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This year Polish fest is proud to showcase the talents of a number of folk dance groups throughout the city and throughout the community. We are extremely happy to have such wonderful talent at the event and we invite you to see them all live.
Polonia Polish Folk Ensemble, Regina SK The Polonia Polish Folk Dance Ensemble has been a part of the cultural life of Regina since the 1930s. While the first Polish immigrants settled in the province in the late 1800s, it was not until 1931, with the building of the first Polish parish in Regina, that the first Polish folk dance group was born. Ever since its inception, the dance group has provided a strong sense of home and belonging for many Polish-Canadian families, as well as others, amidst the vast Saskatchewan prairie. While the Ensemble continues to change and grow in response to the demands of a changing population and province, Polonia remains an integral part of the cultural fabric of Saskatchewan. The Polonia Polish Folk Dance Ensemble of Regina has flourished over the last eight decades, amassing a collection of Polish folk costumes and music, and an extensive repertoire of dances. The past 40 years have seen Polonia travel and perform across Canada, the USA, and Poland. The members of the Ensemble continue to share their love for Polish folk culture through song, music, and dance, and continue to perform for audiences in Canada and internationally. Tamara Scrimbit, Accordionist, Regina, SK Tamara began Polish dance lessons with Polish Folk Dance Ensemble Polonia in 1978. In 2000, Tamara began teaching as the assistant director of the junior and intermediate groups. Tamara took great pride in passing on the Polish culture to youth, especially to her daughter Erika. Tamara started a local Polish Kapela in which she played the accordion and violin, and sang Polish folk songs. Tamara has attended the Polish dance choreography course in Rzeszow, Poland and has performed at the triennial Rzeszow Polish Dance Festival three times. In 2015, Tamara became the Artistic Director of 'Das Volle Lederpaket Schuhplattler Verein' and 'Die Kleine Pakete Folk Verein' at the Regina German Club. In 2016, Tamara organized a fundraising concert in Regina in which she invited Polish Folk Dance Ensemble SPK Iskry and Czerwona Rzeka to perform at the Regina German Club - Tanz Zabawa - German and Polish Cultures Unite. Tamara currently performs, plays and sings with three bands. Sokol Polish Folk Ensemble The Sokol choir was originally formed by members of the Sokol Association as early as 1908, but have adopted the year of their first public Canadian performance in 1914 as their official beginning. It was in 1925 that the Ensemble had its first choreographer, who created a small dance group who performed with the choir. Together, the group has flourished for over 100 years, making it one of the oldest folklore ensembles in the Americas. The Ensemble has performed across Canada, the United States as well as several times in Poland, most recently being in 2014, where the dancers represented Winnipeg and Sokol at the International Festival of Polish Folklore in Rzeszow, Poland. At their most recent performance, Songs of Warsaw, the Ensemble's Musical Director, Ted Biernacki, was awarded with a gold cross through the hands of Consul Andrew Janik from Toronto representing Poland. The gold cross is a symbol of Ted's outstanding cultural work in promoting Polish culture through song and dance in North America. Polish School of Dance Sokol The Polish School of Dance Sokol has been working constantly since the 1970s and has always been associated with the Polish Gymnastic Association Sokol Winnipeg. The founder of the School was the late Gladys Kulas and for nearly 50 years the Polish School of Dance Sokol has worked under the guidance of excellent choreographers and instructors. Since 2010, Ania Wesolowska-Kulbinska has been the Artistic Director and Choreographer of the School. The Polish School of Dance Sokol cultivates Polish culture and Polish traditions. We try our hardest to keep Polish culture alive and well in Winnipeg. Within the School there are almost 60 children ranging from ages 3-18. Practices are held 1-2 times a week. During practices the children are taught various dance styles such as jazz and hip hop as well as traditional Polish folk dance. Hrvatska Zora, Croatian Dawn Winnipeg Established in 1972 under the auspices of the Roman Catholic Parish Sv. Nikola Tavelic in Winnipeg, Hrvatska Zora continues its commitment to the preservation of Croatian culture. We continue to entertain, educate and fascinate both