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NEWS RELEASE - Babas, Borshch, Pyrohy and a Ukrainian Festival August 27-28 (media launch)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Babas, Borshch, Pyrohy and a Ukrainian Festival August 27-28

June 17, 2022 – EDMONTON, AB: Babas & Borshch Ukrainian Festival committee in conjunction with the Ukrainian Canadian Congress - Alberta Provincial Council (UCC-APC) and with support from Lamont County, hosted its media launch event for the 8th annual Babas and Borshch Ukrainian Festival and Ukrainian Day, planned for August 27-28 in Lamont, AB. (It is also a celebration of 130th anniversary of immigration and settlement to the Cradle of Ukrainian Settlement in Canada.)

“We felt it was especially important to re-create the event this year,” said Festival Coordinator, Hazel Anaka. “Because of the war in Ukraine, it is important to bring people together to support, comfort and even to distract each other from the bad news going on in the world.”

The June 16 media launch was attended by Ukrainian Canadian Congress (Alberta) Provincial Council, Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville MLA Jackie Armstrong-Homeniuk, Lamont County Reeve Diduck and Deputy Reeve Anaka, as well as members of the media, and organizing committee members—including improv. comedian Donovan Workun, who is one of the Borshch Cook-Off judges again in 2022. Attendees were treated to musical performances by fiddler, Charlie Gargus and accordion player, George Paleniuk. MLA Armstrong-Homeniuk brought greetings from the province, and UCC-APC vice president Lydia Migus brought greetings and outlined activities for Ukrainian Day (August 28) in addition to other weekend activities.

For the first time since the festival began in 2013, Babas & Borshch has invited UCC-APC to partner in its celebration of all things Ukrainian; with historic displays, activities, presentations, and more! For many, the ticketed Saturday night Zabava (party) is the highlight of the weekend; it includes a buffet, folk dance, choral performances, and a dance (featuring The Diamonds)—for total immersion into the Ukrainian experience.

All of this culminates in August, when Lamont County, the Town of Lamont and its surrounding municipalities welcome visitors from across Canada and the world to the festival (and depending on impacts of the war, visitors from Ukraine may also be in attendance for these events). It is important to recognize and celebrate Ukrainian Day and Alberta’s historic cradle of Ukrainian settlement with this in-person event.

“Babas and Borshch, a Lamont County’s tourism initiative, happens August 27-28 in the host community – the Town of Lamont, AB, where all Ukrainians and ‘wannabees’ gather to celebrate,” said Anaka. “The addition of UCC-APC’s Ukrainian Day and the intensive joint planning we are doing, ensures an exciting, cohesive, extravaganza that both entertains visitors and recognizes the historic contribution of early settlers to present-day Lamont County.”

The media launch wrapped up with a sampling of pyrohy and borshch, and a short Arkan (circle dance) instruction by TJ Fenton to give a small teaser of some of the Ukrainian food, events and activities at the upcoming weekend Festival.

Festival Details:

WHEN:                 August 28-29
WHERE:               Lamont Recreation Complex 4844-49 St, Lamont, AB
WHY:                   To celebrate Ukrainian heritage in Alberta, Ukrainian Day and to commemorate the 130th anniversary of Lamont County as “The Cradle of Ukrainian Settlement in Canada”.
ACTIVITIES:        Music jam, Chermosh & Dunai dancers, choirs, fiddler Alfie Meyhre, beer garden, food vendors, Baba’s Bazaar, Borshch Cook Off with celebrity judges, historic displays and presentations, a raffle for Ukraine humanitarian aid, kids’ activities, & more.

Learn more and to purchase Zabava tickets for Saturday night, see https://www.babasandborshch.ca.




[Photos Attached – enclosure and media launch backgrounder]

Media inquiries can be directed to:    Festival and other information and inquiries,
Jay Zaal                                                          Hazel Anaka
Communications Coordinator                   Babas & Borshch Ukrainian Festival
780-895-2233 Ext. 222                             www.babasandborshch.ca/
jay.z@lamontcounty.ca                               780-365-2434 / 780-221-2434 (cel.)
www.lamontcounty.ca/news                      babasandborshch@gmail.com


Photo #1 – Musicians Charlie Gargus (fiddle) and George Paleniuk (accordion) provided entertainment at the media launch.

Photo #2 – Baba Magda (Festival Ambassador) is a fixture of the festival, as she interacts with visitors.

Photo #3 – Information about the Babas and Borshch festival and Ukrainian-Canadian Congress (Alberta) partnership to host this important event to recognize Ukrainian history in the region.

Photo #4 – A sampling of pyrohy and borshch was a highlight of the media launch.

Photo #5 – Sharing “all things Ukrainian” is an important part of the festival.

Document #1 – Postcard details for Babas and Borshch festival on August 27-28.

Document #2 – Zabava (Dance) ticket order form (for Saturday’s dinner and dance event featuring The Diamonds).


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