Post Harvest Dance in Alvena

The Community Centre in Alvena is the heart of the small village and like many small urban centres Alvena’s Community Centre suffered greatly during the pandemic. Prior to the pandemic, the Centre would have been rented out during the course of the year for weddings, family get-togethers and other gatherings, but with the COVID lockdowns that source of revenue for the Centre dried up. Alvena is a small community comprised mostly of seniors and property renters, and the number of volunteers is growing smaller with every year. The Centre has recently started their Bingos again, but after two years of isolating, they have found as other organizations have, that people have gotten used to sitting at home and are not coming out to events like they used to. With Bingo numbers down, the Community Centre Board have decided to try hosting this post-harvest dance to raise some money. As with any other building the heat must be maintained to keep the water pipes from freezing in the winter and that means there are still bills to be paid even though there are only a minimal number of events being held.

In “the old days” a community dance would have drawn big crowds and the Board is hoping that this dance will have the same draw as people remember what it was like to get out and socialize. Prairie Stardust is the band performing for the evening and although they have been around for several years, they have brought younger family members into the band to make it a truly family group who can perform for all age groups. Prairie Stardust is a Saskatoon based band that has been playing in Saskatoon and almost every town in Saskatchewan for the past several decades. Brother and sister, Dwayne and Debbie Kawchuk, started the band with some friends and started playing functions around the province and beyond. Now the band is all family, with Dwayne’s two sons, Mark & Ryan, joining the band. As a side note, the band have played a lot of functions in the area over the years. Dwayne and Debbie’s grandmother lived in Wakaw for many years and both of their parents were born and raised in the area, which means that if the band name sounds familiar, it should.

Over the years Prairie Stardust have played at many functions, including weddings, anniversaries, cabarets, rodeo dances, and Folkfest to name a few. In 2004, the group embraced their Ukrainian Heritage and they recorded their first Ukrainian album (Ukrainian Dance Mix Vol I), following that up with a second album (Malanka – Live at Stan’s). Their repertoire includes a mix of new and old country, classic rock, old time favourites and of course, Ukrainian music. The enjoyment of the crowd is their prime goal and will gear their music to the tastes of the crowd.

The dance will begin at 9:00 pm Saturday, November 12th and will have a cash bar, raffles and of course a 50/50 draw. A midnight lunch will finish out the evening. Hopefully the weather will co-operate and even if it doesn’t, what better way to begin the long winter than with a toe-tapping, heart warming dance to help pay the bills at the beautiful Alvena Community Centre.

Carol Baldwin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Wakaw Recorder