Ukrainian Days Festival 2020

UCC-APC is very excited to be presenting our traditional Ukrainian Day event online this year as a week-long virtual experience. The event will run from Sunday, August 16, 2020, to Monday, August 24, 2020 (День Незалежності/Ukrainian Independence Day).

Ukrainian Days will comprise of five series being featured throughout the festival:

 Art, Performance, Roots, Cooking and Ukrainian Independence Day

Opening greetings

Art Series

Art Series

Art Series

As part of the online celebration of the Ukrainian Days in Alberta, we are excited to showcase the incredible artistic talent of our community. This series was supported by the Alberta Council for Ukrainian Art (ACUA).

 UCC-APC presents:

Larisa Sembaliuk Cheladyn presenting her “Embroidered Memories” 

We present “Embroidered Memories,” an exhibit of over 750 Ukrainian embroidered pillows. This video tour, led by Larisa Sembaliuk Cheladyn, walks you through the exhibit which was on display at the ACUA Alberta Council for the Ukrainian Arts (ACUA) in Edmonton in June 2020. Сьогодні представляємо відео-огляд виставки “Вишиті Спогади”, яка проходила у червні.

The full virtual tour can be found on YouTube .

Joyce Sirski-Howell, embroidery expert

Joyce specializes in Ukrainian embroidery, she also teaches various embroidery techniques. More recently, she has taken an interest in repurposing textiles.

Сподіваємось, що вам сподобається це інтерв’ю про вишивання!

Audrey Uzwyshyn, a distinguished ceramic artist 

 Audrey is a recipient of the Alberta Council for the Ukrainian Arts Award. Her work is recognized all over the world, and her artistic skill is evident in all of her unique pieces, including the prized “Barany” or Rams.  

Сподіваємось, що вам сподобається наша співбесіда про гончарське мистецтво!

Myroslava Oksentiuk, beadwork artist

Myroslava is a Ukrainian traditional folk artist who has been engaging with her country’s amazing variety of arts and traditions for years. With a specialization in design, Myroslava brings unique insights to her presentation on Ukrainian culture and folklore. 

Сподіваємось, що вам сподобається це інтерв’ю про коралі! 

Cooking Series

Ukrainian Day

Cooking Series

The series features one of the most favourite attributes of Ukrainian culture — food! During the Ukrainian Days 2020, we are providing you with a one of a kind opportunity to learn some tips and tricks of traditional Ukrainian cooking.

Baking Masterclass with Nataliia Shevchenko

We’ve prepared a masterclass led by a renowned local Ukrainian baker Nataliia Shevchenko, the winner of the Great Canadian Baking Show. Nataliia will teach us how to make a traditional Ukrainian honey cake. Follow this Facebook link. Save any questions you have for her because the next morning we will be hosting a live Q & A with Nataliia. Send in your questions ahead of time to or send them in live using the Facebook comment box under the video.

UCC-APC would like to thank Widynowski’s, Lamont County and Servus Credit Union for sponsoring Nataliia’s masterclass!  

Traditional Ukrainian Food

You will learn how to make pyrohy, cabbage rolls and kolach. Let’s get cooking! Watch tutorials for three traditional Ukrainian dishes. Learn how to pinch the perfect pyrohy from the Interpretation staff at the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village. Elsie Choban from Two Hills AB will demonstrate how to roll the best holubtsi. Complete your meal with fresh kolach baked by Helen G. Shewchuk from Vegreville AB.

Сьогодні ми вам представляємо три різні кулінарні відео. Дізнайтеся, як готувати пироги, голубці та калач. Смачного! 

Performance Series

Ukrainian Day

Performance Series

Our Performance Series features a variety of entertainment. We have comedy time, paint night party, dance masterclasses and performances. There is something for every age and interest!

Comedy Time with Luba Goy 

Welcome to Comedy Time with Luba Goy! We are excited to have Luba infuse Alberta’s Ukrainian Days Festival with a touch of laughter! Her portrayals of the Queen and one of her many hilarious characters, Baba Safronia, are sure to have you in stitches! Вітаємо Любу назад до Альберти! 

UCC-APC thanks Yo Baba Ukrainian Foods for sponsoring Comedy Time with Luba Goy! Yo Baba provides the best tasting, highest quality, handmade Ukrainian food available!

We asked Luba Goy what does it mean to be Ukrainian-Canadian and why is it important to stay true to your roots? We live in a beautiful country of Canada where multiculturalism is celebrated and welcomed. Watch this video to hear what our accomplished Canadian actress has to say about her personal views on this topic.

