When I was working out of my home, I dreaded the beginning of August because it meant that work would be starting up in just a few weeks. So long to relaxing at home, having late night Summer barbecues and just lazing around the house. No, August meant it was time to do everything in and around the home during the Summer that never got looked at during the busy school year.
Canada’s National Ukrainian Festival has always been a highlight in the Summer. My Man and I had so much fun at last year’s 50th celebration. So much to see and so much to do.
However, this year, the 51st, was just not the same. Not sure why. Perhaps it was the fact that there was a fire in the Mall and the festival office was destroyed last year. Lots of great displays and priceless artifacts are gone. Is that why they had so many competitions? Perhaps it was the lack of participants in these events like the pysanky and kolach demonstrations. Perhaps it had something to do with the organising committees. Lots of new faces.
Now I’m not knocking the fact that everyone tried their best and many people worked very hard at this festival. There was something missing however. I’m actually quite concerned that there are not enough “old timers” involved in steering the direction that the festival now seems to be taking.
Now don’t get me wrong either. Encouraging a younger executive and board members to get involved is good if you want to keep this half century old festival going. New blood is needed as some would say. However, there appears that not enough people involved really understand what it was like to come to Canada so many years ago and start-up a new life.
I do hope that the Board of Directors and the City realise that pioneers and their stories of their struggles are needed at the festival to keep the spirit of the Ukrainian culture at the centre. People travelled many miles and had to work together to clear the land, build homes and support one another through some very harsh times. Working together and team work was essential back then. It’s needed now for the festival as well.
I wish the people of Dauphin and especially the CNUF organization all the best because I want to be able to attend the 75th CNUF celebration.
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