2016 Entertainment Line-Up
Note: Performer listing is subject to
Headlining Performer from Ukraine: Antytila
Although music belonging to Argentina’s folklore is often disparaged, it gathers a wide range of wealthy forms. A few great
artists were and still are fervent defenders of this diversity revealing it in their country and worldwide. Chango Spasiuk is one of them, the unquestionable chamamé ’s master, known by all in South America.
Grandson of Ukrainians migrants, he was soon surrounded by eastern Europeans musical influences combined with chamamé . Indeed his father, a violinist, and his brother, a guitarist and singer, used to host wedding receptions and other balls in their hometown. He received his first accordion as a gift from his parents at the age of 12. “I’ve learned to play accordion away from conservatoires”, he says. “The day my father gave me my first instrument, I’ve never stopped playing it”. Soon recognized as a virtuoso, Chango Spasiuk could have settled for week-end dances animation and he would have made a pretty decent living out of it. He rather chose, without denying the tradition, to push back the limits of the artistic style. He is now a regular guest for Argentinean rock stars and he is a worldwide performer who overcame Argentina’s cliché of only being a land for tango.
Marta Czurylowicz - Master of Ceremonies
Marta Czurylowicz is an up-and-coming journalist and a well-known figure in Toronto’s Ukrainian community. She has been the host of Canada’s Ukrainian channel, KONTAKT, for 4 years. Marta is very involved with her Ukrainian roots. Along with hosting the weekly program, Marta taught traditional dance at Barvinok Ukrainian Dance School, where she danced in the ensemble. She had the privilege of playing a role in Ukraine’s history as a Canadian election observer for both the presidential elections in May 2014, and the parliamentary elections in October 2014. Marta has hosted numerous events including Toronto’s Ukrainian Festival in Bloor West Village; Rock, Reforms and Relief: A Weekend for Ukraine where she co-hosted with Michael Schur, a popular comedian in Ukraine, Soyuzivka’s Cultural Festival, where she co-hosted with Sergiy Fomenko of Mandry and the Ukraine-Kyiv Pavilion at Folklorama in Winnipeg. She has worked for a number of Canadian news outlets, including Sun News Network, where she was Michael Coren’s chase producer. Currently Marta is based in Winnipeg, Manitoba where she works as a web video journalist and digital content editor at CTV Winnipeg.
Julia Drozdowsky - Master of Ceremonies
Julia Drozdowsky is an improviser, actor, emcee and writer from Toronto. As the former host of the Ukrainian program, Kontakt on OMNI TV, Julia is thrilled to return as an emcee to the Bloor Street Festival. You can see her perform improv, political satire and sketch comedy on various stages across Ontario. She is a member of the troupe, The Casuals, and writes for various groupes in Toronto.
Juliana Haras - Master of Ceremonies
Hailing from Saskatoon’s vibrant Ukrainian community, Juliana grew up in a family of anthropologists that instilled in her an appreciation of the values, mindsets, and customs that shape a culture – along with a deep-seated love for the richness of her own. Of Bukovynian descent, Уляна speaks 5 languages, has traveled extensively through Europe, Latin America, and Asia, and has had the opportunity to study, work, and volunteer in Ukraine, France, Germany, China, Mexico, El Salvador, and Argentina.
A graduate of Queen’s University, Уляна holds degrees in economics, education, and public administration and has spent the opening years of her career supporting the internationalization of Canada's economic and educational fabric – helping to make sense of, and manage, economic and political risks with Export Development Canada and, having moved here from Ottawa last year, to develop and implement the University of Toronto’s international strategy.
Fond of open-air museums, writing, and the performing arts, Уляна spent much of her formative years on stage – reciting poetry, playing bandura and piano, acting, dancing, and singing. Her passion for heritage festivals grew out of living the energy of Vegreville and Dauphin every summer growing up, as well as volunteering at Saskatoon’s Vesna Festival and Folkfest, Ottawa’s Capital Ukrainian Festival, le Festival Ukrainien de Montréal, and our very own Toronto Ukrainian Festival. Having MC'd many an event over the years, Уляна is delighted to be sharing a dose of that spirit from the TUF stage.
Borys Sirskyj - Master of Ceremonies
Borys Sirskyj was born in Thunder Bay on September 30, 1953. He completed his University Education by obtaining a B.A. Degree in Philosophy (1975) (University of Waterloo); Hon. B.A., in Political Science (1976) (University of Waterloo) and an M.A. Degree in Political Science (1978) (McMaster University – Hamilton).
Borys began his career with the Federal Government in 1979 when he became Executive Assistant to Senator Paul Yuzyk, remaining with the Senator till 1985. In 1986 he joined the Solicitor General’s Department where he has been till the present Day. Sirskyj was posted to the Canadian Embassy in Vienna, Austria between 1995-1999.
Borys is married to Marika and they have three children: Danylo, Tetiana and Adriana, all university graduates. Borys has been active in the Ukrainian community for over 35 years in Plast – Ukrainian Youth Association, the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, History teacher -Kursy Ukrayinoznavstva (Ukrainian High School Courses, Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Commission, etc. He has also MC’d many community Events, including the Toronto Ukrainian Festival (for over 15 years); the Ukrainian Festival in Vegreville, Alta; and the CNUF in Dauphin, Man.
Anya Yablonska - Master of Ceremonies
Anya Yablonska was born and raised in Ukraine and moved to Canada in 2009. She was introduced to Canada through Canada-Ukraine Parliamentary Program in 2006. Anya holds Masters Degree in Communications from the University of Ottawa and a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from Ukraine. Toronto is now home for Anya, where she is n active member of Ukrainian community.
Performers are subject to change. Greater Toronto Area performers supported by the
Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage Program, Department of Canadian Heritage.
