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15 December 2008, Episode 1

Bulgaro-Canadian Cultural Synergy

In the search for our roots and what defines us, we delved into the world of Bulgarian-Canadian artists on the country’s East Coast and were treated to some dazzling displays of creativity. No matter how young we were when our parents brought us to Canada, we’ve always felt an indescribable bond with the country of our birth. It’s a feeling that transcends all politics – a bit like the magic of Santa Claus, yet it isn’t make-believe. Our journey began with the wondrous pink hue of the ocean waves as they appear in the Google Earth satellite pictures of the Newfoundland coast. Fascinated by the prospect of filming the first sunrise over the continent we drove out to Canada’s easternmost point, Cape Spear, to set up our camera at six in the morning in the frozen dew. With its character-building climate, this windswept island known as “The Rock” is a picturesque port of call surrounded by the pounding surf of the North Atlantic. To our great surprise, there were two Bulgarian-owned gourmet restaurants, Bianca's Restaurant and The Vault Restaurant & Champagne Bar, right on Water Street in the provincial capital of St. John’s. So our impression of the local cuisine was quite positive. While we were there, we shot the dramatic sculptures of Luben Boykov and the rainbow-flooded artwork of Elena Popova. We also did our best to capture the powerful energy of Ellie Yonova’s photography and the surrealism of Stanimir Stoilov’s paintings.
The cellar at The Vault, Restaurant and Champagne Bar, St-Johns, Newfoundland 2008 Snapshot of a sculpture from the 11 seconds series at Luben Boykov's artist studio in Flatrock, Newfoundland 2008 Nadia Kyutukchiev at Bianca's Restaurant, St-John's, Newfoundland 2008 Snapshot, visit at Elena Popova's artist studio in Flatrock, Newfoundland 2008
In Montreal, we watched Maria Kefirova create a new modern dance choreography; covered an original absurdist play staged by the innovative theatrical duo of Ira and Constantin Sokolov; admired the lyrical purity of Ognian Zekoff's's artwork; and attended a performance by the Balgari folk dance group. Another main theme of this episode is the energy and complexity of gypsy music – a genre that’s all the rage these days. We introduce you to two gypsy-influenced Montreal bands, one modern, Kaba Horo and the other traditional, Soleil Tzigane. To give you a visual experience of gypsy culture, we provide some excerpts from the travel diary that director Stefan Ivanov’s filmed for his documentary The Road Ahead. We also invite you to explore two short films by our contributors, the wonderful Maria Kefirova and the talented animator Velislav Kazakov.In addition, you can watch the energetic and ever-entertaining actor/director Petar Batakliev in the role of womanizing fashion photographer Ivan Todorov on the hit TV series Diva. By the way, we got to the bottom of our Google Earth mystery: the pink ocean waves were caused by the reflection of the early-morning Newfoundland sky! Rossita Dove Rédactrice en chef/Editor-in-Chief
Performance by the traditional group Soleil Tzigane 2008 Snapshot of the animated short, Bugging The Bug directed by Velislav Kazakov, 2004 Performance by the folk dance group, Balgari in Lachine, 2008 Snapshot of the short, You Are Here by Maria Kefirova, New York 2007
We sincerely thank our Partners and Sponsors: Ministère du Patrimoine canadien / Canadien Heritage VIOS Production