25 Years of Polish Folklore in Edmonton!

1982 marked the year when in Edmonton, Alberta Canada an organization was created to uphold Polish culture, customs and folklore and be part of the great Canadian mosaic. With all these in mind POLONEZ was born. POLONEZ was founded Dr. Walenty Michalik, one of Poland's foremost choreographers who, besides his many successes in Poland, has also many success in Canada. Dr. Michalik holds the Order of Poland, as well as the Officer Cross of the Order of Poland Restitution.

Today, Polonez boasts a wide repertoire of authentic folklore from the central and southern regions of Poland. Accompanying the repertoire are over 300 authentic costumes. This incredible collection is thanks to Maria Paradowska-Michalik, who is our resident ethnographer and is responsible for all of our magnificent costumes.

Polonez has had the honour of staging over 1000 performances for a wide variety of audiences in Edmonton, across Alberta and Canada, and in Poland. Polonez annually gives 25 to 30 volunteer performances for a variety of organizations, including hospitals and schools in the Edmonton area. We approach all our concerts with a high level of enthusiasm, care and dedication. We have established an annual tradition of staging major concerts in June at the Heritage Amphitheater in Hawrelak Park, and in the autumn season at the Jubilee Auditorium, Citadel Theatre and recently at the beautiful Winspear Center for the Performing Arts. We regularly perform at all major festivals in Edmonton, Calgary and throughout the province of Alberta.

For its 15th anniversary Polonez Polish Folk Arts Ensemble celebrated its continuous but evolving artistic work. Our Gala concert took place October 26, 1997 at the Jubilee Auditorium. It was dedicated to the Polish Combatants' Association, Branch No.6 (Edmonton), which celebrated its 50th anniversary of active service to the society. Prior to the Gala concert, we, as the only folk dance ensemble performed at the new Winspear Center on September 21, 1997 with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra during the center's opening ceremonies. The ensemble's 20th anniversary was also celebrated with a concert at the Jubilee Auditorium. The milestone was commemorated in a beautiful banquet ceremony where many awards were given out to those whose work for Polonez has been indispensable throughout the years.

This year Polonez is celebrating its 25th anniversary! There will be a gala performance at the Jubilee Auditorium once again to mark this extraordinary year. This performance, as was the 15th anniversary, will be dedicated to the Polish Combatants' Association, Branch No. 6. The organization is celebrating its 60th anniversary.