Yarko Antonevych is a native Torontonian, the son of Ukrainian and German immigrants, who came to Canada after World War Two. At the age of ten, he started studying the bandura, becoming the youngest member of the Hnat Khotkevych Bandurist Ensemble. He was taught by such great bandurysts as Msrs. Petro and the late Hryhory Kytasty, director of the Ukrainian Bandurist Chorus.
Yarko then enrolled in a BFA program at Florida Atlantic University, where he studied classical guitar and jazz. He continued to employ new rhythmic and harmonic techniques with modern music theory to expand the scope of his beloved bandura. Yarko’s music is avant-garde in that it gives Ukrainian traditional pieces a modern twist. He calls it “ethnic fusion.”
In 1986, Yarko was one of a handful of Toronto musicians licensed by the Toronto Transit Commission to play in the subways, where he continues the kobzar tradition.
Yarko has brought the bandura into the 21st century. He follows in the traditions of his musical ancestors, while also being “in tune” with his times.
Arkan Dance Company
The Arkan Dance Company was launched as the performing ensemble of the Ukrainian Academy of Dance. Since their formation, Arkan has performed at international festivals in the United States, Taiwan, Brazil, Mexico, Turkey, China, Italy, Korea and Ukraine. Arkan has also performed at Canada’s National Ukrainian Festival in Dauphin, Manitoba, Drummondville, Quebec and Nova Scotia. In 2000, Arkan was selected as semi finalists in the Canada – wide YTV Youth Achievement Awards. Arkan was also commissioned to create two different interpretive modern ballets about Scythian and Trypillian cultures for the Royal Ontario Museum. Arkan is proud to have represented Canada and Ukraine at many international festivals sponsored by UNESCO (CIOFF). Arkan also created an original piece about Ukraine’s adoption of Christianity that was debuted at the Living Arts Centre at a gala honouring the visit of Ukraine’s Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk.
Barvinok Dance Ensemble
Forty seven years ago, Barvinok Ukrainian Dance School, with just a handful of dedicated dancers, had its humble beginnings in the church basement of St. Mary's Ukrainian Catholic Church in Mississauga. Just as Mississauga has grown into a major city, Barvinok has flourished. Now Barvinok provides dance instructions to almost 450 dancers from 5 to 32 years olds.
Barvinok Ukrainian Dance School is recognized for excellence in Ukrainian dance, representing Canada and the Ukrainian community at international festivals around the world. Over years Barvinok showcased the strength of Ukrainian culture in Canada to the communities in USA, Portugal, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Czech, Slovenia, Slovakia, Poland and so many times in Ukraine.
Devoted to maintaining Ukrainian heritage and identity in Canada throughout the variety of regional dance styles and ornate costumes, combined with the energy of the performers, Barvinok has earned a reputation as a dynamic group of young performers who, through their enthusiasm and passion for Ukrainian culture, bring the joy through vibrant and thrilling spectacle on stage.
Chaban Ukrainian Dance Group
Chaban Ukrainian Dance Group, of Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada, offers an extensive repertoire of traditional and stylized Ukrainian dance from many regions of Ukraine, and is a leader in the development of Ukrainian dance, costuming, and the preservation of Ukrainian heritage. Chaban’s 100 plus dancers, ages 4 to over 40, come from many different ethnic backgrounds and varied dance ability, from novice to experienced. Chaban typically tours with its Ensemble Group. Chaban’s instructors have been trained in Ukraine, Canada, and the United States. Several instructors are also trained and certified in Dance Curriculum from the Shumka School of Dance. Chaban’s Artistic Director, Cathy Paroschy-Harris, holds certification as Ballet Master Coach and Choreographer from the Ukrainian Academy of Dance in Lviv, Ukraine. For 35 years, Chaban has been making significant contributions to Ukrainian dancing in Thunder Bay and area, and has entertained and dazzled audiences throughout Canada, the United States, Spain, and Ukraine. Chaban is a not-for-profit organization that works closely with the community at festivals and charitable events, and entertains crowds year round with performances at nursing homes, birthday and anniversary parties, weddings, and conventions.
For 40 years DESNA has dazzled audiences throughout Canada, the U.S. and abroad with a wide repertoire of Ukrainian dance. Under the direction of Virsky-trained Yuri & Luba Grekov, DESNA presents technically demanding and exhilarating dances accented by exquisite costumes and diverse music. This celebration of movement creates a vibrant spectacle for all audiences to enjoy. DESNA’s repertoire consists of various traditional dances including Hutsul, Bukovynian, Volyn, Kozachok and Hopak. The company believes that tradition can be acclaimed and broadened by contrasting fresh and diverse styles of dance. DESNA owns a series of unique numbers including Canadian Country Dance, South African Miners’ Dance, Gypsy, and various comedic acts. Desna is excited to be part of the Ukrainian Festival once again this year. Make sure to stop by the Runnymede stage every hour throughout the weekend for a dance lesson as the company teaches some basic combinations and steps! See you there!
DoVira [do-VEE-ruh] is a Canadian world fusion group that integrates Ukrainian and Eastern European folk music with contemporary arrangements, electronic textures, and other music influences from around the World.
Co-led by Ukrainian-born pianist Stacey Yerofeyeva and bassist Mark Rynkun, the group also features sopilka virtuoso Mike Romaniak, guitarist Patrick O'Reilly, and drummer/percussionist Derek Gray.
