Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Millenia's Upcoming CD Release Party

Just loving the Ukrainian diaspora in Canada these days! A century and more of proud Canadian citizenship, flavoured with a groundswell of love, appreciation and identification with the ancestral homeland! Where else can you find that?

Through the Ukrainian grapevine I heard there is no better way to share the love than a Ukrainian zabava! And for a very special zabava, it's time to for Millenia Band of Edmonton's upcoming CD release on Saturday, February 15, 2014!

It will be a great evening of Millenia's Ukrainian zabava music, a special performance by Dunai Дунай Ukrainian Dancers of Edmonton, and a traditionally delicious Ukrainian late lunch at almost midnight! Gotta keep up the energy for great zabava dancing into the wee hours! This is an all ages event!

The event will be held at the Oilfield Technical Society 2104 156 St. SW, Edmonton AB. Doors open at 8:00pm, show starts at 9:00pm, Saturday February 15th.

For more information check or at   Дякую!

Millenia is also playing for the Ukrainian Student's Club of the University of Alberta later in the month, too!

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Calgary Helps Euromaidan

stone baba from Pereyaslav Khmelnitsky Museum
Calgary,  it is again time to stand with the ancients, in solidarity with the Euromaidan activists, for truth and freedom. Sharing information with the wider community today, and hoping for generous people of good will to stand in solidarity and support of the people of Ukraine in their struggle for a free and just governance, in their time of need. The situation in Ukraine continues to escalate and is extremely fragile. Conclusions and speculation about what might happen next are hard to say.  

An amazing groundswell of informed activists have carried the torch thus far. After nearly 10 weeks of struggle, in the wintry nights of November, and December of 2013, and continuing into late January of 2014, the world is finally paying attention. Unfortunately the peaceful Maidan of two months has now been followed by repressive laws and violent reactions from their government and military. Events teeter precariously in the next days and potentially weeks.   Ukrainian citizens need us to be citizens of the world, and help them ensure a dignified and honourable outcome for all of Ukraine, to help ensure positive change in their lives and livelihoods.  By standing in Independence Square and in various Maidan protests (including in Calgary) the world is sending a message of of solidarity, of hope that truth and dignity will prevail.  We stand resolutely, together for the good! The past is passed, and the future beacons!

The Ukrainian Canadian Congress - Calgary Branch is sharing this information widely in our community. 

On Sunday January 26th, there will be Varenyky (perogies) on sale at the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church Hall from 10:30-1:30 with all proceeds going to support Euromaidan activists standing in Kyiv's Independence Square, Hrushevskiy Street and elsewhere. 

ALSO: at 4:00 pm there will be another rally, peaceful protest and small prayer service at the Olympic Plaza downtown Calgary. Bring your blue and yellow gear as well as your hearts for those who need our support! 

Please spread the word to your family and friends by sharing this post. 

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Had Fun At Malanka

Malanka has a great sentimental value for me.  Met my husband at a Malanka.  And the tradition continues, it seems, in the ways of ancient times.  Put young people together and instantly there is fun, energy, and a renewal of promise.  The New Year,  Ukrainian style!

Calgary's Plast Malanka last night was a great, fun evening.  It probably helped that the weather is chinooking, so nobody had to wear long-johns!  Evening wear and sparkle, a comfortable and attractive venue, great food and amazing entertainment - the evening had it all.

First, the young adults of Plast led the crowd into the hall with koliady коляди
(Traditional Ukrainian Christmas Carols)!  MC Zennia Martynkiw invited Sister Laura to lead the singing of Boh Predvichney Бог Предвічний followed by a Blessing.  The Petroleum Club chef's best Chicken Kyiv, supplemented with traditional Ukrainian foods including varennyky вареники  (pyrohy) and holubtsi голубці  (cabbage rolls) was delivered with excellent service.  Then Ukrainian violinist Vasyl Popadiuk - Papa Duke dazzled the crowd with a fabulous virtuoso program that hinted at ancestry, yet featured a deep soulful intertwining of international cultures - in a way only musicians can.  Brilliant ballerina Tania Chumak (of Calgary Plast) performed a piece in honor of the dignity movement in Ukraine, to the musically generous new composition sung and played by Stephania Romaniuk.  Then Vohon Ukrainian Dance Ensemble of Edmonton brought three separate and interesting Ukrainian dances to the stage, wholeheartedly filling the room with smiles. And if that wasn't enough, the energy kept coming with The Real Deal's mix of R&B, funk, and rock and roll. The dance floor was still hopping when Calgary's Zhyto Band began
the kolomeika which had some fun and humorous offerings, too!  At midnight everyone at Malanka encircled the hall to sing De Zhoda v Rodyni, Where there is Peace in the Family!  Such a great feeling of community as everyone reached out to hug another person, instantly bonding community!  Zhyto kept the hall bouncing with great Ukrainian music until the wee hours - but sadly everything comes to an end.  Friendships and perhaps more might burble into the wee hours, and I'll bet social media sites will continue to buzz about Malanka 2014.

Popadiuk took a plane home to Toronto, brave Vohon dancers drove the three hours back home to Edmonton through the night, and guests disappeared in the night, some planning flights home to places like Winnipeg, Vancouver, Regina while the Plast organizers took account of the silent auction and the rave reviews.  What a great night!

ps sorry the pics are lousy, using a smart phone from a distance - gotta solve that!

Friday, 17 January 2014

From the Heart of a Woman
For an afternoon of Christian fellowship, heart health information and a hands-on Ukrainian "bake and take" activity women of all ages are invited to a very lovely afternoon event called "From the Heart" on Saturday, February 1, 2014.  The Ukrainian Women's Association of Canada, Calgary Branch invites you to register or seek more information from Marla
or Lori for the event. 

