Friday, July 31, 2009
Водограй (Vodohraj - Dance of the Water Fountain), from an LP produced shortly after the KGB murdered the popular singer/songwriter Volodymyr Ivasiuk in 1979. The album was a tribute to Ivasiuk and featured a number of singers and groups who recorded his music. Rotaru was one of them.
According to Wikipedia, this song won the Best Song of the Year award of the Soviet Union in 1972. There's a nice YouTube video featuring a slide show of photos of Sofia Rotaru here. (Embedding has been disabled by request, so I can only direct you to the YouTube site.) The photos are from various stages of her long and prolific career as a stage performer and recording artist.
Водограй was performed by other artists as well as Rotaru. Here's a black & white video of Smerichka performing it at what looks to be a variety show sometime during the Soviet era.
Одна Калина (Odna Kalyna, which means one, or single, kalyna tree) is a more contemporary release. It was very popular during Ukraine's Orange Revolution in 2004. I first saw the video at the Adult Ukrainian Language Immersion Camp in Crystal Lake, Saskatchewan a few years ago. I love the harmonica intro (wish it was worked into more of the song) and the upbeat tempo. And the visuals in the video are gorgeous. We should all age as gracefully as Sofia Rotaru! She is truly gorgeous... not to mention a wonderful singer.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
The play debuted at Rainbow Stage four years ago, and was also performed in front of city hall two months ago, complete with a street mob, horses and a replica streetcar.
Since its Rainbow Stage debut, it's become a vastly different show according to the composer. The stage version is twice as long and much more intimate, the script and song lyrics have been revised, and the ending has changed.
The two-hour, 18-song production is showing through to Aug. 5 at the Canwest Performing Arts Centre at The Forks in Winnipeg.
Schur hopes the play will become an annual fixture at national historic site and as integral to Winnipeg tourism as the musical Anne of Green Gables is to Prince Edward Island.
Read the full (and excellent) article here.
For a viewer's personal perspective, there's a review of the 2007 performance here.
If you can't catch the live performance at The Forks this year, here's the trailer and a clip from the movie version (which you can buy here):
Proof of Concept demo trailer for the Strike! movie musical:
Demo trailer from the movie:
Monday, July 27, 2009
This week's recipe is Ukrainian honey cake. Judy shares some fascinating facts about one of the most prolific flowering trees in Ukraine and a unique and delicious type of honey.
Fr. Edward Danylo Evanko reflects on the bible story of the fishes and the loaves.
The musical mix on last Sunday's program is eclectic doubles ... two tracks by each artist. Featured artists from Canada, the US and Ukraine.
You can use any type of honey in this recipe, just make sure it’s liquid.
Serve this yummy honey cake with a lemon glaze, or a dollop of sour cherry preserves mixed with sour or sweet cream.
It's surprisingly easy to make! Just one little caveat. Honey cakes can burn easily, so make sure your oven temperature never exceeds 325ºF when baking honey cakes.
Here you go:
Judy’s Honey Cake
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 cup liquid honey
1 cup corn or olive oil
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup milk
Beat eggs with mixer, gradually adding sugar, until light.
Blend in honey, then oil. Blend well with each addition.
Sift dry ingredients together. Add flour mixture to egg-honey mixture alternately with milk. Mix until well blended.
Bake in a greased and floured angel food pan, or a 12 cup Bundt pan, at 325ºF' for 60-70 minutes, or until an inserted tester comes out clean.
For a nice easy lemon glaze, just add enough fresh lemon juice to a cup of sifted icing sugar to make a glaze you can drizzle.
See? Easy! :-)
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Here are some clips of Taras Chubai in Toronto, courtesy UkeTube. Enjoy!
Thursday, July 23, 2009
The author makes a very astute observation that what passes for 'tolerance" in Canada is more like timidity ... altho it could also be sheer indifference. (Likely the difference depends on one's socioeconomic bracket or educational background.)
As a social scientist, I oppose this kind of political correctness, lack of assimilation of new immigrants to mainstream Canada , hyphenated-Canadian identity, and the lack of patriotism in our great nation. ...
We have become so timid that the majority cannot assert its own freedom of expression. We cannot publicly question certain foreign social customs, traditions and values that do not fit into the Canadian ethos of equality. Rather than encouraging new immigrants to adjust to Canada , we tolerate peculiar ways of doing things. We do not remind them that they are in Canada, not in their original homelands.
In a multicultural society, it is the responsibility of minorities to adjust to the majority. It does not mean that minorities have to totally amalgamate with the majority. They can practice some of their cultural traditions within their homes -- their backstage behaviour. However, when outside of their homes, their front stage behavior should resemble mainstream Canadian behavior. Whoever comes to Canada must learn the limits of our system. ... (Full article here.)