DoVira, whose name translates to 'trust' in Ukrainian, released their first EP ’Obrys' (or 'Outline') in 2014. The EP featured re-mastered versions of their successful debut singles 'Nese Halya Vodu’, 'Oy Chyj To Kin' Stoyit', and 'Yihav Kozak Mistom' (currently celebrating over 35,000 views on YouTube)
Fresh off a tour in Indonesia with Arkan Dance Ensemble, DoVira is getting ready to debut their first full-length album, self-titled as ‘DoVira’ in the fall of 2016. The CD is available exclusively at the Toronto Ukrainian Festival for the weekend only. For more information, stay tuned to doviraband.com or facebook.com/doviraband
The band Dunai is excited to be back at this year’s festival to promote their newly released album “Dunai 3”. As with their prior recordings the material is very diverse encompassing many different genres. The events unfolding in Ukraine over the last few years have greatly influenced the bands writing. Dunai’s rendition of "Shchedryk" (Carol of the Bells) was included in the video rotations at the Maidan in Kyiv. Dunai’s recent album also includes the Beatles recording “Revolution”, including two versions: “Revolution”, by The Beatles and “Ukrayino, Vstavay!” (Arise, Ukraine!), sharing the views, frustration, and determination of all Ukrainian people. The band has also been involved in nuberous fund raising campaigns for injured Ukrainian soldiers. Dunai has always taken a creative approach to their music, always searching for an original and innovative musical approach. “I Searched The World” their first release, rose to critical acclaim which sparked many years of performing throughout Canada and the United States. Their second release “Soundscape” continued to fuel live performances at all major festivals and private events. Dunai continues to pursue their passion to create, record and perform their own brand of Ukrainian music with the goal of progressing contemporary Ukrainian music. The members include: Alex Fesiak (lead vocals, accordion, keyboards), Ihor Zowtonizka (guitars, vocals), Steve Sherman (guitars, vocals), Yar Haluk (drums), Kevin Goss (saxophones) and Ruslan Nebesov (Violin).
Ukrainians around the world have been enjoying Olya’s music for over 25 years. This multi-talented vocalist & accomplished bandura instrumentalist has performed throughout the U.S. & Canada at numerous festivals, interactive children’s shows & concerts including Lincoln Center in NYC, Bloor Street Festival in Toronto, The Bushnell Theatre in CT, Chicago & Rochester Ukrainian Festivals, Soyuzivka, Garden State Arts Center, Eisenhower Park and the United Nations International Citizens World Music Concert.
This year, Olya celebrates her 10th Anniversary of her very popular Ukrainian Children’s CD “Shcho za Hamir” and 5th Anniversary of Olya’s Ukrainian Christmas CD “Vozveselimsia” (Rejoice). Both CD’s were recorded with the very talented & gifted Slau Halatyn of NYC.
As a former member of the Homin Stepiv Bandura Ensemble, Promin Vocal Ensemble, Syzokryli dancer (Roma Pryma Bohachevsky Dance School), Olya is honored to celebrate & share her heritage and culture on stage with a new generation of Ukrainian dancers and musicians. In addition to Olya’s solo musical career, Olya is a part of the Yevshan Vocal Ensemble & the newly formed Ukrainian Women’s Bandura Ensemble of North America. During the school year, Olya is a certified elementary school music teacher, and this summer she will be teaching for the 6th year at the “Bandura at Bobriwka” Workshop in Colebrook, CT.
Growing up in New York City and performing for many years throughout North America, Olya is excited to be returning to the Toronto Ukrainian Festival to share her love of Ukrainian music with you! Visit her website at www.olyafryz.com
Just a few years ago, a group of young and motivated individuals came together to comprise the Kalyna Dance Ensemble, based in Hamilton, Ontario. With just a hand full of dedicated dancers, Kalyna has flourished into a recognizable and respectable group whose humble beginnings allow them to be fine representatives of Ukrainian-Canadian youth.
By performing at countless weddings, festivals, Malankas and fund-raisers across Ontario and Quebec, Kalyna is devoted to fostering Ukrainian tradition through dance. These life-long performers of Ukrainian dance continue to excite audiences while strengthening their Ukrainian identity and expanding cultural diversity. As this ensemble continues to take part in a multitude of functions and events, their passion and enthusiasm are demonstrated in each performance.
Kolizhanky - Friends - drawn together by their love of pure, rural songs of Ukrainian village women.
Kolizhanky's harmonies bring to life village songs of work, love, nature and ancient rituals. Enticing and enchanting, Kolizhanky tell life stories a cappella in a style characterized as natural purity, organic and communal.
This group of spirited ladies began singing together in early 2015 and enjoy performing at Ottawa community events. They are proud and excited to be showcasing their repertoire at the Toronto Ukrainian Festival this year.
Korinya (which means “roots” in English), is a young band from the Ukrainian diaspora that has been performing in the U.S. and Canada since 2005. Since then, Korinya has performed several times in Ukraine, and in 2012 earned the title of National Artists of Ukraine by winning 1st place at the Boyko Festival. In 2013 they released their first self-titled recording and are currently working on releasing a second album. This young band presents Ukrainian folk music in a fresh, grassroots way. Hear the voices of the steppes, the cheerful melody of the sopilka, and the strong, soulful fiddle playing that tie this young band to their Ukrainian roots. Members include Sana Shepko (violin), Zoya Shepko (accordion), Alina Kuzma (vocals), Maria Pleshkevich (percussion), and Stefan Shepko (sopilka).
Our Toronto based Trio LIRA consists of Roma, Vera and Ivanka.
We came together in 2013 and collectively, our Trio has performed at many and varied venues including this Toronto Ukrainian Festival, the Mississauga and Oakville Festivals, various private concerts in the GTA and also Christmas events. Our repertoire includes not only traditional and modern Ukrainian music, but also English songs and classical pieces.
This year we have put all of our focus into recording and completing our first full-length CD which will be available for the first time at the Toronto Festival 2016 !
Music is our passion, and performing in this Trio has been and continues to be an amazing experience !
