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29th Lemko Vatra

Aug 16, 2014 | Newpathway, Community

From August 2-4, 2014, the 29th Annual Lemkivska Vatra took place at “Lemkivschyna” near Durham. This year’s Vatra was exceptional. It included a 5-pig roast that was cooking for hours, a “Lemky Have Talent” completion (the winner was 90-year old Ivan Ropka who recited Taras Shevchenko) and a concert that included acts from Canada, the USA and Lemkivschyna.
This year’s Vatra was also different – the organizers dedicated the lighting of the vatra to all those who were killed in Ukraine. And because the song “Plyve Kacha” is a Lemko song – it was only appropriate that they included it in the official lighting of the bonfire. This part was made more solemn by the procession of candles that the audience created for the Vatra torch. All of this took place while “Plyve Kacha” was playing – there were many teary eyed in the audience after this.
The concert featured artists that included the Toronto Bandurist Cappella under the direction of Victor Mishalow, Oleh Sukhyi, “Korinnya” from New York, “Kalyna” Dance Ensemble from Hamilton, ”

Hloptsi z Mista” from Toronto and a special performance by members of the “Oslovyany” Folk Dance and Music Ensemble from Mokre, Poland: the Onyshkanych family.
All the performers featured included traditional Lemko songs and dances in their retinues but also managed to keep the greater Ukrainian culture alive.
Current events in Ukraine were also not far from everyone’s mind as the representatives of Euromaidan Canada were also on hand to fundraiser for the military effort in Ukraine (you could try on a military vest and helmet to get a better understanding of what was needed by the Ukrainian military).
The evening and the weekend ended off with celebrations and dancing but also a prayer for Ukraine. Let us all hope that by next year’s 30th Lemko Vatra, we will be celebrating a new peaceful chapter in Ukraine’s history.

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Nadia Prokopiw
Federal Provincial Child Care
Serving Ukrainian New Comers in Toronto

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