He makes a valid point about how there is too much molly-coddling of immigrant cultures in Canada today. But from the perspective of a second-generation Canadian of Ukrainian descent, I think he misses a much larger point.
The issue really is about Canadian self-identity and trying to fit immigrants into a pre-determined cultural mold. In that way, things haven't changed much since my grandparents and great-grandparents arrived over 100 years ago.
Granted, some things have.
For example, today's Canadian citizens wouldn't think of demanding that the government throw immigrants into internment camps and have them repair the roads and upgrade the national parks that Ukrainian immigrants built when they were interned from 1914-20.
Today's media and government officials wouldn't think of referring to immigrants as "the scum of the continent" and otherwise maligning and humiliating them publicly.
And most Canadians consider it very uncool to tell an immigrant to "go back where you came from." (Although there are exceptions. Somewhere around 1991 I was told by an English/Indian immigrant that I should move to Ukraine. She was annoyed at my interest in publicizing the celebrations of 100 years of Ukrainian immigration to Canada.)
Still, most of the changes are superficial and the pendulum has merely swung to the opposite extreme.
Now, as the author points out, our society bends over backwards to ensure today's newcomers are allowed to practice their cultures unimpeded by demands to acquire even the minimum language skills to be able to communicate in one of the official languages.
This mollycoddling under the guise of "anti-racism" serves to keep Canadians politically correct and continuing with the business of identifying ourselves as "not American." (Ironically, these same Canadians are rabid consumers of American pop culture and for the most part ignore (if not disparage) the cultures of the peoples within our own borders.)
How many of us consider that the roots of racism could be something a little less superficial than skin colour? Like, maybe, cultural practices and beliefs so different from our own that they require considerable effort to become familiar with, and that carry the risk of conflict when common ground just can't be found.
For example, how can burqas and female circumcision be tolerated by a society that purports to value democracy, human rights, and peacekeeping? (What kind of peace does a woman with mutilated genitals experience under a burqa anyway?) Yet except for the odd brave soul to speak out about it, our society prefers to just leave such culturally sensitive issues to be dealt with in their culturally specific ethnic ghetto. How
We may have started down this slippery slope with turbans for RCMP officers and ceremonial daggers for schoolboys. Not that these things are wrong, per se. Personally I don't agree with them but I can live with them. In the final analysis, a hat does not make a police officer; his or her conduct does. And knives were common on schoolgrounds long before immigrant boys wore them on their pant legs. Such things are really cultural conventions and they're a done deal anyway.
But there is a huge difference between allowing an immigrant girl to wear a headscarf and allowing her to be mutilated, between allowing a boy to wear a knife to school and allowing him to use it as a weapon, and between allowing a police officer to abuse his position of authority, whatever his headgear. Yet so many of us bury our heads in the sand so we don't have to see the underlying issues, much less deal with them.
It does not speak well of Canadian society that the distinctions between language, race and culture are lost on most of us. A century ago, cultural intolerance was disguised as concerns about language. Today it's disguised as concerns about race. Both are red herrings in the debate about culture.
It's highly unlikely that the issues of either racism or language (i.e., official bilingualism) will ever be resolved until we individually treat each other's cultural practices with considerably more respect, and collectively apply a lot more common sense in formulating societal conventions of interacting with each other.
This can only be done by effective communication. And in order to communicate effectively, we really need a common language. In that I also agree with the author.
However, I don't believe we should insist that newcomers divest themselves and their descendants of their respective mother tongues and speak only English and/or French. There is no harm in knowing several languages. Quite the contrary, in fact. (I do, however, draw the line at having a polyglot of official languages based on population numbers of immigrants. That's pretty darn colonial!)
So how far have we come, really, when a Canadian-born member of a "visible minority" calls for our society to step back in time and repeat the mistakes of history?
Until that pendulum stops swinging, nothing will fundamentally change in our society. Regardless of whether or how many of us retain hyphens in our Canadian self-identity.
So I guess I do agree with the author that Canada's tolerance is misplaced. I just disagree as to where and how.
What do you think?
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
... [W]ith the structure of the music business shifting radically, some industry iconoclasts are sidestepping the music giants and inventing new ways for artists to make and market their music — without ever signing a traditional recording contract. ...
[A new] venture, called Polyphonic, which was announced this month, will look to invest a few hundred thousand dollars in new and rising artists who are not signed to record deals and then help them create their own direct links to audiences over the Internet. ...
