Mad Heads is the legend of Ukrainian rock music. The band was born in the same year Ukraine got its independence and it has been on the run ever since. Founded by its constant leader, the singer, the guitar player and the sole songwriter Vadym Krasnooky, the group went through many changes and transformations in line up and music style, reached many highlights over the years, gaining more success with each next step in the career.
Up-beat, catchy and melodic are just a few words that could be used to describe the sound of ZAPOVID, Toronto’s hottest Ukrainian party rock band. Forming in early 2011, the band has quickly caught the attention of the Ukrainian community by incorporating elements of a wide variety of musical styles. Zapovid has played at numerous events and festivals across Canada as well as in the United States!
Choir leader, composer and singer. Well-known in Ukraine as the head of the chamber choir “Oberig.” – Winner of choral music festivals in Ukraine.
Andrey is a pop singer, poet, and musician with a versatile voice and impeccable style, a vocalist without borders. He graduated from the Conservatory in popular and jazz singing. While studying at the Conservatory, he gave several jazz concerts with many famous jazz musicians.
Rev. Father Volodymyr Kouchnir is the Dean of St-Sophie Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral in Montreal. Although his spiritual calling was to serve the church and people, his love for music and the guitar have been with him throughout his life. Father Volodymyr is the producer of a recent CD, an album of Métropolite Hilarion’s poetry set to music.
MARUNCZAK UKRAINIAN DANCE ENSEMBLE
The Marunczak Ukrainian Dance Ensemble was founded in 1945 by Peter Marunczak, and has been under the artistic direction of Donna Marunczak for over 20 years. The ensemble currently performs at weddings, festivals, receptions, and other events in and around Montreal.
HELENA WAVERCHUCK & ASHKEN MINASIAN
Ms Helena Waverchuck, born to Ukrainian parents, completed her musical studies at Concordia University. For 17 years she was a member of the Chorale de l’Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal. Presently, she divides her time between performing in the Montreal Symphony Orchestra Choir, conducting and singing in church choirs, and teaching voice, piano and music theory.
HLOPTSI Z MISTA
Hloptsi Z Mista, or X3M (ex-three-em) for short, is a young, ambitious Zabava band from the Greater Toronto Area. Each member brings a wealth of experience and innovation to the group, and their splendid repertoire of upbeat polkas, sexy salsas, and groovy swing tunes allows them to craft dynamic and enjoyable zabava sets.
A musician, dramatic tenor, master of choral singing and musical arrangements, he considers that the violin is the queen of music and it conveys all the emotions of the soul better than any combination of words could.
Karyna grew up in eastern Ukraine and has always been musically inclined. While not being bound by any specific style, her musicality is grounded in several traditions such as classical, folkloric and jazz. She is excited to share the beauty of Ukrainian language and music at the Festival.
OLGA LEMESHKO & VADIL NURI
The duo Vadil Nuri and Olga Lemeshko appear at the Ukrainian festival for the first time. Born in Petropavlovsk, Kazakhstan in 1999, Vadil obtained his Masters degree in Performance (Tuba) from the Conservatory of Kazan. At a very early age, he discovered a passion for singing and started his career as a soloist in Opera and Ballet Theatres, and toured all over Europe. Vadil received numerous prizes and awards while participating in major musical events in Kazakhstan and all over the world.
With the recent, successful launch of their CD, Sonia Kulycky, Natalia Bedik and Dania Kolanitch of Montreal’s “Rossa trio” look forward to performing a varied selection of traditional and contemporary songs in beautiful harmony. Well known within Montreal and Toronto for their performances at various events and festivals, their musical interpretation is sure to capture the hearts of their audience. Members of Plast, CYM and all graduates of the Sheptycky Ukrainian school of Montreal, these 3rd generation Ukrainian Canadian singers promise a great performance.
“Stozhary” Theatre debuted in January 2012 with the play “The Night Before Christmas” based on the novel by N.Gogol, which was a great success. Further theater performances included “Sorochynskyi Yarmarok” and “Kaydasheva family”, both highly received by the audience. Events that unfolded in Ukraine during the Revolution of Dignity found its echo in the hearts of theater artists. “Stozhary” commemorated the Heroes of Heaven Hundreds with a play “The Wall” and donated the funds collected to Ukraine.
