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Llama Tales

Folklorama Member recounts time at the Viña del Mar International Song Festival

Vol. 13, Issue 2 April/May/June 2012


Ça Claque! on stage at the Viña del Mar International Song Festival.

hen we first applied to the Viña del Mar International Song Festival in Chile, we knew nothing about it. We applied blindly without knowing the immensity of the production that was awaiting us. The thought of a small French-Canadian folk group being accepted in this festival was slim, but we applied our newly recorded song “Automne” because we had nothing to lose.

Naturally, hearing about our acceptance blew us away. Five airports later, we arrived at the beautiful city Viña del Mar, and in the hands of the staff at the Chilevisión television network and the festival. No more worries for us! Since we were one of the only groups that didn’t speak fluent Spanish, meeting our competition and speaking to the media was our challenge. Fortunately, we had Folklorama’s Christian Hidalgo-Mazzei, a native of Chile, with us to help with translation. We’ve never experienced so much press and attention, but through it we created new friendships and important contacts. The first week was rehearsals with the hired dancers, and figuring out our placement on stage and how it looked to the audience. These lasted about 15 minutes each and then we had the rest of the day off. A la playa! Our downtime was spent exploring the city and its multiple beaches, sampling the local food and beers, and taking in our surroundings. A few sound checks later, we were ready to perform. After catching a glimpse of the audience and television cameras, we didn’t feel as nervous as we thought we would. Our confidence came from the dozens of technicians looking after us, making sure our equipment was functioning glitch-free. The previous group finished their performance, and we had 10 seconds to run across the massive stage and assemble our set. Our performances went off without a hitch, and we weren’t bothered by having 15,000 spectators plus millions of television viewers watching us: we were more focused on hitting the right notes and not tripping on stage. After performing twice and being scored by the nine celebrity judges, it was announced who would move on to the next round. Unfortunately, we didn’t make the top three, so our run to the “Gaviota de Plata” (Silver Seagull) trophy was over. But winning was not a priority for us. We were distracted by the exposure we were getting and the people we were meeting. The best part about it was that we never heard a negative comment on our song or performance. Our biggest fans might have been the technicians, since we were an easy group to work with, but we also felt the viewers loved it after reading the comments on our videos and on Twitter. This festival encouraged us to keep writing and improving our performance, with a new understanding of high-production events. We will always remember this experience. Thank you to everyone for promoting Ça Claque! in Chile and in Winnipeg. Thank you! -Members of Ça Claque! Ça Claque! on the red carpet.

INTRODUCING YOUR NEW BOARD OF DIRECTORS! Folklorama’s new Board of Directors was appointed at the Annual General Meeting of Folklorama/Folk Arts Council of Winnipeg on March 29 and met on April 11 to elect the president and chair positions. The new and returning faces on the board for 2012-2013 include: Dr. Rayleen De Luca, O.M., PRESIDENT Rayleen has been a Folklorama volunteer for over 35 years. She is an active member of the Italian community and also aided in the development of the Brazilian Pavilion. She was inducted into the Order of Manitoba in 2011 and in 2008 received the YWCA Woman of Distinction Award in Health and Wellness and the Outreach Award from the president of the University of Manitoba. This is Rayleen’s fourth year on the board and her first year as President.

Tracy Balagus, CHAIR, FINANCE AND AUDIT COMMITTEE Tracy is an active member of both the Irish and Ukrainian communities. She is past president of the St. Anne Ukrainian Catholic Church and has been involved with the Irish community for over 15 years with the Isle of the Shamrock Pavilion, the Irish Association of Manitoba and the McConnell School of Dance Students’ Association. This is Tracy’s fourth year on the board and her second year as Chair, Finance and Audit.

Angie Boehm, CHAIR, YOUTH COMMITTEE Angie has been the assistant and pavilion coordinator for the Italian Pavilion and Adult Ambassador and assistant dance coordinator at the Sicilian Pavilion. Angie has served on the board of directors of the Club Siciliano of Winnipeg Inc. as the Treasurer and as a director on the board for the Dante Alighieri Italian Cultural Society. Currently she serves as the President of the Manitoba Association of Volunteer Administration and is a member the Canadian Administrators of Volunteer Resources and the Human Resource Management Association of Manitoba. This is Angie’s third year on the board and her first year as Chair, Youth.

