Mr. Mike Loncarich
Mr. Loncarich has been a teacher at Hrvatsko Selo for more than 40 years. His motivation for teaching and preserving Croatian music and culture in the community is based on his belief in the benefits it has for our Croatian Youth and as such, our young people gain a great respect for the rich culture of the Croatian people. They better understand their background and ancestry and are able to share it with many others of Croatian heritage. He has personally witnessed many of his students grow together, become life-long friends, "kumovi" and even life-long spouses! He is proud to see them unite as they support their Croatian parish, and pass these traditions onto their own families. Mike works selflessly in many roles within several Croatian communities, thereby sharing his skills, talents, knowledge and genuine love for our beloved cultural heritage, through music, song and dance. Thank you on behalf of all the children and parents of Hrvatsko Selo, who are truly grateful to you for all your years of dedication, mentorship and voluntary work.
Mrs LoryAnn Protulipac
Lory is one of the original founding members of Hrvatsko selo. Her involvement in the group spans over 40 years. When she was 16 years old, Lory began her Croatian folklore teaching career within these walls, and she has taught all age groups over the decades. She continues to faithfully volunteer her time and knowledge not only teaching our children but also mentoring future Selo teachers.
Her “real” work profession of Early Childhood Resource Specialist at the Ron Joyce Children’s Health Centre has enhanced her ability to teach all children of all abilities in fun and innovative ways. This creativity is on display as she introduces our most precious gems of the ensemble, the "Mali Minjens", to musical theory, singing and dancing.
Lory serves as a valuable source of knowledge about the group's history. Lory was an instrumental part of the group of previous members that designed and organized the nosnja/costume room, which stores 30 regions of Croatian, Bosnian and Hercegovina costumes.
Lory’s genuine love for children and her deep passion for the preservation of our Croatian culture within our Holy Cross Parish Community and Hrvatsko Selo is an inspiration to all.
Mrs. Dianne Capin
Dianne is a skilled and passionate music director with an extensive background in Croatian folklore. For over 26 years, Dianne has dedicated herself to the preservation, and celebration of the vibrant world of Croatian traditional music and dance.
Her journey began at the age of 6 when she became a member of Hrvatsko Selo, immersing herself in learning about the rich cultural heritage of Croatia. Over the course of 12 years, Dianne not only honed her skills but also realized the profound value of learning about her heritage and how it could shape her future endeavors.
To further pursue her passion, Dianne moved to Montreal to pursue her postsecondary education. There, she took on the role of directing the acclaimed Folklorni ansembl Kardinal Stepinac of Montreal for 12 years. In this role, she made significant contributions to reintroducing the playing of tambura within the Croatian community and even established a tambura school, cultivating a deep bond with the community.
Choosing to return to her hometown of Hamilton to raise her family, Dianne has been teaching tambura at Hrvatsko Selo for the past 10 years. She considers her involvement with Hrvatsko Selo as the seed that blossomed into her love for music and folklore. Now, she strives to instill that same passion in her own children and students, ensuring the preservation and celebration of Croatian heritage for future generations.
With Dianne, you can expect a wealth of knowledge, enthusiasm, and dedication to Croatian folklore. Her unwavering commitment to the art form and her community manifests in a collaborative and inspiring environment.
Mrs. Allison Welbourne (nee Loncarich)
Allison was introduced to the tambura and Croatian folklore at a very young age as she listened to the lively sounds of her father’s tambura band practicing in her home. She joined the Croatian National Home at age 7 and continued there until age 18, learning under the tutelage of her uncle, Joe Loncarich, and various choreographers. This experience afforded her the opportunity to travel extensively in the United States and Canada, meeting many friends and making wonderful memories. At age 18, Allison began assisting her father, Mike Loncarich, with the Intermediate Group at Hrvatsko Selo. In addition to teaching tambura for multiple years at Hrvatsko Selo, Allison also spent 5 years teaching Junior Tambura at Folklore Ensemble Croatia in Mississauga. Thirty four years ago, Allison was a founding member of the Adult Ensemble Ziva Grana Hrvatske, and she is still an active member of the group today. Allison has had both theory and vocal training; completing exams with the Royal Conservatory of Music. She is currently working with the Intermediate tambura group, and is enjoying helping them to develop fundamental playing and vocal skills.