SVITANOK DANCE ENSEMBLE
The Svitanok Ukrainian Dance Society is Ottawa’s only Ukrainian Dance community. Comprised of The Svitanok Ukrainian Dance Ensemble (Svitanok), and The Ottawa School of Ukrainian Dance (OSUD), the Society strives towards professionalism in the training, performance, instruction, renewal, creation and promotion of Ukrainian character dance as a viable and developing art form on the Canadian Dance scene.
The Bandura is Ukraine’s national instrument. In Montreal since 1952, Mr. Mota, basso, has performed in numerous concerts in churches, on TV, at EXPO’67 and other commemorative events. He has performed for parliamentarians in Quebec and in Ottawa, as well as in Ukraine’s Embassy in Ottawa and in concerts abroad. In 2008, he released his first CD and his second in 2012. He continues to perform regularly for the sheer joy of sharing Ukrainian songs, which have been at the core of his life. At 89, he is the Festival’s senior performer.
PAPA DUKE – VASYL POPADIUK
The journey for Vasyl Popadiuk from Ukraine to Canada has been one of musical adventure, starting at Kiev’s Lysenko school for gifted children at the tender age of 6, and continuing at Ukraine’s national Tchaikovsky Conservatory of Music from the age of 18. Popadiuk has toured with many prestigious troupes, including Ukraine’s Hopak National Ensemble, Kiev’s Gypsy Music Theatre Company, and the Nazarov Music Theatre Company of Moscow.
‘Vesnianka’ which comes from the Ukrainian word “Spring”, arose from a small group of Ukrainian immigrants and today is one of the oldest Ukrainian dance schools in Canada. Over 3 generations of young dancers have performed across Canada and worldwide.
Since 1995 the Vidlunnya Choir of S.U.M. has been a centre of Ukrainian musical life in Montréal. Having earned the admiration of audiences for its sophisticated interpretation of the choral compositions of Western, Central, and Eastern Ukraine, as well as folk music of Ukrainians living in Eastern Europe, the Choir continuously refines its repertoire. Ivan Gutych is the current Choir Director.
Yuriy Konevych and Arsen Gnatyuk
Musical experience of Montreal bandura player Arsen Gnatyuk could be traced back to the times when he was 7 years old and lived in Ukraine. At those times bandura was bigger than he was. The boy did not abandoned his beloved instrument and during 10 years he grew and his professionalism grew along. Arsen plays mainly folk Ukrainian music. He takes part in various music bands as well as performing solos.
Yuriy Konevych is a lyrical tenor with the huge experience of stage performance and classical vocal talent. Yuriy share his talent in Montreal Vidlunnya choir, church choir, folk band and as a soloist. Singing is his everything. In his repertoire there is mainly classical music, Ukrainian baroque works and Ukrainian folk songs. Today he will try to astonish listeners together with bandura performer Arsen Gnatyuk by the folk song about Ustym Karmaliuk – Ukrainian national hero.
Cassandra began her vocal training in 2006 after many years of singing for family and friends. She completed vocal training with the Ottawa Conservatory Vocal Academy, Hummingbird Ltd and Fat Dog Productions. She was guided by Retired Ottawa singing Police Officer Dominic Darcy and performed alongside him in his shows. Cassandra has sung at Weddings, festivals, school productions and private shows. She placed 4that the Ottawa Super Ex- Stars on the Rise and 3rd place at the Northern Ontario Vocal Open Competition – under 18 category. She also auditioned for Canada’s Got Talent in Montreal. In addition to vocals, Cassandra has also done print for Women’s Day Magazine (2003), the National Bubble Week Gazillion Bubbles Calendar (2006), has participated in the John Robert Powers Acting Program from Toronto and has attended the Ottawa Speech and Drama School, New Star Children’s Theatre and Orleans Young Players theatre programs. She is a past Ottawa School of Ukrainian Dance student and dancer of the Svitanok Ukrainian Dance Ensemble. Cassandra is hoping to continue her musical and dance career alongside her post-secondary schooling at Carleton University in Ottawa.
Alessia Maiorano loves to sing, dance and make people around her smile. She is a student at the Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Ukrainian School.
