We asked Gladys Andreas, Founder and Former President of the B.C. Ukrainian Cultural Festival Society, to tell us how this Festival came to be. Here is her story:
On the way home from the Vegreville Pysanka Festival in the summer of 1995, I had a vision. I said to my husband, “Albert, why does British Columbia not have a Ukrainian Festival like Dauphin, Manitoba or Vegreville, Alberta”? Neither of us had the answer. The seed was planted….
We have come a long way from the first festival. We began in a small church hall and parking lot, outgrew to a community center, moved on to a school gymnasium and supporting rooms to a performing theatre seating over 600 people.
Our festival includes a dance competition, various displays of Ukrainian arts and crafts including embroidery, pysanka, wheat weaving as well as information on tours to Ukraine. Each year we feature a special display or exhibit relating to Ukrainian culture and heritage.
Of course, no festival is complete without food! A very busy kitchen runs throughout the day.
The year 2000 was an exciting one for us as we had our own logo developed by artist Sergiy Minenok.
Also introduced in 2000, was our first trophy. The “Andreas Trophy Award” was donated by founding members Gladys and Albert Andreas, third generation descendants of Ukrainian settlers, and is to be presented each year to the dance group attaining the highest mark in the Hopak category.
We hope you will come visit and participate with us as we celebrate “keeping Ukrainian culture alive”!