Miss Julianna Hribljan
Julianna first discovered her love for Croatian Folklore 30 years ago, as a performing member of Hrvatsko Selo. She was charmed by the beauty of the songs, dances and costumes of her Croatian heritage. She has since then, immersed herself in the culture, making countless memories and furthering her appreciation for folklore. In 2014, Julianna began assisting with dance and music and is now currently instructing the Intermediate and Senior Dance groups. Julianna is dedicated to helping future generations connect to their roots and find their passion and love for Croatian culture through music and dance.
Mrs Liana Stipancic
Liana grew up as a member of the Croatian National Home from the age of 7 to 22. She is a current and active member of Živa Grana Hrvatske. Liana has been teaching at Hrvatsko Selo for a dozen or so years. Her love of teaching young children stretches from inside her daily classroom to teaching young children how to play the tambura. She loves seeing the progress her students make in their first few years of playing the tambura. Her musical knowledge and patience are very much appreciated.
Mrs. Marija Zupanic
Marija has spent much of her life learning, cultivating, and sharing her love for her Croatian culture. At the young age of 5, she became a member of Toronto’s Zrinski Frankopan folklore ensemble. She spent 18 years in the group under the leadership of the late, well recognized and respected Nikola Vrdoljak. As a young woman , Marija had the amazing opportunity of spending two years in Zagreb, Croatia on a full scholarship to study Croatian culture, language and literature. She was also a member of the Toronto Church tambura group and enjoyed 10 years under the leadership of the late Monsignor Valent Bogadi. Through her involvement in folklore, Marija has toured much of Canada, the United States and Croatia. Marija’s musical abilities extend to include the study of piano and theory at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto for 10 years. Marija has provided dancing and vocal assistance to all levels of groups within Hrvatsko Selo groups since 2011. Additionally, she has voluntarily sewn numerous costumes for the ensemble; a woman of many gifts and talents.
Miss Adriana Bajai
Adriana’s love for dance blossomed at an early age. She was captivated by the vibrant rhythms, intricate footwork, and colorful costumes that adorned the traditional folk dances of her homeland. She spent her formative years as a student and assistant instructor at FEC Mississauga, honing her skills in various regional dance styles. Her dynamic teaching style, coupled with her infectious enthusiasm keeps her students motivated and having fun. Adriana is dedicated to preserving and promoting the rich cultural heritage of Croatia through dance and fostering a deep-rooted love for folklore in her students.
Miss Anita Jazvac
Anita has been a dedicated member of Hrvatsko selo for 16 years. Anita's journey in music education began with her deep-rooted connection to her Croatian heritage. Anita is an accomplished pianist with a wealth of experience. For the past 10 years, Anita has dedicated her time to honing her piano skills and has achieved remarkable milestones along the way. Her dedication and hard work paid off when she reached Grade 9 in the Royal Conservatory of Music's piano and theory examinations. Looking to the future, Anita hopes to continue her work in music education, nurturing young talents, and preserving the rich heritage of Croatian music. She firmly believes that through the power of music, she can inspire and empower the next generation to embrace their cultural roots while fostering a love for music that transcends borders.
Mr. Zeljko Jergan
Željko was born in Varaždin, Croatia and began his professional career in folklore dance in 1974 when he joined the Croatian Folklore Ensemble “Lado” of Zagreb. Željko also performed with the Zagreb National Ballet Company and with the Modern Dance Company in seasonal productions and television specials. 1985 marked the beginning of Željko’s crusade over the Atlantic where his ethnographic expertise enabled him to conduct seminars and provide choreographies to groups all over the world. In 1987, and to the thanks of Mr. Mike Loncarich, Željko became the choreographer of Hrvatsko Selo. His innovative style and artistic interpretations of Croatian folklore bring to life the traditional culture of our ancestors. Hrvatsko Selo is proud and privileged to have an individual of this caliber associated with the ensemble.