‘It’s infectious’: Ukrainian culture on display in Saskatoon park

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WATCH ABOVE: Ukrainian Day in the Park took over Kiwanis Park in downtown Saskatoon on Saturday. Rebekah Lesko reports – Aug 26, 2017

Lana Niland brought a bit of Ukraine to Saskatoon on Saturday.

She was selling Ukrainian clothing and goods at Ukrainian Day in the Park at Kiwanis Park.

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The event is Saskatchewan’s largest outdoor Ukrainian festival featuring music, dancing, food and cultural displays and souvenirs.

Niland’s online company, Postmark Ukraine, works with dozens of Ukrainian artists who make handmade original goods.

They hope to “ensure the beauty that is often found in Ukrainian pieces continues to lives on in different cultures in Canada, the US, Australia,” Niland explained.

Niland is also emceeing the event. She was born in Saskatoon, but for the past 14 years has called Kyiv, Ukraine her home.

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She said she fell in love with the culture after first visiting over 20 years ago.

“I really understood there was an energy about this incredible place. It really pulls you in — it doesn’t matter if you have… Ukrainian roots or not and to bring a piece of that energy — that ‘dusha’ we call ‘soul’ in English — to Canada.”

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Niland herself is not Ukrainian, but calls the country’s culture “infectious.”

The Ukrainian Day event, which celebrates Ukraine’s independence, marks its 15th anniversary this year.

“It originally started simply as a celebration in the Ukrainian community. It has now expanded to where we host Saskatoon,” said David Prokopchuk, the chair of Ukrainian Day in the Park.

Organizers are expecting upwards of 12,000 people to attend, making it the biggest year for the event to date.

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