I remember being at their last event a couple of years ago and fascinated at the mix of lovely people there - the room was filled from edge, to edge to edge.  Such a very warm, intelligent, and community rich experience! Clearly the women of Calgary enjoyed the event, and UWAC Calgary has planned another women's day!

Bring $5 for entry, knowing all proceeds will be donated to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Alberta. You can help women in need by bringing sample sized hand lotion, perfume, shampoo (etc), and new women's socks and underwear, to assemble Valentine Gift Bags for our Southern Alberta Sisters in Need.

Saturday, February 1, 2014
St. Vladimir’s Cultural Center
404 Meredith Road N.E.
1:00 p.m.

Remember to bring a friend!

Good News Red Deer!

The Good News is that people who dream big can bring fields of opportunity to bear much fruit. And in this great Nativity season, while Christmas Carollers in the Ukrainian tradition may sprinkle wheat seeds to ensure successful crops and prosperity for the host family, more seeds are being sown in Red Deer's Ukrainian Orthodox Community - and soon to bear much fruit!

The Red Deer UOCC Parish has grown from its hopeful mission status and now the physical task of Church Temple Building has arrived. With hope, faith and charity, the good people at St. John's Cultural Center (Edmonton), Viter Ukrainian Dancers and Folk Choir and special guest artist Theresa Sokyrka are enthusiastically contributing to this important fundraising evening. For more information call 403-700-9942 or contact

Perhaps you will agree that in Canada, this wonderful land of opportunity, all of Ukrainian Alberta truly stops being strangers to one another's needs, and contributes to days of promise, faith and community.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Calgary Rizdvo 2014

The Ukrainian Idea thrives on ritual, tradition and faith, and bridges connections with family, homeland, identity and ancestry.  The faithful of Ukrainian Calgary join with the entire Ukrainian diaspora in celebrating the Nativity of Christ this January 6th and 7th, 2014 at the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of St. Volodymyr in Calgary, 404 Meredith Road NE.

Ukrainians the world over honor the December 25th Christmas as well, with Christmas trees, possibly a turkey supper, and probably a visit from Santa Claus, gifts decorated with red and white candy canes, and of course a feeling of civic unity with the innumerable people of diverse culture who await light and peace in the dark of winter.  But Orthodox Christians, whether they are Ukrainian, or of other ethnic origins have stayed on the old calendar - and it actually feels good.  And there are a lot of us!

The December hustle and bustle is over.  The non-God carols in the mall have faded, and Jingle Bells is a faint memory.  And in my home, like in many others, the three braided kolachi breads which are to be my Holy Eve centerpiece are baked.  The varenyky, and holubtsi are prepared.  Beans and other legumes are on the counter, awaiting their turn at the stove.  The ingredients for borsch are finding their place near the cooking pot.  Wheat has been pounded to remove the bran, and will soon head for the boiling pot, too.  In short, a meal of twelve lenten foods will soon be ready for the Holy Eve- Sviat Vechir  - to mark Rizdvo.  My family will gather around the table, and sing the prayers of old, softly, with no commercial jingalings to jazz up the sound. The vertep, a manger scene will grace us with peaceful images of a cave, where the lowly animals warmed a place for the baby, a place where Hope was born.  My family will speak softly, and reverently. A deep and filling peace will pervade the room when we remember the loved ones not with us anymore.  In this happy embrace of melancholia, tinged with hope, the ikon of peace will flicker.  What will be tomorrow?  We can only put forward one foot at a time, but we aim for the good.

Suspend time for a moment and notice the Bethlehem star.  It marks the transition from darkness to light! It's time to be exquisitely alive and passionately engaged with Hope - the gift of the season!

May the pure love of Christmas reign in your hearts this Rizdvo 2014!  Good health, happy times, peaceful dreams full of hope, optimism and joyous fulfillment to you and yours! Khrystos Razhdayetsia!

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Lighting Calgary in Blue and Yellow

Elena EV Skorokhod, Calgary's Langevin Bridge Jan 2, 2014
Well, Calgary it is our turn to light the town in blue and yellow! The Ukrainian community of Calgary and Southern Alberta graciously invites all supporters of the Ukrainian Euromaidan idea to a special event in Calgary Thursday, January 2 and 3rd, 2014! Thursday, January 2nd, and Friday January 3rd, Calgary's Langevin Bridge going into downtown Calgary will be lit up blue and yellow. This bridge is on Edmonton Trail going into downtown.

Lighting the Calgary Langevin Bridge in the colours of the Ukrainian flag is a symbolic act of solidarity with the mass demonstrations currently in their 5th week or more on the streets of Ukraine's cities, especially Kyiv.

Thanks to the excellence in civic involvement here in Calgary, and an international promise to uphold the democratic principles of this great Canadian land, the City of Calgary Municipal Land Corporation is supporting the request to light the town in blue and yellow. Actually it will be the bridge from Edmonton Trail going downtown - the Langevin Bridge!

Some Calgarians of Ukrainian origin will know that the Bridgeland area was essentially Calgary's Ukrainian downtown area for a long time, starting with the earliest immigration here in the late 1890's. It is still home to two Ukrainian churches serving Calgary's Ukrainian diaspora.

The Ukrainian Canadian Congress and its advocates invite you to meet at the Holodomor Monument on Memorial Drive on Thursday, January 2, at 7PM! Participants are invited to wear blue and yellow regalia to support the democratic aspirations of the Euromaidan.  
Thank you to Elena Skorokhod for inquiring and City of Calgary Municipal Land Corporation for supporting the UCC request. Guests can join the event on facebook at


Here are some interesting links about Canada's Niagara Falls which was lit in blue and yellow in support of Euromaidan Ukraine.