Festival "Augustow Canal in the Culture of Three Nations"
The international project “Whole life in one bicycle”, which was presented for the first time at EXPO 2015 in Milan, invites you to learn more about the history of a bicycle – a unique means of transport and one of the greatest inventions, which has made the life of European urban dwellers and villagers much easier. The visitors to the exhibition will learn many interesting facts about the life and daily routine of representatives of various professions: a priest, a doctor, a fireman, a baker, a milkman, a tailor and a barber, and the role which the bicycle played in their lives. The exclusive collection, with the youngest bike of about 60 years old, belongs to Maurizio Urbinati from Italy. He has been collecting vintage bicycles with an interesting story for the past four last decades.
The Painter and the City project has become famous thanks to reproductions of pictures by the great artists such as Marc Chagall, Kazimir Malevich, and Nikolai Seleshchuk. You are cordially invited to get familiar with the art of an outstanding contemporary, a representative of Belarusian naive art Valentin Gubarev. For two decades his works have been on display in the famous French gallery Les Tournesols while staying largely unknown to the general public in the home country. The open-air exhibition will feature reproductions of 30 pictures that resemble caricatures. The pictures reflect the everyday life of provincial towns and their residents. According to the painter himself, he likes the spirituality of common folks, who build their life according to their own passions and interpretations of beauty
When: 26 May – 9 September
Where: Yakub Kolas Square, Minsk
For several years, Minsk residents and guests have had a chance to learn more about Belarus’ outstanding landmarks, the uniqueness of which is recognized throughout the world. This year, the open-air gallery has brought together over 100 reproductions depicting the architectural heritage, among which are towns halls, manors, palaces and parks, Orthodox and Catholic churches which have been restored over the past decade in different regions of the country. The authors of the art project are well-known photographers, journalists, winners of the Spiritual Revival Award (2005) Alexander Alekseev and Oleg Lukashevich, who released the album "Heritage of Belarus" in 2004. The album sold over 42 million copies from 2004 to 2014 and became a real sales hit in the history of the national book publishing.
When: from 21 May
Where: Chelyuskintsev Park, Minsk
The famous princely residence in Nesvizh invites tourists to take part in a series of interactive quests "Mysteries and Secrets of the Radziwill Palace." Tourists will be offered to take an exciting journey through the magnificent halls, and get acquainted with the history of one of the most influential dynasties of Europe of the 15th – 18th centuries. The participants of the quest will be accompanied by Prince Anatoly Wilhelm who was the first to restore the Nesvizh Palace in the 19th century after decades of desolation. To pass through the levels of the fascinating quest, the participants will have to find answers to tricky questions, solve historic puzzles, and visit the places usually closed for tourists: princely chambers, underground labyrinths, towers and defensive fortifications.
When: 30 May – 27 August
Where: National historical and cultural museum-reserve at Nesvizh, Minsk Oblast
An exclusive exhibition of French fashion designer Denis Durand Couture, dubbed as the Cannes Festival trendsetter, will open at Mir Castle, one of the most beautiful landmarks of Belarus, inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. In 2013 Belarusian theater and cinema stars walked the red carpet of the 20th International Film Festival Listapad in exquisite gowns from the famous Frenchman. This time the exhibition visitors will see 15 splendid evening and wedding attire, including dresses made from Belarusian handmade fabric. The collection will also include items created in cooperation with famous Minsk dress designer Apti Eziev, and also jewelry and accessories from Belarusian designers: clutches, purses, leather and metal headwear …
In 2015 Art Islands project became the largest open-air museum of installations which was visited by around 500,000 fans of contemporary art. The new exposition presents the art works of Belarusian masters: 15 exclusive art objects whose height exceeds five meters, and weight reaches 40 tonnes. Among the most interesting are the gigantic cocoons on trees, a tricycle, an allegory of modern city and birdhouse for thoughts. Visitors can travel back in time and space, embrace nature, immerse in the mystical world and feel the influence of the artificial world, participate in a philosophical quest, and even dance with shadows.
