Pearson College and Victoria’s Ukrainian Cultural Centre hosted the first Celebration of Ukrainian Arts and Culture, with traditional performances by locals with close ties to Ukraine.
The Saturday (April 15) event featured dance, music and art that celebrated Ukrainian resiliency and culture.
Working with the Ukrainian Cultural Centre was a natural fit, said Lucas Olscamp, the theatre and visual arts professor at Pearson College.
“Ukrainian dance and Ukrainian arts has a long-standing historical relationship with Pearson College,” Olscamp said. “It has been one of our traditions for over 30 years and we are so proud to keep the tradition of Ukrainian dance and furthermore Ukrainian music and visual art alive and thriving throughout our college community.”
The Ukrainian Cultural Centre is also celebrating 45 years of honouring and sharing Ukrainian culture in Victoria.
Admission to the event was by donation, with proceeds benefiting the Ukrainian Studies Society’s scholarship at Pearson College, the Canada-Ukraine Foundation for relief efforts and support for new-comers from Ukraine.
“This benefit event by the students reflects the college’s desire and commitment to lend its support in providing much-needed financial support to meet the humanitarian needs of these newcomers, as well as those still living in Ukraine,” said Robert Herchak, the president of the Ukrainian Studies Society, in a press release for the event.
Lasting through the afternoon, the cultural event gave visitors a chance to learn more about Ukrainian dance, offering the opportunity for students to lead in a village dance open to everyone.
Pearson student and Ukrainian native, Diana Shyshkova performed solo, describing her dance as one with a deep love for Ukraine.
“Any Ukrainian Dance embodies the love for the nation, the greatness of native land,” Shyshkova said.
The event also featured two bandurists, Mariia Smolinska and Georgiy Matviyiv as well as a performance from the Pearson singers and band.
The Ukrainian Cultural Centre also hosts a dinner on the last Friday of every month, offering locals a taste of Ukrainian food.
For more information on events hosted by the centre, visit uccsvi.ca.
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