19th Bloor West Village Ukrainian Festival

On September 18-20, 2015, Toronto hosted the 19th annual Bloor West Village Ukrainian Festival which is the largest Ukrainian Street Festival in North America.

The Festival consisted of three days of celebrations: two stages featuring non-stop entertainment, cultural pavilions, food, craft & artisan markets, refreshment garden, street dances, sidewalk sale, children’s midway, film festival, exhibitions, theater performances and after-parties.

The OMNI Parade took place on Saturday morning. Yavir School of Dance won Best Non Commercial Entry and Ivan Franko Homes won Best Commercial Entry of the Parade.

The Saturday night concert featured Volya Ukrainian Dance Ensemble from Edmonton, the Ukrainian Bandurist Chorus from Detroit, the Svjata Vatra band from Estonia and a rockabilly band from Ukraine Ot Vinta (Ot Vinta was sponsored by Ukrainian Credit Union Limited).

On Sunday, at 10:30 a.m., an Ecumenical Christian service was held followed by youth performers.
According to the Organizing Committee, this year, the Festival hosted 74 vendors, including 35 arts/crafts/fashion, 17 food, 10 information and 12 sponsors pavilions.

According to Orest Haluszka of Mega Zabava, prior to the Festival, Svjata Vatra visited four Ukrainian Schools in the GTA and presented to about 1,000 kids in total featuring traditional Ukrainian and Estonian Instruments, fun games, and short performances (photo on the top right). Mr. Haluszka informed us that two after-parties were held in Lithuanian Hall and featured Ot Vinta, Svjata Vatra, Klooch (Toronto) and Zrada (Winnipeg). Each after-party gathered up to 500 guests.