer days in the great outdoors near lakes and the woods. Boys and girls will receive Ukrainian Orthodox Christian religious instruction, conversational Ukrainian and a fundamental knowledge of the Ukrainian culture. They will have the opportunity to swim, dance, do crafts, participate in sports and enjoy the fun of hikes, campfires, cookouts and singsongs. All this will be accomplished in an atmosphere of friendship, trust, kindness and fun.
Camp starts July 8 for 6 - 8 yr olds       July 15 for 8 - 10. $160       July 22 for 9 - 12. $160
July 29 for 9 - 12. $160       Aug 5 for 12- 15. $190       Aug 12 for 15 - 17. $190      
All sessions run Sunday to Sunday          For more info please contact:
Linda Boser 780-826-4935       Camp Phone 780-635-2384

Monday, 18 June 2012

Charity Golf Tournament UOCC Red Deer

clubs,golf bags,golf courses,golfing,iStockphoto,leisure,recreation,sports equipment,playingLast summer I started taking golf lessons.  Spent some time with a pro and actually enjoyed myself.  Then spent some time with the family, just hitting a bucket of balls.  For a workaholic like me the idea seemed so frivolous.  Actually, I have poor eye hand coordination, but it is becoming a necessary part of social life these days.  So, I am off to the golf course again very soon. I hope to get good enough to not embarrass myself at the tournament in August - the fundraiser tournament for the Red Deer Ukrainian Orthodox Church. 

Maybe you can join the group for this worthy cause!  If spending time with a good group of people is a blessing, then share this blessing with the mission minded Ukrainian Orthodox Church leaders in Red Deer.  They are hoping to gather funds for the building of their new church in Red Deer. 

Fundraising Golf Tournament in Calgary on August 11, 2012

Holy Trinity Ukrainian Orthodox Mission Parish of Red Deer is hosting a charity golf tournament in Calgary on August 11, 2012 to help raise funds for their church building. The tournament is at Silverwing Links Golf Course, at 3434 48 Avenue, NE • Calgary, AB and tournament will begin at 1:30 pm. Registration opens at 12:30. The fee is $150.00 and includes 18 holes of golf, a wonderful steak dinner, and a cart rental. Dinner only tickets are $50.00. Please contact Dobr. Julie Chrapko at 403-453-5407 or for a registration form or if you have any questions. Registration closes July 28 or when the tournament is full.

Holy Trinity Ukrainian Orthodox Mission was organized in 1999, and since its inception has been served by five pastors - priests from the UOCC, including Father Sawchenko, Father Powalinsky, Father Pozdyk, Father Bilous, and Father Chrapko. The long held dream of having their own Ukrainian Orthodox church in central Alberta is slowly coming to fruition.  The mission parish is growing steadily and meets for Liturgy and other pastoral activities at the Parkland Funeral Home in Red Deer on two Sundays a month.  Once a month the members gather for Vespers and Catechism Lessons.   

Dobrodijka Julie Chrapko was pleased to share this information with all of you.  She hopes you will participate in this venture and, on behalf of the Red Deer UOCC mission, thanks everyone for their prayers and support!

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Ukrainian Schavel' - Wild Sorrel Soup (Green Borsch?)

Schavel from my garden in Calgary
My schavel' is growing so quickly in my garden this year - it must be because of all the lovely spring weather Calgary has been having.  Such lush and healthy green!  Time to make soup!  It always makes a summer supper better to have fresh garden soup as the first course.  Will another year pass before I actually enjoy this treat?  I think not. 
A little basket and a small knife, and out to cut the common garden sorrel - schavel'.  I am not sure which of the technical names to use, but there are several wild sorrel - schavel' species growing in North America too.  I'll need a fair bit - it has to cut down to about 8 cups chopped.  

I make a great green borsch in the springtime, use up all the sorrel - schavel' on the garden.  It is a green spinach-like garden lettuce.  Tastes lemony and has a good tang. As you might expect from a vegetable this tart, any recipe using schavel' or sorrel will use cream or milk to temper the tang. With the cream or milk, the soup becomes such a bright, sparkling, green borsch - the spring borsch to wake all those digestive enzymes. 

