Vitaiemo! Welcome!

In 2013 we built it and you came…in larger numbers than we dared hoped for. While that was a wonderful surprise it pointed up where we need to do better to improve your festival going experience. In 2014 you will be even more impressed.

Babas & Borshch Ukrainian Festival received recognition both tangible and intangible for our 2013 efforts including some hardware from the Economic Developers Alberta Awards ceremony. We’ve analyzed feedback and are committed to building on our success.

Returning in 2014 are the:

Passport Office: assume a Ukrainian identity for the weekend; collect stamps
Borshch Cook Off: Calling all 'closet' borshch cooks to strut your stuff
Beer Garden: Try the signature festival drink Na Zdorovlia (to health) or take part in the horilka (vodka) sampling. Proceeds to the Andrew Figure Skating Club.
Shuttle stops and programming at the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, CP Station Museum and Andrew Grain Elevator: tours, talks, demos
Music, dance & food
Kids’ Activities: Organized by Lamont County FCSS staff. Face painting, activities, Bouncy Obstacle Course
Baba’s Brunch: (Sunday) with proceeds to the Andrew Lions Club
Demonstrations: pysanky writing, koravai making, cross stitching, farrier, blacksmithing (check Who's Who for expert bios)

General Improvements:
• FOOD… we heard you loud and clear—there’s no such thing as too much Ukrainian food! This year we’re moving to a ticket system for concession food. Purchase tickets on-site to speed up service.
• INFORMATION…a dedicated information table to answer all your questions
• VOLUNTEERS…recognizable, approachable, helpful
• SIGNAGE…more signage at the festival grounds and around town
• PROGRAM SCHEDULE…more detail, easier to follow

New Lineup for the Zabava! Still only $50 per person. TICKETS ON SALE NOW!
Tables assigned based on "best available at time of purchase"

Come back often for updates and links to important information. In the meantime, Save the Date---August 23 & 24, 2014---because We want you there! You're coming, right?


What's New in 2014?

Please check back for more click-able links as the pages get added. In the meantime……we’re proud to announce:
• The Outdoor Music Jam is expanded to 2 full days for your listening pleasure. More bands to get your toes tapping and your blood pumping. Sit back in your lawn chair or grab a partner and dance.
• Baba’s Bazaar is expanded to 2 full days. Expect more Ukrainian displays, new vendors, more opportunity to shop and learn. Relax in our lounging area as you catch up with friends and family. A travelling display of textiles and artifacts from the Ukrainian Museum of Canada (Alberta) will be a highlight.

• NEW! Baba’s Kitchen is a new designated area within the Bazaar for scheduled activities and presentations. You’ll be able to watch video loops, play Hola or Durak, watch demos, listen to speakers and take part in storytelling or Open Mic joke telling sessions.
• NEW! Reaffirmation Ceremony Join Citizenship Judge Laurie Mozeson for the chance to reaffirm your oath as a Canadian citizen.
• NEW! Displays and tributes to honour the 200th anniversary of the birth of Ukraine’s most famous son, Taras Shevchenko.
• NEW! Displays and a presentation by survivor descendants of the WW I Enemy Aliens Internment Camps. Hear the truth about this dark time in Canadian history and how it affected nearly 6000 Ukrainians.
• NEW! Thistle Hill Petting Zoo will be on hand Sunday only, for the young and young at heart who love animals.
• NEW! Blacksmith Skyler Hoffos will be demonstrating this art on Saturday only and working on commissions received that day. Don’t be disappointed.
• NEW! On Saturday only, attend a Borshch Making Demo Class by Chef Gail Hall. Space is limited and an admission charge will apply. Included in the fee is a collection of recipes from 2013’s cook off entries.


Do you want to extend your festival experience? Do you love doing and having something unique? Do you love food? Horilka (vodka)?

Enter your bid for one or all of these incredible prizes. Email or snail mail bids must be received before August 16th. Or drop off your sealed bid at the festival Information Table before NOON, August 24th.
Prizes go to highest bidder and will be announced at 1 PM, August 24th. Read more....


• Four course cooking class with wine pairing for 6 people in the Edmonton loft cooking school of Chef Gail Hall. Valued at $1200, starting bid of $600. Read more.....
• Vodka Tasting for 16 people at your home! Includes at least 4 types of vodka, Ukrainian beer, cherry juice, pickled snacks, bread, one set of Cobblestone shot glasses, traditions & superstitions about horilka by the experts at Cobblestone Freeway. Three hours long. Valued at $400, starting bid of $200 Read more....invitation_gorilka
• If you are a hockey and horilka (vodka) enthusiast check out the limited edition High Stick Vodka item: 750 ml of premium Canadian vodka in a glass hockey stick. Valued at $100, starting bid of $50

Baba Magda

Baba Magda lives on a small farm to the north with a big red barn and lots of spruce trees. She shares the back forty with chickens, pigs, cows and even a few ducks. Oh, and a Gido named Metro. Fifty years later and they still talk to each other (well, most of the time).

