Daily News Portal

Ukrainian New Years celebration to feature world renowned dance ensemble

Cochranites can come out and celebrate Ukrainian New Years at a Malanka Party on Jan. 14 at the Frank wills Memorial Hall, where an internationally-recognized dance ensemble will be the highlight of the evening.

Cochranites are invited to come out and celebrate Ukrainian New Years at a Malanka Party on Jan. 14 at the Frank Wills Memorial Hall, where an internationally-recognized dance ensemble will be the highlight of the evening.

It promises to be an opportunity to share in some colourful Ukrainian culture – music, dancing, and traditional food.

General public tickets are $25, which covers dinner, dessert, coffee, and a performance by the Tryzub Dance Ensemble.

The Calgary-based ensemble was named after the Tryzub (‘trident’ in English, pronounced tre-zoob), which is the national symbol of a free Ukraine.

Seven dedicated individuals put together the framework for the ensemble in September of 1974, and Calgary’s first prominent Ukrainian dance group was created.

The ancient emblem has endured within the hearts of all Ukrainians as a symbol of honesty, health, power and protection from evil.

The objective of the ensemble is to preserve and promote Ukrainian dancing and to spread this aspect of Ukrainian-Canadian culture within the multicultural community.

One of their productions is named “Glorious and Free.”

In April 2019, the group produced and performed an original full-length production titled Heroiam Slava – Glory to the Heroes; sharing the stage with guest performers Korinnya Ukrainian Folk Ensemble in Calgary, and while on tour in Ukraine.

Tryzub has performed extensively throughout Western Canada, the United States, Australia, Mexico, Turkey, Panama, Colombia and most recently Ukraine.

The ensemble also took their show on tour to Winnipeg, Kelowna, St. Albert and Saskatoon.

The Tryzub ensemble was featured at the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympic Games, the Calgary Stampede Grandstand Show in 1992, 1997 and 2001, and the 1993 Canadian Football League Championship Grey Cup game.

Tens of thousands of displaced Ukrainians are marking their first holiday season in Canada this year, missing loved ones back home.

Men between 18 and 60 have been prevented from leaving Ukraine since the war began in February.

Ukrainians traditionally observe the festive season between Jan. 6 and 19, with Orthodox Christmas falling on Jan. 7. Reports from around the country have noted that some of the displaced Ukrainians celebrated Christmas on Dec. 25 as a form of protest against the Russian Orthodox Church, which supports the invasion. That has happened in Cochrane as well.

Chantal Barber at Cochrane Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) said the intent behind the event is to help introduce newer Ukrainian families to those already here who are familiar with the town, and to invite Cochranites in general to come and meet their new neighbours.

At its peak, the number of Ukrainian families in Cochrane reached about 100. As they’re become integrated into society here, some have moved on, mostly to northern parts of the province, and also to Calgary, Barber said, mostly due to the pricey rental market here.

“They love it here, it’s just really hard to find a place to live here after their host accommodations are up,” she said.

There are still at least 40 families here in Cochrane.

Barber started out volunteering on her own to help families find a home in Cochrane back in February. She has since moved into a position with FCSS, and will be transitioning into a new, broader role this month.

She’s watched from the front lines as families have gone from nothing to finding jobs, homes, and lives.

“I’ve seen these families living independently, working, and becoming full fledged members of our community,” she said.

“The generosity and sheer goodwill in our community is absolutely incredible. We are winning with flying colours.”

Separate from the event and going forward, clothing donations can be dropped off at The Clothesline or Home Treasures. To make monetary donations or gift cards, contact Chantal Barber at FCSS at chantal.barber@cochrane.ca.

Organizers for the New Year’s event are looking for a few volunteers to help out with setup and take down, and sponsorships are also available for the entertainment portion of the program.

Organized by Cochrane Family and Community Support Services and supported by the Rotary Club of Cochrane, Cochrane Lions Club, the Town of Cochrane, Bow Rivers Edge Campground, and the Family Resource Network, the New Years event will be family-friendly, with children four and under admitted free. It will run to 10 p.m.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m., followed by a performance by the Korinnya Choir. Dinner is at 6 p.m., with the Tryzub dancers coming on at 7 p.m.

Registration is required by Jan. 9, either online at cochrane.ca/ProgramGuide or by phone at 403-851-2250.

Frank Wills Memorial Hall is at 405 First St. E in Cochrane.

Read Nore:Ukrainian New Years celebration to feature world renowned dance ensemble