Adult troupe of the Tryzub Ukrainian Dance Society presents the premiere performances of a multi-city 50th Anniversary Tour in the South Okanagan May 23 and 25. Proceeds of the performances presented in collaboration with the Ukraine Nightingale Project will help Ukrainian families displaced by the war settle in their new home.



Tryzub Ukrainian Dance Society includes South Okanagan on 50th anniversary tour

• Susan McIver
• May 9, 2024

At the end of the month, the Tryzub Ukrainian Dance Society of Calgary will thrill local audiences with spectacular performances of artistry and athleticism.

Tryzub and the Ukraine Nightingale Project will present performances at 7 p.m. in Penticton at the Cleland Theatre, Thursday May 23 and in Oliver at the Venables Theatre, Saturday, May 25.

Tickets for the Cleland Theatre are available online at and for the Venables Theatre at or in person at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

The South Okanagan performances are the first in a multi-city tour in celebration of the dance society’s 50th anniversary.

“We are so pleased that the first performances of this 18-city tour in Western Canada will be in our area,” said UNP founder and director Jennifer Martison.

Two years ago, Martison started UNP to help Ukrainians displaced by the war to settle in the South Okanagan.

For five decades Tryzub has preserved and promoted Ukrainian culture and more recently aided families displaced by the war.

Tryzub selected the South Okanagan because they were so warmly embraced last year, reported chair, board of directors of the dance society John Stadnyk.

In February 2023, the performances of 1000 Flights Out presented in collaboration with UNP and featuring Tryzub’s youth troupe sold out quickly.

This year the adult troupe with semi-professional dancers in stunning traditional costumes secretly made in Ukraine will perform to music composed and recorded under dangerous conditions by a full orchestra in that war-torn country.

The first half of the performances tells the story of folk hero, Oleksa Dovbush, who is compared to Robin Hood, through the eyes of his girlfriend, Dzvinka.

“Dzvinka is a masterpiece of music, costumes and choreography by Tryzub artistic director Shane Gibson,” Stadnyk said.

Spectacular, fast-moving traditional dances comprise the second half.

Guest choreographers, married couple Vitaliy Brahin and Olena Brahina, left the Zaporizhzhia region, location of the country’s largest nuclear plant, for Canada two years ago.

Stadnyk said Vitaliy and Olena decided to leave when missiles began to fly overhead, and they realized both the family’s physical danger and the psychological scars their children would bear.

Both Tryzub and UNP work to alleviate the negative impact of the war on children’s mental health.

The dancers donate their time. Funds raised support the work of Tryzub and UNP.

See the Penticton Herald article.