She has several children and even more grandchildren. On any given day Baba Magda can be found in the yard gardening, in the kitchen baking bread and or at the casino playing cards.


SKYLER HOFFOS got his start as a blacksmith while working at the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village. He does custom repairs on traditional objects or where authenticity is desired. He accepts commissions for small pieces, rings, pendants, knives, stands, coat hooks and custom medieval reenactment weapons for performing troupes. He uses historically correct methodologies, as his great dido would have done.

He will be demonstrating his craft all day Saturday, August 23, 2014 and making as many custom objects as the time allows. Don’t be disappointed.
He can be reached at 780-862-5303 or


The Cheremosh Ukrainian Dance Company is a leader in Ukrainian Dance in Canada. Cheremosh has earned phenomenal success as a semi-professional Ukrainian dance company. Rich in intensity, energy and spirit, Cheremosh has a reputation of bringing an amazing entertainment spectacle to the stage. Their outstanding skill and discipline has brought them many adventures and successes throughout their 45 year history, including numerous national and international tours. Leaving behind a cultural legacy, Cheremosh is without a doubt a sight to behold.

Dance the night away to the sounds of The Playboys, a 6 piece band offering an eclectic mix of dance music from traditional Ukrainian to classic rock and from country classics to golden oldies. Performing for you are:
• Rick Wowk - Saxophone, Vocals
• Rick Chomyn - Lead Guitar, Vocals
• Joe Staszko - Fiddle, Vocals
• Frank Albert - Drums, Percussion
• Grant Starchuk - Bass Guitar, Vocals
• Craig Repchuk - Accordion, Keyboards, Vocals

MY Ukrainian Dance Academy

The MY Ukrainian Dance Academy is a highly skilled cultural group of
dancers. We are disciplined, dedicated and determined to preserve Ukrainian
Dance and bring it to a new level of expertise while adding a unique and modern
flair. Since our beginning in 2005, we continue to showcase our passion
through dance, costume and music, which awarded us many accolades and opportunities such as Most Promising Dancers, Adjudicator's Choice and High Audience Appeal.

We are both delighted and energized to perform for you again this year!


Mitchell is a versatile musician who not only plays the Tsymbaly but also the tenor saxophone, piano and is currently learning the accordion. He has performed at various Ukrainian Festivals, weddings, workshops, competitions and functions. He also was privileged to accompany the Ukrainian Male Chorus of Edmonton.
He has received the Wendy Brook Strings Award and a two time winner of the Larry & Mary Ann Pshyk Instrumental Music Award.
Mitchell is in grade 10 in the Ukrainian program at Austin O’Brien Catholic High School. He is a busy young man who is a member of the Viter Ukrainian Dancers and Folk Choir, The AOB Concert Ensemble and Senior Jazz Band; he is an avid golfer, involved in Junior Achievement and enjoys many sports. Mitchell has a passion for Ukrainian music!

Zabava u Koli

Zabava u Koli, made up of members Mykola Nykyforuk, Olexander Lazurko, Adrian Zmewsky, and Mykola Bilash, is an up and coming Ukrainian band based in Edmonton. Their love of Ukrainian music combined with their passion for high energy fun songs defines their sound. This acoustic group has officially been playing together for 6 months, having performed at various weddings, parties, and the 2014 Edmonton Deep Freeze Festival.

Paul Gagne

Paul Gagné, an Alberta Francophone, has been writing pysanky for over 30 years. As a self-taught artisan, his work has been appreciated by many Albertans as well as visitors from many other countries throughout the world.

While the designs and colours are inspired by custom and tradition and draw from different regions of Ukraine, Paul’s pysanky have taken the art into new directions, combining colour and styles, traditional and modern designs, into unique creations that have become well known, well regarded and in high demand.

His work has been sold and displayed at shows and markets throughout northern Alberta. The pysanky are available individually or set within a solid oak frame. Paul will be available all day Saturday and Sunday demonstrating this art form. Contact him.

Natalia & Hanya Onyschuk

The art of korovai, Ukrainian wedding bread, was a natural progression for two sisters who grew up in a family steeped in Ukrainian tradition. It started with watching and helping their mother bake and decorate paska, Ukrainian Easter bread, and by admiring korovai at many Ukrainian weddings.
Hanya and Natalia Onyschuk have been baking and decorating korovai for fifteen years. Both sisters complement each other in their particular interests and skills. Natalia usually makes and kneads the dough, braiding requires the skill of both sisters working together, and Hanya makes the birds and embroidery. Decorating is exciting and sometimes becomes a family affair. The end result is a very happy bride.

