This year marks the 120th anniversary of the arrival of Ukrainians in Surrey. According to the 2006 census, there were 16,050 Ukrainians residing in our city. In celebration of Surrey’s rich tapestry of Ukrainian culture, The Surrey Museum is hosting a Ukrainian Cultural Afternoon on April 9.
Visitors will be welcomed with toe-tapping music, pysanky egg decorating demonstrations, displays, vintage films, and a colouring table for kids.
In 2010, in partnership with members of the Ukrainian community, the museum hosted its first cultural afternoon and was filled to capacity as crowds came in.
This year’s highlight will be a 1 p.m. concert by the Ukrainian Dulcimer Ensemble.
“When we started out, none of us knew a note,” says Surrey resident Gladys Andreas, who formed the Ukrainian Dulcimer Ensemble with her musical partners in 1998.
The ensemble, whose members grew up listening to Ukrainian music, soon became sought-after musicians playing for audiences throughout the Lower Mainland, other provinces and U.S. states.
A forerunner to the pianoforte and the piano, the dulcimer is a trapezoid-shaped string instrument with anywhere from 120 to 144 strings, played by striking the strings with a wooden hammer.
In addition to the dulcimer, the ensemble includes accompaniment by fiddle, guitar, mandolin, and harmonica.
The afternoon’s activities also include dancing by Surrey’s Kvitka Ukrainian Dancers (1 p.m.) and a Ukrainian film series (11 a.m. to 1 p.m).
The Surrey Museum is located at 17710 56A Ave. This year’s admission has been sponsored by the Friends of the Museum Society. For more information, call 604-592-6956 or visit www.surrey.ca/heritage