July 20th, 2024

Malanka celebration shows support for Troyanda Ukrainian Dance Club

By Justin Seward - Lethbridge Herald on January 24, 2023.

Herald photo by Justin Seward The Troyanda Ukrainian Dance Club's Little Stars Class performed their Sunny Bunnies song during the Malanka New Year's celebration this weekend at the Italian Canadian Culture Centre.

The Troyanda Ukrainian Dance Club held a Malanka New Year’s celebration in front of a sold-out crowd of over 260 people at the Italian Canadian Culture Club on Saturday evening.

“It was actually one of our most successful Malankas in quite a while,” said club president Donna Whitton. “The divide was so good. Everyone was so happy. You could tell that the people that were there were there to support our club.”

The event was just to celebrate Ukrainian News Year’s Eve, which is traditionally celebrated after Christmas.

“We’re just celebrating the New Year and it’s a fundraiser also for Troyanda dance club,” said Jacqueline Gartshore, Malanka chair.

Attendees could enjoy a full Ukrainian meal, the dance club’s Ukrainian dance performances, music by the Calgary-based Ukrainian band Absolute, a silent auction, a 50/50 and fun games to ring in the New Year.

“I think it’s really important, especially with what’s happening in the Ukraine that we just bring awareness and we’re here to promote Ukrainian culture and keep it alive and sustainable here in Canada,” said Gartshore.

Malanka is the club’s largest fundraiser.

“Malanka is our largest fundraiser that we’ve been doing historically in the club since I believe the club was founded,” said Whitton. “And all the proceeds that come in, do definitely go directly towards all of our costuming because we order most of our costuming from Ukraine or we try to keep it as authentic as possible, while using Calgary or Edmonton-based seamstresses who deal with Ukrainian costuming.”

Funds also go towards paying instructors and their artistic director who travels in from out of town to teach the kids, as well as their facility rental.

Troyanda is the only Ukrainian club in the city.

“We always thought we were kind of with Calgary there,” said Donna Whitton, club president. “But when we realized when we were doing some grant notification that we are the only southern Alberta Ukrainian club, it kind of drew home to both of our executives how much more important it was to represent Ukrainians living here in Alberta. We do have a lot here now – especially since the war that has moved into the southern zone. So, yeah, we just find that it’s just important to represent a large group.”

The club also hosts other major shows such as the year-end, which showcases dance and brightly coloured costumes from various Ukrainian regions.

This year’s show is on May 9 at the Yates Theatre.

Troyanda offers educational and interactive shows to Grade 3 students and the curriculum show will be displayed in May.

The club also performs at community festivals and events in southern Alberta.

There are over 47 members in the club ranging from age three and up.

Share this story:


Comments are closed.