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Spirit of CNUF available in online show, Aug. 1

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Anyone feeling down that they will not be able to take in a Canada’s National Ukrainian Festival grandstand show this coming August long weekend, take heart, the festival’s board of directors has you covered.
On Aug. 1, the CNUF board of directors plans to host a virtual grandstand show “live” on the festival website and Facebook page,
“So basically what it is is all the groups that were supposed to perform at this upcoming festival this year, they’ve submitted dances and the bands have done some performances for us,” said CNUF president Kayla Gillis, adding organizers are still attempting to set up a YouTube channel to stream the show.
“It’ll be set up exactly how a grandstand would be. We’re trying to keep this kind of the same, as close to the actual festival as we can.”
The two-hour plus performance will kick off with a skit put together by the board of directors followed by opening ceremonies featuring a few short speeches and the singing of O’ Canada.
“Just to get things going and then we’ll get right into the program. We do have an emcee that will be introducing all of the performers throughout the show,” Gillis said.
The evening will feature taped dance performances by Poltava from Regina, Rusalka from Winnipeg, Saskatoon’s Yevshan, Canada’s National Ukrainian Festival Riding and Dancing Cossacks, Dauphin’s own and some special guests Gillis is keeping a secret until the show.
Additionally several bands will perform including Sloohai from Selkirk and Winnipeg, Millenia from Edmonton, Hloptsi Z Mitzi from Toronto and By Request from Winnipeg, with the possibility of more being added prior to the show, Gillis said.
“It’s kind of all recorded in advance,” she said.
“There will be some live sections in there, but obviously we can’t do everything live just because the groups can’t all meet to actually do their dances right in front of us. But we will have some live segments cut in there.”
Not wanting to let the weekend go unmarked, Gillis said, the festival board of directors thought it was important to give the community and CNUF patrons something to look forward to.
“Even though we can’t all be together and celebrate, we wanted everybody to have their own parties and celebrate the Ukrainian festival just as they would if they were up at the Selo site,” she said.
“I think it’s important to carry on and let everybody know that the festival is here carrying on the Ukrainian culture. It’s a huge part of Manitoba and not just Manitoba, but all across Canada. The festival has been going for 55 years and it’s just the way things worked out. This was our best option and we didn’t want to just sit back and have nothing.”
The show gets underway at 7 p.m.
“We’ve put our heart and soul into this virtual festival, so we hope that everybody is going to enjoy it as much as we did putting it together,” Gillis said, adding if for some reason people miss the live broadcast of the show, it will be available online in the future.