Dance Performances

Tryzub Dance Society Performance

One aspect of our past Ukrainian Day Festivals that will be missed is the electric energy and excitement from live Ukrainian dance performances. To fill the void, we present video clips of the Tryzub Ukrainian Dance Society from Calgary, Alberta! Цього вечора ми представляємо відео танцювального ансамблю “Тризуб”!

August 23, 2020, @ 3 PM Solo and Duet Performances the Alberta Ukrainian Dance Association is hosting a solo and duet performance hour to showcase dancers who were unable to present their skills at competitions and shows this year! Please give a round of applause to all the amazing dancers! В цьому відео-виступі, ми раді привітати молодих танцюристів із цілої Альберти! Молодці!

Online Ukrainian Dance Masterclasses

Presented by Alberta Ukrainian Dance Association (AUDA), UCC-APC and our amazing sponsors. We’ve prepared something for every age group! Check out the schedule and class descriptions, so you don’t miss anything!

Virtual Preschool Dance Class taught by Kayla Devaux from Kvitka Red Deer Canadian Ukrainian Dance Club. Kvitka is a Red Deer Ukrainian Dance Club that has been registered since 1986! They offer weekly Ukrainian Dance classes for individuals of all ages. Kayla Devaux brings us a preschool Ukrainian dance class ages 3-5! Приготуйтеся танцювати!

Virtual Ukrainian Dance Class combination for ages 14+ taught by Ballet Master Vasyl Kanevets. This virtual dance class is brought to you by Vasyl Kenevets, a distinguished teacher of Ukrainian dance, classical ballet, character dance, and classical dance history. Vasyl is originally from Kyiv, Ukraine, where he completed his Honours level Ballet Master’s Degree. Back in 2017, he received the Ukrainian Dance Instructor of the Year Award from Ukrainian Dance World magazine! Ми сподіваємося, що вам сподобається цей Майстер Клас від талановитого Василя Каневеця!

Dance Class – Barre and Center work for ages 12-15 taught by Mykola Kanevets from Cheremosh School of Dance. The Cheremosh Academy of Dance of Edmonton, Alberta, was founded in 1969 by Chester and Luba Kuc. Named after the Cheremosh River that separates the regions of Bukovyna and Halychyna in Ukraine, the Company easily matches the river’s boisterousness and vivacity. Join today as Cheremosh teaches barre work and a centre class. This masterclass is presented by Lamont County. Thank you for supporting our community!

Dance Class – Seniors Can Shumka Masterclass presented by Ukrainian Shumka Dancers. Get your dance boots on! As part of our Performance Series, we are excited to bring you a Shumka dance masterclass designed for seniors! Seniors Can Shumka began in 2016 and offers seniors the opportunity to enjoy Ukrainian music and movement in a weekly program of fitness and fun! Час танцювати!

Paint Night Party 

 We all missed those great paint nights with friends at art centres and our favourite pubs. The pandemic has taught us to be creative (to say the least!). We invite you and your friends to organize your private paint party in the comfort of your home. On August 21, 2020, at 6 PM MST, join us for a live session with Alexis Alford. You can find the event on our Facebook page. We will be going live at 6 PM!

Alexis grew up immersed in the Ukrainian art community, participating in Ukrainian dance since the age of five, and attending shows, banquets, and art exhibitions centred around the Ukrainian-Canadian experience. Alexis draws inspiration for her art from nature, combining flowers and mountains with bright colours to create fun pieces of artwork. Alexis uses multiple mediums but prefers to work with acrylics, ink, and digital programs. She believes that art can help illustrate a story that can otherwise not be conveyed with words, and she is looking forward to a fun evening to create beautiful pieces of artwork together!

Vocal Entertainment 

The Verkhovyna Choir with the Dunai dancers make-up the Verkhovyna Ukrainian Song and Dance Ensemble; the cultural arm of the Edmonton Branch of the Ukrainian Youth Association (CYM).  Members of the Verkhovyna Choir created this COVID-19 Isolation Video. Члени хору “Верховина” з м. Едмонтон, Канада співають удома під час карантину,  запровадженого з метою протидії поширенню коронавірусної інфекції COVID-19. We hope you enjoy this quaran-tune!

Neech Band/ Ніч meaning “Night” is an up and coming Ukrainian band based out of the St. Albert / Camrose area consisting of a very skilled and diverse group of musicians, passionate about Ukrainian culture and the community that surrounds it. The musicians come from various Ukrainian music groups, having experience in jazz, Latin, country and much more. Neech is sure to provide a fresh and new sound for not only the Ukrainian listener but for anyone who enjoys a good polka! 