The Lisapetny Battalion project and Natalia Falion have won one of the most popular Ukrainian talent shows in 2013. The fact is quite telling. At least, this means that our audience requires light and straightforward entertainment – no wonder, since the current life in Ukraine does not often inspire cheerful thinking. Well, and light – one might even say frivolous – songs do make one smile. Those who are droopy get cheered up, intellectuals get outraged. The glamorous should be scared because when such mocking kitsch starts being spread in the country, it means that people have already got somewhat tired. But what might be the consequences of such fatigue – who knows... Well, anyway, the disk "So Fine" is really able to entertain, so if you are looking for something funny and inflammatory – this will be an apt choice.
Mandrivka a new and energetic Ukrainian party band from Toronto was established in the fall of 2015. The band is formed of musicians with diverse backgrounds ranging from traditional Ukrainian, country, folk, rock, latin and classical styles. With every performance Mandrivka strives to engage its audiences on a musical journey. Over the years its members have performed at weddings, dances, festivals, clubs, cruise ships and concerts throughout Canada and the USA. The band is currently recording their first CD which will be available in 2017, for updates visit www.mandrivkaband.com. We look forward to playing at your next event, Mandrivka's music will make it impossible for you to stay seated! Come join our musical Journey.
Orlyk was established in 1949 and is the Representative Dance Ensemble of the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain (AUGB). Since the beginning, it has been Orlyk's aim to share Ukraine’s rich culture and history with others, performing both in the UK and abroad to keep this significant part of our heritage alive throughout the generations.
We are extremely privileged to remain one of few dance groups that perform to live Ukrainian Folk Music. Our vast repertoire of dances combines harmonic melodies and punchy rhythms that are sure to get your feet tapping along! Our dancers and musicians also perform in authentic handmade costumes which reflect the different regions of Ukraine.
Orlyk last toured North America and Canada in the 1970’s and returning after over 38 years is an incredible opportunity to interact with Ukrainians from around the world and celebrate Ukraine’s 25 years of independence - particularly as Orlyk were on a tour of Ukraine when, on the 24th August 1991 (in mid-concert in Boryslav), the country declared its independence from the USSR!
Orlyk is a unique act of Ukrainian Folklore and its original and traditional folk dancing style fits perfectly with the Festival’s vision of re-affirming pride in Ukrainian heritage – please visit www.orlyk.co.uk for more details.
The band Otava from Ternopil is a group who sing and perform a creative fusion of traditional Ukrainian and Lemko folk songs with a modern twist, as well as carols and hayivky, Cossack songs and songs of a spiritual nature. Not to be mistaken with the city Ottawa, ‘Otava’ in Ukrainian is a word used to describe young grass shoots that sprout after the first mowing and regardless of how often it is mowed, it will always grow! This symbolizes our group, our people and our Ukrainian song! Their talent came to light when they recorded a CD of the Holy Liturgy. A highlight of the band is a capella polyphonic singing, combined with arrangements, producing a unique and unforgettable experience for listeners. The artists’ aim and philosophy is to promote Ukrainian pop song, folk and spiritual music. The band "Otava" portrays its talent and work beyond the cities of Ukraine. They have graced audiences in Poland, Germany, France, Belgium, Italy and more recently, in Canada.
Lesya and Anatoliy Padalko
Lesya and Anatoliy Padalko have been writing poems and songs for a long time, but only after Maidan did they start to sing as a duo. As independent artists, in 2015 they released their first album “Kulya, shcho vbyla mene…” It was sold to collect money for the injured soldiers and was also distributed to ATO and hospitals in Ukraine, as well as during the expo organized by the Army SOS in Canada. Their patriotic songs have been performed on the Ukrainian national radio in different programs, as well as on Ukrainian stations in Canada. Currently, the duo is working on a new album, which they are planning to release by the end of 2016. Although they performed live on several occasions in the course of the past year, participation in the Ukrainian Festival in September 2016 in Toronto will be their first appearance in front of a large audience.
Vasyl Popadiuk is a classically trained violinist born in Lviv, Ukraine, now living in Ottawa and performing internationally for enthusiastic and admiring audiences. In addition to appearing as a violin soloist, Popadiuk has been the dynamic lead player in the ensemble PAPA DUKE, a group that plays a fusion of Eastern European melodies in an energetic style mixing classic pop, rock, jazz and traditional Slavic and gypsy music.
The musical tradition is strong in the Popadiuk family. His father, the late Vasyl Popadiuk Senior, was a renowned musician and performer, his brother, a violinist, and his mother, a choreographer. Born in Lviv Ukraine, Popadiuk began studying piano at age four and took up the violin at age six. His talents were recognized early and his stage debut at the age of seven left his audience mesmerized by his mature virtuosity. Throughout his childhood Popadiuk performed in Ukraine and Eastern Europe, and also accompanied his father on his tours to Western Germany. While a student, he was at the same time performing with the renowned Nazarov’s Theatre in Moscow and toured with them through Spain, Italy, France and Jordan, where the musicians were invited to perform at one of the late King Hussein’s private family celebrations.
Popadiuk also toured in the United States and Canada with the Hopak Dance Ensemble, a professional dance group of former soloists of the Virsky National Dance Company of Ukraine. He performed in a feature concert at the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics and in 2003 was a semi-finalist in the CBC’s ‘Great Canadian Music Dream Contest’.
In 1997, Popadiuk decided to stay in Canada permanently. Aside from stage performances at numerous events, he complements his violin playing with piano accompaniment for the National Ballet of Canada. Popadiuk is quickly winning over audiences with his intense virtuoso performances. Starting at the Kiev Conservatory of Music at the age of 18, Popadiuk has composed and arranged most of his own material. After years of performing as a solo artist, he assembled a band, which he named “Papa Duke“. Over the years he and his fellow musicians performed in concert and at music festivals in many countries, including USA, Canada, Italy, France, Germany, Jordan, Russia, Poland, Mexico and Ukraine.
