Vincent Rees has been a prolific dancer, director, choreographer and connoisseur of Ukrainian dance, art and culture for many years. Raised in Victoria BC, Vincent moved to Edmonton in 1992 to join the world renowned Ukrainian Shumka Dancers. With Shumka, Vincent had the great opportunity of performing across Canada as a cast member of “Absolutely Shumka”, “Shumka’s Cinderella” and “The Nutcracker” with the Kyiv Ballet of Ukraine and Shumka.
He has traveled most of eastern Europe, and South America. Vince created Cobblestone Freeway as a way to combine his passion for culture and travel.
In Damjan's short lifetime, he has gathered quite a lot of experience. He has a degree in law, preschool teaching, and also knowledge in Portuguese language and culture. However, he find that the biggest experience definitely comes from the only true school - and that is life. Tourism is the field he has been active in for the last 18 years guiding, planning entertainment, and organizing holidays or business trips. Fluent in English, Portuguese, French and Croatian. Awaiting you in the paradise called Croatia!
Larissa's parents were producers of Canada's largest multicultural events so it's no surprise she loves to travel and immerse herself in different cultures. A graduate of York University's Dance program with a specialty in Dance Ethnology, her studies focused on Ukrainian dance in Canada She danced professionally with such companies as Les Sortileges - Canada's National Folk Dance Ensemble in Montreal and has performed throughout North America and Europe. Upon moving to Edmonton, she performed with the Ukrainian Shumka Dancers and competed in Irish step dancing. Since moving to Costa Rica in 2001 (and marrying Roberto Leiva), Larissa has worked in tourism and published Costa Rica - The Bradt Guidebook.
Roberto was raised in the Caribbean-slope town of Turrialba, just meters from one of the world's top rafting rivers. His love for nature and adventure prompted him to open one of the first white water rafting companies in Costa Rica and has over 20 years experience in tourism. He also served as the Assistant Chief of Protocol for two Costa Rican presidents, working with heads of state from around the world. Roberto studied at the National Theatre School and was a professional actor for a number of years in theatre, television and movies.
Mike Ciona is a well known Ukrainian Canadian personality who the host of CTV morning in Saskatoon. You may also know him for his colourful appearances at the Dauphin Ukrainian Festival. Mike is excited to join our team and help make your summer party train to Ukraine a memorable experience!
Brian Cherwick is a multi-instrumentalist who has performed throughout North America, Europe, and Ukraine as a soloist, with a number of folk ensembles, and as leader of his own speed-folk band The Kubasonics. After many travels to Ukraine, he knows all the ins and outs of the musical culture of the country. If you need to know about a musical tradition, a musician, or an instrument, Brian is sure to have an interesting story to tell you about them. Brian was the popular host of our Musical Mystery Tour.
Cathy is passionate about traditions and folklore, spending her spare time surrounded by culture. Since 1987 she has been the Artistic Director of the Chaban Ukrainian Dance Group in Thunder Bay, Ontario. She enjoys bringing stories, history, tradition and photography to the stage with dance and drama. She is often teaching the making of pysanky (Ukrainian Easter Eggs) or Korovai (wedding bread) to groups of youth and adults, sharing her creativity and enthusiasm for art and rich cultures. She loves to collect instruments, but doesn't know how to play any of them ... yet!
During the day, Cathy works in healthcare, focusing on prevention and screening. She is a Registered Dietitian who loves to cook and experiment with ingredients. Having traveled a lot with work and with dancers, she trials new-found cuisine on her lucky husband and two grown daughters.
She was raised on a fruit farm in the Niagara area, and loves that Cobblestone Freeway brings tours to the roots of each cultural experience - it's just like coming home. Pack your bags and come along!
Lesia is an energetic teacher of music, performing arts, and Ukrainian . Born and raised in Edmonton, she currently teaches in the Ukrainian bilingual program in Sherwood Park, AB. She is also the conductor of Viter Ukrainian Dancers and Folk Choir. Through this ensemble Lesia has toured Ukraine several times and her love of Ukrainian music continues to grow! Join her on tour and you will be singing in your seats as you explore the vocal talents of Ukraine!
Yulia has been doing a great job for our company. She is the person who takes care of our travellers in Ukraine. Showing the best cultural spots around Lviv and other no less interesting places around Ukraine. Yulia's very personable, friendly and always ready to share her knowledge and experience with others.
Meet Bogdan. Cobblestone Freeway Tours guide, translator, varenyky eater, midnight problem solver and all around great guy. When you come to Ukraine on one of our tours you'll be in good hands as this man doesn't sleep until every last detail on every last tour is worked out.
Roman's fascination with photography started at age 12 when he visited a touring exhibit of the iconic and powerful black and white portraits of the world renowned Yousuf Karsh. His passion for photography quickly became his insatiable addiction and obsession as he learned the poetic language of light and the magic craft of creating compelling images. His absolute favorite subjects are people, and he has photographed the whole range from newborn to 100+. Over the years his assignments have included over 500 weddings, tens of thousands of university grads, celebrities, commercial advertising, the world of theatre and dance, the political and corporate world, international cultural events, and major world sports championships. He lives and breathes 'photography' and gets a thrill to share his experience with others who also enjoy learning how to communicate with light, shadow, form and texture.
Christina Krutyholowa est une Ukrainienne de troisième génération née et élevée à Montréal, Québec. Ses grands-parents, comme beaucoup d'autres de cette génération, ont immigré au Canada après la Deuxième Guerre mondiale et ont élevé leurs enfants dans la communauté Ukrainienne de Montréal. La culture Ukrainienne a continué à être transmise à Christina et maintenant à ses deux filles à travers la langue Ukrainienne, la danse, les traditions et les associations de jeunesses.
Elle est Designer d'Intérieur à temps partiel, mère au foyer et épouse de son mari Grec. Elle est enthousiaste, passionnée, aime la vie et aime explorer demerveilleuses nouvelles expériences et s'entourer de gens merveilleux.
Svetlana has been working as a guide for a long time. Svetlana is knowledgeable, flexible and friendly, with a very positive life position, kind sense of humor and rich work experience.
She will introduce you to the rich history of the Jewish community in Lviv and will take you to the most prominent places related with this impressive culture.
Karen Pidskalny Photographer Educator Speaker With 25 years of photography experience, talented photographer Karen Sopotyk-Pidskalny brings to life the personalities in the subjects she captures. She is an educator who strives to inspire who ever she works and loves to share how we can all be the best we can be in front of the camera. Karen is a sought after portrait photographer who understands the importance of family, friends and heritage. Discover the experience of being captured by Karen. Dreaming in Ukrainian, a photo exhibition shown at the Ukrainian Museum of Canada, is a selection of images from one of Karen's visits to Ukraine.
Andrea Jakubowycz loves everything wine! As a wine consultant and educator, she works to make wine approachable for all. She has over 10 years experience in the wine industry, and has worked for a wine distributor, and has organized over 100 private wine tasting events and winery excursions/tours.
She sees wine as an adventure, and always looks to share fun facts, interesting stories, and unique food and wine pairings. She especially enjoys working with private groups, and regardless of your experience, wants everyone to enjoy adventures with wine, one glass at a time!
You can follow her at UncorkedMoments.com, where she shares tips, reviews, and her adventures in wine.
Annette Ricard, Devon