Barveenok Ukrainian Dance Club members were very sad to not be able to complete the year with the annual spring concert due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Everyone looks forward to that final concert and having the community come out and join our club for an afternoon of traditional dances," said Heather Gawrelitza, club treasurer.
"We had a great year with a great instructor, Mikaela Twerdoclib, and the dancers did a great job at the festival” said Sandra Johnson, club president. “We are thankful that we were able to at least attend the festival in Regina to see all the hard work that the dancers have done before everything had been shut down,"
The concert is also a major fundraiser for the club to help cover its yearly expenses so this was a huge loss to the club. This year marked the 40th anniversary for the Barveenok Ukrainian Dance Club originating out of Stenen. Founding members Lillian Steranko, Lorna Brodziak, and Marianne Washburn were going to be honoured at the final concert. These ladies will still be honoured when the Hutzul outfits and club history and photos are presented to the Sturgis Museum later this year.
There were many special events for the club this year and one of those special moments was to honour graduating dancers.
"The club feels sadness for all the the graduates who are not getting to finish their high school days," said Gawrelitza.
Layne Englot from Endeavour is the club's only high school graduate dancer this year and attends school in Preeceville. Englot started dancing with the club in her later high school years and found a real love for Ukrainian dance. She plans on joining an adult group in the future. The club gave Layne a Ukrainian scarf as a keepsake for her years in the club and wished her well in her future endeavors.
Milestone Achievement plaques were handed out to Avery Masley, Eva Romanchuk, and Allie Babiuk celebrating their five years of dance. Lyndon Gawrelitza received his ten-year achievement plaque. These achievements are important to recognize their commitment and dedication to the club and Ukrainian dance.
"The awards were handed out at the club's outfit return date but it just wasn’t the same as the fun it is on the stage and getting to see everyone dressed in their traditional Ukrainian outfits," stated Gawrelitza.
“The club did manage to get one final fundraiser done and the raffle for the Easter ham basket raffle which was a success and the winner was Jeanette Ebert who won everything she would need for her Easter meal including peroghies, cabbage rolls, sausage and even some chocolate bunnies.”
The club also had to miss its year-end windup and Ukrainian easter egg decorating party. The parents and the kids look forward to decorating eggs the traditional Ukrainian way with the help of Doreen Bochnuik.
"Luckily for the club our dance pictures were all done by Canora Photography and Framing from Canora so we do have some memories from the year to share with all of the readers," said Gawrelitza.
Before the shutdown from COVID-19 across the province the club was able to attend the Tavria Ukrainian Dance Festival in Regina on March 13 to 15.
The groups all came home with medals. Duets were performed by Lyndon Gawrelitza and Bracyn Konkel, the boys Buko dance earned a silver medal.
Shaylyn Karcha and Lyndon Gawelitza did a Volyn duet, achieving a bronze medal. Sisters Kylie and Allie Babiuk performed a Poltava, winning a silver medal.
Eva Romanchuk did a transcarpathian solo, winning a gold medal.
Kylie Babiuk, Brynn Babiuk, Layne Englot, Sierra Karcha and Alyssa Mirva performed Poltava, Buko, and Transcarpathian dances, earning silver medals.
Bracyn Konkel, Shaylyn Karcha and Lyndon Gawrelitza performed a Poltava, winning silver.
Olivia Ivanochko, Graison Belesky, Maggie Ivanochko, Avery Masley, Allie Babiuk, Morgan Olson, Kiarah Federuik, Eva Romanchuk, Shaye Burym and Brianne Paterson. won a gold medal for their Hutzul dance. They group also performed a Poltava, winning silver.
Elizabeth Ivanochko, Lily Beatty, Maycee Johnson, and Lindy Romanchuk performed a Transcarpathian dance and won a gold medal. The girls also did a Poltava, taking silver. Emily Belesky and Kaleib Federuik joined Ivanochko, Beatty, Johnson and Romanchuk in performing a Poltava that won a gold medal.
Graduate Dancer Layne Englot’s Volyn solo earned her a silver medal