Ukrainian Youth Ensemble “Prolisok” was established in the fall of 1996.
“Prolisok” is a unique institution that allows Ukrainian youth to express and share their talent and identify themselves in a meaningful way within the Ukrainian community. Most of the quire members are students with busy school and work schedules who find the time to participate in rehearsals and performances. Similarly to the first Ukrainian settlers who arrived to Canada 125 years ago, this youth is truly dedicated to the preservation of the Ukrainian song and music outside the boarders of their homeland. Musical director Olesia Konyk. Painist Oksana Skira.
With the recent, successful launch of their CD, Sonia Kulycky, Natalia Bedik and Dania Kolanitch of Montreal’s Rossa Trio look forward to performing a varied selection of traditional and contemporary songs in beautiful harmony. Well known within Montreal and Toronto for their performances at various events and festivals, their musical interpretation is sure to capture the hearts of their audience. Members of Plast, CYM and all graduates of the Sheptycky Ukrainian school of Montreal, these 3rd generation Ukrainian Canadian singers promise a great performance.
Ms. Solovianenko's operatic career spans over 10 years of solo performances and company appearances across the globe. An accomplished vocalist and frequent headliner in productions of Ukrainian opera companies, she has performed with the National Academic Choir of Ukraine and has served as a lead vocalist at the prestigious National Organ and Chamber Music Hall. In addition to her stage career, Ms Solovianenko has performed at over 20 international festivals and concert tours in the countries of Eastern and Western Europe, Canada, US, as well as concert tours in Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Chile. In 2010 Ms. Solovianenko was awarded the title of “Distinguished Artist of Ukraine” - a high artistic honor bestowed upon a citizen for artistic contributions to the cultural fabric of the country. A resident of Toronto since 2014, Ms. Solovianenko continues to actively perform throughout Canada and Europe.
Andrey Svyrsa is a professional singer from Ukraine. He graduated from the Conservatory Svirsa in popular and jazz singing. While studying, he gave several jazz concerts with many famous jazz musicians. He also participated in competitions, such as the Double Diploma Jazz Competition. In 2005, he gave a solo debut concert in English. He has also performed in several cities in China and was greeted with great applause from the audience. In 2007, he gave a solo concert in Donetsk. Andrey is a talented singer, composer, poet and musician. His voice range and sense of style make him truly a vocalist without borders.
Acclaimed violinist, Yuri Turchyn, has a highly visible career as a featured premier performer. His unique five-string electric violin and elegantly seductive playing style intertwines highly spirited music genres of classic rock, New Country-inspired Jean Luc Ponty, Gypsy Jazz Swing of Stefan Grappelli with ethnic Ukrainian, Irish, Mediterranean, Afro Cuban, Latin Jazz and World Beat sounds. Remaining deeply rooted in an original music scene at the Jersey Shore while pursuing Gypsy Jazz fervor in Orvieto with Italy’s renowned guitar artists BARTENDER, Turchyn’s multilayered, original compositions raise the bar for impressive, formidable jams in live performances. www.yuriturchyn.com
Tyt i Tam
Тут і Там has been captivating audiences worldwide with their unique and progressive style
of Ukrainian turbofolk
since 2003. Traditional Ukrainian folk songs and melodies combined
with progressive and contemporary rock ska
create Тут і Там’s signature sound. Stacked
with four part
harmonies and electric instrumental work, their creative arrangements and
sincere musicality transcend the studio and contribute to their dynamic live shows.
Made up of Matt Gruza, Steve Kodak, Clint Moroziuk, and siblings Mark and Carissa
Klopoushak, Тут і Там has performed at every major Ukrainian festival across Canada and
internationally in Sydney, Australia. This past July, Тут і Там embarked on a two week
of Ukraine, performing at major music festivals including Atlas Weekend (Kraina Mriy) and
together with Ukrainian superstars Rozhanytsia and Burdon Folk Band.
Тут і Там has released four full length
studio albums, including their newest release, Obriad,
available on iTunes or from the band. www.tytitam.com
Vanguard Marching Band
The Vanguard Concert Marching Band was founded in 1985 by embracing a vision to integrate the Ukrainian and Canadian cultures through its music. The band’s rich repertoire includes a variety of ceremonial, classical, folk, marching, patriotic, and religious music. Its members consist of youth, students, and experienced professionals who are united by their love of music. The Vanguard Concert/Marching Band consists of three internal segments: Instrumental Band, Colour-Guards, and a Junior Drum Corps. Members foster discipline, a feeling of obligation and responsibility, true friendship and a spirit of unity that is continuously and consistently apparent through the quality of musical performance.
Vesnianka, (www.vesnianka.com) which comes from the Ukrainian word meaning “spring”, started with a small group of Ukrainian dancers. Founder, Mr. Mykola Baldeckyj, started Vesnianka with only three dance couples. Having celebrated over 50 years, Vesnianka has grown in numbers and has performed throughout Canada and internationally (France and Switzerland) and has also had the honour of performing for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and then-Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau.
Today, led by Artistic Director Stefan Kuziw, Vesnianka continues to draw enormous amounts of positive energy participating in local Ukrainian events like The Toronto Ukrainian Festival, Mississauga Ukrainian Festival, Ukrainian Independence Day, and the CHIN Picnic in Toronto. The group also involves itself in multi-cultural festivals representing Ukraine. Most recently, Vesnianka was given the honour of performing at the Pan American Opening Ceremonies in Toronto 2015, led by Cirque du Soleil, alongside 20 other cultural dance groups and hundreds of professional performers. Determined to nurture a sense of community, Vesnianka also performs at weddings and hosts numerous community events.
