The UFest Edmonton Ukrainian Festival hosted a Mountain Malanka event on January 21st, in honor of the Ukrainian New Year. The event was part of Jasper in January 2023, and tickets sold out quickly. The Jasper Activity Centre was filled with guests who enjoyed cocktails, traditional Ukrainian bread, and horilka upon arrival, while listening to Mitchell Palahniuk play the Ukrainian hammer dulcimer instrument, tsymbaly.
The Ukrainian Male Chorus of Edmonton delighted the crowd with traditional songs as the aroma of a feast wafted from the kitchen. Before the meal was served, the Volya Ukrainian Dance Ensemble performed a Winter Dance that amazed the audience. The audience cheered on the meticulously choreographed, high-flying routine as the richly-preserved folk story of Malanka unfolded before them.
After the dance ensemble’s stunning performance, a Ukrainian buffet was served, featuring pyrohy (perogies), holubtsi (cabbage rolls), nachynka (cornmeal dressing), mashed potatoes, smashed white beans with garlic, meatballs in mushroom gravy, oven roast chicken, and more. The male chorus and dance ensemble each performed once more before the energetic groove of Ukrainian band Euphoria had the dance floor bouncing as the New Year fast approached.
Mountain Malanka is a fundraising event for the largest Ukrainian festival in Western Canada. This year, the celebration will be held in Edmonton’s Borden Park on May 26-27.