Neech band is passionate about bringing music to a wide audience and is dedicated to taking the Ukrainian community by storm. Neech is @David Skubleny (Drums/Vocals), @Skyler Hoffos (Violin/Vocals), @Mitchell Palahniuk (Saxophone/Keyboards/Vocals), @Travis Dolter (Guitar/Vocals), and @Kevin Bekevich (Bass). Enjoy their music!

Ruta Ukrainian Music Ensemble is a folk music ensemble dedicated to presenting unique Ukrainian music and vocal techniques. These young women tell ancient stories of love, heartbreak, and other various life lessons through song. We hope you enjoy their beautiful voices!

The vocal performances were made possible with support from the Ukraine Millenium Foundation! Щиро Вам дякуємо за підтримку нашого фестивалю! 

Check out this International Ukrainian Hour playlist we’ve prepared for you!

Children’s Play

As part of our Performance Series, we present a feature play performed by the Ukrainian Children’s Theater Studio Dzherelo! Драматична студія Джерело презентує дитячу виставу за мотивами казки “Жив був Пес”! Тут можна знайти більше інформації про драматичну студію Джерело:

Big thank you to the Ukraine Millenium Foundation for presenting this children’s play! 

Roots Series

Roots Series 

This unique series featuring the art of homesteading, entrepreneurial stories, original videos and interviews with outstanding Ukrainian individuals in Alberta and children’s storytelling with famous individuals in Alberta. We are also using an opportunity to showcase the diversity and incredible accomplishments of UCC-APC member-organizations.

UCC-APC wishes to express our gratitude to the Ukrainian Catholic Brotherhood of Canada – Alberta Branch for sponsoring our Roots Series. Your organization helped us deliver so much history and traditions to the viewers of the Ukrainian Days 2020 Online Festival! Низький Вам уклін! 

Children’s Storytime

As part of our Roots Series, we are hosting three children’s storytimes during the Ukrainian Days Festival. We wanted to include kids in the festivities and engage them in both English And Ukrainian.

“The Ear of Wheat” is a traditional folk tale retold and illustrated by Olha Tkachenko. This story will be read by Olia Myc, who recently won аn award for “Best Teacher of Ukrainian Language Abroad 2019–20” from the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine. 

Сьогодні представляємо нашу першу дитячу казку, “Колосок”, яку читає пані Оля Миц. Це чудова, повчальна українська народна казка, яка ніколи не тратить своєї актуальності. 

Olia Myc is the President of the Ridna Shkola Ukrainian Saturday Heritage Language School of Edmonton. She is an extremely accomplished teacher, recently receiving the honour of “The Best Teacher of the Ukrainian Language Abroad” for 2019/2020 by the Ministry of Education of Ukraine.

To purchase this book, please visit! © Olha Tkachenko, Edited by Tim Friesen. Published by Little Big Me Publishing, 2017

“The Little Whale” is written by Natalia Chub, read in Ukrainian by Oleksandr DanyleikoMи представляємо казку “Маленький Кит”, автор Наталiя Чуб, яку читає, Генеральний консул України в Едмонтоні Олександр Данилейко. Головний герой—маленький кит, який дуже хотів знайти собі друзів, захищати слабких, і допомагати тим, хто потрапив у біду. 

Oleksandr Danyleiko is the Consul General of Ukraine in Edmonton. He is a great support to the Ukrainian Community and is also a creative and talented musician playing the guitar, ukulele and other instruments!

ⒸАвтор Наталия Чуб, Видавництво “Ранок”.  Visit for more children’s books like this one!

“Courageous Dora” is written by Lyrissa Sheptak and illustrated by Victoriia Ilnytska. This special story was born after the research of the Stelmach family ancestral home which now stands at the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village in Lamont County, Alberta. “Courageous Dora” is read in the Stelmach House by former Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach himself! The illustrations were inspired by the artifacts found in the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village and the Stelmch ancestral home. Stay tuned for more information about this book! 

Ed Stelmach was Alberta’s 13th Premier and the first Alberta Premier of Ukrainian origin. He is a recipient of the Alberta Order of Excellence, and currently is the Chair of the Board of Directors for Covenant Health. To this day, he continues to farm the land that his grandparents settled on in the late 1800s.

UCC Member Spotlight 

Every day throughout our festival we will be featuring our valued member organizations. UCC-APC has 18 member-organizations. They represent the diversity within our Ukrainian community in Alberta. Our members are our key resource, they are the voice of the groups they serve. Each organization has a unique stream of work — whether it is business, education, language, arts or culture, they stay true to their mandate. We will be introducing short one-minute clips about each group — why they exist and why you should care. We hope this will ignite your curiosity and you will dig deeper to learn more about their work and get involved.

