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Tova Larry VickarWhen a young Tova Superman moved to Winnipeg from Israel in 1969, the Chai Folk Ensemble had only been around for five years. Still, the small, fledgling group made an impression on the new Canadian.

“When I came here, I saw Chai as a taste of Israel,” she says. “The group’s spirit reminded me of my years living on kibbutz, and I really enjoyed watching them.”

Today, Tova and her husband Larry Vickar are still fans, admirers, and proud supporters of this storied institution.

“The nature of Chai’s work has become more professional and more diverse,” says Larry Vickar. “They bring a high degree of excellence to what they put on stage. What they do entertains and educates our own community and the community at large about Jewish and Israeli culture. And when you share art, you can share dialogue.”

Tova and Larry Vickar will be honoured by the Sarah Sommer Chai Folk Ensemble at the group’s “Woven Threads” concert on June 7 at the Club Regent Event Centre. The event is designed as a rich, multicultural extravaganza celebrating diversity and friendship through music and dance.

Chai is sharing the stage with the Rusalka Ukrainian Dance Ensemble–representing Winnipeg’s Ukrainian community–and there will be guest performances from the Aboriginal School of Dance, representing Winnipeg’s Indigenous community; La Troupe Jeunesse de la L’ensemble folklorique de la Rivière-Rouge, representing the Franco-Manitoban community; and Magdaragat Philippines, representing Winnipeg’s Filipino community.

“Tova and I are flattered to be honoured,” says Vickar, “but more important, we are proud to be involved with an event that shines a light on multiculturalism in Winnipeg. We live in a remarkable and diverse city. It’s important that we share with each other through the arts. The concert theme of ‘Woven Threads’ really speaks to us. It’s not just a show – it has purpose.”

“We are grateful for Tova and Larry’s support and enthusiasm for Chai,” says Sadira Garfinkel, President of Chai’s Board of Directors. “Their commitment to intercultural dialogue and their passion for Winnipeg’s diversity is inspiring. We are proud to honour them and celebrate ideals that are important to them.”

At “Woven Threads”, Chai will perform a few numbers on its own and will also perform together with Rusalka. All four guest ensembles will perform on their own. Chai is also pleased to welcome the YONA Children’s Choir to the stage.
Honourary Chairs for the event – invited by the Vickars – are: Blair Yakimoski, MLA; Bob Freedman, former CEO of the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg; David Chartrand, President of the Manitoba Métis Federation; and Dr. Rey Pagtakhan, a former federal cabinet minister.

Sponsorship opportunities for Chai’s “Woven Threads” and concert tickets are now available. Advertising opportunities in the event program are also available. Please contact Reeva Nepon at the Chai office for more information – (204) 477-7497.