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Canada’s National Ukrainian Festival Coming Back Live In 2022

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Two years of hosting an online event is enough for Canada’s National Ukrainian Festival board of directors.

Organizers announced last week planning work is underway to return to a live festival, July 29 to 31, 2022.

“We’re very excited. It feels like it’s almost the first festival again that we’re gonna do,” CNUF president Kayla Gillis said, adding the online version of the festival the past two years served the organization well.

“It really did. We had over 10,000 viewers, so if we could get 10,000 people to come to the festival now that would be even better.”

Gillis indicated ticket pricing details will be made available prior to them going on sale in early January, during the Ukrainian Christmas season.

“We will once again be offering weekend passes and camping passes. Early bird pricing will also be available, we will offer the most affordable option for all those wanting to attend the 2022 festival,” Gillis said.

The plan is to hold the festival at Selo Ukraina, although Gillis said there is still some details to be worked out with the facility board regarding the lease agreement.

“We’re still in the process of working through that and trying to figure that out. Hopefully in the next couple of weeks that will all be sorted out,” she said. “And if not, we already have a plan B.”

Organizers are working closely with Public Health officials to ensure that all those in attendance not only have a wonderful cultural experience, but are safe while at the site.

“On a regular year we would get 5,000 to 6,000 people, so that’s just a little bit less than half capacity of the site. So I think that would still be comfortable for us,” Gillis said. “But we will cap it at half capacity for sure though, just for health reasons. We want to make sure everybody’s safe.”

A lot of effort is currently going into setting the program for the three-day festival and Gillis hopes to have the performer list available when tickets go on sale.

“You know, it’s been it’s been two years, come out and see us. We have some new and exciting things that we want to share with everybody and some stuff we’ve never done before at the festival,” she said. “So even if you’ve been come check it out again please. Please make sure because there are new attractions that will be there.”

All the effort being put into bringing the festival back live, Gillis said, is being expended with CNUF’s supporters in mind.

“All the patrons and supporters, just everybody, sponsors, over the past 57 years. Without them we wouldn’t be carrying on a 57-year plus festival,” she said. “We encourage our many supporters to stay connected to CNUF for ongoing updates through our website, our social media, our media partners and by phone.”

Gillis is also appreciative of all those who have continued to support the festival throughout the pandemic through its fund-raising initiatives, such as the kuba dog barbecue, spirits raffle and the zabava street dance.

“Throughout the month of December, we are selling cash calendars with daily cash prizes to be awarded for the month of January,” she said. “You can support this fund-raiser by purchasing calendars from the festival office in Dauphin, also by calling 204-622-4600. These would make great stocking stuffers.”