Amongst the Serbians known as "Churche’s Oplenac", was re-established and restored 17 years ago. In those first days, folklore group was situated in St. Sava Church in Toronto.
"Oplenac" is very important and big organization in our Church Assembly. Through "Oplenac", many generations of Serbian youth have passed, and together with their parents, embossed part of themselves into the organization as well as into the Church Assembly.
Every year, growing and with more members, "Oplenac" has increasing accomplishments, thanks to choreographers Mile Ocokoljic who was leading the group for 13 years, and Dragan Maklenov, present time artistic director and choreographer.
"Oplenac" strives to keep and preserve Serbian culture, tradition and customs through songs and dances. Summer of 1999 was special one, as "Oplenac" went on a tour to Serbia. On that tour, members visited many cultural and historical places, partied in folklore gathering in Vrsac, were received by Center of Emigrants of Serbia and Patriarch of Serbia, Mr. Pavle.
On December 2000, members and parents of this folklore group, organized humanitarian help for the mentally challenged people and cerebral palsy challenged, living at monasteries of St. Petka and Ravanica, in Serbia. Organizing help to those people had became traditional ever since, and is held every year during the time of advent fasting period of the Church.
At the end of every December, children of this folklore group, with great joy, are involved in preparation of badnjaks, used at the time of celebration of birth of our Savior Jesus Christ – Christmas. Parents are always involved in organizing the Christmas Eve, Christmas and traditional Christmas party. After the Christmas, time comes to celebrate the feast of St. Sava, whose name this folklore group carries, and whom they chose to be their patron saint. At the first celebration of their slava, "Oplenac" donated to the newly built church the icon of their protector – St. Sava.
In February, "Oplenac" organizes dinner party and all funds are donated to the Church.
Group goes on tours, being invited to be guests on various occasions, it has new costumes for children under the age of three years, costumes for other ages that are making proud not just them, but entire Serbian community. Costumes are mostly brought directly from Serbia. Parents and donors have made the collection of these costumes possible.
"Oplenac" has it’s beauty in it’s youth, and has many things to show. We could see it on May 2002, when on Carassauga Festival, "Oplenac" took first place in this multi-cultural event, amongst eighteen participating pavilions. Readiness, willingness, hard work of Serbian youth, beauty of our costumes, ethno decorated room, slava’s cake, candle, zito, Easter in Serbia, St. Sava, Vuk Karadzic, Nikola Tesla, cyrillic writing, hand made items, exposition, children’s corner, new church, smile on our faces, beautifull hall of Serbian Centre, Serbian cuisine, sweets, good music and plenty of drinks have put as back to Serbia for a moment. We had and we have many things to show, and our guests had valuable things to see. All of that organization had paid off and children and parents of "Oplenac" had a best reward.
Let us mention in the end that every fall, "Oplenac" hosts the folklore gathering named "Folklorama".