Now in its 28th year, Vohon is praised for its colourful diversity of talent, its amazing ability to transcend the traditional into new cultural landscapes, and its power to ignite the stage from the moment the curtain opens to the final Hopak!
The ensemble from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, is under the artistic direction of Trish Kushniruk and Garrett Nestorowich; together they have over 70 years of dance and instructional experience. Their unique styles combine to provide the dancers with challenging and innovative choreography, including both regional repertoire and character storyline pieces. Under this partnership, the group of over 40 dancers presents a skillful blend of Ukrainian folk dance, ballet, and contemporary dance. The result is a captivating display of experimental Ukrainian Dance that is blazing a remarkable path for the ensemble around the world.
Ken Kachmar, co-founder of Vohon and artistic director, has stepped into a new role as Business and Performance Director for the ensemble. Ken continues to seek exciting performance opportunities for Vohon, providing leadership for the ensemble through expertise earned by years dedicated to the Ukrainian dance community.
Since its inception, Vohon has had the privilege of performing at premier Ukrainian Festivals and other performances across Western Canada, the United States, Australia, Germany, Scotland, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, China, Japan, and most recently Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina in the summer of 2015. Vohon is truly a strong ambassador for Edmonton’s Ukrainian community, as well as for their province and country.
Ruslan Yakoviychuk, born in Bukovуna to a family of musicians, is a brass band orchestra director and trumpet player. He graduated from the Chernivtsi School of Music, Department of Wind Instruments. Life sent him on a different career path, yet music has always remained entrenched in his soul. He composed his first work in 2000, however the recording studio eluded him until much later. Upon immigrating to Canada in 2005, Ruslan started a construction company in Kingston, Ontario. This year Ruslan recorded his first songs and on April 21, 2016 appeared for the first time on stage at the Opera House in Toronto, opening for the popular Ukrainian band Antytila. Ruslan anticipates his first album will come to fruition later this year.
The Yavir School of Ukrainian Dance is currently in their 55th Dance Season. Yavir School of Ukrainian Dance is dedicated to fostering the art and joy of Ukrainian dance in children and youth in a community environment. It has evolved from its humble beginnings in 1962 and emerged as a highly professional dance school, with nearly 150 dancers and seven performing ensembles. Under the artistic direction of Tamara Tatuch the Yavir School of Dance provides its dancers and audience with an experience that is exciting, inspirational, and educational while encouraging interest in Ukrainian dance and culture. Yavir will be celebrating their 55th Anniversary with a 2017 Ukraine Tour, Yavir has also just returned back from Disney World Florida in which 60 Dancers took part in a magical performance on the Disney Stage. The School gratefully acknowledges the support of the community of St. Demetrius Ukrainian Catholic Church.
Zapovid has found recognition across North America, since 2011, their melodic and unique folk-rock style has grown to be a f avourite for audiences of all ages.
The band released their debut album in 2015, titled “Dity Rodu Kozatskoho”and has performed in major market cities across the United States and Canada.
Zapovid’s mission is to bring energetic Folk-Rock to the masses by incorporating elements of various musical styles and influences.
The five-piece band Zapovid is Nestor Szewczyk, Matt Kapuszczak, Andre Budrevych, Mariusz Moskal, and Milla Rock.
Zolotyj Promin Ukrainian Dance Ensemble
Celebrating our 22nd year, the Zolotyj Promin Dance Ensemble was created to inspire children of Ukrainian American Heritage to honor the rich history and culture of Ukraine, and to help preserve the Ukrainian heritage through dance. Zolotyj Promin has over 60 students in 4 different age groups of children and also over 20 alumni who continue to dance with the ensemble for performances and festivals. Zolotyj Promin has performed at various venues on the East Coast, including a performance at The NY Encounter at the Manhattan Center, Headline performances at the Rochester and Yonkers Ukrainian Festivals, and most recently at The Bushnell to a sold out theater celebrating our 20th Anniversary show, “The Spirit of Ukraine”. Zolotyj Promin remains active in the Ukrainian community, participating in fundraisers for the Children of Chernobyl, the UUARC (United Ukrainian American Relief Committee), and local causes in the Greater Hartford Area.
From our youngest dancers to our Alumni, each member proudly performs to promote their Ukrainian heritage through DANCE.
Zorya has an extremely successful Dance School consisting of student’s ages 4 years to adults. It is devoted to nurturing Ukrainian culture through dance, language and traditional customs. Zorya has become a dynamic, artistic and cultural force in Thunder Bay, Ontario.
For 19 years, Zorya has repeatedly captivated audiences with their high calibre of dance technique, dynamic steps, high-spirited leaps and graceful spins. “Passionate, talented and dynamic” are adjectives used by the press to describe the Zorya Ensemble.
The Zorya Dancers have exposed many audiences to vibrant and passionate performances. Dancers have the opportunity and ability to showcase their cultural pride, in a unique fashion. Their dance can tell a story or convey an emotion without uttering a single word. With this knowledge, Zorya strives to preserve and nurture Ukrainian heritage through the medium of dance.
The Zorya Dancers promote and share their culture with entertaining performances locally, nationally and internationally. The Zorya Ensemble has captured the imagination of audiences with their colourful presentation of Ukrainian Dance in Vancouver & Victoria, British Columbia; Winnipeg, Manitoba & throughout Northern Ontario; Minneapolis & Hibbing, Minnesota; Chicago, Illinois plus Dallas & Galveston, Texas.