Some articles on line call it Wild French Sorrel.  Puzzles me, why French?  Gotta think back in history, way back to Anna Yaroslavna - she was the daughter of  Yaroslav the Wise - Kniaz of Rus' way back a thousand years ago.  At the time of Kievan Rus', the Rurik Dynasty had impressive ties with the royal houses of Western Europe.  All the royal families of Europe wanted to foster familial ties with Kievan Rus'.  So, a King of France was married to Anna Yaroslavna - the daughter of the ruler of Kievan Rus'.  She, and her entire retinue went across the European continent and brought many treasures from Ukraine.  She became Queen of France!  Until recent times, the Bible she brought - written in Old Slavonic - was the Bible used for the official oath taking of Kings, and Presidents.  Not sure whether that is still the case, but an interesting fact.

In any case, whether Anna Yaroslavna brought Schavel' to France, - or whether Schavel' is a French food brought to Ukraine - it has been in the recipe box for about a thousand years.  Hope you enjoy!!

You will need a fair bit of sorrel - schavel' to make this recipe, it cooks down quickly.  You can purchase it at some supermarkets, sometimes at the farmer's market in the spring, but the best way to assure you have some in the spring is to have some in your own garden.  All you need is one or two plants stuck somewhere in the corner of the garden and it will produce for years.  You can plant it from seed, but I got the plants from a Ukrainian woman from church.  Thanks Pani O. ).

Nadia’s Hot Sorrel Soup  - Sorrel Soup (Schavel’)
Yield: Makes about 8 cups
1 cup finely chopped white and pale green part of green onions, washed well
½ cup finely chopped onion
2 Tbsp. butter
1 pound boiling potatoes (peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces)
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups milk
½ pound fresh sorrel  - stems discarded and leaves rinsed, spun dry, and shredded course (about 8 cups)
1/2 cup cream
¼ cup snipped fresh chives or to taste, plus, if desired, additional for garnish.
In a large saucepan cook the green onion and the onion with salt and pepper to taste in the butter over moderately low heat, stirring, until the vegetables are softened, add the potatoes, broth, and simmer the mixture covered for 10 – 15 minutes, or until potatoes are almost tender.  Stir in the milk, heat til scalded, then add sorrel and simmer for 1 minute.  Puree the mixture in a blender in batches, transferring it as it is purred to a bowl, and let it cool. (I do not puree the soup, because the sorrel pieces floating in the soup are nice.)  Stir in the cream, chives and salt and pepper to taste.  I like the soup served hot, but you can chill it, covered, for at least 4 hours or overnight and serve it sprinkled with additional chives.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

"Most Important Night In Ukrainian Football History"

Ukraina - Ukraine website - Antonio Guarino
If you haven't yet had a chance to see the opening ceremonies for the First Match of the EURO 2012 games for the Ukrainian team, make sure you take a minute.  Commentators couldn't but be thrilled with the stupendous atmosphere.  Join the crowd and see for yourself!  Here is's photo to prove the point.

And as far as the criticism of the games goes, more people are appreciating the improvements Ukraine has made in transportation, housing and general services.  An article from Kiev Post indicates that the Sweden team is actually enjoying the amenities, and though it is not perfect, certainly it is making for an exciting games.

Are you Ukrainian too??

It is interesting to me that when new immigrants arrive to Canada from Ukraine, they are charmed by the economic opportunity presented by the Calgary experience. They believe there are few Ukrainians here, and sink themselves into an assimilation experience that can be emotional trying.  Eventually some surface, and seek the company of the Ukrainian community.  It seems small.  But did you know that there were times when Calgary's Ukrainian community was huge?  Well, it is easy to assimilate, we all do eventually - or do we?  It seems there is usually something that stays.

Over the years I have encountered many colleagues, who eventually drop a "pyrogy" or "holubtsi" in the conversation.  You get to know who you are talking to.  But sometimes you don't. 

I have taught for a while, and recently at the Calgary Ukrainian Festival heard my professional name being called out.  Seemed strange in those circumstances.  I turned around to see a beautifully dressed little dancer, who looked so charmed with the surprise on my face.  So I have taught this little person for a year, and didn't know we are of the same cultural ancestry.  What a lovely, and increasingly common, surprise. 

Take a look at this one page history of Calgary, which indicates that Calgary's Ukrainian community, way back in the first decade of the last century was quite big - take a look and see for yourself.

2012 Ukie Stampede Stomp

Hey Calgarians!  It's almost time to get your cowboy boots on again for the Calgary Stampede!!

