Both the venue and sense of this children’s song and dance forum are closely connected with its title. Klimovichi’s coat of arms depicts an embroidered golden bee against a blue background; historically, local residents were involved in domestic and forest bee-keeping. The festival title symbolises their patient collection of honeycombs — the sweet gift brought by young talents to the stage.
As is traditional, the Golden Bee Festival takes place on International Children’s Day, although the number of entrants is ever expanding. Its reputation has quickly spread all over the post-Soviet space, with 13 states sending youngsters this year. The most representative delegations came from Russia and Ukraine. The small district centre in Belarus was filled with a thousand children’s voices.
The jury comprised famous cultural and art figures from various countries. Russia was presented by Valery Kalistratov, a professor from P.I. Tchaikovsky Moscow State Conservatoire. He was joined by prominent Belarusian composer Leonid Zakhlevny and the Artistic Leader of the V. Mulyavin National Musical Art Centre, Svetlana Statsenko (who has trained several Junior Eurovision Song Contest entrants and winners). The worthy judges noted the high level of performance by entrants.
The winners include diploma holders Boris Vlasov and Balalaechka dance ensemble from St. Petersburg, Afzalshokh Safarzoda from Dushanbe, Solomia Zhekalo from Ukrainian Kalush, Juras Akmentini pop band from Latvian Ventspils and Moldovan Karanfil dance band from Beshalma. There were so many awards and gifts at the festival that it’s impossible to list all the winners but the Grand Prix remained with Belarus, claimed jointly by singer Polina Badeeva — of Buinichi children’s art school in the Mogilev District, Rovesnik dance band from Minsk and a boys’ choir from Mogilev. The jury members were unanimous in their decision.