Yvonne Hawryliuk, LICENSING COMMITTEE Yvonne’s involvement with the Ukraine-Kyiv community started when she was five years old, and she continues to be active with many organizations. She danced for over 25 years with the Orlan Ukrainian Folk Ensemble and is a founding member of the Orlan Alumni Association. She is on the board of directors of the Hoosli Ukrainian Male Chorus, Ukrainian Professional and Business Club and St. Boniface Foundation and is the director of the Vesna Ukrainian Dance School. Yvonne was also Folklorama Ambassador General in 2008. This is Yvonne’s fourth year on the board.

Mohamed Ismath, CHAIR, NOMINATING COMMITTEE Mohamed has been extensively involved with Folklorama and the Tamil community, serving two years as pavilion coordinator for the Tamil Pavilion and two years as president of the Folklorama Board of Directors. He also has been a board member for the Tamil Cultural Society of Manitoba and for the Sri Lanka Association of Manitoba. This is Mohamed’s sixth year on the board and his first year as Chair, Nominating.

Zaleena Salaam, CHAIR, MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE Zaleena has served in leadership positions for several cultural and community service organizations in Winnipeg, and for the past 20 years she has been actively involved in the West Indian community. Zaleena is one of the founding members of the WIT Masters Toastmasters Club in Manitoba and has held various positions such as president, vice-president of education and treasurer. She also sat on the board of directors of the Cancer Society of Manitoba and she was honoured to be selected to represent Folklorama as a 2010 Adult Ambassador General. This is Zaleena’s second year on the board and her first as Chair, Membership.

Ashley Sharpe, CHAIR, SCHOLARSHIP COMMITTEE Ashley has been involved with Folklorama for many years as both a volunteer and a performer at the Pavilion of Scotland. She has been an Ambassador for the pavilion and was also an Ambassador General for Folklorama in 2009, during which she handled all French media interviews. Ashley brings her skills as a teacher, her thorough knowledge of Folklorama and her involvement with the Scottish community to her third year on the Board.

Amelia Sheocharan, CHAIR, REVIEW COMMITTEE Amelia has been involved with the Indo Tropical Paradise Pavilion since its inaugural year, and her many contributions to the community have been recognized. She has served as pavilion coordinator and has been a member of the Folklorama Licensing Committee. She has also been Chair, Festival Development and Licensing. This is Amelia’s second year as Chair, Review and her fourth year on the Board.

Dr. Ganpat Lodha, DIRECTOR Ganpat has been involved with Folklorama in various capacities since 2001 and is a life member of the India Association of Manitoba Inc. He is a patron member of the Hindu Society of Manitoba and also serves on its board. He has been both the chair of cultural display at the India Pavilion and was the pavilion coordinator in 2006 and 2007. While this is his first year on the Folklorama board, he has been a member of the Steering, Licensing and Scholarship Committees.

Shubha Mathur, DIRECTOR Shubha’s involvement with both Folklorama and the Indian community is extensive. She has been an active volunteer and performer for the India Pavilion for many years and has been an instructor at the India School of Dance, Music and Theatre since 2003. Shubha has also acted as Ambassador for the India Pavilion, was a Folklorama Ambassador General in 2007 and was a judge for the 2010 Ambassador General Competition. This is Shubha’s third year on the Board.

Margaret Strachan, DIRECTOR Margaret has been actively involved in both the Council of Caribbean Organization of Manitoba and also the Grenadian Association of Manitoba as a founding member and president for four two-year terms. She has served as an Adult Ambassador, Chair of Finance, Chair of the Folklorama Management Committee, secretary and purchaser of the Caribbean Pavilion and has been a judge of Folklorama’s Adult Ambassador General Competition two years in a row. This is her first year on the Board.

Jordan Wall, DIRECTOR Jordan has played an active role in Folklorama for the past 15 years and for the last six years he has been serving as both president of the Scandinavian Folk Group and coordinator of the Scandinavian Pavilion. Prior to this, he acted as vice-president and assistant coordinator. This is Jordan’s first year on the Board but he has been a member of the Steering Committee three times, including this year.

