Spring Songs Sessions: learn ancient Slavic spring calling songs

photo by Andrew Waller

procession into Trinity Bellwoods Park

Join us in learning vesnianky & hailky this spring!

“Vesnianky” are ritual songs that call forth spring and were part of the spring rites in ancient times. We will be learning these folk songs and “hailky”: songs that are sung while dancing and playing traditional games at Easter time.
We will learn in a circle, co-teaching each other in the folk tradition.
Women who have sung with us in the past will share the Ukrainian songs they know, and we will learn new songs from Maria Kudriavtseva*, Ekaterina of Medenglas, and our Belorussian friends in Javarovy Ludzi.
No experience required. All are welcome!

Kosa studio, 4 Bellwoods Ave., Toronto (unless otherwise specified)

Thurs March 26, 7:30-9:30pm

Sun March 29, 2-4:15pm*workshop with Maria* details below

Thurs April 2, 7:30-9:30pm

Wed April 8, 6:30-8:30pm Belarussian church, 524 St. Clarens Ave.

Thurs April 16, 7:30-9:30pm

We will perform these songs as part of a community spring celebration on Sun April 19th, in Trinity Bellwoods Park: Hailky- Spring Revels in the Park.

Attendance at a minimum of 3 sessions is necessary to perform with us in the park (but all are welcome at any time, even if you don’t end up performing with us). If you have no experience with village voice singing, it’s recommended that you attend the workshop with Maria.

Information about the workshop with Maria is below.
Please email to confirm attendance at the spring singing sessions.
Thank you!
happy spring,



Upcoming Village Voice Workshop:

Vesnianky- Spring Songs, with Maria Kudriavtseva

Learn ancient spring calling songs (vesnianky) and songs for walking & dancing with community (hailky) with Maria Kudriavtseva, a renowned folk singer from the folk troupe Bozhychi, based in Kyiv.

Birds-are-Singing-300x235With many years of experience collecting and performing Ukrainian village songs, Maria has a powerful and unforgettable voice; She sings in the ‘open voice’ or ‘white voice’ village style, common to the Ukrainian steppe. She will instruct on technique, teach rarely heard vesnianky & hailky, as well as bring context to the songs presented.

Sunday March 29, 2 – 4:15pm
Kosa studio, St. Nicholas Church, school, 4 Bellwoods Ave.

No experience necessary. All ages welcome.
Ukrainian songs with English transliteration.
PWYC. suggested donation $20-30 (includes materials)

Reserve a spot by emailing: kosa.kolektiv[at]gmail.com

Regarding location, please note: we are not IN the church, we are in the studio, the building directly north of the church!

There is hot food sold out of the building which you can purchase for lunch. Kosa will provide water & tea. You are welcome to bring snacks & your own mug.

Winter Folk Fair!

Join us for our 2nd Annual Winter Folk Fair taking place on Saturday, December 13th, 2014 at St. Vladimir Institute (620 Spadina Ave)

This year we have many great things planned: a bazaar, craft workshop, singing workshop, live music & art show!


Check out our facebook event for daily updates of vendors and their beautiful products! Hope to see you there!


Community singing Thursdays

We’ll be continuing to meet Thursdays in November to learn traditional folk music from Ukraine and to sing together in the “village style”. We are an open group, so anybody can join and anybody can bring a song to share (non-Ukrainian is okay! 🙂 …. We’ll be mostly working on seasonal songs, soon gearing up to Koliada (winter cycle of caroling).

Bring a snack, your song book and your vocal chords!


Shevchenko Museum- 1614 Bloor St. W  very close to Dundas West station-  limited parking available in back, and lots of parking along Bloor St.


Check our facebook group Kosa Kolektiv for the latest updates on cancellations or changes.

See you there!


Kosa Kolektiv + St.Nicholas Parish Collaborative Mural – last chance to take part !


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The ladies of kosa kolektiv, as well as some helpful friends, passersby and neighbourhood kids have been steadily working away at our mural on Queen West between Gore Vale and Bellwoods in Toronto. With varous travels, weather hi jinks and other adventures to distract us from this project, the mural has been a slow-going process….but come Monday, Sept 15th (weather permitting) – we hope to finally put the finishing touches on our mural !  Come out and paint with us ! We’re not asking for professional graffiti or muralists, just people who can paint within the lines or turn honest mistakes into unexpected patterns – no pressure ! hehe.