The major labels — Sony Music, Warner Music, EMI and Universal Music — no longer have such a firm grip on creating and selling professional music and minting hits with prime placement on the radio.
Under the Polyphonic model, bands that receive investments from the firm will operate like start-up companies, recording their own music and choosing outside contractors to handle their publicity, merchandise and touring. ...
Instead of receiving an advance and then possibly reaping royalties later if they have a hit, musicians will share in all the profits from their music and touring. ...
Even the major labels themselves are demonstrating new flexibility for musicians ... In late November, for example, EMI took the unusual step of creating a music services division to provide an array of services — like touring and merchandise support — to musicians who were not signed to the label....
Full article here.
What an interesting development! Of course for artists, DIY self-promotion is a lot of extra work that isn't related to their art. So in that sense it may not be the greatest news.
However, I do believe there is something to be said about being "well-rounded." :-)
I recall seeing a documentary on Loreena McKennitt in which she said that she spends only about 25% of her time on her art, and the rest on her business. But she is an undisputed success, and that 25% is definitely "quality" time... for herself and her fans!
I would love to see Ukrainian Canadian artists following in her footsteps. Many that I feature on Nash Holos don't have websites of their own or even myspace pages. That is a tragedy IMO. Especially when the dollar cost can be as low as zero for a myspace page or a blog. Often the only way to get a CD from a specific artist is directly from them and people often go online first to shop, so it really is important for fans of their music.
I appreciate that music is a hobby for many of these artists, and it is amazing enough that they find the time to do gigs and record CDs that I can play on my program. :-) For that I am truly grateful!
But a selfish little part of me wishes that some of these awesome artists were more prominent in the music biz. I guess I see them as a reflection of myself to some extent. Granted, that's incredibly selfish ... but it's also very human.
That being said, I will continue to hope that the new developments in the music biz will encourage Ukrainian Canadian artists to focus more on the business side of things, and take full advantage of all the opportunities for indies in this Long Tail age.
In this economy, making money from music isn't a bad idea. And with 1.2 million Canadians who identify themselves as having Ukrainian roots, and just as many Americans, there is a pretty sizable target audience on this continent!
Now, how wonderful would it be if companies like Polyphonic were interested in investing in independent radio programs like mine. Hmmm ... maybe it's time to break from blogging a bit and take some of my own advice.
So much to do, so little time! And it's a beautiful summer out here in Lotusland...
But change is inevitably on the horizon at Nash Holos. Next year, 2010, will be a double milestone for me. It will be 20 years since Nash Holos first aired with myself and my two co-hosts, and 10 years I've been doing it solo on CHMB.
So I'd like to mark the occasion with a significant celebration, and maybe even a change in direction. Who knows? With all the new opportunities in this biz, the sky's the limit!
I have nothing specific in mind yet, and I'm totally open to suggestions at this point.
So if you have any, please leave a comment!
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
However, if you tasted it, you would definitely call it delicious. J
This is the first (and likely last) time that I have ever allowed a non-Ukrainian recipe to air on Nash Holos. But Judy so wanted to share it with listeners that I relented … on condition that she make a very strong Ukrainian connection to it.
Knowing Judy as I do, I was confident (even if she wasn’t!) that she would come up with a very interesting one.
She told the story (which, as usual, is very entertaining) on the July 12 broadcast of Nash Holos. The audio archive will be available for download or streaming at the Nash Holos website until about August 9th.
Judy got this recipe from a friend in Rosa, Manitoba ... a Ukrainian lady with a reputation as a fabulous cook. It uses common (if not traditional) packaged ingredients and is sinfully delicious. It is also extremely easy to make.
And who knows, if Judy has her way, it will end up a Canadian export to Ukraine!
For Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake, you will need:
1 cake mix, either white or yellow
1 six-ounce package of Jell-O, strawberry, raspberry or cherry flavour
1 cup sugar
5 cups chopped rhubarb
1 small bag white miniature marshmallows
Put rhubarb in a 9x13 inch baking pan that has been greased and floured.
Mix the package of Jell-O with one cup of sugar and sprinkle over the rhubarb.
Over the top, add the bag of marsmallows, making sure they cover the whole pan.
Mix cake mix as directed and pour over rhubarb and marshmallows.
Bake, at 350ºF for an hour or until cake is done. (Insert a toothpick if clean it is ready.) Let cool for 15 minutes.
Invert onto a pan that is at least two inches larger than your 9x13 pan. Slowly remove the pan, being careful of the juice that will be oozing down the sides of the cake.
Serve warm with ice cream or whipping cream. It’s fantastic cold as well!
