Emergency fundraiser aims to keep Ukrainian dance group’s performance going

One of Prince Albert’s oldest arts institutions needs a little help to keep it going.

A day after being inducted into the Prince Albert Arts Hall of Fame, Ukrainian dance club Prince Albert Barveenok hosted an emergency fundraising dinner to keep the club going. The club’s organizers say the past two years have been difficult so every penny counts.

“Covid hasn’t been nice to anyone,” said Kayleigh Skomorowski of Prince Albert’s own Barveenok Dancers.

“We have lost fundraisers over the past two and a half years, which has put us in a very difficult financial situation.”

On Saturday afternoon, a drive-thru perogy meal sale was held as part of fundraising efforts on the south side of the fairgrounds. The event ran until 9 p.m. Saturday.

Hearty Ukrainian cuisine was on the menu at Barveenok Ukrainian Dance Club’s emergency fundraiser on Saturday, June 11. — Image by Marjorie Roden.

Inside the building, preparations were underway for tonight’s fundraising party. This includes a series of door prizes from area businesses, as well as a silent auction and plenty of entertainment for all ages.

“We decided to go big or go home, creating something to bring the community together and really contribute to it,” Skomorowski said.

“This (Saturday) night is a showcase of Barveenok dancers, with a group from Saskatoon, the Pavlychenko Folk Ensemble, often known as PFE. We will also have a live band and dance afterwards, with Dean Bernier and his band.

“We will have a Ukrainian canteen that we will run, which will serve perogies and sausages, Ukrainian dishes.”

The importance of the timing of the event is vital to the Ukrainian community in Prince Albert, according to Skomorowski.

“With everything going on in the world today, we literally have a nation and a culture that is under siege and under attack,” she said. “With an organization like the Barveenok Ukrainian Dancers working to promote and educate Ukrainian culture, this is very important, especially in this time (of war).”