Second Regina Ukrainian Fall Fest Proves Popular
On Saturday August 20, 2011, Regina enjoyed its 2nd Ukrainian Fall Fest in Victoria Park– and it couldn’t have been a nicer day to celebrate Ukrainian culture and its people’s contributions to Canadian society. This year proved especially meaningful as several anniversaries were also being celebrated: the 120th year of Ukrainian immigration and settlement to Canada, the 20th anniversary of the Independence of Ukraine, and the 70th anniversary of Ukrainian Canadian Congress- Regina Branch, whose Committee coordinated the event.
A sunny 24 degree day allowed several thousand people enjoy the many free activities planned for family fun. From diverse Children’s Activities such as Saskatchewan Science Centre Activity Tent, a petting zoo, facepainting, bubble fun, and sidewalk chalk art, to Cultural workshops that featured sessions on folk embroidery, ritual breads, Byzantine iconography, and the making of dulcimers (tsymbaly) and violins. In addition, some of the UCC Member Organizations provided interesting displays regarding their programming available to the greater community.
A very special Opening Program featured greetings from Deputy Premier Ken Krawetz , Honourable Ray Boughen, and Councilor Sharron Bryce (City government greetings). As a member of the Ukrainian community, Senator Raynell Andreychuk shared her insights on the significance of this day. Right Reverend Vladimir Mudri and Very Reverend Archpriest Slawomir Lomaszkewicz, opened the ceremony with prayers and blessings for the day, Byzantine style. Representatives in attendance from funding organizations were James Ingold (SaskCulture) and Shelly Sundholm-Vonau (Saskatchewan ArtsBoard). In addition, Chad Robertson of Molsons Coors, also attended. Olecia Obarianyk, actress and model, served as Master of Ceremonies for the celebrations.
Dignitaries and guests of the Opening Program were lead by a specially selected Colour Guard, which recognized individuals of Ukrainian heritage for their policing service at local and national levels. Sgt Luciak and Sgt Coleman of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police – Regina Detachment , while Cst Dekrow and Cst Lucok of the Regina Police Service, represented the countless men and women of Ukrainian heritage who have bravely served, and continue to serve as police officers.
The traditional welcome of bread and salt to dignitaries and special guests was offered by Holly Paluck, Event Chair. The event was officially opened by: Marta & Anya Krueger who are third generation Ukrainian Canadians, as well as one of the most recent families to join the Regina community from Ukraine: Andrij and Tetiana Taryn. It was a very symbolic and meaningful opening to have representation from the established cultural community as well as the most recent members of the community, joining together in the story of their Canadian journeys.
An afternoon of quality entertainment began with a contemporary Pryvit dance performed by Kolos Performing Ensemble. Traditional and contemporary performances by people of Ukrainian heritage included Canadian performers from Saskatchewan (Carla Taylor trio, Chaban Ukrainian Dance Association, Kolos Regina Ukrainian Dance Ensemble, & Razom Ukrainian Dance Company); Alberta (Zhyto); Manitoba (Pleskach-Scherbatiuk Duet), and from Ukraine (Yanina Bilyk & friends), who currently share or have shared local ties.
The day’s celebration culminated in Regina’s first ‘Zabava Under the Stars’ as it came to be known, featuring the extremely talented band, “Zhyto”, from Calgary, and proved to be very popular. A special thank you is extended to the Planning Committee, all volunteers, sponsors, and supporters of RUFF 2011, especially our significant funders which helped make this successful community-building initiative a reality: City of Regina, SaskCulture, Saskatchewan ArtsBoard, Ukrainian Canadian Foundation of Taras Shevchenko, and the Ukrainian Canadian Congress-Saskatchewan Provincial Council Community Development Fund. Anyone interested in helping plan the 2012 event should soon leave a message on the festival website (www.uccruff.ca ) or call 501-9700, for more information. Don’t forget to search “Regina Ukrainian Fall Fest” on Facebook and join our community page for more great photos and updates!
1: Three generations at the festival
4: Carla Taylor
5: Chaban Dancers
6: Cultural Ritual Breads Session
10: Kolos Regina Ukrainian Dance Ensemble
11: Sen A. Raynell Andreychuk speaking at Opening Program
12: Organizational Displays
13: Sadochok fun
14: Yanina Bilyk
15 & 16: Zhyto (Band)
Photos courtesy of A&S Zimpano, FreeLens PhotoGraphic.