Monday, July 20, 2009
The CD of the Week feature was "Diaspora" by The Ukrainians of Leeds, England.
This week's recipe was apple cake, and the spiritual message was about Saint Volodymr, who brought Christianity to Ukraine (or, more accurately, who made Christianity the state religion in Kyivan Rus) in 988 AD.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Here’s a great recipe to help you get your daily dose of apple ... but fair warning: it’s so yummy that you may want to have a double dose or more! :-)
Judy got her first taste of this scrumptious cake in Ukraine on her first visit there in 2002. Her cousin made it for her using apples from the tree in her yard.
If you don’t have your own apple tree, store-bought apples will do just fine. The recipe for this apple cake works well with pitted cherries, plums or sliced peaches or pears. It’s great served with sweetened whipped cream or ice cream.
On the July 19 broadcast of Nash Holos, Judy shared an interesting anecdote about her trip as well as some neat trivia about apples on Ukrainian Food Flair. The podcast is on the playlist page for download or streaming and will be there until about August 16. The separate Food Flair segment will remain on the features page until the site is updated after next Sunday’s program.
In the meantime, here’s the recipe:
1 ½ cups flour
¼ cup sugar
¼ tsp salt
2 tablespoons baking powder
1/3 cup butter
1 large egg, well beaten
½ cup cream
½ cup sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
4 tart apples, thinly sliced
Sift together flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Cut in butter until crumbly.
Combine beaten egg with cream and stir into the flour mixture. Mix lightly, handling the dough as little as possible. Pat dough into a buttered 8x8 inch baking pan.
Pare apples. Slice very thinly and spread over the dough.
Mix the sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over apples. Dot with butter.
Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until fruit is tender.
Serves 6. (Or, you and a loved one!)
For added flavour, and a North America flair, sprinkle ½ cup of shredded cheddar over the top of apples before adding the cinnamon and sugar and popping it in the oven.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
I just got word from the producer that the program is on summer hiatus and will resume broadcasting on September 27 on OMNI TV in Vancouver.
In the meantime, I'm told Kontakt staff are producing new programs, which can be seen on Expressvu Canada wide.
Hopefully I'll have more details soon and be able to update the info here with some links.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
An amazing exhibit at the Cape Breton University art gallery entitled a Cape Breton Story of Ukrainian Dance: From Village to Stage has been running since June 12.
... The local exhibit has been augmented by several panels on loan from the University of Alberta — panels which sketch the evolution of dance from various regions of the [sic] Ukraine.
... What is particularly admirable, however, is the incredible spirit and tenacity of these Ukrainian Canadians, most of whom came to this country to build better lives. They had a will to survive and to prosper.
...There was even in the 1950s a well-known choir, which became a vibrant symbol of artistic activity. ... The folk ballet eventually became the Ukrainian Folk Dancers. With about 27 members, they performed at the National Ukrainian Festival in Dauphin, Man. in 1974, in the heartland of Ukrainian culture, and came first in the intermediate dance combination, quite a feat for a small Cape Breton Ukrainian community. They won in 1975 as well.
If you're in the area or planning to visit, this wonderful exhibit of the heyday of Cape Breton Ukrainian dance is a must-see. It runs until Aug. 14, 2009.
Read full article here.
Thursday, July 09, 2009
From May 15-17, 2009 The Taras Shevchenko State Pedagogical University in Chernihiv Ukraine hosted a Diaspora Conference entitled “”Ukraine in the World: Ukraine is There Where Ukrainians Live.”
The conference was organized by Prof. Stanislaw Ponomarovskiy, head of the university’s Foundation of Public Innovations: Ukraine-Diaspora. The conference attracted some 100 delegates from Ukraine and the diaspora countries, who presented papers. Another 87 papers were submitted by scholars who could not attend.
Conference sub themes were:
- the analysis and the contemporary situation of diaspora countries and their major institutions and leaders;
- art, folklore and the church in the diaspora;
- language and literature of the diaspora;
- education and schooling in the diaspora;
- holodomor and the diaspora; and
- research projects on the diaspora of young scholars.
- Oleh Wolowyna of Chapel Hill, USA (on the fourth wave of Ukrainian settlement in USA);
- Roman Yereniuk of the Centre for Ukrainian Canadian Studies, University of Manitoba in Winnipeg (on the religious press in Canada and its reporting on the Holodomor);
- Daryna Teteryna-Blokhin of Munich, Germany (on the political and economic status of Ukraine on the eve of the holodomor); and
- Oleksander Kapitonenko of Sumy, Ukraine (on the Australian period in the life of artist David Buruliuk.
