A message from the President, Folklorama Board of Directors
Dear Folklorama Family,
I am thrilled to have recently been elected as your President, Folklorama Board of Directors. For those I haven’t met before – hello! For those I have, I look forward to seeing you again soon. My history with Folklorama is personal and close to my heart.
Raised in the small community of Riverton, located in the Interlake region of Manitoba, I am a first-generation Canadian with Hungarian heritage. With few opportunities existing in the community to celebrate my cultural background outside of my home, I would look forward to holidays with my grandparents to attend Folklorama and connect with the Hungarian community. I have very fond memories of these Folklorama experiences, as with a passport in hand, visiting all the pavilions truly felt like travelling around the world. As a child, I was mesmerized by the lively entertainment, unbelievably delicious food, and outstanding welcome when visiting pavilions – and this childhood excitement continues to this day!
After graduating high school and moving to the big City, I joined the Hungarian Kapiszstran Folk Ensemble of Winnipeg as a dancer. Realizing that I wasn’t a very good dancer but having learned a few of my favourite dances (i.e. bottle dance), my brother and I were asked to represent the Pavilion as Adult Ambassadors for three years. With a desire to continue bonding with the community and carry on my family’s involvement, I started volunteering at Hungary-Pannonia Pavilion. At first, I assumed the highly sought-after role of the dishwasher and continued to take on increasing levels of responsibility, where I eventually became the Pavilion coordinator. My proudest accomplishment within my cultural community was successfully implementing long-term succession plans to ensure continued participation in the Folklorama festival so that my step-daughters and grandchildren could also be involved and connect with a part of their heritage.
Having developed many cherished friendships with other members of the Folklorama family over the years, I was encouraged to sit on a committee and apply to be on the Board of Directors. I was appointed to the Board in 2018 and have proudly served as Chair of Membership, Chair of Licensing and participated on the Finance, Steering and Governance Committees. It has been a rewarding experience to learn more about the inner workings of this amazing organization through a new lens as a Committee and Board Member. I recommend anyone interested to get involved. Having fun and connecting with like-minded people who have a passion for celebrating culture and diversity is truly a blessing.
I’m eager to help lead the organization through a significant year of Strategic Planning to ensure we always strive to improve, identifying opportunities to grow, and position the organization to maintain the top spot as the largest and longest running multicultural festival in the world.
I’m looking forward to another successful in-person festival this year and can’t wait to see you all there!
President, Folklorama Board of Directors