Our last mural drop-in will be held on:

Monday, Sept.15th,2014
Weather permitting – if the forecast says rain – we will have to re-shedule – check our facebook group for updates
Bring a smock or something to protect your clothes from the paint.

Meet up at St.Nicks church at Queen and Gore Vale between the church and Nadege bakery. Let me know if you’re coming !

As an aside I’d like to thank the residents of Queen West for encouraging us, for taking interest, for asking questions, stopping by and dropping change in our tip jar. You funded our coffee breaks and your appreciation for our culture and folk art is what drives us to do what we do.

I’d also like to acknowledge the support of the Priests at St. Nicholas Parish who conceptualized and funded this project. Additionally, the chance encounters that took place around this mural fostered a sense of community. To the rasta guys that entertained us with their critiques and political questions, to the kids that without hesitation to paintbrush in hand to draw petals and borders, the Swiss couple who’s uncle owns the video store around the corner and all the other cast of characters around and about who are no longer strangers. This mural has convinced me that when you do things in public, the public becomes a place you share together, and the city feels a little smaller – in a good way. Ok enough nostalgic rambling for now…come paint with us !



You’re invited to dinner with Kosa Kolektiv and “Ukrainian Village Voices” from NYC

Kosa Kolektiv will be hosting a “village voice” singing gathering called the “Song Exchange Weekend” over the Labour Day weekend in Grafton, Ontario. We will spend most of the weekend in workshops, but we will of course gather in the evening ’round the table to enjoy summer’s bounty and to sing together.  It’s a little far away, but as we all know, the beautiful carefree days of summer fly by, so now is the time to mark this date down in your calendars!
You are invited to join us for dinner on Saturday August 30th, at 6pm.
Enjoy a homecooked meal of organic fare straight from the Northumberland fields, with songs from the fields of Ukraine.

Experience a celebratory Ukrainian dinner in true “village style”: table laden with dishes made of simple but fresh ingredients, homemade compote, kvass, liquors & tea, accompanied by a wealth of toasts & songs sung by many voices. Enjoy a homecooked gourmet meal of organic fare straight from the fields. Toasted buckwheat with caramelized onions, swiss chard, garlic; young dill pickles; heirloom tomato & basil salad, beets, carrots, sweet corn, Jerusalem artichokes, arugula, delicious potatoes… some or all of these will be served, and many more delights from the Hrycyna farm.

Dinner $10-20 (pay what you can) and BYOB.

Bring spirits to share and any fresh local fare that you’d like to contribute (lots of local fruit farms on the way ;)) We’ll be cooking up organic veggies from the Hrycyna farm and the main courses will be mostly gluten free and vegetarian.

If you are planning on coming to hang out for the whole weekend, but will not be in the workshops, please volunteer your time to cook for the singers, or help in the garden. If you are planning on staying the night, please let us know, too.

Email Bozena or Olenka at kosa.kolektiv[at]gmail.com

Looking forward to hosting you!

Happy summer,

Bozena, Olenka, & all the Kosa ladies

KOSA KOLEKTIV + St.Nicholas Parish Mural Project…look out for it on your Queen West Strolllllls !

Myself (Marichka) and Olenka Kleban are excited to share with you that we’ll be making a public art mural on Queen West at Bellwoods as part of the St. Nicholas Parish gate beautification project ! The gate is between Nadege Bakery and the West side of the Church and needs some TLC.Years of narcissistic graffitti has made this gate an eyesore and with go-ahead from the parish preists, we’re gonna make it a little nicer to look at.  Olenka put together a design based on traditional “vytynnanky” paper cutting patterns popular in Eastern Europe. We haven’t settled on a colour palette yet, so if you have ideas, send us some swatches by e-mail to kosa.kolektiv at gmail.com :

 We are also hosting drop-in hours if people want to come help paint and be a part of this lasting art piece on the Queen West strip.

Drop-In Hours will be :
Saturday, July 26th 1-3 pm
Sunday, July 27th 1-3 pm

If you’re interested in helping out, shoot us a quick e-mail at kosa.kolektiv at gmail.com or and we’ll try to have enough brushes on hand for everyone. No artistic background required, just some good vibes and a willingness to take part in this fun project….

Ofcourse, the drop-ins are weather permitting. If the weather’s looking rainy, we’ll post on our facebook group on the morning of the event to let you know if it’s a go or not. Looking forward to getting colour scheme ideas everyone !

We want this to be everyone’s mural and we’re excited to share a little “життє радість” ( zhyttye radist’ – literally life joy in Ukrainian, in french joie de vivre) with passersby through folk art !