Let us introduce you to:

  • Alberta Ukrainian Self-Reliance League (AUSRL) supports the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada and the growth of the Ukrainian Heritage in Alberta and facilitates education, instruction, training and research in areas of Canadian history, cultural heritage and cultural diversity for all Albertans. Watch member spotlight video here
  • Alberta Foundation for the Ukrainian Education Society (AFUES) supports the development of Ukrainian language education in order to foster and promote positive social and cultural identity within Canada’s diverse mosaic. Watch member spotlight video here
  • Alberta Ukrainian Dance Association (AUDA) is committed to being responsive to changing expressions of Ukrainian dance and dance training, to changing needs of the dance community they serve, and to taking the lead in recognizing cultural inclusion influenced by the social and demographic richness of Alberta today. Watch member spotlight video here
  • Ukrainian Resource and Development Center at Grant MacEwan University (URDC) is engaged in a number of initiatives promoting community development and intercultural dialogue. They develop and carry out provincial, national and international projects linking MacEwan to the Ukrainian Canadian community and universities in Ukraine and Eastern Europe. Watch member spotlight video here
  • Alberta Council for the Ukrainian Arts (ACUA) is a non-profit Ukrainian arts organization whose mandate is to facilitate and encourage greater appreciation and awareness of the Ukrainian arts and their cultural significance to the greater Alberta community. Watch member spotlight video here.  
  • Friends of Ukrainian Village Society (FOUVS) is a non-profit charitable organization whose mission is to provide strong and visionary leadership in preserving Ukrainian Canadian history and heritage so that present and future generations can enjoy and understand an authentic pioneer experience. They provide essential services and financial support to the preservation of the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village. Watch member spotlight video here.  
  • Ukrainian Catholic Schools Ukrainian Bilingual Parent’s Advisory Society (UBPAS) is a non-profit organization, operated by a Board of Directors who are parent volunteers. The Society supports the Ukrainian Catholic program in Edmonton from kindergarten to grade 12. Watch member spotlight video here.
  • Alberta Ukraine Chamber of Commerce (AUCC) is a private initiative whose main purpose is to develop economic and social relations between the province of Alberta and Ukraine. The chamber facilitates trade and investment relations, sponsors trade missions, seminars and trade conferences, as well as provides access to specific areas of business expertise and consulting resources for business. Watch member spotlight video here.
  • Edmonton Eparchial Ukrainian Catholic Women’s League of Canada (UCWLC) commitment to the mission of the Church is dedicated to providing the resources that allow its members to realize their own true vocation, and live an authentic Christian life as contributing members to the Church and society. Watch member spotlight video here.
  • Ukrainian Catholic Brotherhood of Canada- Alberta Branch (UCBC) stands as an active participant in the work of the church, supporting the heritage of religious growth in our nation. Watch member spotlight video here.
  • Bishop Budka Eparchial Stewardship Society is an organization that provides aid to Ukrainian communities in need around the world. It has helped support building playgrounds, treatment centres in Brazil, Argentina, Bosnia, Ukraine and other places. Watch member spotlight video here.
  • Ukrainian Canadian Congress – Edmonton Branch (UCC-Edmonton) is a non-profit umbrella organization that unites, supports & promotes Ukrainian educational, cultural, political, social, business and recreational interests and raises awareness for the greater Edmonton community at large. Watch member spotlight video here.
  • Ukrainian Canadian Congress – Calgary Branch (UCC-Calgary) serves as the umbrella organization for over 30 Ukrainian organizations in the city and works with them to promote the Ukrainian culture and language to Ukrainians and non-Ukrainians alike. Watch member spotlight video here.
  • Ukrainian Canadian Social Services (UCSS) provides culturally and linguistically sensitive social support services, and social and recreational group programs, based on identified community needs. UCSS works together with other community service providers to maximize benefits to members of the community and encourages volunteerism in the community. Watch member spotlight video here.

Want to learn more about us? Check out this one-minute video!

Keeping the Arts of Homesteading Alive

The art of homesteading was important to Ukrainian pioneers. As a part of our Roots series, we wanted to feature some Ukrainian Albertans who continue to honour these traditions. Під час нашого фестивалю ми будемо показувати традиційне мистецтво, яке використовували багато українських піонерів. 

