Online Ukrainian New Year's celebrations will hopefully be a 'restart,' organizer says
Last year's live stream had 3,000 viewers
Ukrainians in Manitoba will gather online on Saturday evening to celebrate Malanka, or Ukrainian New Year, with food, music and dancing.
Marysa Fosty is helping to organize the virtual event, together with the Plast Ukrainian Youth Association, which she hopes will serve as a restart.
"Just using it as an opportunity to come together and have a fresh start in the new year while still celebrating old traditions," she said in an interview with CBC Manitoba's Stephanie Cram on the Weekend Morning Show on Saturday.
Last year because of the pandemic, organizers took the celebrations online. Even so, the event attracted viewers from all over the country, the U.S. and even in Ukraine.
"We had, I think over 3,000 people tune in to the live stream, and over a 24-hour period —because the live stream does stay up on YouTube — we had about 8,000 people view it from all over the world, so it was a huge success," Fosty said.
The online celebration was so well received, they decided to do it again this year.
The Malanka celebration will feature Ukrainian dance groups, choirs and bands from across North America.
Fosty says she knows part of the fun comes from singing and dancing with others. To simulate the feel of a Malanka party, viewers are urged to post pictures and videos of their at-home celebrations on social media.
"They can use our hashtag #MalankaWinnipeg, and we can definitely see all the fun they're having," she said.
To tune into the celebration, visit the Malanka Winnipeg website.
With files from Stephanie Cram