Spring Polka!

Five countries, five different workshops, more than one hundred participants and three common goal – sharing traditions, meeting other cultures, and having fun!

“Spring Polka! Eastern European Dance Night” happened in the theatre at St. Vladimir Institute on Saturday March 25th.

Polky Village Band, representing Poland; Csango Unchained - Hungary; Vychodna Slovak Dancers, representing Slovakia; Stephania Woloshyn from the Lemon Bucket Orchestra representing Ukraine, and Danču Vakars, the Latvians, gathered to meet, and to dance!

Each group taught a few traditional dances from their country. There were mostly couple dances like polka, krakoviak, and waltz, but also circle dances. The most energetic and simple dances were the Hungarian dances with their charismatic dance workshop leader screaming: “That's good enough, but not good enough for me!”

Eastern Europeans like dancing and celebrating their own traditions but they also like to eat and drink! Pierogies kept people’s energy up and Eastern European drinks were there to quench the dancers' thirst.

The event was co-organized by Folk Camp Canada, Kosa Kolektiv and St. Vladimir Institute and was a big success, and there is a plan to have similar events throughout the year. Get ready for the next one, because the organizers are already thinking about a “Summer Polka!”

In the meantime, come dance and celebrate spring with us at our annual Haivky- Spring Revels in the Park, in the ancient Eastern European tradition of calling spring with songs and ritual dances.

DIDUKH Workshop this Saturday!

This Saturday!

Learn how to make a "didukh", a sheaf of grain traditionally prepared by Ukrainians for the home at Christmas time as a way of honouring and bringing the ancestors to the table. Just in time to bring it into the home before the holiday dinners begin.

Pani Slavka Iwasykiw, crafter of all things straw and beautiful, will be leading the workshop.

11am-1pm ish  Kosa studio. 4 Bellwoods Ave., Toronto

$35/25 sliding scale.

To register, please email kosa.kolekitv[at]gmail.com. Spaces are very limited. 


It's November, it's grey and drizzly outside, but together we can share in the warmth and cheer of the coming holidays!

Firstly, Kosa folk and the Folk Camp family are excited to announce that we are launching our brand new Folk Camp Canada membership!

Membership is a way to stay in touch, support our growing community endeavour, and better receive its benefits.

  • It's just $30/year!
  • You get: a handprinted membership card,
  • 10% discount on camp tuition and all Folk Camp events throughout the year and
  • advance notice of events and workshops through an e-newsletter.

In addition, when you become a member this winter, you will have the cost deducted from your Melanka ticket!

Yes, Kosa Melanka is back! And it's a Folk Camp fundraiser!

Traditional Ukrainian New Years celebration, in true folk style, with a generous meal, toasting, caroling, dancing, live folk music (KORINNYA & UKROP VILLAGE BAND)

Traditional Ukrainian New Years celebration, in true folk style, with a generous meal, toasting, caroling, dancing, live folk music (KORINNYA & UKROP VILLAGE BAND)

Details and ticket prices can be found on Facebook.   

Membership and Melanka tickets will be available at the Winter Folk Fair this Saturday from 11AM-6PM. *Cash or cheque please.

Speaking of the Winter Folk Fair, we hope to see you there! It's going to be a wonderful day, with an impressive artisan market and hot food, and a program filled with local folk music acts, communal singing, dancing, crafts, and more. Full program online.

There are lots more activities happening throughout the season, including craft workshops:

Dec 8- Lialky Motanky (Reeled Dolls)

Dec 17- Didukhy (Ancestral Wheat Sheaf)

and koliada (caroling): 

Dec 21- Kosa Koliadnyky at Distillery Christmas Market.

Dec 25- Kosa Koliadnyky for hire on Christmas Day

To keep up to date, become a Folk Camp member!

If you are wishing to purchase membership or melanka tickets from out of town, email us and we'll send you the form and payment information.

Fall: the crafting season.

Myroslava embroidering during Folk Camp 

Myroslava embroidering during Folk Camp 

This autumn season we've all been busy crafting!

 As the weather dips, it's a good time to curl up with a handmade project, whether alone or in the company of other eager 'makers'. From zines to dolls to traditional embroidered shirts, there has been a buzz of activity within our community with workshops and gatherings happening almost every night of the week. 

For those passionate about traditional textiles, Myroslava Boykiv has been leading several groups of women through the process of planning, cutting, and embroidering traditional Ukrainian linen shirts at St. Vladimir Institute downtown and St. Demetrius Church in Etobicoke. In addition, Myroslava has been hosting a drop-in class every Thursday (7-9pm) at St. Vlad's where anyone can learn rare and beautiful embroidery stitches. The class is pwyc and all materials are provided. We're lucky to be working with such a skilled and enthusiastic teacher and hope Myroslava will be able to stay with us a little longer before she returns to her native Ukraine.

