KOLIADA: Ukrainian Community Carolling Group

Koliada is nearly upon us! 

Not unlike the needs of so many people & cultures at this time of year, when the weather gets cold and the nights so long, KOLIADA is an occasion to come together, connect, and make the darkened cold season pass quickly trough celebration and song.

With less than 2 weeks left, our Koliada rehearsals are now closed. Over the past 3 weeks we have accumulated a great group of singers but now we now have to fine tune our style and learn the last set of songs.

Starting Dec 27, we are unable to accommodate guests into our rehearsals.

We are, however, still accepting invitations to visit houses for January 7th – so if you would like Kosa Kolektiv’s Koliada carollers to visit your home, please contact kosa.kolektiv@gmail.com.




LOCATION CHANGE: the Belarus Orthodox Church, 524 St Clarens Ave. By donation. Suggested $20-30. Follow the link above to get to the FB event.
PLEASE REGISTER VIA kosa.kolektiv@gmail.com.




524 St Clarens Ave, just over a block north of Bloor and one block east of Lansdowne. Closest TTC is Lansdowne station.


The big carolling event is on January 7, Orthodox Christmas. We will be traveling in different groups, by car, visiting homes around the GTA. Make sure to book this day off for koliada!

There will likely be more opportunities to perform in December and January, and possibly additional rehearsals when needed to accommodate the needs of the group and individual singers.


Here is our KOSA KOLIADA REPERTOIRE google doc for 2022-2023!!

You will find lyrics in Ukrainian, with transliterations, rough translations and audio file references. So, you can start listening and practicing immediately!! Also note that we will be updating the doc and adding more sound files and/or songs.

Some of the audio references even have sing-a-long files. Please use HEADPHONES with the singalong files. The RIGHT CHANNEL features a solo voice and the LEFT CHANNEL all the other voices. To learn, just listen to the RIGHT CHANNEL. To practice, just listen to the LEFT CHANNEL and add your own voice into the mix. Please also be aware, these files are very rough sketches to help learn the song & it’s highly recommended to practice/study from the original sound files as well.

NOTE: it is important that singers are able to sing harmonies and not just the main melody or top voice. The musical director and other seasoned singers will help develop the group’s harmony-singing skills, as well the authentic Ukrainian singing quality known as ridnyj holos. And for those who are not Ukrainian-speaking, don’t worry, we will also help with pronunciation. If you have any questions about your interest and desire to participate, please reach out to us through the contact form below.


Not a harmony singer but still want to take part? There are other ways you can volunteer. Please reach out to us using the form below.



For the past 2 weeks we have been interrupting the scheduled programmed events at different Toronto venues to SING…  


To sing powerful traditional songs, musically and sonically shaped by the courage and solidarity of a people fighting for survival.

So powerful that you don’t just hear it, your feel the collective strength…

So powerful that it can awaken people from indifference and help recognize the wars and injustices not just in Ukraine but that so many are fighting around the world. 

We are a group of Toronto musicians/artists with connections to Ukraine, collaborating hard to find ways to support those in Ukraine, and developing this extensive list of resources to help navigate this terror.


I’ve been humbled yet again by a community of mostly women, who reacted and mobilized so quickly to the sudden and unimaginable terror of war that fell on Ukraine two weeks ago.

These women facilitated transportation and lodging for those seeking refuge; advocated and organized services for unfairly treated visible minorities; compiled reliable media and donor agencies for us in the “west;” compiled form letters to government and corporations – to plead for sanction against Russia, to request services be withdrawn from Russia, or to plead for a no-fly-zone; compiled lists of supplies needed from sources in Ukraine and listed local drop-off points here in Toronto; organized a unique Toronto cross-cultural fundraiser…  It was and continues to be an unbelievable whirlwind of chaotic organization, logistics, messaging, google docs and sheet, slack channels… 

But in the midst of all this, these women also took the time to meet up with each other, to sing together, and for others. They sang in local bars and restaurants, like DROM, La Palette and The Pamenar.

They initially sang there to share their grief with audiences they knew, in venues they frequented. And when they sang and shared the traditional Ukrainian songs, they channeled that profound collective memory of courage and strength that Ukrainian people have needed in so many past wars and even genocide.

The power of these collective memories came clearly through these songs and affected audiences in just as profound a way, even to people who have no association with Ukraine. Even when they sang at the Supermarket’s Big Fam Jam, where the creative musical youth of Toronto gather and were ready to party, to celebrate the end of the lock ups, and sing and play their funky hearts out… those youth all stood quietly and listened; and when asked, they all joined in on the drone to accompany the singers. And when the songs were over, they cheered with such enthusiasm and force that it felt Ukraine would be able to withstand anything!  

And just as the songs can express the strength needed to counter the devastation in Ukraine, a unique Toronto cross-cultural fundraiser to amass that strength happened only 2 weeks after the war broke out, on FRIDAY MARCH 11 at the OPERA HOUSE, where we raised over $30,000 for humanitarian aid in Ukraine. For more info please visit www.WithUkraine.ca

By the way there is a long history of music, defiance and war in Ukraine. I will update this article with a few links to find out more in the next couple of weeks.

Sign up to find out about UPCOMING SINGING WORKSHOPS and community singing events and/or visit our workshop page for more info.

WANT TO CONTACT US? Or know of a place or event that’s ripe for some SING WITH UKRAINE guerrilla singing? Please let us know with the form below!