Recently, members of the Sadok Ukrainian Dance Club of Kamsack were “ecstatic” to learn they were the 2019/2020 recipients of the Affinity Community Grant of $5,000.
“Sadok Dance Clubs multi-talented instructor, AnnaLee Parnetta, applied for the grant in the spring of 2019,” said a release from the Club. “This process took many hours to complete and was very much appreciated by the executive, club members and dancers. The grant has allowed the club many opportunities that would not have been attainable by fundraising alone.”
The following information was taken from the Affinity Credit Union Community Grant application to give some background on the grant’s objectives.
“Affinity Credit Union is committed to building a better world by investing our resources in bettering our communities, strengthening our economy and improving quality of life for individuals and families. We focus on distributing funding to local programs and initiatives that make a meaningful difference.
Affinity Credit Union is specifically interested in supporting local initiatives and organizations dedicated to enhancing financial and social well-being for vulnerable individuals, groups or communities, developing and/or maintaining community facilities and infrastructure required for community well-being, facilitating and building capacity for sustainable local economic development, enhancing and promoting environmental sustainability and empowering youth and supporting seniors in the community,” it said.
In her application, Parnetta wrote: “The costumes that the club have, has done the club well but are starting to show quite a bit of wear and tear, plus in order to outfit our current dancers we need a few extras and larger sizes.
“The club owns the costumes and provides them to the dancers so that everyone can participate without the burden of purchasing various costumes annually. The request to purchase the ladies senior costumes is an important purchase for our senior dancers. These costume are an important representation of age and maturity and were never acquired by the club as many of our dancers were below the age of 14 for many years, which is usually the age when these costumes are worn by our young ladies.
“This costume is the costume that many people identify Ukrainian culture and dance. The dancers would be supplying some of the costume pieces themselves (blouse, slip, beads and shoes/boots) and the Club purchased items would be the vest, apron, skirt, headpiece and ribbons. As the club would own these costumes all future senior ladies dancers would be guaranteed to wear this costume when they get to this level of dance.
“This costume has also, uniquely, become an incentive. Over my many years of dance it is interesting how young dancers actually look at the senior costume as an item they want to wear when they get older and these dancers stay dancing so that they can actually wear this unique costume on stage. Thus another reason why we would like to have this for our dancers, to create goal setting for our younger dancers and thus creating some retention for the group.
“The second part of the request is a two-fold process. Saskatchewan has some very good Ukrainian dance instructors who are from Ukraine and are certified instructors of Ukrainian dance. These trained instructors from Ukraine are willing to come to smaller community clubs and provide one day dance workshops to teach students technique and specific regional dances. As an instructor I look for these opportunities for my students to learn from others. I may be the club instructor but I appreciate the expertise of others.
“Within Sadok it is customary to blend two of the older level of dancers together to create a large number dance and this year the Volyn region has been chosen. I myself know some of the steps and techniques of this regional dance but feel that bringing in an expert instructor would benefit both the students and myself.
“Along with learning this regional dance style the club would need to have the costumes for the dance. Although we do have Volyn costumes they are very old and worn and limited in numbers and sizes. So with the new dance it would be wonderful to have a set of new costumes for the club which would be owned by the club and provided to the dancers when needed. This acquisition would also provide more flexibility in future when planning and teaching this dance region.”
Earlier this year, on behalf the Affinity Community Grant, Bryan Cottenie, Joe Kozakewich and Audrey Horkoff presented the cheque to Dawn Krawetz, club president.
“Since receiving funding, the Sadok Club has been able to purchase twenty-two costumes that would have taken many years of fundraising to acquire,” the release continued. “Because of the immense generosity of Affinity Credit Union it was able to purchase senior ladies Poltava costumes, senior mens Poltava blouses, senior and intermediate ladies and mens Volyn costumes, as well as intermediate ladies Poltava costumes including headpieces and accessories.
“The club arranged a one day dance workshop held at the Playhouse theatre over the Christmas holidays with guest instructor Serhiy Zabutnyy of Regina. Zabutnyy put the dancers through an intensive four-hour dance class, where they, along with instructors Parnetta and Kade Wishnevetski, were taught and learned an entire new Volyn dance. Such a process would normally take a few months to complete.
“The Club members wished we were able to take large group pictures of our dance groups to show off the new costumes but due to COVID-19 and the arrival of our costumes in early March we were unable to get any group photos with the new costumes. Luckily a few dancers were eager to show off their new costumes and share individual photos of themselves.
“The Club group photo of the dancers was taken after a performance on February 9 for the Eaglestone Lodge and Nursing Home residents and staff. It was the only chance our dancers had to perform for an audience this year as our season was ended so abruptly.
“The Sadok Ukrainian Dance Club members would like to sincerely thank the Affinity Credit Union for the generosity of the Affinity Community Grant and eagerly look forward to showing off our new costumes on stage as soon as we get the opportunity,” the release concluded.