New costumes ordered
In September, with the expansion of the White Eagle Folk Dance Academy, the decision was made to invest in brand new hand-made costumes from Poland. The annual “Back 2 School” discotheque was organized by the members of the ensemble with the goal of raising funds to initiate the order and raise the deposit money needed. Three Thousand Dollars was successfully raised that evening and the order was placed. With the work already underway at the factory in Chełmno, Poland, the members have now turned their attention to raising the funds needed to pay the balance. Several contracts have been signed for future paying performances in the upcoming months, the ensemble has been incorporated, donations have been solicited and the Academy has given top quality performances at many high-profile events to encourage public support. The White Eagle Society has thrown their support behind the Academy and with their help we expect to attain our goal within the next couple of months. We are eternally grateful for all their support and hope that many of our fellow Montrealers will soon follow their lead.
The White Eagle Wardrobe
Running and maintaining an efficient wardrobe that meets the needs of the academy is almost a full time job and is quite expensive. With multiple performances two to three times a month precision to detail can be quite demanding. Like most folk groups, the costume pieces are handmade and unique and cannot be purchased from the local Walmart. Each region, town, city, area has its own style and to keep the folklore in its truest form we strive to match as much as possible to what our ancestors once wore those many hundreds of years ago.
Now usually when most of you go clothes shopping, you look for one or tow pieces that will look great. When we go shopping for clothes we tend to think in sets of 8 or 12 and in matching costumes for both men and women. Each costume is of course made up of multiple articles and so when we order a set of costumes for ONE region we actually end up having to buy well over 100 individual pieces. Now these costumes are an investment and will be used by generations of dancers to come so it is definitely money well spent and is an integral part of keeping our heritage alive.
and the list goes on
As we pursue our goals, we must always think of investing in our future. Costume purchases on the horizon include Polish costumes from Cieszyn, Lowicz, Spisz, Kurpie, Bilgoraj, Beskid and the nobility. We also look to include costumes from our homeland of Canada, as well as, Romania, Italy and Russia. Add to all of this the extra elements that are always needed like linen, beads, belts, gloves, headpieces, flowers etc. and one begins to get the idea of the tremendous cost of running an ensemble.
Already we have invested tens of thousands of dollars into this adventure and we have no intention of stopping now. Not only do we do our part to ensure that the craftsmen and craftladies who make these beautiful costumes always have a job, but we use these costumes on a regular basis to bring pleasure and cultural education to millions of people. Our necessity for these costumes also keeps the traditional art of making these costumes alive and well also. This world needs beauty and we intend to do our part.