Our 2019 Croatia Tour / Naša turneja Hrvatska 2019

Our tour in Croatia in the summer of 2019, exceeded our expectations by far, and we truly enjoyed every moment of it!

Our first performance was on July 4th in the capital city of Croatia – Zagreb, to celebrate Canada Day. The event was organized by the Embassy of Canada in Croatia and it was held in the courtyard of the Archeological museum in Zagreb. For this occasion, the courtyard was set and decorated beautifully, with the colours of the Canadian flag and the red maple leaf symbol of Canada. Klapa Kartolina performed both Canadian and Croatian anthems to open the event, and after that, speeches were given by the host – the ambassador Hon. Daniel Maksymiuk, the speaker of the Croatian parliament – Dr. Željko Reiner and a former member of the Canadian parliament – Mr. Janko Perić. The program continued with performances of a cappella songs in Croatian, English and French, performed by klapa Kartolina and Fritule. After the end of the official program, the event continued with a relaxing and informal atmosphere with all the dignitaries, embassy staff, guests and performers socializing and mingling. We are all sincerely grateful to the ambassador Hon. Daniel Maksymiuk for this invitation to perform, to Ms. Vlatka Ljubenko for the impeccable organization of the event, and to the entire staff of the Embassy for their support.

The next planned performance was scheduled to be a concert in Bol, on the island of Brač, however it was cancelled due to a huge storm that affected all of Dalmatia. The following day on July 11th, the weather cleared up and we were able to go in the morning to the city of Omiš, to meet up with all the other klapa ensembles that were scheduled to perform with us on this tour, organized by the Festival Dalmatinskih klapa in Omiš (FDK). We had a really nice gathering in the old city of Omiš, where we had a guided tour through the city’s historical landmarks and learned about the history of the city. After that, we visited the Museum of the FDK, where our host Mr. Mijo Stanić held a presentation about the history of the festival and klapa singing. In the afternoon, we went to the city of Šibenik, where we had a scheduled concert at St. Jacob’s Cathedral’s square. In front of the packed square, klapa Kartolina and Fritule from Canada, Valovi from Argentina, Croatia from Germany, Astoria from USA and barbershop quartet Studio 4 from the USA held a two hour concert that was well received by the audience. To have the opportunity to perform at this gorgeous, historical site was breathtaking and these memories will last a lifetime!

The morning of July 12th, the day of the main event, the organizers took all the performers on a boat ride upstream on the Cetina river, to the beautiful picnic area of Radmanove Mlinice. The boat ride was fantastic, especially for our youth group that enjoyed to see such pristine nature with a crystal-clear river, surrounded by gorgeous mountains with so much wildlife around. At the picnic area, all the ensembles were served a delicious Dalmatian style meal during the pre-performance get-together. The second part of the day started with a sound check at the main stage in Omiš. This was our second appearance in Omiš, however our first time to perform at the main St. Mihovil square. To sing on this famous stage is the dream of every klapa singer. At the main event of the tour named “A cappella ensembles from abroad” hosted by the Festival Dalmatinskih klapa in Omiš, both Kartolina and Fritule along with all the other above mentioned ensembles, performed in front of the packed square of St. Mihovil in the old city of Omiš. The audience was anxious to see and hear how the klapas from outside of Croatia sing traditional Croatian songs. All the performers were fantastic and we all got a nice round of applause for our performances. One song sung by klapa Kartolina was received particularly warmly. This was the song Poljička, with lyrics by Ante Mekinić and music by our director Višnja Tijardović. This song that sings about the historic Republic of Poljica, touched the hearts of many. For this song, Višnja was honored by Ms. Mira Kuvačić from Gata to accept on behalf of all of the performers, a soparnik – a dish that is unique to this area. Klapa Fritule also, though young by their age, have performed as true pros and we are all so proud of them.

The day of July 13th started with a very interesting singing workshop. At the place of the old Illyric Seminary in Priko, we had a fantastic time widening our knowledge and horizons as singers and listening about two topics – Barbershop singing, presented by the Studio 4 quartet and Klapa singing, presented by Mr. Mijo Stanić director of the FDK. At the conclusion of the workshop, the representatives of the klapas signed a collaboration agreement with the FDK. In the afternoon of the same day, we had our last scheduled performance in Croatia this year – the 8th annual Klapa concert in Kučine, organized by our dear friends – Klapa Krunik. At the building of their local community center with the beautifully decorated stage, we had a wonderful concert and an after party, together with ten other ensembles.
We had lots of memorable moments and we established many contacts and friendships on this tour. The agreement signed with the FDK is a solid foundation for our future collaboration. The care and the attention that we have received from our hosts – Festival Dalmatinskih klapa in Omiš and their director Mr. Mijo Stanić was extraordinary and we are immensely grateful for everything. Everywhere we went felt like home!