Beekeeping – бджільництво. We present Johnnie Samycia and Ken Solomon, two local beekeepers from the Edmonton area. These two experts will share their knowledge about various species of bees as well as insight on the labour involved to keep the hives buzzing!

Blacksmithing – ковальство. The pioneer practice of homesteading has evolved into a true art form. Evidence of this evolution is the craftsmanship of ACUA artist Skyler Hoffos! Homegrown in Myrnam Alberta, Skyler’s Ukrainian roots have influenced all aspects of his artwork from traditional colours, movement, music, and dance. His artistry spreads across the mediums of sculpting, blacksmithing, leatherwork, as well as woodwork. Please enjoy this fascinating interview! Сподіваємось що вам сподобається цей інтерв’ю про шкіряні вироби, столярні вироби, та ковальство.

Foraging – збирання грибів.  Food security was an important part of Ukrainian pioneers’ lives. Many generations continue this tradition. Whether it’s for morel mushrooms, Saskatoon berries, wild blueberries, strawberries and raspberries on the Prairies, huckleberries and young stinging nettle, foraging can net you a wide variety of food. Foraging also brings more time in nature, as well as the thrill of seeking and finding. If you’re a city dweller or don’t come from a lineage of gatherers, don’t fret. To continue this part of our Roots series, enjoy this interview featuring Michelle Whitehead from Untamed Feast. Untamed Feast is a company that harvests and distributes wild food, including mushrooms!

Thank you to Plast – Edmonton for supporting our Art of Homesteading episodes! We know this component of Ukrainian traditions has a big value for our young scouts! 

Independence Day

Videos about Ukraine’s independence, local vocal and musical talents and performance from Ukraine!

Our community responded with encouragement and excitement to add Ukrainian’s Independence Day celebration to the Ukrainian Day Festival. To honour Ukraine’s long fight for independence, we have created a YouTube playlist containing a variety of informative videos in Ukrainian and English about Ukrainian history and independence. Please see the playlist here. We also prepared children’s playlist with an educational and fun video. Please see the playlist here.

Thank you to Don Iveson, Mayor of Edmonton, for his special greetings and the proclamation of the Ukrainian Week in Edmonton!

Our festival will end with an exclusive performance from Ukraine. UCC-Alberta is so excited to have Ukrainian folk group Shpylyasti kobzari playing for Ukrainian Days 2020! They will be playing a set followed by a Q&A session. Shpylyasti kobzari play banduras, traditional Ukrainian string instruments, playing abroad to promote Ukrainian culture, and at home to promote bandura. You can can view the Q&A here.

Combining folk songs with modern music such as jazz, rock, electro house and hip-hop, famous dance hits or retro songs, Shpylyasti Kobzari promotes Ukrainian culture – among local audiences as well as abroad. Apart from Ukraine, the band has toured about 20 countries: USA, Denmark, Belgium, France, Great Britain, Germany, Poland, Canada, Spain, Italy, Hungary, Austria, Iran, Switzerland, Lebanon, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and even China.

UCC-Alberta раді презентувати український гурт “Шпилясті кобзарі” на фестивалі Ukrainian Days 2020!  “Шпилясті кобзарі” – гурт колоритних та завзятих музикантів, що виконують свій репертуар на українській бандурі, популяризуючи традиційний струнний інструмент в Україні та закордоном.

“Шпилясті кобзарі” шанують народну пісню і ставлять за мету зберегти і популяризувати справжність української народної музики. У той же час, вони експериментують з народною творчістю, додаючи їй нових, сучасни барв, оскільки саме в цьому бачать майбутнє. За дев’ять років своєї діяльності бандуристи відвідали з виступами понад 20 країн: США, Данію, Бельгію, Францію, Великобританію, Німеччину, Польщу, Канаду, Іспанію, Італію, Угорщину, Австрію, Іран, Швейцарію, Ліван, Королівство Саудівська Аравія та навіть Китай.

The Independence Day performance by Shpyliasti Kobzari was brought to you by Ukrainian Bilingual Parent Advisory Society (UBPAS). Thank you for helping our children on their learning journey and supporting Ukrainian Catholic education in Edmonton! 

Help Shpyliasti Kobzari spread their musical talent! Support the band in their vision – Бандура це круто (Bandura is cool)! All donations* will be sent to Shpyliasti Kobzari. Every contribution will receive a special video message from the performers! Щиро дякуємо за Вашу підтримку!


*As the donations will be transferred to Shpyliasti Kobzari in Ukraine, UCC-APC will not be able to issue a tax receipt.

#UADays2020 #ukrainiancanadian #onlinefestival #independence

Thank you to our event sponsors!

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