Ukrainian Wedding Exhibit

By Nadya Foty, Sogu Hong, Lynnien Pawluk, Andriy Nahachewsky

An exhibit of The Huculak Chair of Ukrainian Culture and Ethnography in the Peter and Doris Kule Centre for Ukrainian and Canadian Folklore, at the University of Alberta.

Ukrainian weddings are rich expressions of spiritual life, community relations, and tradition. These elaborate customs are known for their solemnity, balanced with hospitality and joy. Ukrainian weddings are very diverse, changing across time and place.

The Ukrainian Wedding exhibit explores these traditions in four strikingly different places and times: in the classical Ukrainian village; in one Bukovynian village in 1995; in early western Canada; and again in more recent Canadian settings.

Folklore is the traditional beliefs, customs, skills, arts and stories of a community. The Kule Folklore Centre at the University of Alberta is one of the premier institutions for the study of Ukrainian culture outside of Ukraine. It has forged strong links with folklore and ethnographic institutions across Canada, Ukraine and other parts of the world.

Debby Gargus

Former home economics teacher, Debby Gargus is the perfect expert to demonstrate the art of Ukrainian cross stitch. Get hands-on experience by completing a small make-it-and-take-it project. Who knows where that may lead?
Check the program schedule for demo times on Saturday and Sunday.

Krispian Schmidt-Paborn

Krispian Schmidt-Paborn's interest in horses developed early in life through his involvement with his own family's horses. He eventually took on the foot maintenance of the horses. After working with a journeyman farrier in Ireland, he discovered his love for horses and farriery and how it employs both art and science. Krispian continues to hone his skills through working part-time with a journeyman farrier, competing in shoeing contests, and operating his own business within the Beaver, Lamont, Strathcona and Leduc counties. Contact at 780-916-6421.

Maisey MacDonald, 6

Maisey started dancing at the age of three. She currently dances in Edmonton, at Dance Unlimited and Edmonton School of Ballet where she recently completed her Grade One Ukrainian, and Junior One Ballet dancing examinations respectively. Maisey has performed with Edmonton Festival Ballet’s ’Twas the Night Before Christmas in addition to many other performance opportunities. This year Maisey competed at the Cheremosh and Vetereez Ukrainian Dance Festivals, the later at which she received the Outstanding Performance Award for Girl’s Poltava Solos aged 5-17 years of age. Maisey attends St. Martin Ukrainian Bilingual Elementary School, where she loves learning Ukrainian language and all about Ukrainian culture. Most noteably, Maisey absolutely loves to dance and loves to entertain her audiences!

Button Box Bill

Button Box Bill (Bill Okrainec and Eugene Kozak) is a duo from Edmonton that's been playing for seniors, hospitals, and gatherings for fifteen years.
They do that old time music that keeps toes tapping and good memories flowing. Button box and Cajun accordion, a 98 year old Gibson mandolin, twelve string guitar and vocals make for a lively variety of engaging entertainment.

The Ukrainian Cultural Society of St Paul & District

The Ukrainian Cultural Society of St. Paul and District was founded in 1986 and consisted of choir members from St. Paul, Myrnam, Two Hills, Glendon, Vilna and Smoky Lake. The choir is directed by Randall Krys and accompanied on piano by Rodney Shapka. Its mission is to promote Ukrainian culture through language and song. At weekly practices they learn Ukrainian Christmas carols and popular folk songs.

The group has performed in many locations including the Ukrainian Village, the Legislature, Senior Centres and Lodges and at private functions. Through the vitality of live performances and their recordings of folk songs and Ukrainian Christmas carols they entertain and promote Ukrainian music.

Zorya-Ukrainian Folk Trio

Strong Ukrainian roots and the shared love of Ukrainian music brought three talented musicians together to form the trio "ZORYA" (meaning the "beginning of dawn). The members are Christine Horne – vocals and keyboard, Ludvik Marianych – vocals and Rose Sliwkanich – vocals.

All three members have extensive musical backgrounds and a love for music that is sure to capture the hearts of audience members.

Christine Horne was classically trained on the piano, taught elementary music, and lessons in piano, keyboard, organ and accordion. She has entertained for the past fourteen years and continues to do so across Alberta, BC, and Saskatchewan. Christine recorded her first CD entitled "From the Heart."

Rose Sliwkanich started singing at the age of four and was classically trained on the violin. She brings a beautiful alto voice to her deep love of Ukrainian music. She has been a member of at least five choirs.

Ludvik Marianych began performing vocally at the age of fifteen. He is also accomplished in various musical instruments. He has been assistant director and stage manager of two Ukrainian operas (Kupalo and Zaporozets) with the Dnipro Choir. He was director of “Vinok-A Ukrainian Wedding” at the Citadel and choral conductor of four choirs. He is the founder, arranger and conductor of Chaika Concert Ensemble.

