THE FESTIVAL STORY
In the early seventies an idea was brought forward by some citizens of Vegreville of Ukrainian descent. Vegreville, being a centre of Ukrainian settlement in northeastern Alberta, might be a logical place for hosting a Ukrainian festival. Such an event, which could become an annual attraction, might be a most innovative and appropriate way to exhibit and preserve some of the finest aspects of our cultural heritage. It could also provide one of the best opportunities for the young generation to learn about their rich culture and for the people in general, to share in the understanding of each other's ethnic values through music, song and dance.
One member of the Town Council, John Huzil, who also brought up the idea to the Vegreville Chamber of Commerce, spearheaded this idea and it was generally accepted as a favourable idea. After several organizational meetings the Vegreville Cultural Association was organized and incorporated on November 15, 1973.
The association decided to sponsor the first Vegreville Ukrainian Festival June 28, 29 & 30, 1974. And so this dream became a reality. The first Ukrainian Festival was held on June 28-30, 1974. Despite lots of rain and many challenges it was a great success. The positive feedback received from the first festival encouraged the Festival Board to proceed with plans for an annual Festival. .
And so the Festival is now four decades old and has in that time observed the Millennium of Christianity in Ukraine, the Centenary of the arrival of Ukrainian immigrants in Canada, and the realization of independence for Ukraine. We anticipate the Festival observing many such events into the new millennium.