A North Kildonan music teacher is showing off plenty of patriotism at the Winnipeg Fringe Festival.
Maryka Chabluk, who teaches part-time at St. Joseph the Worker School in Transcona while also working as a substitute teacher for the River East Transcona School Division, is debuting Proud to Be Canadian as part of the Kids Fringe program.
Chabluk, who has travelled the world promoting Ukrainian culture through music and dance, began performing her show at the Kids Venue at 211 Bannatyne Ave. on Fri., July 19, putting on eight shows from July 19 to 28.
In the show, Chabluk will not only delve into her Canadian and Ukrainian pride, but also take attendees on a trip around the world by highlighting various other cultures. Chabluk met with members of each culture she is highlighting to make sure the elements she’s using, ranging from her wardrobe to her pronunciation of words, are precise and a fair representation of the culture she’s depicting.
She was connected with cultural ambassadors through Folklorama, and hopes to partner up with the festival in the future.
"I have a hope and a dream that Folklorama will embrace this story and we can rotate the stories," said Chabluk, noting she hopes children appreciate the theme of their ancestors leaving home for Canada, even if they don’t see their country directly represented onstage. She added she’s invited members of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and Royal Winnipeg Ballet to check out the show in hopes of partnering up with those organizations in the future.
The base of the show uses modified versions of songs from her children’s CD Maryka’s Treasures, though 10 costume changes, a multimedia element, and a guest Aboriginal dancer will differentiate the show from a basic concert.
"It’s always a challenge to entice the children to participate, and that’s what my Fringe show is all about," she said. "I’ve been told that Fringers, especially, they like to be involved in what’s going on. I’ve been told that there will be lots of support and good energy."
Chabluk explained while she has lots of experience as a teacher being up in front of children, she still felt a little stage fright leading up to the show.
"From my teaching experience, I feel quite natural expressing what I’m trying to say, but sometimes you say words wrong, and sometimes you stumble. Sometimes it doesn’t go right, and sometimes you forget words," she said. "In a show like this, where I’m counting on audience participation, you never know how someone’s going to react.
"But most of the shows are awesome, and that’s why I keep doing it."
Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for kids.