The Ukrainian Pavilion, located in the Ukrainian Reading Association Hall on Assiniboine Avenue, entertained guests with traditional song, dance, drink and mouth-watering dishes throughout the course of Brandon’s Lieutenant Governor’s Winter Festival, and on the final night, the building was filled with the lively music late into the night. Boasting a glorious selection of Ukrainian classics like perogies, cabbage rolls, borscht and kolbasa, the pavilion also offered guests the option of two imported beers from the Ukraine—Lvivske Premium and Slavutych—as well as vodka imports. Dances, including the Poltava, Hutsul, and Bukovynia dances, were performed by the Brandon Troyanda School of Dance and the Teren Dancers from Oakburn, Manitoba. Featuring The Sawchuk Sisters, performing traditional Ukrainian songs accompanied by violin, the stage was also occupied by The Ukrainian Band, who highlighted an exceptionally talented guest violinist and a Ukrainian folk singer. Decked in the Ukraine’s robin’s-egg blue and yellow, the hall was yet ablaze in rainbow hues reminiscent of the costumes of the Poltava dancers present. Each table featured intricately painted eggs, completing the festive atmosphere which placed this pavilion among one of the best this year.
The Westman Centennial Auditorium was filled with a variety of musical guests throughout the duration of the Winter Festival while the Metis pavilion called it home. Displaying traditionally shaved, dried and stretched furs, wood carvings, and accurate models of traditional housing units, various booths lining the lobby offered guests a glimpse into a rich culture vital in our country’s history and unfortunately sometimes forgotten. The entertainers present throughout the weekend included the Winnipeg Infinity Dancers, the Metis Trail Band, the Metis Club Traditional Dancers, Helen & The Heartbreakers, and Jason Lepine and Tony Larocque, and local artists had their albums available for purchase.
Sharing the Victoria Inn with the Scottish pavilion, the German pavilion kept wandering guests entertained with a variety of shows. From a leberwurst eating contest commentated by 94.7 Star FM’s Tyler Glen to stunning performances by the Alpine Express Showband and the Winnipeg Neuschwanstein Dancers, the venue was hoppin’! The transition from the frigid Canadian winter to Germany was complete by the presence of a skilled woodcarver, a host of German flags and beer pitchers suspended from the ceiling, and the wafting scent of excellent German food. The “Marketplatz” offered fresh soft pretzels, candied apples, German chocolate and souvenirs, like Oktoberfest beer steins and goofy beer goggles.