In addition to embroidery, the weekly "UKROP: Ukrainian Folk Thursdays at Vlad's" has added singing, dancing, and other crafts to the list of learning possibilities.  The weekly workshops are organized and led by musicians from the Lemon Bucket Orkestra and Bozena from Kosa Kolektiv.  See facebook for the full schedule.

Lalka looking at Spadina ave., Toronto, on

Lalka looking at Spadina ave., Toronto, on

This coming week, we've invited Tatiana Salo to share her craft of "lialky motanky" (reeled dolls), a deeply meaningful craft that is experiencing a resurgence in Ukraine and around the world.

So far, Tatiana's lifesize "motanka" has been holding space at the entrance of the Institute, watching over the flow of people travelling on Spadina Ave., inviting interested passersby to step inside to learn more about this tradition.  

The reeled doll is one of the most ancient toys and sacred items of the Slavic people.  In ancient times every family had a doll that acted as a talisman, a protectress of the kin, was a symbol of female wisdom, and of Mother Earth, and the connection between generations. We are excited to be offering this workshop for our community and look forward to spreading positive energy through these dolls!

Some upcoming workshops to look forward to: "pavuky" (mobiles of natural straw) and "didukhy" (ancestral sheaf of grain). 

And the most exciting thing of all: the culmination of the autumn season of crafting and the launch of holiday craft sales!

Kosa Kolektiv and Folk Camp usher in the winter with our annual Winter Folk Fair- a full day affair at St. Vladimir Institute full of holiday cheer, including an extensive Handmade Market, Food, Entertainment (for all ages), and Folk Singing and Folk Dancing. 

Zines are for the people !

What's a zine (pronounced zeen) you ask ? It's a hand-made, self-published book. Small, big, short, verbose, zines can be made by anyone who can yeild a pen and has something to say. On September 10th, Olenka, Marichka and friends showed intrigued attendees at MakerExpo 2016 in Kitchener, Ontario how to make their very own zines. As with our other workshops, it's exciting to give people general instructions and a lot of tools and see what they come up with. Participants opted to decorate their zines with stamps, papercuts and colourful embroidery floss and stationery. My favourite novice zinester was a 9 year old girl who told us she would use her new book to jot down "Harry Potter Facts". Whatever gets your goat girrrrl. 

Coincidentally, kosa has been making zines for years, using them as a cheap means of distributing song lyrics for weddings and koliada and as part of the Shelter Valley Folk Festival artists' village. Simple and accessible....zines are debatably a folk art. Zines are for the people !

Pysanky season has started!

We have are busy planning pysanky workshops in and outside of Toronto. See the list below to find all the confirmed workshops so far! Our last pysanky workshop will be at the end of April, so come back and check for new pysanky dates. See you soon!


Pysanky (Ukrainian Easter Eggs) Workshop at ARTiculations
11 am 1 pm - SOLD OUT


Pysanky (Ukrainian Easter Eggs) Workshop at ARTiculations
2:30 - 4:30 pm - Register by going HERE


NATURAL DYE Pysanky Workshop at ARTiculations
Register by going HERE


Pysanky (Ukrainian Easter Eggs) Workshop at St. Vladimir Institute.
2 - 5 pm - SOLD OUT


Pysanky (Ukrainian Easter Eggs) Workshop
Please email kosa.kolektiv@gmail.com to reserve a spot.
7 - 10pm


Pysanky (Ukrainian Easter Eggs) Workshop
Please email kosa.kolektiv@gmail.com to reserve a spot.
7 - 10pm

Such a busy winter season...

hello fellow folk in the city (and beyond)!

We have so much great news to share with you about winter season activities!  Lots of workshops in store, as well as opportunities to informally meet, hang out and enjoy each other's company. Don't miss our annual Kalyta revels- a wintertime social where old and new friends break bread together, drink, and make merry! More details can be found within the website. 


Folk Singing in "Village voice"  

Thurs Nov 27: Men's Singing Workshop: Ukrainian Folk Carols with Marichka Kudriavtseva  

Sun Dec 6:  Ukrainian Carols from Left Bank Ukraine with Marichka Kudriavtseva 

date TBA: Polish & Balkan Carols with Ewelina Ferenc

Village-style Folk Dances

Every Monday, traditional folk dancing in a community atmosphere; informal workshops.      May cafe, 876 Dundas St. W, 7:30-10:30 pm. Live music.  www.balfolktoronto.com

"Babooshka Dance Hall"  organized by members of Lemon Bucket Orkestra (LBO)                Thurs Dec 3, St. Vladimir Institute, 7pm

Craft Workshops:

Introduction to Embroidery with Bozena Hrycyna                                                                     Mondays in November (7-9:30pm, St. Vladimir Institute) 

Folk Icon Painting with Yura Rafaliuk                                                                                           Tuesdays Dec.1, 8; Fridays Dec 4, 11; (7-9pm, St. Vladimir Institute)

 Didukh- Ancestral Wheat Sheaf with Yaroslawa Iwasykiw   December 19, details TBA
Pavuky- Traditional Straw mobiles with Karolina Korsak      Feb, details TBA

