Blood of Our Soil National Tour

$4,385 of $7,500 goal

Raised by 34 people in 6 months
Created November 3, 2018
BLOOD OF OUR SOIL, a new Ukrainian Canadian play, seeks community support to tour NATIONALLY to TORONTO and throughout WESTERN CANADA.

*CHARITABLE TAX RECEIPTS are available for donations over $50
*Donations of $250 and over have the option of becoming a TRIBUTE SPONSOR, with the opportunity to honour a loved one in our Toronto production program with 50 words and a small photo.
(please email with your name and email address in order to receive your tax receipt, or if you’d like to make a donation directly to our company. Corporate sponsorship and advertising opportunities are available.)

Hello! My name is Lianna Makuch, and I am a second-generation Ukrainian Canadian professional theatre artist from Edmonton, Alberta. I am a graduate of the Bachelor of Fine Arts Acting Program at the University of Alberta and am an Artistic Producer with Pyretic Productions.

I am very proud of my Ukrainian heritage and have undertaken a special project which blends the historical and contemporary experiences of my ancestral homeland in a new play I’ve written called Blood of Our Soil. 
 34185640_1541178456960441_r.jpegPoster Design by Tynan Boyd.
34185640_1541178534592625_r.jpegPictured: Lianna Makuch. Photo by Mat Simpson.

Blood of Our Soil 
tells a story inspired by my Baba’s journal chronicling her emigration from Ukraine during WWII. It has also been shaped by interviews I conducted with people affected by the current conflict in Eastern Ukraine. The play is intended to educate a broad audience on the ongoing war and the way it affects the everyday lives of the innocent people caught in the crossfire. 

The play has been developed in partnership with Ukrainian artists and war veterans. The principal artists on the project have spent considerable time in Ukraine researching and interviewing those personally affected by the war. On October 17th, 2018 it was presented through a “staged-reading” in Kyiv, where it received accolades from both media and the public. 

Blood of Our Soil premiered in Edmonton, Alberta in March 2018. The production was a huge artistic success with sold out performances. Our audiences strongly encouraged our company to share this project across Canada. 

We are in the early phases of planning a Western Canadian tour, and are excited to be presenting the Toronto premiere at the Tarragon Theatre, March 7 – 16, 2019.

34185640_1541180320852465_r.jpegPyretic Productions outside a destroyed hospital in Mykolaivka, Eastern Ukraine. October 2017.34185640_154118042326075_r.jpeg
At a centre for internally displaced people in Bakhmut, Eastern Ukraine. October 2017.
34185640_1541178614569961_r.jpegA discussion group following a staged reading of the new script of Blood of Our Soil. The group consists of Ukrainian artists, veterans, social activists, and members of the general public. Les Kurbas Centre, Kyiv, Ukraine, October 2018. Photo by Oleksii Tovpyha.

Please read on to learn more about how to support this exciting new project which honours my historic homeland and the people of Ukraine.



Blood of Our Soil tells the story of Hania, a Ukrainian Canadian woman. As she reflects on fond memories of summers spent with her beloved Baba, a chance discovery allows her to gain new insights about her Baba’s struggles during WWII. In failing health, she urges Hania to travel to her Ukrainian homeland to seek out a missing piece of their family’s history. 

Longing to put her Baba at ease and to gain a deeper understanding of both her personal and cultural history, Hania finds herself near the front line in Eastern Ukraine. She is not prepared for what she discovers as she learns the truths of her Baba’s past and the harsh realities of today’s war.

34185640_1541178901648418_r.jpegBlood of Our Soil. Pictured (left to right back) Tanya Pacholok, Oscar Derkx, Larissa Pohoreski, Maxwell Lebeuf, Julia Guy. (front) Lianna Makuch. Photo by Marc J. Chalifoux.

At its heart, this project is bigger than the play alone. It includes a museum installation chronicling 100 years of Ukrainian resistance to Russian aggression, audience “talk-backs”, which further enlighten audiences and gain interest from media, as well as panel discussions involving journalists, academics, and a young Ukrainian veteran from Kyiv.
 34185640_1541179330294795_r.jpegVoice of War Discussion Panelists: (left to right) Alex Melnyk (Bayduza Post Doctoral Fellow), Dmytro Lavrenchuk (veteran of Ukrainian volunteer forces), Member of Parliament Linda Duncan, Director Patrick Lundeen, Playwright Lianna Makuch, Jars Balan (Director of the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies at the UofA).

34185640_1541179375161093_r.jpegPanel Discussion - Voice of War: Ukraine's Contemporary Conflict.


We are reaching out to the community to help raise $7500 for this project. 

