Emergency fundraiser seeks to keep Ukrainian dance group performing

One of Prince Albert’s longest running artistic institutions needs a bit of help to keep going.

One day after being inducted into the Prince Albert Arts Hall of Fame, the Prince Albert Barveenok Ukrainian Dance Club held an emergency fundraising dinner to keep the club going. Club organizers said it’s been a difficult past two years, so every penny counts.

“Covid hasn’t been kind to anyone,” said Kayleigh Skomorowski of Prince Albert’s own Barveenok Dancers.

“We lost out on fundraising over the last two and a half years, which has put us in a very difficult financial situation.”

Saturday afternoon saw a drive-through perogy meal sale happening as a part of the fundraising efforts on the south side of the Exhibition Centre. The event took place until 9 p.m. on Saturday.

Hearty Ukrainian cuisine was on the menu at the Barveenok Ukrainian Dance Club emergency fundraiser on Saturday, June 11. — Photo by Marjorie Roden.

Inside the building, preparations were being made for tonight’s part of the fundraiser. This includes a series of door prizes from area businesses, as well as a silent auction, and lots of entertainment for all ages.

“We decided to go big or go home, by creating something to round the community around and actually contribute,” Skomorowski said.

“This (Saturday) evening is a showcase of the Barveenok dancers, along with a group out of Saskatoon, the Pavlychenko Folk Ensemble, often known as PFE. We’ll also have a live band and a dance afterwards, with Dean Bernier and his band.

“We’ll have a Ukrainian canteen we’ll be running, which will be serving perogies and sausage, Ukrainian fare.”

The importance of the timing of the event is vital to the Prince Albert Ukrainian community, according to Skomorowski.

“With everything going on in the world today, we literally have a nation and a culture that’s under siege and under attack,” she said. “With an organization like Barveenok Ukrainian dancers that works to promote and educate about the Ukrainian culture, it’s very important, especially at this (war) time.”