Zorya will entertain festival goers at 1 PM on Saturday, August 23rd.
The Choir will perform on Sunday, August 24th.

DUCIVA (Descendants of Ukrainian Canadian Internee Victims Association)

Group members worked independently, gathering information about the illegally imprisoned Ukrainians during WW1. Some members were actively collecting data starting in the 1980's. A chance meeting of four committee members at the Ukrainian Village in 2001 was the beginning of DUCIVA. School curriculums now include Ukrainian Internment because of the pressure by dedicated members for recognition and their commitment for education.

Hear descendants of internees talk about this shameful injustice during the festival at 11 AM Saturday and 2 PM Sunday.

Jajo's Secret--Internment Operation Documentary

“A few years after my Jajo (Grandfather) passed away, we came across a mysterious document,” explains writer and director, James Motluk. “It was a certificate of parole he had been issued by the Sault Ste. Marie Police in 1918. No one in the family seemed to know anything about it.”

Jajo’s Secret begins with this discovery and goes on to trace Motluk’s personal journey as he investigates how his grandfather came to be paroled and discovers that he had fallen victim to Canada’s first internment operations, a fact his grandfather kept secret his entire life.

The movie also contains a treasure trove of rare photos, government documents and period newspaper articles that help to shed light on the internment and received support from OMNI TV and the Canadian First World War Internment Recognition Fund.
For more information

Taras Shevchenko

Babas & Borshch Ukrainian Festival is pleased to honour the life and work of Taras Shevchenko, Ukraine’s greatest poet and artist.
• Born March 9, 1814 at Moryntsi, Ukraine to Kateryna & Hryhoriy Shevchenko
• Orphaned at age 11, he worked as a houseboy and domestic servant
• His artistic talent was evident early; by age 15 he was studying painting
• His freedom from serfdom was bought by benefactors in 1838 and he began formal art training at the Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg
• By 1840 his first and most famous collection of poetry Kobzar (Minstrel) appeared
• In 1847 he was arrested by Russian police for anti-tsarist, politically subversive writings and sentenced to 25 years military service and exile and ordered to stop writing, drawing, & painting
• During imprisonment he continued to write poems which he hid in his boot
• A series of arrests and releases continued until his death on March 10, 1861 at the age of 47
• He produced over 1000 works of art.
• He is considered one of the most outstanding realist painters of mid-19th century Ukrainian art, founder of new Ukrainian literature and one of the greatest humanist writers of all time
For more information or even more

The Festival is pleased to showcase the student tribute to Taras Shevchenko by students of Edmonton’s St. Matthew’s Ukrainian Bilingual School Program. Started in 1974 it was the first second language bilingual program offered in Alberta. The Ukrainian Bilingual Program offers continuous education from Kindergarten to Grade 6 and not only teaches students a second language, but promotes cultural diversity, acceptance and encourages further language study. Students are known for their highly valued linguistic, cultural and religious learning experiences. For more information 780-473-6575 or the school

Behind the Scenes

Matt Levicki grew up in Andrew. He played hockey at the Junior and University level. Matt previously worked as a camera operator for CBC Sports and producer for Hockey Night in Canada. He is currently living in Poland studying for his Masters in International Relations. When not at school he is working in the Northwest Territories as an ice profiler. Politics, environment and video production are some of his passions, others include spending time with his family, especially his niece and nephew. Matt travels extensively, including a trip to Ukraine in 2012, but loves to come back to his roots in Lamont County.

Born and raised in the Andrew, Alberta area, Stan Cholak was raised on the family farm.
Spending all the years surrounded by the beauty of the rural landscape Stan developed a keen eye for the natural world.
Believing that our heritage makes us what we are today. Stan is always looking to capture the rich history of the area while keeping the intrusion of today’s modern world at a minimum.
As a child weather and the beauty that is hidden in storms fascinated Stan. So when storms develop he is out there with camera in hand capturing all the power and majesty that nature has to offer.
Being a bit of an amateur astronomer Stan has seen the loss of the night sky due to light pollution and spends time showcasing the night sky and the events that unfold in the heavens above. Capturing those fleeting moments in time has become a passion which Stan enjoy sharing with others.

Born and raised in Andrew, Hilary went onto to graduate with a BA, Sociology from the University of Alberta. She worked in Special Events and Public Relations for the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation for 5 years before becoming Communications Lead at Finning Canada. She begins a Master program in Communications in fall 2014. She has traveled the world, has a particular interest in Women’s Issues and is the consummate volunteer. Rediscovering her Ukrainian roots through volunteering at the Babas and Borshch Ukrainian Festival is just one example of her philosophy of ‘giving back’ to the community.