Remember to put the 2012 Ukie Stampede Stomp on your calendar!  On Saturday, July 7th, 2012 from 6-12 PM the Knights of Columbus is holding a Fundraiser BBQ Steak Dinner and Dance at St. Stephen's Cultural Centre (4903-45 St. SW). 

You can call Terry for tickets ($40/p) at 403-540-0411.  Supper is at 7pm and the Dance at 9 pm.  Yahoo!!

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Edmonton's Ukrainian Male Chorus in BANFF

This is great news for Banff! 
The Ukrainian Male Chorus of Edmonton is presenting a concert of
Ukrainian Male Choral Music
on Saturday, June 23, 2012 at 4 p.m. at St Paul's Presbyterian Church
(corner of Banff Ave & Wolf St).
The hour-long concert will feature Ukrainian sacred and secular choral works, as well as several songs sung in English.
Admission is free and open to all ages.

The Marker at Castle Mountain Internment Camp

I hope you take the opportunity to see the choir there!!

UCPBA Calgary Outstanding Achievement Award 2012 - Peter Shostak

The Annual General Meeting of the Ukrainian Canadian Professional and Business Association of Calgary will be held on Thursday, June 21, 2012, again at the Danish Canadian Club, Valhalla Ballroom at 727 - 11th Avenue SW.
The Ukrainian Canadian Professional & Business Association of Calgary is delighted to announce that the recipient of its Outstanding Achievement Award for 2012 is renowned Ukrainian-Canadian artist Peter Shostak. This award is being presented to Mr. Shostak in recognition of his outstanding achievements and contributions over many decades, as one of Canada’s foremost artists, in commemorating, celebrating and honouring the heritage of Ukrainian pioneer settlement on the Prairies. The evening will also include an exhibit of Shostak works owned by UCPBA members and other Calgarians in attendance.

Pre-dinner entertainment will be by Absolutely Unplugged (Darren Moroz & Noella Ostash).

Mr. Shostak has kindly donated a limited edition serigraph, ‘The colours have not faded’, which will be raffled-off following Mr. Shostak’s speech.Tickets for the raffle are $10 each and may be purchased at the door. Two signed books by Mr. Shostak will also be offered as door prizes.
Serigraph Colours: sixteen
Image Size (inches): 16" X 25"
Edition Size: 90
Price: $400.00 CDN

Peter Shostak was born and raised on a farm in north-eastern Alberta. His early interest in art inspired him to major in art at the University of Alberta. In 1969, he obtained a graduate degree in Art Education and then took a teaching position at the University of Victoria. He remained there as Associate Professor of Art Education until 1979, when he decided to leave teaching and pursue a career as an artist, devoting all of his time to painting and silkscreen printing.

Much of Shostak's art reflects his memories of growing up on the prairies during the late forties and fifties. Two publications, When Nights Were Long and Saturday Came But Once A Week, reveal some of his personal history. In 1997, he collaborated with Vancouver writer, David Bouchard, on the book Prairie Born. His latest book Hockey…under winter skies was released in the fall of 2000.

Shostak's most ambitious project, to which he devoted five years of painting, was completed in 1991 with the unveiling of his series "For Our Children". These fifty large oil paintings, which portray early pioneer settlement in Western Canada (based on Ukrainian pioneer experiences), have been exhibited across Canada. All fifty paintings, along with background stories gleaned from Shostak's many years of research, are reproduced in the coffee table book For Our Children. In the introduction to this book, W.D. Valgardson states, "In his life and his art, Peter Shostak depicts what it means to be Canadian. He honours the memory of all our past lives."

In 2003, Peter Shostak received the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal in recognition of his outstanding exemplary contribution to Canada.

Most major cities in Canada have repeatedly hosted exhibitions of his work over the past several years and he has completed many commissioned paintings and serigraphs for individuals, organizations and major corporations.

After living in Victoria for thirty-six years he recently moved north on Vancouver Island to Courtenay, BC. He frequently returns to his native Alberta to photograph and refresh his mental images of prairie life and landscape.

For more information, contact Peter Shostak


Monday, 11 June 2012

Calgary Visit of Ukrainian Male Chorus of Edmonton

at Mukachevo, Ukraine -
A few weeks ago I was speaking with Orest Soltykevych of Edmonton, and he surprised me with the news that the UKRAINIAN MALE CHORUS OF EDMONTON is coming to sing in Calgary this month.  What lovely news! 