Performances by the Zorya Ensemble enthusiastically present a unique repertoire of classical, folk and character dance. Their dance selection is vast and ever changing. Zorya showcases a wide range of dances, with choreography and authentic costuming depicting various regions of Ukraine; the kaleidoscope of colour is breathtaking
Zubrivka is a group of experienced musicians from the Greater Toronto area that have been performing their own arrangements of Ukrainian folk songs at festivals and events for over a decade. The group takes a ‘back to basics’ approach to the classic Ukrainian folk repertoire by playing only acoustic instruments including mandolin, violin, accordion, bass and percussion, capturing the spirit of the old world while adding a distinctly Ukrainian-Canadian flavour to their vocal harmonies. They are excited to be performing material from their most recent full-length album Вечорниці (Evening Party) as well as their acclaimed first album Знову Вдома (Home Again) at this year’s 20th anniversary Toronto Ukrainian Festival.
Note: Performer listings will be added upon their confirmation of performance. Subject to change.
Alexander Pidzamecky - Master of Ceremonies
Alexander (Oleksa) Pidzamecky is entering Grade 10 at St. Michael’s Choir School, where he is an active member of multiple clubs and initiatives. Oleksa is a graduate of the UNF Toronto West Ridna Shkola, dances in the Voloshky group at Barvinok Dance School, belongs to PLAST Scouts, is a parishioner of St. Joseph’s UCC in Oakville, and plays piano, violin, and bandura. Along with his partner, Alexandra Holyk, he is a youth reporter for Kontakt Ukrainian Television Network. In the past, he has sung with the Dudaryk Boys Choir, and participated in a French-Ukrainian summer program in the south of France. In 2017, Oleksa will be involved in a student exchange in Cologne, Germany.
Alexandra Holyk - Master of Ceremonies
Alexandra Holyk, a former graduate of St. Sofia School in Mississauga, now attends Iona Catholic Secondary School and is entering Gr. 10, where she is a part of the Arts Program, specializing in Dance. She has participated in a Leadership Camp in Ellenville, NY, attended Jeoffrey’s Ballet School’s Summer Intensive Program in New York City, and also danced in a local production called “Dance for a Cause”. She is a proud member of the Barvinok Ukrainian School of Dance, Ukrainian Youth Association (CYM) – Mississauga Branch, and attends St. Nicholas Ukrainian Heritage School on Saturdays. As a parishioner of St. Joseph’s Ukrainian Catholic Church, she is a member of the church’s Youth Group and partakes in their various adventures. In her spare time, she partakes in the study of classical ballet at the Rajka Kupesic School of Ballet, in the Advanced Level. As a junior Kontakt Ukrainian TV Program co-reporter, with Alexander Pidzamecky, Alexandra reports in the youth segment “Молодь за Молодь” (a perspective by youth for youth) and has the pleasure of interviewing talented individuals of Ukrainian decent accomplishing many interesting contributions to our Ukrainian community.
Barvinok Dance Ensemble Hamilton
The Barvinok Ukrainian Dance Ensemble of Hamilton is comprised of 35 students between the ages of 3 to 15 years. Located inside Holy Spirit Church Hall, all classes have the opportunity to perform several times throughout the year at various church celebrations, fairs, concerts and anniversary events held within the Hamilton-Wentworth region. Last year our 7-year old Junior Group was selected to appear on the revival of CHCH-TV’s Tiny Talent Time show! Under the direction and choreography of Michael Stechey and Nadine Usyk, the group has flourished with an expanding repertoire of dances, performances and student enrollment. The purpose of Barvinok Hamilton is to provide its dancers with an exciting educational experience while encouraging a greater interest in Ukrainian dance and culture. Barvinok Hamilton is excited once again to be returning to the Bloor West Village Toronto Ukrainian Festival.
Barvinok Ukrainian Dance School - Mississauga
Barvinok Ukrainian dance school from Mississauga is proud to showcase "Halychany”. "Halychany" is a dance group solely made up of boys & girls between the ages of 11-12. These young people are extremely proud of their heritage. Two years in a row this group was invited to various festivals in Toronto, Mississauga, St. Catharines and Ottawa. They practice all year and inspire each other to achieve good results and present to the audience.
Chaika Performing Ensemble
Created in 1957 under the auspices of the Hamilton Branch of the Ukrainian National Federation, the Chaika Performing Ensemble has been dedicated to the development of Ukrainian folk song and dance. In its 52nd year, the school comprised of 50 performers, ranging in age from 4 to 30, continues to help preserve Canada’s multicultural mosaic. The energy and spirit of Chaika is reflected in its choreography - integrating classical ballet with Ukrainian folk stage theatre. Chaika is very fortunate to perform to live music which provides our dancers and our audiences an exhilarating experience. In addition to Chaika’s dancing accomplishments, the ensemble has also achieved fame for its choral work and has released two albums. Ivan Dykyj is Chaika’s Chairman and John Hucal is Chaika’s Artistic Director. You can follow Chaika on Facebook and at our website www.Chaika.ca.
Natasha Dobriansky has been studying vocal since the age of 6, trained at Merriam School of Music and privately coached at the Canadian Vocal Academy. Natasha has won many competitions over her young career and performs regularly in Musical Theatre at the Rose Theatre and Lester B Pearson Theatre. Having performed in the Wizard of Oz, Sound of Music, Peter Pan, Grease and the Little Mermaid just to name a few. Yarema Hucal has been studying piano for over 12 years, having graduated at the highest level with the Meriam School of Music. Yarema has won numerous awards over his career and accompanies many performers professionally on a regular basis. Yarema has been recently accepted to the Humber College Music Degree Program and will continue to pursue music at the highest level.
Music studio ECHO began few years ago at St. Mary Ukrainian Church in Mississauga.Through singing, learning music theory, and having lots of fun children discover world of music and the Ukrainian culture. Nadiya Korol, musical director of studio ECHO believes, that music education helps young children to gain confidence, express themselves and perceive the surrounding beauty. Younger children 2-3 yrs old start with Veseli Notky program, personalized for their age. Ensemble ECHO gives out few performances throughout the year. ECHO has had appeared at many community and parish events: among them - Ukrainian festivals Zolotyj Klen and Toronto Ukrainian Festival, Ukrainian Musical Festival. Every year the children visit the Ivan Franko Home to entertain the residents.
