Jul 27, 2017 | Festival News Previews and reviews
The third annual Capital Ukrainian Festival brought another fantastic weekend of Ukrainian food, music, dancing, and culture to the nation’s capital. With an attendance of over 25,000, including 6,000 tourists from cities and towns from all over Canada, the USA and Ukraine, celebration of all things Ukrainian was in the air.
There were several highlights delighting the 2017 festival’s visitors. The programming was spectacular and dynamic with no breaks in performance on the main Ukrainian Credit Union stage. The audience was wowed by DakhaBrakha’s unique sound and visitors were entertained by the over 500 performers that took the stage over the course of the weekend. Music and dance ranged from electrified strings to folk flair; the festival had something for everyone! To top the night off on Saturday, Zirka (Canada’s favourite Zabava band), hosted the largest and best Ukrainian dance party that Ottawa has ever seen.
In the Village Voices tent, there wasn’t a dry eye in the crowd as we celebrated the 100th birthday of Maria Reshitnyk in a touching ceremony to honour her life and extensive contributions to the Ukrainian community and people in need. Executive Chef of Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello and former Chef of the Prime Minister’s residence, Tim Wasylko also led two incredible cooking demonstrations, showing the crowd how to make Ukrainian perogies and borshch, and shared cultural stories centred around core foods.
Amid a rainy and cloudy summer, the weather celebrated as well, with hot sunny days on Friday and Saturday, and the rain held off until the end of the festival day on Sunday.
The food was high quality, traditional Ukrainian cuisine. The perogies, which Ukrainians are known for, were in high demand. Over 45,000 were eaten over the weekend. Other favourite menu items were the award winning sausages from Halenda’s Meats, and the 250 litres of homemade borshch prepared fresh throughout the festival dates.
To celebrate Canada’s 150th, the festival collaborated with Ottawa 2017. Artists from across Canada performed at Inspiration Village as a kick off to the festival. On opening night, Ottawa 2017 surprised visitors as Ignite 150 brought their enlightenment kit on site, adding a glowing ambiance enjoyed by all.
This sensational weekend would not have been possible without the help of our over 200 volunteers, and the festival thanks them for their contributions.