Anna Ostapyk (1924-2017), one of the volunteers who donated countless hours making costumes and props for the Svitanok Society
A four-year-old Ukrainian dancer puts on her spidnytsia (skirt) for the first time and can't help but twirl and watch in awe as it flares around her. A Ukrainian dancer new to a performing ensemble feels the pride and power of generations of dancers before him when he wears a pair of red choboty (boots) for the first time. For Ukrainian dancers, costume pieces reflect their love of performing and act as physical connections to Ukrainian culture.
Throughout its history, the Svitanok Ukrainian Dance Society has diligently worked to gather, maintain, inventory, and preserve a rich collection of Ukrainian costumes and props handmade in Canada's capital region and in Ukraine. All of these pieces -- some over fifty years old -- have accompanied Svitanok or OSUD dancers as they've experienced the magic of performing. All of these pieces also require special storage and ongoing maintenance to ensure their preservation for future use.
Several years ago, the Society invested in the rental of an environmentally controlled storage unit to facilitate proper care and archiving of all props and costumes. To date, this preservation effort has been funded through programming fees generated by the Society.
Unfortunately, due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, the Society has not been able to return to its normal programming for the 2020-21 season. With our usual means of income generation currently unavailable, we will soon be unable to continue funding this critical legacy preservation effort.
Contribute to our Ukrainian Costume Preservation Campaign with a charitable donation to support Ukrainian dance and culture and to help ensure that current and future Svitanok Society dancers continue experiencing the joy of performing.