I had no idea there was such a vibrant Ukrainian presence in the Maritimes! Great article (here) on the history of Ukrainian dance on Cape Breton Island.
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.