Croatians and non-Croatians alike with our beautiful costumes, music and choreographies. Introducing the various generations to those songs and dances brings Croatia a little closer, keeping our culture alive and strong in the hearts of generations to come. S.P.K ISKRY The Polish Dance Ensemble SPK Iskry was founded in 1967 by Mr. Henryk Lorenc to mark the Centennial of Canadian Confederation. Iskry (translated into English as "sparks") prides itself on preserving Polish culture and ethnic tradition through song and dance. Presently, Iskry's wardrobe boasts over 15 different costumes depicting the numerous regions of Poland. Iskry has had the thrill of entertaining and captivating audiences across North America and Europe with a repertoire rich in depth. Some highlights of Iskry's 50 year career include performing at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal, Quebec and participating in the prestigious World Festival of Polish Folk Dance and Song in Rzeszow, Poland during the summers of 1993, 1996, 1999, 2002, 2005, 2011, 2014 and 2017. Each summer, Iskry performs for thousands of visitors at the Polish Pavilion – a mainstay of Canada’s multicultural festival Folklorama in Winnipeg. Kapela Czerwona Rzeka In 2011, members of Czerwona Rzeka were attending an international folk festival in Rzeszow, Poland, where they experienced live music at the kapela parties. Feeling a void in Winnipeg, in 2012, Czerwona Rzeka was formed. Czerwona Rzeka, translated to "Red River" in English, focuses on traditional folk music from Eastern Europe; Poland, Czech, Slovakia, Hungary and more. A lot of work has been put in, as no members had previous experience with any of the instruments, and the repertoire continues to grow and expand as the band plays with professional musicians during workshops and visits to Poland, Hungary and other folk festivals worldwide. Hoosli Ukrainian Male Chorus Hoosli Ukrainian Male Chorus was founded in 1969 by alumni of the former St. Vladimir's College (Minor Seminary) in Roblin, Manitoba. Hoosli's main objectives today are to contribute to Canadian culture by promoting and preserving Ukrainian and Ukrainian-Canadian cultural traditions. Over the past 48 years, more than 175 men have poured their hearts and souls into Hoosli, and have helped pass on the fire and spirit of the Kozaky to this day. Hoosli has performed all over North America, recorded eight albums, and continually inspires audiences with the majestic sound of four-part male harmony. Hoosli continues to show its dedication to the Ukrainian heritage through its repertoire of liturgical music and folk songs, as well as the patriotic songs of Ukraine and the Kozaky.
RHR Latino Dance Company Cubanisimo is a Winnipeg-based group of dancers who specialize in performing in all types of Latin dance and unique Cuban Cabaret shows in an exciting Tropicana style. The colours of dancers' costumes and electric musical beats transform the energy of anyone who sees them perform. The dancers bring the essence of Cuba to life through their talented and skilled routines. The group promotes and preserves the heritage of Cuban folklore throughout Manitoba and continues to keep traditions alive by entertaining various audiences.
Balada Dance Team The Balada Dance Team is a devoted group of dancers who showcase Romania’s heritage through traditional dances and songs. The Balada Dance Team was reformed in 2002 to participate in the Romanian Pavilion in Folklorama. The dancers range in age from 4-27, with a roster of over 30 dancers and musicians. The majority of dancers have a Romanian background, including many first generation Romanian dancers, but also include second generation Romanians. The group has participated in many different cultural events in Manitoba and Saskatchewan including the St. Elias Orthodox Church Anniversary in Lennard, Shell Valley’s 90th Anniversary and at Mosaic which is a multicultural festival in Regina.
Rusalka Ukrainian Dance Ensemble The Rusalka Ukrainian Dance Ensemble is a dance group that showcases cultural pride, telling stories through the movement of Ukrainian dance. The dancers showcase the power and beauty of Ukrainian dance in their performances and learn discipline, devotion and camaraderie at Rusalka. The group has a large repertoire of dances and colourful costumes that represent a diverse range of the Ukraine's regions, styles and moods, making the shows entertaining for all audiences. Founded in 1962 by the late Peter Hladun, the group was created from students at the Ukrainian National Federation School of Dance and today is still one of the most accomplished Ukrainian dance ensembles in the world.