Dominika, born in Ternopil, is the festival’s youngest performer at 6 years old, but she is not the shyest. Dominika is fond of stage performance and adores traditional songs and poems.
Pavlo Kolesnyk is a musician, piano player and singer who retained his passion for Ukrainian music from an early age when he performed as part of famous Lviv choir “Dudaryk” in Ukraine, to recent years when he participated in various cultural events in Montreal. Pavlo has a Masters degree in Music Technology from McGill University.
Ruslan Yakoviychuk, born in Bukovуna to a family of musicians, is a brass band orchestra director and trumpet player. He graduated from the Chernivtsi School of Music, Department of Wind Instruments. Life sent him on a different career path, yet music has always remained entrenched in his soul. He composed his first work in 2000, however the recording studio eluded him until much later. Upon immigrating to Canada in 2005, Ruslan started a construction company in Kingston, Ontario. This year Ruslan recorded his first songs and on April 21, 2016 appeared for the first time on stage at the Opera House in Toronto, opening for the popular Ukrainian band Antytila. Ruslan anticipates his first album will come to fruition later this year.
Chornobryvtsi’ is a family band of children and parents. Musical tradition has long been an ancestral heritage in this family. It was passed from the mother to the son with a lullaby. Everyone in this family sings and plays a musical instrument. The voice of Ukrainian ethnic music. “When we play, even our small children sing with us. Music is in our blood; we cannot live without it. When we play together – our spirit flies back to our beloved Ukraine.
Ukrainian Cultural Centre "Oberih"
Ukrainian Cultural Centre “Oberih” – is a public non-profit organization based in Montreal. It was established in January 2016 and it sees its purpose in preserving, developing and spreading Ukrainian Arts and Culture in Canada. One of “Oberih’s” current and ongoing projects is a “Mozaїka” School of Decorative and Applied Arts which for the first time showcases a collection of children’s clothing “Zernyatka”created by its teachers and students.
Kalynon’ka is based in Stamford, CT and is currently in its 9th year under the artistic direction of Hryhoriy Momot. Mr. Momot comes to us from Ukraine with an extensive, professional background in Ukrainian folk dance. The mission of the dance ensemble is to teach children Ukrainian folk dancing and to promote Ukrainian dance traditions in the United States. Kalynon’ka gives children the opportunity to learn Ukrainian dance as it is taught in Ukraine. Mr. Momot brings with him the expertise to help revitalize authentic Ukrainian dance traditions in the United States. Mr. Momot’s masterful choreography and beautiful costumes capture the true spirit of Ukrainian folk dance.
Orlan Dance Ensemble
Troyanda, a dance group lead by director Bohdan Klymchuk, dazzles their audience with their choreography composed of traditional Ukrainian Folk dance moves. This dance group readily represents one of the most beautiful and recognizable aspects of Ukrainian culture through their energetic, entertaining and elaborate dance.
The charming quartet “Veresnevi spohady” is inviting You to the beautiful world of its Magesty Song. Vira Turco-Kulytska, Oksana Kotskovich, Roman Kostyk and Ivan Gutych.
The Bossonizh (barefoot) is a band that was created in November 2015 by three Ukrainian Canadian musicians. Playing the rock alternative style they compose their own songs. And of course they play barefoot.
Evgeniya Alekseeva was born in Odessa, Ukraine, where she graduated from music school and studied at the Odessa Music Academy. She is laureate and winner of multiple vocal competitions and festivals. Recently Evgeniya lives in Montreal, where she continues her musical education and takes part in various concerts and festivals.
OKSANA KOTSKOVICH & IVAN GUTYCH
The vocal duo of Oksana Kotskovitch, lyric soprano, member and soloist of ukrainian choir Vidlunnya and various other vocal groups, and Ivan Gutych, dramatic tenor, musician, master of musical arrangement and Vidlunnya choir director, perform together at different cultural events and concerts.
Chaban i Vovk
Michael Kulycky, Markel Reva, Volodymyr Blyszczak and Thomas Stecyk, four young musicians have teamed up for their debut performance of Ukrainian music at this year’s festival. Students of the Sheptycky school and members of CYM and Zustrich, we welcome this new generation to the stage!