KAYUMANGGI IN CANADA’S GOT TALENT Philipine performing arts group explains their run up to Canada’s premiere talent show

Kayumanggi Philippine Performing Arts of Philippine Association


e were centre stage, under bright lights and looking into a sea of faces. Donned in bright coloured costumes, we were ready to tell a story about a princess being rescued by her prince. We were ready to say, “We are Kayumanggi.” When we heard about auditions for the first season of Canada’s Got Talent coming to Winnipeg, we didn’t jump on it right away. But after much discussion, we decided we wanted to share our talent, culture, and passion for dance with the rest of Canada. Every summer, 50 dancers of all ages and (at least) 50 volunteers help make our Folkloroma show possible. Winnipeg is already pretty familiar with our show through Folkloroma, and this was evident even backstage where people recognized our bamboo dances from the show. We felt their support, which became even more real when we stepped on stage and saw the faces of our parents, relatives and friends. Their mere presence, their handmade signs and their chanting was overwhelming. It made us want to tell our story that much more, and drove us to show Canada what we love to do: dance. Before we could even catch our breath, our moment came. We moved in sync, weaving through the bamboo with fans, umbrellas and scarves. After every step or pose, we thought about all the sweat and frustration we had gone through to get to where we were. And just as fast as it came, it was over. The judges gave us their feedback, describing our performance as “beautiful paintings.” When we received a unanimous “yes,” every one of us was overcome with joy and disbelief. It was a truly once-in-alifetime moment, and something that brought all of us closer. This feeling hit us again when we saw ourselves on television. It was so humbling to see such support coming from Winnipeg, from our friends and strangers alike. We didn’t realize how far this reached until people from other provinces and other countries acknowledged our accomplishments. And although we did not make it to the Toronto stage of Canada’s Got Talent, we will forever be grateful that we were able to tell our story. We are a family brought together from all walks of life and proud to be performers, proud to be warm-hearted, and proud to be Kayumanggi. This summer, we will return to the stage at Folklorama, under bright lights and looking into a sea of faces to create larger than life moments just like this one. By: Mari Udarbe

WELCOME ABOARD! Olga Pogrebinskaia Festival Services Assistant

Board of Directors Dr. Rayleen De Luca, O.M., President Tracy Balagus, Chair, Finance and Audit Angie Boehm, Chair, Youth Yvonne Hawryliuk, Chair, Licensing Mohamed Ismath, Chair, Nominating Zaleena Salaam, Chair, Membership Ashley Sharpe, Chair, Scholarship Amelia Sheocharan, Chair, Review Dr. Ganpat Lodha, Director Shubha Mathur, Director Margaret Strachan, Director Jordan Wall, Director

Staff Debra Zoerb, Executive Director Elsie Castillo, Office Assistant/Receptionist Chelsey Delaquis, Tourism Coordinator Murray S. Greenfield, Director of Tourism Kevan Hannah, Marketing Coordinator Lisa Harrison, Director of Marketing & Communications Christian Hidalgo-Mazzei, Agency Producer Sheri Jack, Director of Festival Services Robert Jones, Director of Finance & Administration Edson Novoa, Agency Coordinator Olga Pogrebinskaia, Festival Services Coordinator Jannette Saul, Accounting Assistant Jo-Anne Swanson, Executive Assistant

Folklorama 2nd Floor - 183 Kennedy Street Winnipeg MB, Canada R3C 1S6 P 1.204.982.6210 F 1.204.943.1956 TF 1.800.665.0234 E

Olga has been involved with Folklorama for eight years, including four years spent as the Adult Ambassador of the Russian Pavilion. A graduate of the Asper School of Business at the University of Manitoba, she holds a degree in business with a dual major in marketing and human resources. Originally from Russia, Olga has spent the last 12 years living in Canada.

Kevan Hannah Marketing Coordinator Kevan holds a degree in communications from The University of Winnipeg, and will be graduating from the Creative Communications program at Red River College in June. He assists in the coordination and implementation of marketing and promotional programs, media relations and other communication vehicles.

Cambrian is proud to sponsor the Folklorama Ambassador Program.