All contributions will directly support: our team of 11 highly talented and specialized artists; several specialized crew members; workshop and rehearsal space; theatre and equipment rental; costume creation; and set materials. Touring expenses include flights, per diems, and accommodations. We are doing our best to keep costs down, while ensuring that artists and the creative team are paid a living wage for their work. 

In addition to requesting community support, we have also applied for several government and foundation grants.


It is integral to capitalize on the positive momentum generated by Blood of Our Soil in Edmonton. Ukraine’s humanitarian and political crisis is ongoing, and our company feels compelled to use theatre and our project to continue raising awareness of Ukraine’s increasingly threatened circumstances.

34185640_1541179452618085_r.jpegBlood of Our Soil (left to right) Oscar Derkx, Tanya Pacholok. Photo by Marc J. Chalifoux. 

Putin’s actions since 2014 have literally reshaped our world. The Russian-backed invasion in Eastern Ukraine has killed over 11,000 Ukrainians alone and displaced more than 2 million innocent civilians. North Americans generally remain unaware that a war is even occurring. Theatre is a powerful channel for raising awareness and revealing truths. Our play allows patrons to empathize with the realities of living through war and sheds light on the political situation in Ukraine, inspiring dialogue and initiatives for change.

Support for Blood of Our Soil has come from various communities and individuals. Canadian veterans, numerous members of the Ukrainian diaspora, social activists, and government officials have attended and promoted the project. Member of Parliament Linda Duncan participated in both renditions in Edmonton. She went on to express her support in the House of Commons in March 2017. Her remarks are recorded in Hansard and available in video on the company’s site She passionately expressed her wish that the project travel to Ottawa for the benefit of members of the federal government.

34185640_154117957595037_r.jpegBlood of Our Soil. Pictured Larissa Pohoreski. Photo by Marc J. Chalifoux.


Pyretic Productions and St. John’s Institute, in association with Theatre of the New Heart and Punctuate! Theatre, presented the second version of Blood of Our Soil in Edmonton in March 2018. The production received generous support from several arts and community bodies including the Canada Council for the Arts, the Alberta Arts Foundation for the Arts, the Community Initiatives Program, Edmonton Community Foundation, the Shevchenko Foundation, the Ukrainian Canadian Commemorative Society, the Ukrainian Pioneers of Alberta Association, and individual donors.  

We are pleased to be presenting the Toronto production in association with Punctuate! Theatre.

34185640_1541180557897887_r.jpegBlood of Our Soil. (left to right) Tanya Pacholok, Larissa Pohoreski, Lianna Makuch. Photo by Marc J. Chalifoux.

34185640_1541196522403387_r.jpegBlood of Our Soil. (left to right) Oscar Derkx and Maxwell Lebeuf.

We experienced an incredible response from both Ukrainian audiences and the community-at-large. The run of the production nearly sold-out. Due to demand, we added an additional matinee performance which also sold out. Several individuals and organizations from across the country have inquired how they can help organize a presentation in their respective cities.

Blood of Our Soil was nominated in four categories for the Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Awards, Edmonton’s premiere theatre awards. These included:

- Outstanding New Work
- Outstanding Independent Production
- Outstanding Original Score
- Outstanding Multi-Media Presentation 

For my work with Blood of Our Soil, I personally received the ACUA-URDC Award (Alberta Council for the Ukrainian Arts - Ukrainian Research and Development Centre), received the inaugural Rena Hanchuk and Yaroslav Kitynskyy Emerging Artist Award, and was recognized as a Top 30 Under 30 Artist by the Alberta Council for the Ukrainian Arts.

34185640_1541179628101490_r.jpegMembers of the Blood of Our Soil creative team at the Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Awards (left to right, back) Nicholas Mayne, Julia Guy, Larissa Pohoreski, Lianna Makuch, Stephanie Bahniuk, Tanya Pacholok, Erin Voaklander. (left to right, front) Patrick Lundeen, Trent Crosby.


Blood of Our Soil is a culmination of my passion for theatre, my love for my grandparents and my Ukrainian heritage -- its past, its present and its future. With this project, we hope to give voice to the often-forgotten individuals caught between the crossfire of war: voices from my Baba’s generation, and voices from the resilient people living today in Eastern Ukraine.

Blood of Our Soil reveals the impact of today’s conflict on the people of Ukraine. It is our hope that the project will inspire the desire for action and change within our global community, raising awareness of the realities of the millions living through war around the world.

Thank you for your consideration of supporting Blood of Our Soil.

Слава Україні!

Lianna Makuch,

34185640_1541179688936120_r.jpegBlood of Our Soil by Lianna Makuch. Photo by Mat Simpson. Pysanky by Kateryna Hnat Makuch.


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$4,385 of $7,500 goal

Raised by 34 people in 6 months
Created November 3, 2018
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