January 29, 2015

Ukrainians carol at Canadian prime minister’s residence



Ukrainian Canadian carolers at the residence of the prime minister of Canada. Seen in the center is Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s wife, Laureen Harper.

OTTAWA – Ukrainian Canadian carolers performed traditional Ukrainian Christmas and New Year’s carols – “koliady” and “shchedrivky” – at the Canadian prime minister’s residence here on January 8.

At the beginning of the Ukrainian Christmas season (January 7 to 19, according to the Julian calendar), a group of carolers composed of members of Ottawa’s Akord Ukrainian Men’s choir performed a series of carols in Ukrainian.

Weathering bone-chilling weather in Ottawa, the carolers arrived at 24 Sussex at 6 p.m. They greeted Laureen Harper with the traditional Ukrainian Christmas greeting, “Khrystos Narodyvsia,” and then asked “Do you welcome carolers?” Mrs. Harper invited the group into her home and the carolers sang “Dobryi Vechir Tobi.” The carolers then performed “Po Vsiomu Svitu Stala Novуna” (Throughout the World, a New Event).

This was followed by a traditional Ukrainian Christmas greeting, a “vinshuvannia,” recited in English by Michael Reshitnyk.

The choir then continued the performance with “Na Sviatyi Vechir” (On Holy Night), followed by “Shchedryk” (known in English as “Carol of the Bells”) and “Shchedryi Vechir, Dobryi Vechir.”

The carolers concluded by offering their Christmas greetings. Mrs. Harper graciously provided hot chocolate, tea and homemade “rohalyky” to the carolers.

The caroling was organized by the National Office of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress.

The carolers performed under the direction of Olya Katruszenko; the group included Ostap Pruchnicky, Oleh Belkin, Daniel Lega, Volodymyr Katrushenko, Marko Yanishevsky, Andriy Sawchuk, Mr. Reshitnyk, Tom Tytor, Demian Snih, Bohdan Nakoneczny, George Replansky, Lukash Monczak, Michael Koros, Walter Bernyck and Mykhailo Dutka (Father Demian).