An evening of healing music to benefit Ukraine

Belarusian Canadian Alliance partnered with GVA Lighting Inc to host a charitable concert & fundraiser to provide defense supplies to Ukraine.

The event featured an incredibly talented  Original Impressions duo: Raisa Orshansky (Belarus) and Victor Kotov (Ukraine). Raisa Orshansky is a classically trained composer, conductor and virtuoso tsymbalist. Her husband, Victor Kotov, is a clasically educated pianist and composer with a passion for rare ethnic instruments, such as duduk, melodica, shakuhachi, Irish flute, and jaw harp (khomus)

Raisa and Victor treated the audience to an evening of fascinating music ranging from medieval pieces to Klezmer improvisations. Some of the pieces composed by Raisa were also presented (From Urban to Nature, Waltz Mirage, Lightning Flashes). Piece by piece, the captivating sounds of piano and tsymbaly led the guests towards the feeling of harmony and peacefulness, lighting up the smiles on every face. Says Victor: “When we pay attention to our best thoughts and intentions, we are playing a beautiful inner melody.  And the reverse is true, listening to the music allows us to let go of negativity and focus on the positive aspects of life”.

Original Impressions Duo was very warmly received by Belarusian and Ukrainian community members and guests after the performance. The audience also welcomed three new GVA team members who recently relocated from Ukraine with a big round of applause and best wishes for their fresh start in Canada. Says Olga Makas, BCA event coordinator: “The concert brought our community together after a long pandemic break and was a much needed soul therapy for all of us, who empathize with the Ukrainian people and follow the news on daily basis”.

The BCA  team is enormously grateful to Raisa and Victor for their generous decision to donate all the proceeds from the concert to buy life-saving defense supplies for Belarusian volunteers in Ukraine.  Our appreciation also goes to GVA Inc. for hosting the concert and providing much needed community hub in western GTA.

Biography & references

Vik Kott (Viktor Kotov) is a born musician, constantly progressing, always in search of new decisions. Vik is a brilliant pianist and a composer, he is a member of SOCAN Canada. He recorded and produced two albums with his original compositions, You &Me and Unconditional Love.

In 2007 and 2008 Vik performed on duduk at Columbia College of Chicago in their Elemental Project (Global Folk Traditions course, Music Composition for the Screen program). Kott played duduk with Ensemble “ICE” on the stage of Columbia College, and conducted “Armenian Music Traditions” presentation for the students of the course.

Raisa Orshansky performs on 78 strings folk Belarusian instrument tsimbaly (hammered dulcimer), she is a member of SOCAN and a PARMA Recordings artist; her Symphonic Poem “Spring Fantasy” was recorded in Czech Republic with Ostrava Philharmonic Orchestra.

Raisa and Vik were part of many creative projects, such as the Russian Festival of Toronto (2013, 2014), Series of Jewish Music (2017), OMNI Television Project, Armenian Sounds Of Canada (2019), in 2021 they performed on 10th World ICCEES Congress in Montreal, and two Markham Arts Council's Projects – Artists Unplugged and Music On The Street.

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