Thursday, 4 July 2013

Where is the Largest Pysanka?

Alberta is celebrating community spirit, all over the province this summer of 2013! From extremes in weather, to extremes in social and community volunteerism, Alberta has it all. And perhaps it is not too bold to say that this has to do with the people of Alberta.

Before there was Alberta though, the government of Canada under Sir Wilfred Laurier desired to populate western Canada with farmers, to add production to the country, and to solve the "railway problem" and to help pay the national debt. The young country enticed hard workers to settle the prairies. And since that time it is not too bold to say that Alberta has been generously sprinkled with Eastern European thought, work-ethic, spirituality and respect for culture and tradition. 

Over the last four decades, the Ukrainian idea couldn't exist anywhere else in the diaspora better than Alberta. Artisans and craftspeople, performing artists and entertainers, writers and thinkers for whom the Ukrainian idea resonates have cultivated a welcoming public here in Alberta.  In fact, the manner in which Alberta has welcomed Festivals, dance groups, performing artists and choral groups into its popular culture is unique.  And the Ukrainian Pysanka Festival In Vegreville, Alberta this weekend has it all.  

Just a half hour east of the Star-Edna settlement where Eleniak and Pylypiw first shepherded their families in 1891 with grand dreams for their Canadian adventure, the charming town of Vegreville, Alberta is celebrating its 40th Anniversary Pysanka Festival this July 5-6-7, 2013.


Four decades of music, community spirit, collaborations, international and local artists bumping shoulders, exchanging ideas, enjoying the Ukrainian idea continues to draw crowds.  The Ukrainian festival is a model now emulated in Ukrainian communities all over the diaspora - in North and South America for certain.  Hopefully you will plan to be in Vegreville this summer for the 40th Anniversary Pysanka Festival,  for the festivities, admission will be free!  But if you cannot, they have a brilliant gift for all of us! 

The Festival has a 40th anniversary CD composed of favorite selections from the Ukrainian Pysanka Festival's most loved performers over its 40 year history. Check out the details at www.pysankafestival.com.  Gotta get there and check out the trade show booths - so many new entrepreneurs to discover - so many new Ukrainian ideas to bring home!!  


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