We would like to express our sincere gratitude to our friend Jakša Gilić for his contribution of singing with us during our performances, since a couple of our members could not come to Croatia with us. He has been a true professional and we hope that our paths cross again! We are thankful to Ms. Tia Špero from Večernji list, to Ms. Jasenka Leskur from Slobodna Dalmacija and to Ms. Branka Bezić Filipović and Ms. Snježana Jurišić from Hrvatska Matica iseljenika, for their articles about our performances. We also send our thanks to Yammat FM radio, HRT Split and TV Jadran for their TV and radio coverage and to Glas Hrvatske and Croatia Week for the tour announcements.

We are tremendously appreciative to our sponsors – the Canadian Council of the Arts and Središnji državni ured za Hrvate izvan RH for their generous support of this important tour for us. We are very grateful for their recognition of our work!

About Canada Council for the Arts
The Canada Council for the Arts is Canada’s public arts funder, with a mandate to foster and promote the study and enjoyment of, and the production of works in, the arts. The Council champions and invests in artistic excellence through a broad range of grants, services, prizes and payments to professional Canadian artists and arts organizations. Its work ensures that excellent, vibrant and diverse art and literature engages Canadians, enriches their communities and reaches markets around the world. The Council also raises public awareness and appreciation of the arts through its communications, research and arts promotion activities. It is responsible for the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, which promotes the values and programs of UNESCO in Canada to contribute to a more peaceful, equitable and sustainable future. The Canada Council Art Bank operates art rental programs and helps further public engagement with contemporary arts. @CanadaCouncil #BringingTheArtsToLife

Photos by: Festival Dalmatinskih klapa Omiš, Embassy of Canada to Croatia, Slobodna Dalmacija, Hrvatska Matica iseljenika and Klapa Kartolina.

Naša turneja u Hrvatskoj u srpnju 2019-te, nadmašila je sva naša nadanja i uživali smo u svakom provedenom trenutku!

Naš prvi nastup je bio 4. srpnja u glavnom gradu Hrvatske – Zagrebu, na proslavi Dana Kanade. Proslavu je organiziralo veleposlanstvo Kanade u Hrvatskoj, a održana je u lapidariju Arheološkog muzeja u Zagrebu. Za ovu priliku, dvorište muzeja se prekrasno ukrasilo bojama Kanadske zastave i crvenim javorovim listovima, simbolom Kanade. Klapa Kartolina je otvorila program izvođenjem kanadske i hrvatske himne, a nakon toga kratke govore su održali veleposlanik Hon. Daniel Maksymiuk, potpredsjednik Hrvatskog sabora Dr. Željko Reiner i bivši član kanadskog parlamenta gosp. Janko Perić. Program se nastavio izvedbama a cappella pjesama na hrvatskom, engleskom i francuskom jeziku, koje su izvele klape Kartolina i Fritule. Poslije završetka službenog dijela programa, uzvanici su nastavili druženje u ugodnoj i opuštenoj atmosferi. Upućujemo iskrenu zahvalu veleposlaniku Kanade Hon. Daniel Maksymiuk-u na pozivu za sudjelovanje u ovoj proslavi, gđi. Vlatki Ljubenko na besprijekornoj organizaciji događanja i cijelom osoblju veleposlanstva Kanade na potpori.

Slijedeći planirani koncert je trebao biti u Bolu na Braču, ali je otkazan zbog velikog nevremena u cijeloj Dalmaciji. Sutradan 11. srpnja vrijeme se poboljšalo, te smo ujutro otišli u Omiš na sastanak svih klapa koje su pozvane na turneju u organizaciji Festivala Dalmatinskih klapa iz Omiša (FDK). Druženje s ostalim sastavima je počelo organiziranom šetnjom po starom gradu uz pratnju turističkog vodiča, te smo tako upoznali povijesti grada. Nakon toga, otišli smo do muzeja FDK-a gdje nam je ravnatelj festivala gosp. Mijo Stanić održao kratko predavanje o povijesti festivala i klapskog pjevanja. U drugom dijelu dana, imali smo na rasporedu koncert na trgu katedrale Sv. Jakova. Ispred prepunog trga, klape Kartolina i Fritule iz Kanade, Valovi iz Argentine, Croatia iz Njemačke, Astoria iz SAD-a i barbershop kvartet Studio 4 iz SAD-a, su održale dvosatni koncert koji je publika oduševljeno pozdravila. Nastupiti na ovom prekrasnom, povijesnom mjestu, jednostavno oduzima dah i ove uspomene ćemo nositi u nama cijeli život!