*please note: most of our workshops are require pre-registration; please see website listing for complete information & payment options*

Celebrations & Performances:

Ukrainian Folk Tapestry Exhibit- music by KalynDar, followed by village-style Ukrainian refreshments    Nov 1, 3pm, 1614 Bloor St. W (Shevchenko Museum)

Kalyta- St. Andrew's Eve, work bee and potluck dinner with folk games & music                      Sat. Dec 12 (St. Vladimir Institute, 4pm-midnight)

Winter Folk Fair, craft & bake sale, art show, koliada sing-along, puppetry & storytelling
Sun Dec 13 (11am- 5pm, St. Vladimir Institute)



Kosa carolers will be roaming the city in December and January bringing song and cheer to all who will listen :) 

If you would like to invite us to your gathering/home/workplace, we would be so grateful! 

We are also touring the Ottawa valley and south-eastern Ontario (Port Hope, Grafton, etc) in late December, so please spread the word and contact us if you would like to be visited by the Kosa crew.

Christmas Market at Distillery District

Kosa Koliadnyky will be singing at the market on Thurs Dec 17, 5-7pm and Sun Dec 20, 5-7pm. 

Come sing along, cheer us on and walk through the charming market.


love & joy to you all!

Community Events in September

Greetings post folk camp 2015 ! For those of you who joined us in Grafton for folk camp from August 24-30th, we hope your transition back into "normal" life is coming along. For those of you who didn't join us....our sincerest condolences ; ).... If you want to experience the magic of folkcamp vicariously through the internet - follow our instagram feed : folk.camp for a compilation of photos. Or stay tuned for details about folkcamp 2016 on our website or folk camp facebook page.

In other news - Kosa kolektiv and friends have a variety of events happening in September that we invite you to be a part of ! Here's what's on:

Thursday, Sept.10th - 3-7 pm - St. Vladimir Institute and Ukrainian Museum of Canada, Ontario Ukrainian Heritage Day

St. Vladimir Institute and Ukrainian Museum of Canada, Ontario Branch invite you to share the celebration of Ukrainian Heritage Day   
3 pm - Art exhibit opening - Ukrainian Canadian artists
4 pm - Musical Program - Featuring - Ewelina Ferenc, our friend and incredible folk singer from Poland
5:30 pm - Diverse yet United, Part II (Exhibit opening at the Ukrainian Museum of Canada, Ontario Branch)

Thursday, Sept.17th - Fall Season Kick-off for a Papercutting Installation

TYPOLOGY Projects, No. 302, Artscape Youngplace, 180 Shaw Street, Toronto

Check out this beautiful papercutting installation art opening, with musical performances by Ewelina Ferenc, Tristan Murphy and some surprise songs by singers from the kosa kolektiv community. More details at : http://typology.ca/exhibition/the-lowest-relief/

Friday, Sept 18thand Saturday, Sept.19th - Ukrainian Festival and Parade for Peace in the East

**VARIOUS EVENTS DURING TORONTO UKRAINIAN FESTIVAL - PLS check our facebook page for details and updates :https://www.facebook.com/events/1650454348500750/

Over 6,000 have died in Ukraine's Donbass region due to ongoing conflict. Thousands have been displaced from their homes and another generation must grow up with the traumas of war. 

Kosa kolektiv and friends invite you to join them as they stage a theatrical Parade for Peace in the East, bringing attention to this conflict in the way they do best - through collaborative arts. We are calling all peace-lovers from our diverse communities to march with us in the Ukrainian Festival Parade, bridging peace within and between our communities ...here in the Ukrainian diaspora.

We invite you to bring instruments, your finest ethnic regalia, and messages of hope for our brothers and sisters in Ukraine.

In preparation for the parade, please join us for the following events and activities :

Friday, Sept.18th - St. Vladimir's Tent - on Bloor St.near Durie St.
5-9 pm (check back for exact times)
- Open Craft Space, banner decorating, paper flower making and message ribbons. All are welcome to come make decorations for the parade. 

Saturday, Sept.19th - St. Vladimir's Tent - on Bloor St.near Durie St.
9 - 10:30 am
- Morning Prep before parade

11 am - 12 pm - Parade - starting in High Park, ends at Jane station

1-3 pm - St. Vladimir's tent, Bloor and Durie St. 
- Additional crafting, papercutting demo by Olenka Kleban, kosa kolektiv and community merchandise for sale and showcase from this year's folk camp held in Grafton, Ontario (folkcamp.ca, instagram: folk.camp).

1:50 pm - Runnymede library, Short Film screening of My Baba's kitchen, a film by our very own Stephanie Turenko !

Check out the Toronto Ukrainian Festival Website for complete festival programming : http://www.ukrainianfestival.com/images/programstreetmap.pdf

Spread the word, spread the love, spread the merriment, 

Kosa kolektiv