11 branches serving Winnipeg and Selkirk I 925-2600 I


A special thank you to our outgoing board members Gary Sarcida (top left), Jim Court (top right), and Julian Guibega (bottom right), pictured with Past-President Mohamed Ismath, for their years of dedication and support!


olklorama was proud to participate in Take Pride Winnipeg’s annual Cleanup t n e Greenup this year, which brings hundreds oym l p a m m of school children, community groups, nal E klora businesses, civic employees and Seaso ities at Fol n u t r individual volunteers together to Oppo ! m a e help clean up our city. Evans Coffie t mer m u s ur (a.k.a Coffieman), Fabuki Daiko, Join o bution Head Assistant i d the McConnell School of Dance, r • Dist ution Hea dinator t b r i n r Cubanisimo Dance Group, Viva Brazil, • Dist ution Coo ting Assista n rib t u s i o c D and Clyde Heerah were all on hand to • Ac t sonal eceptionis a a e c S . • a deliver rousing cultural performances mer R loram k l • Sum o f . at the MTS Centre, and Folklorama Adult ww nfo! Visit wfor more i Ambassador General Maria RondinoneCostantino, Folklorama staff, and the Folklorama Llama were also present and proud to be helping make Winnipeg a cleaner, greener place!

Clyde Heerah captivates with his steel pan performance.

Adult Ambassador General Maria Rondinone-Costantino and Folklorama staff help hand out tattoos and word searches.


Ça Claque! performer Frédéric Jubinville getting the crowd on its feet.

Adult and Youth Ambassadors gathered for orientation.


n April 17, 2012, the Adult and Youth Ambassadors for this year’s Folklorama Festival came together at the Ukrainian Labour Temple to learn all about what it takes to be a Folklorama Ambassador. With the help of some lively and interactive entertainment from Ça Claque!, who managed to bring the entire room to its feet, the evening was a huge success! Folklorama’s Ambassadors are an important piece of what makes Folklorama so unique, and the Festival wouldn’t be the success that it is today without their hard work and dedication. Sheri Jack, Director of Festival Services, explaining the important role of Ambassadors.

Adult and Youth Ambassadors taking in their roles and responsibilites for the Festival.

Ça Claque! performers delivering a crowd-pleasing performance.

Photo credit: Lance Thomson Photographic


City of Selkirk Summer Concert Series - May

Waterfront Park, Selkirk, MB. Saturday, May 26 - 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Folklorama Talent groups Rockalypso Band, Wushu Manitoba, and McConnell School of Dance will be in performing. Free admission

WHAT MEMBERS SHOULD KNOW ADVERTISE WITH FOLKLORAMA Advertising in Llama Tales is an effective, cost efficient way to connect with the numerous ethno-cultural communities in Winnipeg. All members receive a 20% discount. Contact Kevan Hannah, Marketing Coordinator, at or 204.982.6230 for more information or to book your ad.

MS Global Dinner Party

Winnipeg Art Gallery’s Eckhardt Hall Wednesday, May 30 - 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Caribbean Steel Pan musician Clyde Heerah and Folklorama Ambassador Generals in attendance. Contact Brandy Schmidt at (204) 988-0919 or to participate.




Polish Dance Ensemble SPK IRSKY‘s 45th Anniversary Sunday, June 17 - 7:00 p.m. Guest performances by the Serbian Dance Ensemble “KOLO.” Tickets: $20. Ages 12 and under: $15.

City of Selkirk Summer Concert Series - July

Waterfront Park, Selkirk, MB. Saturday, July 7 - 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Folklorama Talent groups Buena Clave Band, Sol De España, and Viva Brazil will be performing. Free admission

Just a reminder that permission from Folklorama is required to use the Folklorama name and logo. For more information, please contact Lisa Harrison, Director of Marketing & Communications, at or 204.982.6212.

Folklorama is on Twitter! Get the latest news, events and important dates from Folklorama by following @Folklorama on Twitter. Don’t have a Twitter account? Log on to and sign up for free.

WE’RE ON FACEBOOK Visit our new Facebook page where you can view festival photos or upload your own! Our Folklorama Facebook page is where you can tell us and your friends about your Folklorama experience.

Folklorama Festival 2012 Kick-off Scotiabank Stage at The Forks Saturday, August 4 - Time TBA Free admission

Folklorama Festival 2012 August 5 - 18

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For advertising rates, article submissions or comments, please contact Kevan Hannah, Marketing Coordinator, at or 204.982.6230. Advertising and article submission deadline for July/August/September 2012 issue is Wednesday, June 18, 2012. Visit for more information and our rate card.

Folklorama Llama Tales - April/May/June 2012  

Folklorama Llama Tales. Issue 13, Volume 2. April/May/June 2012.