When: 23 June-10 September
Where: Island of Komsomoltsev, Komsomolskoye Lake, Minsk
The project “Free Museum” invites Minsk residents and visitors to get acquainted with the heroes of our time, the people who have made a significant contribution to the development of national culture: scientists, inventors, writers, composers, filmmakers, artists, athletes ... In the historic center of Minsk there is a display of the portraits of famous citizens of Minsk: composer Nikolai Aladov, ballerina Lyudmila Brzhozovskaya, conductor Grigory Shirma, actress Stephania Stanyuta, entrepreneur Mejlah Pupko, neurologist Daniil Markov… All in all, the “live exposition” features 20 reproductions from the holdings of the National Art Museum, many of which are exhibited for the first time.
When: 30 June – 30 September
Where: Svobody Square, Minsk
An exhibition of paintings by Mikhail Savitsky, the Hero of Belarus, People’s Artist of the USSR and Belarus, participant of the Great Patriotic War, tells visitors about the life of the Belarusian people during one of the bloodiest wars in the history of mankind. Mikhail Savitsky, the author of the famous Guerilla Madonna captured the heroism of the people of Belarus in their struggle against the German fascist invaders. One of the most striking pages of his chronicles of the war is a series of 16 paintings “Numbers in the Heart” created based on his personal recollections of the horrors of the German concentration camps at Buchenwald, Dachau, and Dusseldorf. According to the artist, paintings can expose the truly tragic nature of war by influencing people solely through their hearts, emotions and mental contemplation.
When: 28 July – 9 October
Where: Belarusian State Museum of the Great Patriotic War, Minsk
The international plein air Art Zhyzhal is a kind of an open-air workshop that brings together craftsmen from all over the world who come to Belarus to make real pieces of art from clay. This year’s edition of the forum will be held under the slogan Art as Living Environment. It will gather 18 craftsmen from Belarus, Russia, Ukraine, Latvia, Estonia, India and Uzbekistan. Among the participants there will also be young artisans who will come to learn the secrets of the trade and the nuances of working with clay. The forum participants will build mud stoves that will traditionally be the ‘heart’ of the workshop. The stoves will be used to burn clay pieces of art. The main clay artwork is expected to be made on the last day of the ceramics and fire fest.
When: 4 – 25 August
Where: Verbki recreation center, Bobruisk District, Mogilev Oblast
The summer season of the international project TheatreHD which unites more than 35 cities of Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and now also Belarus will invite art enthusiasts to enjoy big-screen live broadcasts of theater, opera and ballet performances by the world’s most famous theaters. The playbill of the project features innovative productions Swan Lake, The Car Man and Sleeping Beauty by Tony Award winner, British choreographer Matthew Bourne whose works represent a fabulous combination of stunning choreography and modern re-interpretation of classical plots. Art lovers will be treated to documentaries about world’s best pieces of fine art. The viewers will be invited on a tour of famous museums. Curators and art historians will uncover the mysteries of masterpieces by such eminent artists as Vincent van Gogh, Rembrandt and Claude Monet.
When: 10 – 27 August
Where: Tsentralny Cinema House, Minsk
The music festival held in the beautiful town of Mir, near the magnificent 16th-century castle featured in the UNESCO World Heritage List, has turned into a large-scale cultural event within a few years. In 2016, world acid jazz pioneers Red Snapper from the United Kingdom and Ukrainian bands The HARDKISS and ONUKA will be the headliners of the festival. By the way, famous Georgian singer Nino Katamadze and the Insight band who took part in the forum in 2014 and 2015 passed the baton to the electric folk band ONUKA. This band received the national music award YUNA 2015 as the revelation of the year, in March the band gave a fantastic concert in Minsk as part of the VIDLIK tour.
When: 12 – 14 August
Where: Mir Castle Complex, town of Mir, Grodno Oblast
The big international festival in Pripyat Polesie will be co-located with the 11th European Scything Boggy Meadows Championships for the second year in a row. Partaking in the competition will be about 30 teams from five countries: Belarus, Russia, Ukraine, Poland and Germany. The program will feature individual and team competitions on 100m-long and 3m-wide strips of land of fenny grass. The scything competitions will be followed by a football tournament in a boggy meadow. Guests of the eco festival will be invited on an eco-path tour, and also to observe animals and birds of the famous reserve, take part in a photo competition Belarusian Beauty, and listen to authentic music by one of the best bands of Brest Oblast.