The sectional thematic papers were well received. Many were on the themes on the diaspora of Canada and USA. Many scholars were younger, aged 23-35, and showed excellent research talents in their papers. All the papers will be published and/or formatted on CDs in the late summer and will be available for purchase.This is the sixth such diaspora conference in the last five years, and shows that the area of diaspora studies has a significant following among scholars in the west as well as in Ukraine.
For more information on this and other Ukrainian Canadian news events contact Professor Roman Yereniuk, Acting Director of the Centre for Ukrainian Canadian Studies at the University of Manitoba by phone at 204-474-8907 or email .
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
Nothing beats a Canadian road trip. From the rocky splendours of the west, through spectacular stretches of alpine meadows, towards the sweeping ocean vistas of the east—it seems that, no matter which way we steer the wheel, there’s something to see. But it’s not all natural scenery; the landscape abounds with quirky landmarks that capture the spirit of small-town Canada and never fail to get tourists talking. This July, Canada Post will issue the first set in a three-year stamp series showcasing Canada’s famous roadside attractions. ...
"A long journey down the Yellowhead Highway leads us to Vegreville, AB, where a massive Easter egg—the largest in the world, in fact—is on display at the entrance to Elk Island National Park. Its name, Pysanka, is Ukrainian for “Easter egg,” and it symbolizes Vegreville’s vibrant folk culture." ...
Full details and photos at the Canada Post website.
On their second CD, Giants of the Prairies, The Kubasonics do a musical tribute to some of those "quirky landmarks" on the prairies ... the afore-mentioned pysanka, of course, and others with a Ukrainian flavour. :-)
It's the title track. If you haven't heard the tune yet, or want to hear it again, it aired on Nash Holos on June 28. Check it out here (at 15:02).
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
Adult Ukrainian Language Immersion Camp takes place this year from Thursday Aug. 13th to Sunday Aug. 16th at Trident Camp, Crystal Lake, 25 km north of Canora, Saskatchewan.
Marking its ninth anniversary, the highly successful program has been attended by participants from across Canada and from the USA. The program offers three levels of language classes (beginner, intermediate and advanced) as well as many cultural programs and activities.
Registration before July 9th is $185 per student, and $200 if paid after July 9th. For more information, please contact Tony Harras in Regina at 306-586-6805 or by e-mail. Or visit the AULIC website.
Poppy seeds are a classic addition to buttered egg noodles, fruit salad dressings and fragrant yeast breads. They add a nutty flavour and texture to cookies, cakes, breads, strudels, pastry crusts, pancake and waffle batters, and more.
A little secret all good Ukrainian cooks know: to get the true flavour of the seeds, you must first soak, then grind them.
One of my favourite desserts is poppyseed cake, which could usually be found at most Ukrainian gatherings… to my delight growing up, as my mom seldom made it.
Here’s a recipe for a poppyseed cake that Judy shared on Ukrainian Food Flair last Sunday on Nash Holos:
Poppy Seed Cake With Lemon
1 cup ground poppy seeds
1 cup milk
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
3 eggs, separated
2 cups flour
½ tsp salt
2 ½ tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla extract
Juice and rind of 1 lemon
Powdered sugar for dusting
Put poppy seeds in milk and bring to a boil. Set aside for one hour.
Pre-heat oven to 350ºF Cream butter & sugar together, beat in egg yolks. Add poppy seed milk mixture.
Sift flour, salt and baking powder, stir into the batter.
Beat whites of the eggs until stiff. Fold into the batter, with vanilla, lemon juice and rind.
Grease a large loaf-pan with butter or oil. Dust the pan with flour, and add the batter.
Bake about 1 hour, if it springs back when touched with a finger, and if a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, the cake is ready.
Invert the cake over a rack to cool. Just before serving, sprinkle with powdered sugar.
But the audio archives at Nash Holos are current to this past Sunday. Not sure what's happening over at Chetverta Khvylia. Pavlo is travelling and his pinch-hitters haven't been providing me with their audio files. Hopefully we'll get back to the usual routine soon. Will keep you posted.
In the meantime, I've finally got the recipes posted here and reinstated them on the website. Not sure how they got erased, but it certainly wasn't deliberate! At any rate, they're back and I'll add the recent links with the next update.
I'm doing something a little different on the playlist page. I'm adding a live link to the featured groups right in the playlist. So if you hear a song you like and want to check out the band or the singer, and maybe order a CD, you can go directly there from the playlist page. No need to do a search now!
Other little changes will be forthcoming. The big website revamp I'd been counting on didn't work out quite as I'd hoped, so for the time being any changes will be small and occasional. (But hopefully useful!)
Enjoy the show!