Hospodar and Hospodynia  2018



Vitayemo! Welcome to the 45th Annual Ukrainian Pysanka Festival 2018!

As Hospodar and Hospodynia we are deeply honoured to welcome you to Alberta's premiere showcase of Ukrainian culture. 

Congratulations to the dedicated Executive and volunteers of the Vegreville Cultural Association who always go above and beyond to ensure a successful event and for the wonderful weekend which they have planned for you. This year's festival will surely be most enjoyable and memorable. 

Everyone will have an opportunity to experience our rich, vibrant culture through traditional Ukrainian dance, song, music, food, demonstrations and exhibits all weekend. Enjoy the daily grandstand performances, evening zabavas and be sure not to miss a visit to the world's largest pysanka located just north east of the festival grounds. 

In 2016, our Ukrainian community celebrated 125 years of Ukrainian settlement in Canada. We are blessed to live in the best country in the world.  

We are so fortunate to have so many family, friends and visitors joining us and we personally look forward to meeting as many of you as possible as we celebrate the 44th Vegreville Pysanka Festival.

God Bless! Slava Ukraini!

~ Ed & Irene Cymbaliuk 

Ed was born in Vegreville, the sixth child of Michael and Annie Cymbaliuk of New Kiew, Alberta. He attended Volia and Laniuk Schools before beginning grade six at Two Hills School. After graduation Ed attended Mount Royal College, but due to his father's failing health he returned home and in time took over the family farm. Ed's roots in the Vegreville community extend to the 1950's when he worked at Thomas Garage, a large car and truck dealership, as parts salesman, gas attendant and taxi driver.
Irene was born at Malloy, Alberta, third child of Michael and Mary Luhowy. The Luhowy family moved to New Kiew-Lavoy area in 1945. Irene started school at Zaparozhe, then attended Lavoy and Vegreville schools. Like most young farm girls, Irene spent her days doing household and farm chores and honed her gardening, cooking and sewing skills.
Ed and Irene's families immigrated from Ukraine in 1901 and 1928, respectively. Both of their families were parishioners of the New Kiew Ukrainian Catholic Church of Holy Ascension. Ed and Irene grew up in Ukrainian-speaking homes steeped in traditional family and community values. In their youth, they attended catechism, and were members of the Ukrainian Catholic Youth and church choir.
Ed and Irene were married at New Kiew church in 1961 where they still are active members. They have held various executive positions over the decades in the Parish, Hall and UCWLC organizations. Ed was also a board member of the Alberta Wheat Pool and served on the Two Hills Hospital Board for several years. Irene has spent many years sewing and embroidering Ukrainian costumes for their daughters and grandchildren. Irene continues to find joy in gardening, Ukrainian embroidery, pysanka writing, parish events and she regularly corresponds (in Ukrainian) with her relatives in Ukraine.
Ed and Irene are blessed with one son, Lawrence, and three daughters, Audrey, Michelle and Sheryl. Upon graduating from Two Hills High School, Larry joined the family farm operation on a full-time basis.    All three daughters attended the University of Alberta. After earning B.A. and B.Ed degrees, Audrey began teaching with Edmonton Catholic Schools – first in the Ukrainian Bilingual Program at St. Kevin School, and now at St. Joseph High School. Michelle received a B.Sc in Agriculture and is employed at Agriculture Financial Services Corporation in Vegreville.  She and her family also farm.  Sheryl completed a B.Com degree with distinction and soon after earned her designation as a Chartered Professional Accountant. She is a partner at Synergy Chartered Professional Accountants in Vegreville.  
Ed and Irene have nine grandchildren - Alexander (Lindsay), Eric (Jesse), Melissa, Michael, Amanda, Nathen, Sarah, Brett, Dylan, and one great-granddaughter, Sofia Kalyna. The importance of culture, traditions and faith have been passed down to their children and grandchildren. Their daughters danced with the Two Hills and Sopilka Ukrainian Dance Clubs. All nine grandchildren have danced with one of the dance clubs -  Two Hills, Sopilka or Vohon. Sofia will quite likely follow in their dance-steps. Five of the grandsons have served as altar boys - the four youngest at New Kiew Church.
Ed and Irene still live on the family farm which has grown considerably over the decades. In 2005, the Cymbaliuk family name was added to the centenary monument at the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village which commemorates pioneer settlement in east central Alberta. In 2011, the Cymbaliuk family received the Century Farm and Ranch Award from the Alberta Provincial Government. Larry and his wife Kathryn now operate the farm as Cymbaliuk Farms Ltd. Grandson Michael will be the fifth generation to continue farming on the original homestead.  
Ed and Irene are sincerely honoured that the Vegreville Cultural Association asked them to be Hospodar and Hospodynya of the 44th Annual Pysanka Festival. They look forward to meeting guests from near and far.