Edmonton turnout for Zlata Ognevich exceeds expectations

Zlata Ognevich performs. Photo: Marco Levytsky

NP-UN Western Bureau.

The Friends of the Ukrainian Heritage Pavilion Society had a resounding success with their presentation of Zlata Ognevich at the Newscastle Pub and Grill in Edmonton, June 22.

“I am extremely happy we were able to put up such a great show for our community,” says chief organizer Bohdan Marfei.

“A turnout of 270-280 attendees was unexpected. As we reached the capacity of the venue, I had to stop selling the tickets on the day of the event. I regret that we couldn’t accommodate more people. We have also learned that we needed a higher stage so that all the visitors could enjoy the show.

“The main reason for such a great turnout was the support of the Ukrainian community in Edmonton and the area as well as the high demand for the shows involving the artists from Ukraine,” he added.

A singer with a unique voice, Zlata represented Ukraine in the Eurovision Song Contest 2013 in Malmö with the song “Gravity”, placing third. In September 2017, she joined the outstanding world tenor Andrea Bocelli in a duet in Kyiv. Her Edmonton performance was part of a five-city tour of North America which included Toronto, Chicago, Philadelphia and New York. The tour was coordinated from Kyiv and Toronto.

This was the second concert organized by Friends of the Ukrainian Heritage Pavilion Society, which was formed in November 2015, as a response to a continuous need for new volunteers and their coordination at the Ukrainian Pavilion during the Heritage Festival.

Last year in May they organized their first concert for the Ukrainian band “Antytila”, that turned out to be a successful event.

The Society’s vision is to unite and unify the Ukrainian community around the Heritage Pavilion and other related projects, bringing together like-minded people from the Ukrainian community to showcase our culture, cuisine and art at the Heritage Festival.

As an umbrella for the Ukrainian organizations in the city, UCC-Edmonton was one of the event promoters. The concert also received a generous donation from UNF Edmonton branch, Meest Edmonton, Orbit, and VicDen.

Marfei’s wife Yana and the President of UCC-Edmonton Anastasiya Khoma heplped with the logistics and the last-minute preparations for the concert. Khrystyna Bobylyak, Vitaliy Storozhuk, Oksana Duchak, Orysia Boychuk, Dmytro and Maryna Petrushchak, Maria Vorotylenko, Dmytro Plaksin helped with the transportation and ticket selling. Marko Kopinec was volunteering at the door, took photos and assisted with the rental equipment return.

As for the society’s future plans, “we will be open to offers to host more concerts in the future. As long as we keep adding value to our community and making our diaspora feel like at home, we know we are investing our time, money and effort in a good cause,” says Marfei.