The Malanka Winnipeg committee once again brought the Ukrainian community online for a night of celebration.
“No matter how you’re celebrating this year, we are so grateful to all of you who have included us in your Malanka plans in the past,” said the Malanka Committee on their Instagram page.
The Malanka 2022 gala evening aired on YouTube Saturday, Jan. 15. Although the evening was held online, the Committee still delivered exceptional entertainment.
“Although we may not be celebrating in person, we are very much still celebrating together,” the Committee said.
Last year, the Committee decided to move to an online format to preserve the annual tradition of holding a Malanka and help celebrate the Ukrainian culture with the same sense of community as at a physical event.
“Yes, it will be different,” the Organizing Committee said in 2021, “but, while deciding to go online, our committee saw an opportunity to showcase more Ukrainian talent from dance groups, choirs and Zabava bands across Canada!”
The 2021 event attracted viewers from all over the country, the U.S., and even Ukraine.
“We had, I think, over 3,000 people tune in to the live stream, and over a 24-hour period —because the live stream does stay up on YouTube — we had about 8,000 people view it from all over the world, so it was a huge success,” said Marysa Fosty, who is helping to organize the virtual event, in an interview with CBC Manitoba.
A coveted yearly celebration to ring in the Ukrainian New Year, Plast Winnipeg’s Malanka 2022 was “a night of entertainment with acts from all over the country, and endless exuberance…Winnipeg style,” according to the organizers.
The Malanka 2022 celebration featured Ukrainian dance groups, choirs and bands from across North America. The guests could tune in to the following performers:
Desna Ukrainian Dance Company
O. Koshetz Ukrainian Choir
The Todaschuk Sisters
The Chabluk Family
Ukrainian Male Chorus of Edmonton
Viter Ukrainian Dancers & Folk Choir
Verkhovyna Ukrainian Song & Dance Ensemble
Zabava U Koli
The evening began with the traditional Malanka dinner-hour program.
“You’ll be serenaded by choirs and inspired to move by vibrant dance groups,” the committee said. “The party heats up in the second hour when toe-tapping turns into a kolomeyka in the living room. You’ll let loose and dance the night away as exciting Zabava bands from across the world mesmerize you with their captivating rhythms”.
One of the great surprises of the evening was a personal greeting from Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
“Even though we need to stay apart right now, we also need to find new ways to celebrate together,” Trudeau said. “Nazdorovya!”
The guests were encouraged to donate to the Plast Ukrainian Youth Association of Manitoba during the virtual event. The donations help with youth leadership programming. You can donate at malankawinnipeg.ca.
“While you practice your dance moves at home this year, we hope our spirit of creativity and resilience will spark your interest in attending Malanka Winnipeg in 2023,” the organizing committee said. “Come see what our Ukrainian New Year’s celebration is about, and next year we’ll see you on the dance floor!”
This article is written under the Local Journalism Initiative agreement