I just love the sound of male voices, especially singing together!  The liturgical music of the Ukrainian tradition is so moving.  Prayerful, deep, rich, resonant sounds - the enveloping sounds that make my spirit remember the hopes and dreams of my ancestors.  The sound of Hospodi pomiluj!  touches my heart in a way no other prayer does. 

Orest said that the choir has decided to take the opportunity to promote the Ukrainian choral tradition by touring various centres in Western Canada. 

They are coming to Calgary to sing the responses to the Divine Liturgy, on Sunday, June 24 at St. Vladimir’s Ukrainian Orthodox Congregation at 404 Meredith Road NE.

I sincerely hope you will come and participate in the worship service! 

Remember to mark this date on your calendar - come for the prayer and worship together. 

Calgary - Ukrainian Bilingual Summer Camps 2012

Do you have your children's summer all planned yet?  The people at St. Vladimir's Sadochok have a wonderful plan for you!  Imagine, a summer camp, exciting activities, great friends, and an opportunity to MAKE BABA PROUD!

ST. VLADIMIR’S SADOCHOK is again sponsoring their UKRAINIAN BILINGUAL SUMMER CAMPS for the summer of 2012.

The first session will take place July 3 – 6, followed by the second during the week of July
9 – 13th.  The camp is for children Ages 3- 10, and runs from 8-5pm daily. 

Participants will have the opportunity to learn Ukrainian language and culture through cooking, crafts, songs, in and outdoor play and more. No previous knowledge of Ukrainian required.

Preregistration or information via

St. Vladimir's Sadochok is sponsored by the Ukrainian Women's Association of Canada and is located at 404 Meredith Road NE.  Calgary. 

Euro 2012 -Ukraine over Sweden

If you have been reading or watching the Ukrainian press, the Euro 2012 games are progressing and the sentiment all over Ukrainian and world press is exuberant, in fact the Euro 2012 games are the dominant news force! Ukraine is taking the opportunity to show its beautiful face to the world - Take a look at this great youtube video of Vbolivay - All Stars!

by Mwangi Makarios
by Korrespondent
This all reminds me of a time, some years ago,  when we were in Greece.   I got a glimpse of how Europeans see their sport.  Walking through the streets of Ios (looking to buy a new bikini), I turned a corner and walked into a building, not knowing it was a church.  From the outside, it had no identifying marks, and clearly the structure was only simple.  But I walked in, and read the name plate, which said it this church was older than anything (anything!) in Canada.  A 600 year old church still in constant use.  Well, while I stood there, with my eyes popping from the amazing ikonostasis, a little boy of perhaps 6 years old, dressed in shorts and sneakers, came in holding his soccer ball.  I watched him run towards the ikon wall, say his prayers, and venerate the ikons, just moments went by, and then he scooted out of the church!  An amazing, intimate view of how in Greece, prayers are a real part of people's lives, and blessings are sought in the church even for soccer games.  Impressed me!

Maybe it isn't a surprise that these games have a strong current of "more than soccer" about them. With the Friendly Ukraine initiative, improvements to transportation, lodging, and the building of new stadiums, the entire world is expecting a lot from Poland and Ukraine's hosting of Euro 2012. This could the be the start of something good!

A great Youtube video says it all - We believe! - The efforts of the entire team - looking to the future!

So in the news, photos of Shevchenko dominate, blue and yellow jersey's everywhere, and the faces of happy fans too! This lucky boy is having the time of his life!  

by Inspired

 At today's match Ukraine won over Sweden 2-1 - and Ukraine's Andrij Shevchenko got the two important goals!  Bravo Ukraina!!
Here' a video of the fans in Frankivsk enjoying Ukraine's first win at the Euro 2012

by Kiev
Hope you enjoy watching the games, wherever you may be! 

