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Ukrainian dancers thrill crowd in Moosomin

An evening featuring a traditional Ukrainian meal was followed by almost two hours of lively, colourful and traditional dancing, songs and music.

The community of Moosomin hosted a dinner and concert on Saturday where $100,000 was raised toward Ukraine relief since the Russian invasion of their country.

The Ukrainian people are no strangers to western Canada since, over a hundred years ago, they were invited here by the Canadian government with the promise of free farmland, to prevent the take over of Canada’s empty prairie lands by growing U.S.A. western expansion policies. Following their arrival, they became part of the rich cultural mosaic of this country.

During the opening comments of the evening, a First Nations woman, Joy Flaman, told of how her people and Ukrainian settlers helped each other out in those early years, creating historic bonds.

The evening featured a traditional Ukrainian meal followed by almost two hours of lively, colourful and traditional dancing, songs and music. Before each musical item the MC would explain the meaning of the dance, which might reflect the seasons, the various ethnic groups of Ukraine, and feelings of love, sorrow, and joy in the movement of the dancers or the timbre of the music. 

At one point in the evening an official from Wawota came on stage to introduce "Andre” a new resident of Wawota. The village has sponsored him and his family to a new life in Canada, to which the audience roared with approval. 

The final performance of the evening was the "Hopak", a dance of celebration and joy, that all the dancers took part in as the band played a powerful final selection.

Members of the sold-out audience, who came from hundreds of miles around, clapped and cheered the performers.

The event was organized by several community businesses and volunteers which made the evening a success. All the funds raised will go towards relief goods and aid for the Ukraine people to help them in their hour of great need.