Melodia is an Ukrainian Vocal Youth Group made up of young singers who are dedicated to the performing of the Ukrainian modern popular songs written and composed by contemporary artists of present Ukraine. In existence since the fall of 2005, the group consists of 8 members, ages 11-16, from Mississauga and surrounding communities: Olena Urbanovych, Marta Mironovych, Natalia Terek, Aleksa Gobosz, Sophia Halushchak, Marko Czupiel, Theodore Pucak and Andrijko Semchyshyn. These young singers perform both as a group as well as they are skilled solo performers. The group is under the auspices of St. Mary's Ukrainian Catholic Church in Mississauga, Ontario. "Melodia" annually participates at all religious church events throughout the year including Yarmarok Christmas Bazar, Christmas and Easter celebrations, Toronto and Mississauga Ukrainian Festivals as well as at the Carassauga Festival of Cultures. These talented young singers independently perform at various events within the community.Members of the group take part at the annual Ukrainian Music Festival winning top vocal awards and scholarships. The artistic director of the group "Melodia" - Oksana Zelinska-Shevchuk.
Ukrainian Children's Performing Studio "Rezonans" was established by Voldoymyr Kokhanovski just four years ago. These talented, ages 3-10, young singers of the Studio, take an active role in music and artistic events in the Ukrainian-Canadian Community such as Bloor West Village Ukrainian Festival, Flavours of Ukraine Festival, Zolotyj Klen, Ivana Kupala, Yarmarok, Carassauga and many others. Also, “Rezonans” present two Annual Festivals: Christmas Festival “Oj, koliadko – koliadochko” and Easter “Hei, letyt Haivka”
Ukrainian Academy of Dance
The Ukrainian Academy of Dance was founded in 1987 in Toronto, Canada, as a Ukrainian folk-dance school for ages 3 to adult. They are celebrating their 30th anniversary this year. Dancers in the Ensemble group have been chosen from The Ukrainian Academy of Dance and range in age from 10-14. The group has performed in Montréal at The Children’s Festival (La Fete des Enfants de Montreal), the CNE, the Toronto Christmas Market, Sherbrooke Quebec at Le Festival des traditions du monde, in Disney World as part of the Dance the World program, Boston and New York City where they performed at Quincy Market as well as on the Intrepid, a decommissioned WWII aircraft carrier. Junior Ensemble and Stefura Dance Studios Junior Performing Company were both formed in the fall of 2012 and feature children chosen from The Ukrainian Academy of Dance and Stefura Dance Studios, ranging in age from 7 – 15. In the short time that these groups have been together they have had the opportunity to perform at The Living Arts Centre, The Toronto & Oakville Ukrainian Festival’s, as well as several others shows across the GTA. They have also joined the Arkan Dance Company and Ensemble on tours to Orlando and St. Petersburg Florida and Boston and New York City.
Veselka (Rainbow) is a group made up of eight young violinists from the Mississauga area that has been performing since 2012. The members of the group range from eight to fifteen years old and are under the direction of musical director Oksana Konopada. The group has performed in various concerts in the Greater Toronto Area, including the Ukrainian Music Festival, Ukraine Christmas Benefit Concert and various church festivals. This will be the first time the group will be performing at the Toronto Ukrainian Festival.
Yavir School of Ukrainian Dance
Yavir School of Ukrainian Dance is dedicated to fostering the art and joy of Ukrainian dance in children and youth in a community environment. It has evolved from its humble beginnings in 1962 and emerged as a highly professional dance school, with nearly 150 dancers and five performing ensembles. Under the artistic direction of Tamara Tatuch the Yavir School of Dance provides its dancers and audience with an experience that is exciting, inspirational, and educational while encouraging interest in Ukrainian dance and culture. The School gratefully acknowledges the support of the community of St. Demetrius Ukrainian Catholic Church.
Zorya Ukrainian Dance Association
The Zorya Ukrainian Dance Association has an extremely successful Dance School; student ages are 4 years to adult. It is devoted to nurturing Ukrainian culture through dance, language and traditional customs. Zorya has become a dynamic, artistic and cultural force in Thunder Bay, Ontario. For 19 years, Zorya has repeatedly captivated audiences with their high calibre of dance technique and dynamic steps. The Zorya Dancers have exposed many audiences to vibrant and passionate performances. Zorya’s young dancers performing at this Festival have performed at Thunder Bay’s Folklore Festival, Malanka celebrations, Zorya’s annual concert production, plus the “Ukrainian Kiev Pavilion” at Folklorama in Winnipeg, Manitoba and at the Ukrainian Village Festival in Chicago, Illinois. Zorya’s dance selection is vast and ever changing. Zorya showcases a wide range of dances, with choreography and authentic costuming depicting various regions of Ukraine; the kaleidoscope of colour is breathtaking.
Children's choir Zajvir was established by the Ukrainian Youth Association, Toronto Branch in 2006 and its musical director, Olesia Konyk. Oksana Skira is the group’s long time pianist. The choir is very active in the Ukrainian community by participating in events such as the Anniversary of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, Shevchenko and Christmas concerts, charity concerts such as “The Roots of the Shevchenko Family" and "Children from Canada – for Children of Ukraine”, the Easter concert at the Ivan Franko Senior Residence, its own annual concert, the Father’s Day Celebration and the New Year’s Masquerade. At the annual Toronto Music Festival, Zajvir was awarded first place among the children's choirs. Choir members learn how to sing professionally and also learn about traditions, culture, Ukraine’s history and how to speak the Ukrainian language.