Toronto Ukrainian Festival

Connie Tom

by Festival Nomad Correspondents, Connie and Tom McAleese

Bloor West Village...

It was perfect weather for the last weekend of summer. Tom and I rode "the rocket" (the subway) to the Toronto Ukrainian Festival. Sunday afternoon to one of, and I quote, "North America's Largest Ukrainian Street Festivals", The Festival is held in Toronto's Bloor West Village. There is non-stop entertainment on the Jane Street Stage and along Bloor Street. The performers included vocalists, dancers and musicians from the Greater Toronto and surrounding area, Canada, the USA, and as far away as the Ukraine. There was a "Youth Segment" on the grand stage and a midway for the children. There was a colourful Parade on Saturday morning. On Friday and Saturday evenings, you could join the ZABAVA/Street Dance and enjoy the performance of Ukraine's Music Sensation MAD HEADS XL. They having been together since 2004 playing Ukrainian folk, reggae and rock 'n' roll.

On the Streets...

We enjoyed the street performers and the sights and sounds of all the colourful vendor stalls. They offered food, beverages, clothing and souvenirs. As well, there was a Sidewalk Sale put on by the local businesses. A new attraction this year was the Art Show and Sale. This was organized by Canadian Ukrainian Artists.

On Stage...

We were very fortunate to find seating for the afternoon performance on the main stage. The entertainment was amazing. We listened to the singing of Trio Syvaio, Stephania Romaniuk, Mosaic, Homerlias Band, Zubrivka and Ludy Dobri, a Lviv-based nu-folk band. We also watched The Ukrainian Academy of Dance, Barvinok Ukrainian School Of Dance from Mississauga and Windsor. Finally, we enjoyed a few laughs with a Second City Comedy routine.

We managed to end our day at the Toronto Ukrainian Festival with a cold glass of Ukrainian Beer, pierogies and sausage. To top it off, we bought dessert, to be eaten at home on the patio while enjoying the last Sunday evening of Summer.