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Okanagan Ukrainian Festival to bring hope to Ukraine

By-donation event helps humanitarian aid as war rages on

As war continues to rage, Nadiya, or hope in Ukraine, is being rounded up with the Okanagan’s Ukrainian Festival.

The Sadok Ukrainian Dance Ensemble invites all to the event Sunday, May 26 at 2 p.m. for an afternoon of dance, music and Ukrainian spirit at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre.

The event is rounding up donations, vital for humanitarian aid, as the conflict continues.

This year, Sadok celebrates their Ukrainian Canadian heritage with special guests soloist Stephane Harcott of the Pokotillo Ukrainian Dancers of Kamloops, Dolyna Ukrainian Dancers of Kelowna and Vita Nova Choral Ensemble under the direction of Tami Harker, along with a special performance by Sadok Alumni.

Vita Nova (meaning New Life) had it’s first concert in June of 2021 with six families coming together to make music in Falkland and Salmon Arm. The choir soon grew and now performs two concerts a year (one in Dec./Jan. and one in May/June) in Salmon Arm and Vernon.

It consists of non auditioned singers and also a Chamber String ensemble. Their main goal is to share the joy of making music to uplift those around them as well as themselves.

They sing and dine together weekly and with a purpose of gathering socially and musically. Their repertoire consists of many styles of Choral music including classical, modern, jazz, and folk.

“It is an honour to be asked to perform in this wonderful Ukrainian Festival with Sadok and we are excited to share our music of hope,” said director Harker.

The Sadok Ensemble is a local dance theatre troupe that continually pushes the boundaries of this unique art form by entertaining and educating their audience about their beautiful Ukrainian Canadian Heritage. They have performed and studied around the world, including back home in Ukraine.

This year, Sadok will be guest performers at the Calgary Ukrainian Festival in June.

Most recently, Sadok has welcomed newcomers from Ukraine into their dance family. Two adult dancers, Natalia Derevnianets from Kyiv and Artem Fodorov from Odessa share their connection to their culture through Ukrainian dance.

“For a girl who loves her native country, appreciates history and is proud of traditions, the opportunity to wear a traditional costume and dance Ukrainian folk dances is a breath of much-needed air,” said Derevnianets. “I am looking forward to the

concert in May. I also love the fun selection of warm-up music for rehearsals. Thank you to Sadok for the opportunity to be myself even so far from home.”

For Fodorov, dancing with Sadok is an enjoyable experience with other who are energectic and ready to share.

The Children Ensemble is a group of nine talented newcomers hailing from different cities across the beautiful country of Ukraine. In Sadok, students learn not only the art of Ukrainian dancing but also about Ukraine’s rich culture through history and singing lessons led by instructor, Kseniia Rudenko.

Sadok, the organization which nurtures these young talents, is committed to promoting Ukrainian culture and traditions through various educational programs, making it a great place for young learners to explore and embrace their heritage.

This is the 29th theatrical dance and music production choreographed by artistic director Andrea Malysh, who has 40 years of Ukrainian Folk Dance experience and ethnographic studies.

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