All summer long, Toronto has been jam-packed with countless cultural festivities, and as the last weekend of the summer begins to dawn on us—with students gearing up for school and vacations coming to an unfortunate end—why not end the summer with some Ukrainian style?
This year, what was formerly known as the Bloor West Village Ukrainian Festival is being renamed the Toronto Ukrainian Festival and will take place at Harbourfront Centre. From August 31 to September 3, this four-day event is going to be full of activities and performances, all of which are strung together under the theme of a Ukrainian wedding. Attracting over four hundred thousand people last year, the festival is known to attract not only Torontonians, but also people from across Canada, the United States, and even Europe.
Highlights for this weekend include a staged performance of a traditional Ukrainian Wedding; a visual arts exhibition to accompany the wedding that includes historic videos, photographs, wedding cloths, and ornate headdresses; performances by Ukrainian culture pilot Oleh Skrypka of the glam-punk group Vopli Vidopliassova (you can try some VV here) and Le Grand Orchestra; traditional Ukrainian food, and demonstrations and classes by Natalie Hladun; traditional Ukrainian dance performances by Yavir Ensemble and Desna Ukrainian Dance Company of Toronto; kiosks selling traditional to modern Ukrainian goods; film screenings; and the list goes on! With many performances, events, and things to do, you can check out the festival’s website for more detailed information.
Out of all the activities, some things to note are a draw for a package for two tickets to Ukraine with a seven-day accommodation in Lviv, and as a new feature this year, a three-hour boat cruise on Lake Ontario, including music and dinner, on September 1, 5–8 p.m. Tickets for the boat cruise are available for purchase at the Ukrainian Credit Unions in Bloor West Village and West Arka, or you may call Roman Nazarewycz at 416-234-2093.
Festivities will start tomorrow, Friday, at 6 p.m., starting with the visual arts exhibition at the Marilyn Brewer Community Space.
Photo by robannz from the Torontoist Flickr Pool.