When: 13 August
Where: Sporovsky Reserve, the village of Vysokoye, Bereza District, Brest Oblast
The international festival “The path of the Vikings”, which will debut in the Sula History Park, is a new event in the festival calendar of Belarus. But it is there for a good reason. The legendary era of Scandinavian seafarers is closely connected with the past of Belarus. Ten centuries ago here ran the famous trade route “from the Varangians to the Greeks”. Thanks to it, dozens of ancient cities including Polotsk and Vitebsk sprang up and prospered, trade and crafts boomed, cultural relations with the Nordic peoples strengthened. There were a number of military conflicts for the right to control the lucrative route...
The festival celebrating this epoch will draw together participants from different countries. The program will feature the reconstruction of the commercial campaign of the Varangian merchants, military competitions and battles of the Vikings, and a camp featuring weapons, costumes and household items of the Vikings. The town of craftsmen will host master classes about ancient crafts. Musicians, singers and dancers will be performing the whole day in the improvised stage among the stones of the ancient cromlech. The reenactment of the defense of the settlement, which will be the centerpiece event of the festival, will feature the landing of the Vikings from the drakkar.
When: 13 August
Where: Sula History Park, village of Sula, Stolbtsy District, Minsk Oblast
The town of Shklov, also known as the “cucumber capital of Belarus”, is known for good harvests and a traditional festival. At the end of the harvest season it gathers lovers of unusual dishes made of cucumbers. Here visitors can taste original dishes and get the exclusive recipes from local housewives who can make cucumber pancakes and cucumber jam, prepare a famous Shklov cucumber vodka "ogurtsovka" and cucumber lemonade which is good in hot summer days. Traditionally the guests of the festival will be welcomed by a “cucumber man” who will invite them to visit his estate in the tourist-excursion center “The Tales of the Bald Mountain”. The program of this delicious fest will feature a pageant, folk concerts, pavilions and tasting of cucumber dishes and drinks.
When: 13 August
Where: Shklov, Mogilev Oblast
The expedition festival will bring together about 800 amateurs of extreme leisure from seven countries. The program of the festival will include professional competitions in futsal, beach volleyball and volleyball, table tennis, badminton, darts, power lifting, tug of war, building a falling tower, slacklining, etc. The festival will include the professional aquabike racing tournament Baltic Countries Cup 2016, bicycle and quad bike racing. Besides, the program of the event will include a culinary contest, the tasting of ‘expedition’ food, and various entertainments, such as the school of ethnic drums TekaDUM, boat and catamaran trips, amusement rides, an adventure park, a bow shooting range, yoga classes, contests and lotteries.
When: 19 – 21 August
Where: picnic hotel Expedition, the village of Oktyabr, Logoisk District, Minsk Oblast
For the first time the international sport chanbara (spochan) festival will gather young practitioners of the Japanese combat art of fencing with safe swords from Europe, Asia, and Africa in Vitebsk Oblast. Spochan is rapidly gaining popularity in Belarus. A representative office of the international spochan association was officially opened in Vitebsk in 2014. The first schools were opened in Minsk, Brest, and Mogilev in 2015. Apart from the junior tournament, an international judge seminar on ISCA rules will be held as well as master classes by leading coaches from Russia, Italy, Estonia, Japan, and Uganda. Apart from that, the guests will be invited to attend cultural events — a mythology festival Warm Welcome of Tsmok From Lepel and Savior of the Apple Feast Day in Sharkovshchina. A Star Wars cosplay festival will be arranged as well.
When: 19 – 28 August
Where: Lesnoye health resort, Dokshitsy District, Vitebsk Oblast
The famous Dribin felt boots attract to the Belarusian town tourists and lovers of unique crafts and collectors from around the world. The ancient traditions and the secret language used by local craftsmen are featured in the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List. The central venue of the festival will be ‘a craftsmen town’ featuring the Belarusian national crafts such as pottery, barrel making and carving, straw-braiding and beading, weaving and embroidery. Visitors will learn how to make different woolen items: Dribin felt boots, Magyar hats, gloves and decorations. Guests will be also invited to visit the souvenir stalls, exhibitions and workshops and to enjoy a concert of folk music.
When: 20 August
Where: Dribin town, Mogilev Oblast
The famous festival will traditionally gather guests from Belarus, Lithuania and Poland – the countries connected by the engineering and tourist ‘gem’ Augustow Canal. The concert venues, exhibitions, craft fairs, and national pavilions with open-air cafes will be arranged near the Dombrovka Sluice. The program will feature the Anything That Floats race. The jury will evaluate unique water crafts by the speed they can make and their looks. Another unusual entertainment will be a swamp soccer tournament.
