Local singer and music teacher Heidi Korte recently released a music video to honour Ukrainian culture while also hoping to bring light to their current dark situation.
"Most people know I teach young singer/songwriters over Zoom and in-person in Winnipeg," says Korte. "When the war in Ukraine started I challenged my students to pick a song about world peace because we can use our voices to bless. Even in the Bible, musicians went first. I think there are situations where music can heal."
What started out as a challenge to her students ended up becoming a passion project for Korte.
"I emailed Troyanda Ukrainian Dance Ensemble and asked if they would like to join me. Their board met and they agreed. That's how, instead of being this little thing with a piano it turned into a music video. This is probably the biggest crew I've ever worked with."
Korte learned the lyrics in Ukrainian over a period of time while the dance group developed the choreography before coming together to shoot the video at the Ukrainian Labour Temple in Winnipeg.
"Whenever I can work with someone else it's such a joy. Often I do so much of it myself. Paul and Jenn Doroniuk were the choreographers of this. We planned most of our ideas over a Zoom session. They were lovely."
Korte shares that the Ukrainian lyrics talk of nature and a coming of age.
"It's so nice when we can cross-pollinate and get outside of ourselves. I'm not in Ukrainian culture but I really do support the relief effort and I wanted to lend my voice to the cause of helping that."
"I think as Christians we can speak light to the darkness. There's so much negativity on the news and rightly so. There's so much tragedy going on so I wanted to offer something that still brought attention to the cause that wasn't a tragic element. We bless you and this is a beautiful culture and we can honour it."