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Calgary Ukrainian Festival 2012 Photo Tour

Art by Larisa
Congratulations to Calgary Ukrainian Festival 2012 on a lovely celebration!  I arrived early Saturday to see a flurry of busyness - upwards of 200 volunteers showed up to make this great event happen - and wow did it happen!  The venue was set up theatre style, with vendors and exhibits lining three sides of the hall.  Artfully displayed, entertaining exhibits, and stores to shop in made for a great walk-about.  I really appreciated the way the organizing committee accomodated a variety of interests, price points, age groups, and entertainment styles. 
Calgary's Europa Express

Local Ukrainian vendors, some from across the prairies, and as far away as Quebec brought excellent Ukrainian themed items for purchase. 
Dolls by Sandra
Berehynya Art and Adornment by Luba Bilash
Edmonton's Ukrainian Book Store

Items from

Baba's Records

The performers included everyone from Euphoria Band from Edmonton, to little 4 year old dancers who held the stage quite admirably.  Dancing groups included Tryzub, Barvinok, Suzirya and perhaps a few I didn't catch. 

Ukrainian Voice - Holos Newspaper
A singing duo from Winnipeg, a display from the Ukrainian Voice Paper - Ukrainskiy Holos (100 years of service in Canada) and the Ukrainian Museum of Canada (Calgary Collection) brought up the historical connection,

Ukrainian Museum of Canada - Calgary Collection

while the newer arrivals from Ukraine including singer Andrij Yevtushenko and many others came dressed in contemporary adaptations with Ukrainian traditional designs. 

Beautiful contemporary adaptations of Ukrainian traditional clothing

ACUA - Alberta Council for the Ukrainian Arts displayed a wide variety of art works, watercolors, mixed media, oils, and acrylic paintings, textile art by Elizabeth Holinaty, as well as jewellery items, and interesting hand woven samplers as gift cards.  Impressive art works by Ukrainian Albertan's certainly caught many by surprise - many paintings went home in the hands of happy purchasers!!

St. Vladimir's Ukrainian Sadochok (Preschool) in Calgary
Ukrainian Catholic Education Foundation
A variety of important Ukrainian Canadian services took part in the Festival - and promoted programs as widely different as Calgary's only Ukrainian Bilingual Preschool, Canada's Shevchenko Foundation, Medical Mercy Canada which annually helps small towns and villages in Ukraine with medical care, the Ukrainian Catholic Education Foundation helping the Ukrainian Catholic University. 

A flower hair clip made with the help of one of the Festival volunteers. 

                 There was a volunteer run kids center, for crafts and coloring, and a breather.  Little children had the opportunity to make crafts to wear, and if you were hungry there were a variety of traditional foods available for a meal. 
Ollie's Homestyle Catering

On top of the non stop action on stage, I was told that a very special guest arrived at the Festival late Sunday afternoon.  After the Ukrainian Catholic Patriarchal visit with Calgary's Ukrainian Catholic community, Patriarch Sviatoslav came to see the Festival - sat in the front row and enjoyed the entertainment. 

An impressive, successful 3rd Festival for Calgarians to enjoy - Perhaps next year you should join in?

Monday, 4 June 2012

Ukrainian Dancing in Calgary

Ukrainian Dancing is alive and well in Calgary!  There seem to be so many dance schools!  Well, at the Calgary Ukrainian Festival this June 2012, audiences were entertained by many, diverse, and talented groups of Ukrainian dancers.  I saw little children - seemed like maybe 4 or 5 years old - take the stage for solo dancing!  Imagine having the stage presence, the personal discipline, the ability to handle a crowd, to stay focused!  Wow, these little ones learn a lot about life through Ukrainian dancing.   
 The costumes were widely disparate.Everything from costumes that looked like little wind up dollies, to traditional Hutsul, Transcarpathian, Bukovinian - the clothing was colorful, practical and comfortable.  One girl told me she prefers to wear her Ukrainian clothing at these festivals, especially when it is hot - she can't stand sweating in a t-shirt and jeans.  Plus, she enjoys being recognized, and showing off her ancestral heritage.
 I particularly enjoyed the large montage performance of upwards of 30 children on stage - they had to have some real idea of space, time, and coordination!  How does a little person remember when to go on, when to take their turn, how to respond to an audience - in this case an adoring audience?  Clearly these little dancers, and their dance school teachers are onto something!  I'll bet a lot of learning goes on on all sides!
Perhaps the best performances were the adult groups though.  The fact that so many "grown ups" are still enjoying their traditional Ukrainian dance forms just makes me happy.  Whether it is for fitness, for companionship, for fun, or maybe even because it is an expression of some sense of identity with the whole Ukrainian thing, it is just great!

Congratulations to all the dancers - you had audiences cheering, little people enthralled, and parents and guests amazed by your talent!