When: 20 August
Where: Sluice Dombrovka, the Augustow Canal, Grodno Oblast
This mythology festival is dedicated to one of the most recognizable symbols of Lepel District – Tsmok (dragon). Partaking in the event will be representatives from Belarus, Russia, Lithuania, Latvia, India, Japan and China. The festival will open with the concert “Musical Olympus” featuring Belarusian and Latvian ethno-rock and ethno-modern bands such as Relikt, Vyrai, Rokash, Na Gual. Theme zones telling about the cultures of the partaking countries will unfold in the city park: a handicraft exhibition and shopping stalls, workshops by craftsmen and cooks, a tasting of national cuisine dishes, traditional songs and dances. Guests of the festival will take part in the unforgettable Belarusian rite Rozgary: it is when girls dressed up as mermaids perform ritual dances around the bonfire. The festival will also welcome its namesake - the basketball club with the mythological name Tsmoki who will present their own entertainment program.
When: 21 August
Where: Lepel, Vitebsk Oblast
The colorful festival in the Belarusian town of Zheludok continues the tradition of European landscape designers who, at the height of the season, arrange beauty extravaganzas. Just for one day its streets and yards will turn into art canvases created of fresh flowers, colorful buds and petals, urban green bushes and trees, fruit orchards. The festival includes numerous contests: “Flowers near the house”, “Landscape design”, “Mini orchard” , “Collector’s dream”, photo exhibitions and presentations, fashion shows in flower costumes, classes in floral design of bouquets, consultations of florists and designers in decorating the interior with flower compositions, and a crafts and arts fair.
When: 21 August
Where: Zheludok, Shchuchin District, Grodno Oblast
Annensky Kirmash (St. Anna Fair) was one of the largest fairs in Europe in the 18th century. It has been revived and again gathers guests in the old Belarusian town of Zelva. The first day of the festival will feature a fishing tournament on the bank of the Zelvyanka water reservoir and a tasting of fish dishes, a competition of sand figures, a show on the water, beach volleyball and crossfit competitions, a big concert and a beach disco.
Another anticipated event is the opening of the Annensky Kirmash museum. Thanks to the fair, a century ago Zelva became the trading center of thoroughbred horses from all over the world. The main events of the fair will unfold in the center of the town on 27 August. The program includes a pageant, concerts, arts and crafts fairs, presentations of farm tourism estates and business seminars, a fair of horses and a horse show, a seminar on horse breeding in Belarus, trips on carts, a concert of popular stars and a fire show.
When: 26 August-27 August
Where: Zelva, Grodno Oblast
The magnificent age of Baroque left a noticeable trace in world history, architecture, fine arts, and certainly in the music of the 17-18th centuries. It gave us such masterpieces as fugues by Johann Sebastian Bach, the Hallelujah choir from the oratorio Messiah by George Frideric Handel, the Four Seasons by Antonio Vivaldi, Vespro della Beata Vergine by Claudio Monteverdi… Сlassic music enthusiasts will enjoy “the baroque fantasies” performed by the prominent German saxophonist Stepan Mishula, who works with the Munich Symphonic Orchestra in Austria, Switzerland and Italy, and also music by the strings project Amadeus of Anastasia Dudareva. Tatiana Levitskaya will play the first violin. The evening will feature works by great composers, including Vivaldi, Handel, Schnittke, and Haydn…
When: 30 August
Where: Upper Town Concert Hall, Minsk
Jazz trumpeter and singer Ronald Baker, who continues the traditions of maestros Nat King Cole, Duke Ellington and Clifford Brown, became world- famous in the late 1990s when he founded Ronald Baker Quintet. Since the beginning of his music career, Ronald Baker has participated in the recording of over 50 albums, seven of which place high in the Top Contemporary Jazz Albums chart. His greatest hit Gee Baby, Ain't I Good To You? is considered a pure example and benchmark of blues. In Minsk, Ronald Baker together with Petersburg Piano Jazz Trio will present program The Triumph of Jazz and perform the best songs and instrumental pieces from the album Celebrating Nat King Cole released in 2014.
30 August – Trade Unions Palace, Minsk
31 August – Yevgeny Vladimirov’s Jazz Club, Palace of the Republic