Barveenok Ukrainian Dancers return to festivals

Submitted Photo A few dancers from the Prince Albert Barveenok Ukrainian Dancers pose for a photo at the Pavlychenko Folklorique Ensemble Showcase.

Club planning large fundraiser for June 11

For the first time in two years, the Prince Albert Barveenok Ukrainian Dancers returned to Festival Competition.

The Prince Albert-area group travelled to for the Pavlychenko Folklorique Ensemble Showcase, which ran from Apr. 28 to May 1.

Barveenok club president Kayleigh Skomorowski said returning to competition meant everything to the dancers.

“We literally lost dancers in the last two years because of not being able to participate in (festivals) due to restrictions and stuff,” she said. “A huge part of learning to dance is sharing that (stage) with other dancers and performing on stage and getting that feedback.”

Dance performances included Jude and Linus Skomorowski who scored an 87 and earned a Silver, Emerson Chorney who scored a 90 and earned a Gold, and Graycen Chorney who scored an 86 and earned a Silver. The two Chroney dancers then teamed up and scored an 88 to earn a Silver as a pair.

Barveenok Seniors Central scored an 85 and earned a Silver. Barveenok Seniors Hutzel scored an 84 and earned a Bronze.

Jada Janzen scored a 90 and earned a Gold with Hutzel, and an 86 and a Silver with Central. Barveenok Juniors Central scored 85 and earned a Silver. Barveenok Juniors (Hutzel) scored 86 and earned a Silver. Barveenok Beginner Central scored an 88 and earned a Silver. The Barveenok Adults scored a 90 and earned a Gold.

Skomorowski said they were pleased with the results in their first competition back.

“It was huge for the dancers, and also for parents to see their kids on stage.”

SUBHEADLINE: June 11 fundraiser

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the club has had numerous challenges after the cancellation of their own festival and Fall Festival, which traditionally serves as fundraisers.

“We haven’t been able to have them for the last two and a half years and those fundraisers cover a significant portion of our operating costs for our club,” Skomorowski said.

The Prince Albert Barveenok Ukrainian Dancers Inc. is a non-profit parent-run organization. Skomorowski said they want to preserve Ukrainian dance and culture for future generations, and the community, but were really struggling.

“Coming into the end of this year, we were looking at where we were sitting financially and the loss of funds,” she said. “(We were) at the point where our dance here is in jeopardy for next year as to whether we could run the club.”

Since March of 2020, the organization has lost more than $50,000. To help them through this the club is putting on “Barveenok 911!” at the Prince Albert Exhibition Centre on Saturday, June 11.

“As an executive we decided to go big or go home,” Skomorowski explained. “We are not ready to let go of the Ukrainian cultural organization at a time when Ukrainian culture is under attack.”

The focus is to provide a family friendly event for our community including the opportunity to feast on traditional Ukrainian food, showcase our Ukrainian dancer’s talents and dance the night away.

Plans include a drive thru/pick up food event from 12 pm to 5 pm followed by an evening show of

“We have taken on a pretty big undertaking as an organization but things are looking really good, (and) we have got some really great sponsors on board to help the event happen,” Skomorowski explained.

“People will be able to come and watch Ukrainian dance as well as dance themselves and we will have a Ukrainian canteen that evening so people if they didn’t get their fill of pierogis, with the drive thru that afternoon. They will be able to purchase some Borscht and cabbage rolls and pierogis and sausage and all of that kind of good stuff at the canteen that evening as well,”

A bar and beverage station as well as a canteen serving traditional Ukrainian food and other items will be available throughout the event

The evening dance-a-thon will include both Barveenok and Pavlychenko Folklorique Ensemble,

“They will be dancing, our kids will be dancing and then we have a live band that is going to be playing for a dance after that,” she said.

A table reservation will cost $350 and will include admission and one complimentary drink for eight people with a special reserved table.

Tickets for the evening event will be sold in advance and at the door at the cost of $25.

Those wishing to collect pledges on behalf of Barveenok of $35.00 or more will have their ticket reimbursed at the door and will earn additional opportunities to win some amazing prizes.

“Dancers are collecting pledges for the event, so we have some prizes and stuff for to collect pledges as well,” she said.

They have also set up a “text to donate” feature. For more information on this, contact a club member.

“We wanted to give people as many opportunities to support the club as possible,” she said.