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BC Ukrainian Cultural Festival set for May 7 in Mission

‘We were determined to forge ahead this year’ says BC Ukrainian Cultural Festival Society president
The dance group called Dovbush AUUC performed Na Poloyni in the mixed 11-14 year old category during the 24th annual Ukrainian Cultural Festival in Mission. / Bob Friesen File Photo

The 25th BC Ukrainian Cultural Festival will take place on May 7 in Mission. All activities will be offered at the Heritage Park Educational & Cultural Centre and the Clarke Foundation Theatre (33700 Prentice Ave).

The event features adjudicated dance performances by groups from around the province. Vendors will offer an array of Ukrainian arts and crafts and embroidered clothing, musicians will entertain attendees with fast-paced tunes, and Hunky Bill’s iconic Perogy Food Truck will be on site, serving its delicious traditional Ukrainian fare.

“We were determined to forge ahead this year,” explained Darka Morin (Konyk), president of the BC Ukrainian Cultural Festival Society, and chairperson of the organizing committee.

“COVID set us back the past two years. We are resolved that, despite our anguish over what is happening in Ukraine, we will go ahead with the festival this year.”

Society vice-president Nathan Nychyporuk said “we are very aware of the awful situation in Ukraine with the Russian invasion. Many of us have family there, or know people who have family there.”

Nychyporuk said during the March organizing committee meeting, there was “much holding back of tears and struggling to maintain composure. But there was absolute consensus that we must do this. Many troupes from around the province have encouraged us to get this done.”

“Ukrainians have a wonderful, beautiful cultural heritage,” said Gladys Andreas, who founded the festival in 1995. “We are determined to showcase it for all Canadians to enjoy.

“Today, many areas of Ukraine are under attack by Russia. The devastation and death-toll has been awful.”

Andreas has been recognized by both the Ukrainian Canadian Congress and the Government of Ukraine for her contribution to Ukrainian culture in Canada.

The 25th BC Ukrainian Cultural Festival will begin at 10 a.m. Attendees must comply with all applicable directives from the BC Ministry of Health, and with the posted requirements of the facility.

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