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Ukrainian dance company celebrates Alberta on Heritage Day

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The artistic director of Tryzub Ukrainian Dance Society says sharing Ukrainian culture through dance is important to him — especially on Heritage Day.

The annual holiday recognizes and celebrates the varied cultural heritage of people who have shaped Alberta.

“I feel a little bit of responsibility for representing the Ukrainian culture in a positive and accurate way,” Shane Gibson said.

“Canada was built on a multicultural type of spirit and more than ever, being able to share Ukrainian culture with the rest of the world is really, really important.”

Gibson said Calgary has a large Ukrainian population.

With the ongoing war in Ukraine, he doesn’t take being able to celebrate his heritage for granted.

Heritage Day celebrations at Heritage Park, Calgary Aug. 1, 2022

“It’s just a reminder to Ukrainians here in Canada how easy it is to be a Ukrainian living in Canada, and actually all ethnicities within Canada, how easy it is to celebrate our diversity and culture without a fear of any repercussions.” 

Tryzub Ukrainian Dance Society performed at Heritage Park, Canada’s largest living history museum, on Monday.

It was one of many events that took place to celebrate Heritage Day and teach people about Alberta’s history.

The historical park allows people to travel back in time and experience first-hand how much the province has changed over the past 100 years.

“It’s one thing to read about history, but it’s another thing to actually ride a steam train or to make butter or to make ice cream or to watch somebody bake a pie, or watch somebody whittle or carve,” said Bob Pearson, community engagement manager for Heritage Park.

Pearson said it’s especially important to introduce kids to experiences like this.

“If you start kids young, learning about the past and experiencing the heritage and culture of not just their own heritage and culture, but those of other people as well, then certainly they will gain an appreciation of that that will carry on through their entire lifetime.”



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