Na dan glavnog događaja, 12. srpnja, organizatori su ujutro odveli sve izvođače na plovidbu brodicama rijekom Cetinom, do predivnog izletišta Radmanovih mlinica. Plovidba brodicom je bio izuzetan doživljaj, a posebno za naše najmlađe članove, koji su uživali vidjeti netaknutu prirodu i kristalno čistu rijeku između visokih planina i s raznim životinjskim svijetom naokolo. Okupljanje u izletištu je bilo vrlo ugodno, a druženje je prošlo na dalmatinski način, uz jelo i pjesmu. Drugi dio dana je počeo s tonskom probom na glavnoj klapskoj pozornici u Omišu. Ovo je bio naš drugi nastup u Omišu, ali prvi nastup na glavnom trgu Sv. Mihovila. Nastupiti na ovoj znamenitoj pozornici je želja svih klapskih pjevača. Na glavnom događaju ove turneje u organizaciji Festivala Dalmatinskih klapa Omiš, na koncertu pod nazivom “Večer klapa iz iseljeništva“, klape Kartolina, Fritule i svi ostali već navedeni sastavi su nastupili pred ispunjenim trgom Sv. Mihovila. Publika je s nestrpljenjem željela čuti i vidjeti kako klape izvan Hrvatske pjevaju hrvatske tradicionalne pjesme. Izvedbe svih klapa i sastava bile su odlične i svi su dobili lijepe aplauze publike. Jedna pjesma klape Kartolina je ipak iznimno srdačno primljena od publike. To je bila pjesma “Poljička“ koju je napisao Ante Mekinić, a uglazbila naša voditeljica Višnja Tijardović. Pjesma je to koja pjeva o povijesnoj Poljičkoj republici i koja je taknula srca mnogih. Za ovu pjesmu, Višnja je u ime svih izvođača primila soparnik, pripremljen i uručen od gđe. Mire Kuvačić iz Gata. Naša mlade članice ženske klape Fritule, iako po godinama mlade, otpjevale su kao pravi profesionalci i i iznimno smo ponosni na njih.

Slijedeći dan, 13. srpnja ujutro, imali smo organiziranu vrlo zanimljivu pjevačku radionicu. U zgradi starog Ilirskog sjemeništa na Priku, imali smo sjajnu priliku proširiti naše znanje o pjevanju, slušajući dva predavanja – o barbershop pjevanju koje je održao kvartet Studio 4 i o klapskom pjevanju koje je održao ravnatelj FDK-a gosp. Mijo Stanić. Na kraju radionice kao zaključak svih aktivnosti, svi predstavnici klapa iz iseljeništva su potpisali povelju o suradnji. Istog dana poslijepodne, imali smo naš zadnji planirani nastup u Hrvatskoj – 8. Susret klapa u Kučinama u organizaciji naših dragih prijatelja klape Krunik. U zgradi njihovog društevnog doma, s prekrasno ukrašenom pozornicom, nastupili smo uz deset drugih klapa i završili večer sa zajedničkom proslavom.

Na ovoj turneji je bilo puno događaja za pamćenje, a uspostavili smo i mnoge kontakte i prijateljstva. Potpisana povelja o suradnji s FDK-om je solidan temelj za buduću suradnju. Pažnju koju smo primili na svakom koraku od naših domaćina; FDK iz Omiša i njihovog ravnatelja gosp. Mije Stanića, veleposlanstva Kanade u Hrvatskoj i klape Krunik iz Kučina je bila iznimna i neizmjerno smo im zahvalni za to. Gdje god smo nastupali, bili smo izuzetno srdačno prihvaćeni i počašćeni.

Vrlo smo zahvalni našem prijatelju Jakši Giliću koji nam je uskočio i pomogao s pjevanjem na nastupima, jer par naših članova nije moglo doći s nama u Hrvatsku. Jakša je pravi profesionalac i nadamo se da ćemo i u budućnosti surađivati! Zahvaljujemo se gđi. Tia Špero iz Večernjeg lista, gđi. Jasenki Leskur iz Slobodne Dalmacije, gđi. Branki Bezić Filipović i gđi. Snježani Jurišić iz Hrvatske Matice iseljenika na novinskim prilozima o našim nastupima. Također smo zahvalni Yammat FM radiu, HRT Split-u i TV Jadranu na TV i radio prilozima, te Glasu Hrvatske i Croatia Week za najave turneje.

Posebnu zahvalu upućujemo našim sponzorima – Canadian Council of the Arts i Središnji državni ured za Hrvate izvan RH za velikodušnu financijsku potporu ovoj važnoj turneji za nas. Zahvalni smo im što su prepoznali naš rad i naša nastojanja!